Brian Cox Blames Daniel Day-Lewis For The Method Acting Style He Loathes
Mar 17, 2023
With HBO‘s “Succession” entering its fourth and final reason in two weekends, it’s time to start reminiscing about the show’s elite ensemble cast and their work together. But don’t expect some of the actors to feel the same way. IndieWire (via Variety) reports that Brian Cox is calling out “method acting” yet again, something he’s done consistently recently with “Succession” co-star Jeremy Strong. But now Cox has a new target who he claims is the source of all this trouble.
READ MORE: ‘Succession’ Creator Confirms Season 4 Is The End Of The HBO Drama
Cox started by praising Strong’s performance on the HBO series. “I’m glad he is not in pain personally,” said Cox, calling Strong “a wonderful actor.” But then he pivots to his criticism, calling Strong’s acting style a prevalent issue in the industry. “It’s really a cultural clash,” the actor continued. “I don’t put up with all that American shit. I’m sorry. All that sort of ‘I think, therefore I feel’ Just do the job. Don’t ‘identify.’”
But where did all of this intense method acting get started? According to Cox, Jeremy Strong’s former mentor, and highly-praised actor, Daniel Day-Lewis. And Cox got some hits in on his co-star from 1997’s “The Boxer.” “He retired at the age of 55, and I’m going, ‘That’s when the roles become really interesting. You’re retired just at the point when actually the roles get better!’” Cox said of Day-Leiws. “Of crouse, Jeremy was Dan Day-Lewis’ assistant. So he’s learned all that stuff from Dan.”
At this point, it should be noted that, yes, Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t American, and originally from London. Strong indeed hails from Boston, but so perhaps that’s where Cox’s ire for the “American method acting” style comes from. Cox’s consistent criticism of Strong’s acting style on “Succession” reached a crescendo recently, with Cox calling it “f*cking annoying” last month to Town & Country.
“He’s a very good actor, and the rest of the ensemble is all OK with this. But knowing a character and what the character does is only part of the skill set,” Cox told T&C. “He’s still that guy, because he feels if he went somewhere else, he’d lose it. But he won’t! Strong is talented. He’s fucking gifted. When you’ve got the gift, celebrate the gift. Go back to your trailer and have a hit of marijuana, you know?” As for “Succession” ending, Cox told Variety, “I’ll miss the cast, I’ll miss the atmosphere, I’ll miss the bonhomie. [My character] Logan, probably, I’ll miss a bit. But upward and onwards.”
Meanwhile, Strong used a recent GQ cover story to respond to his co-star’s debate about his acting. “Everyone’s entitled to have their feelings,” Strong told the magazine. “I also think Brian Cox, for example, he’s earned the right to say whatever the fuck he wants. There was no need to address that or do damage control. I feel a lot of love for my siblings and my father on the show. And it is like a family in the sense that, and I’m sure they would say this, too, you don’t always like the people that you love. I do always respect them.”
But Strong did take umbrage with one thing Cox said. “I saw that Brian Cox also said, in a follow-up interview, that ‘there is a certain amount of pain at the root of Jeremy, and I just feel for that pain,’” Strong continued. “You know, I don’t think so. I don’t think there is. There’s certainly a lot of pain in Kendall, and I haven’t really met Brian outside of the confines of that.”
Perhaps one day Cox and Strong will meet in a trailer over a joint and hash this whole method acting thing out. In the meantime, “Succession” S4 premieres on HBO on March 26.
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