Brian Cox Talks ‘Succession’ Season 4 and His Famous Catchphrase

Apr 6, 2023

The HBO series Succession is back for its fourth and final season, and the only sure thing when it comes to the Roy family is that there will be power plays, cutthroat moves made, and loyalty will be questioned. Fractured even deeper, after the events of Season 3 finale with siblings Shiv (Sarah Snook), Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) teaming up against their father Logan (Brian Cox), unaware that Shiv’s husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) had switched sides against them, it will be nail-biting to see how all the family drama plays out.

During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, Cox talked about his conversation with show creator Jesse Armstrong before the start of the last season, that Armstrong’s integrity is what’s at the core of this show, bringing things to a smart conclusion, whether Logan still wants one of his own children to be his successor, having fans always wanting him to repeat Logan’s well-known catchphrase, and that his kids get to him more than he lets on.
Collider: The Season 3 finale was absolute magnificent perfection, on every level. What was it like to get that script, read it, shoot that episode, but then have to wait to find out what would happen next, in Season 4? Are you someone who’s good with waiting to get the next script, or do you get anxious not knowing what’s going to happen?

BRIAN COX: If you wait for a script, it will never arrive. The best thing to do is just let it take its course. I don’t anticipate. It’s a waste of human resource to anticipate what it’s going to be like. As it comes, I’m just, “Oh, is this what I’m doing? Fine, okay. Let’s go.”

Image via HBO

What was it like to get that first script back for Season 4? Did you have any thoughts about where things might be headed?

COX: I had a good suspicion. (Show creator) Jesse [Armstrong] and I had a talk before we started. He knew that this was possibly the last season, but he hadn’t made the decision then. He was still open and we were just waiting to see what his decision was going to be, whether to go on or not. I knew that because he’s got such rigor, as a creator, it was going to be difficult for him, but I also knew that he would not let this show go beyond its sell by date. He was very concerned about that. Each [season] always spins off the last [season], and we have to top it again. But there’s only so much you can do, in terms of topping. There comes a point when you have to bring it to conclusion. I think that’s what he’s done, and done it expertly. I think it’s been tough for him to do it. He’s said, “I’m so sad the show is finishing,” but it was his idea. Jesse has been amazing. I cannot fault Jesse Armstrong, in any way, shape or form. His integrity is what’s really at the core of the show, and it’s an honor to be part of that integrity.

Does it feel like a luxury to work on a TV series that can choose what it ends and go out on a high note, or would you have been just as game to come back for Season 5?

COX: TV has really become the master or the mistress of drama because the long form has such a huge liberating effect on writers, with the fact that don’t have to go for the three act concept all the time and each episode has a beginning, middle, and end. We’ve had the beginning, it’s all endless middle, and then we’ll come to a very smart and sometimes quick conclusion. I’m fine with that, personally. The great thing about my profession is that you can’t rely on. If you start thinking, “Oh, well, I can do this now,” you’re screwed. Just take it as it comes.

Image via HBO

You’ve said that Logan genuinely wants a successor. Does he believe that will still be one of his own children, or would he ever actually pick someone who’s not one of his children?

COX: He’s always wanted his own child to do it, but he’s running out of options. The penultimate scene when I go see the Swede, Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), there was an animal that reminded Logan of himself, more than any of his children have. WIth Matsson, he realizes that he’s clever and he’s foxy, but there is a very strong integrity of work, and that’s all Logan asks for. If you take this job on, there has to be a modicum of reasonably good integrity, there and then, and Matsson does that. He comes in and says, “I’m not gonna fool you. I’m not gonna mess around. I’m gonna tell you what it is.” He declares it very clearly, and that gives Logan a lot of hope. Also, it’s the first time he gets perspective of something other than his own children. He is wedded to the idea of his children because he believes that it is part of a dynasty, and it is disappointing for him.

How does it feel to be on a successful TV show and get paid to do a job where you literally get to tell any number of people to “fuck off” any number of times? Is that something that you think you’ll miss? Is it fun to play a character where you can say that to people?

COX: Yeah, it’s been great fun. Human beings are so idiotic, to come up and say, “Can you tell me to ‘fuck off’?” And I’m like, “Yeah, fuck off!” And then, they’re like, “Can I shoot it?” It’s funny. It’s a great phrase, and it deals with a lot. Any frustration you’ve got, just tell everybody to “fuck off.”

Image via HBO

I often wonder if Logan has any emotions, other than anger.

COX: He’s reflective, and it doesn’t help him. He looks back on his history and he’s proud of his business, but I don’t think he’s proud of his life. I think he realizes he’s made mistakes. You can see that so clearly with Connor. Connor was clearly a neglected child, and Logan has not done nearly enough about that. He knows it. He’s aware of it. So, he was determined that his other children would have much more of a crack at the whip. Connor just lives in a fantasy world.

Do you feel like his kids get to him more than we realize?

COX: Oh, yeah, I think they get to him a lot. Does Logan Roy love his children? Jesse’s answer, from the very beginning, was, “Yes, he loves them very much.” That’s the biggest problem. He loves these horrible creatures who are fairly unworthy of anything, but they’re his kids. What’s so interesting is that people root for these awful people, and that shows you where we are in the human experiment. It’s pretty bleak.

Succession airs on Sunday nights on HBO and is available to stream at HBO Max.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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