Cox, alongside Succession creator Jesse Armstrong, discussed his process for playing the ruthless media mogul and patriarch and told a story about attending a Ronan Farrow-hosted #metoo event.
“This guy I’ve been playing has now become my alter ego,” he said at the event at the Tate Modern art gallery. “I just use the bastard side of my personality. The irony is that I’m now saying what I think, which I never used to do. I tell people to fuck off. There was this incident that happened to me when I was in LA [with] Rosanna Arquette. It was a #metoo evening with Ronan Farrow. It was a very serious evening and afterwards I was suddenly surrounded by a coterie of women and one or two of them, maybe three, said quietly, with their cameras, ‘would you tell us to fuck off’ and I said ‘is that really appropriate, a white dinosaur like me’. It’s kind of stirred the pot a lot, which is what you want drama to do.”
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Cox also revealed that he doesn’t want to know too much about where his character ends up and prefers to find out episode-by-episode. “We don’t want to know [what happens]. The actor prepares, or sometimes despairs. I like to know what I’m doing but I quickly learned that the frisson you get from not knowing is really exciting so you don’t know from episode to episode what is going to happen and that makes it exciting,” he added.
Armstrong added that whenever the writers, who are currently working on scripts for season three, think they’ve gone too far, they realise that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Whenever we doubt our plot lines you just read the Financial Times and you see Carlos Ghosn is hiding in a music box and being flown to Lebanon so we say ‘we can go crazy today’.”
The third season of the drama, which follows the Roy family as they struggle to retain control of their empire, starts shooting in April. The cast also includes Jeremy Strong, Hiam Abbass, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Peter Friedman, Rob Yang, J. Smith Cameron, Dagmara Dominczyk, Arian Moayed. Holly Hunter, Cherry Jones, Danny Huston, Jeannie Berlin and Fisher Stevens.
Armstrong serves as showrunner and executive produces with Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell, Jane Tranter, Mark Mylod, Tony Roche and Scott Ferguson.