Brian Cox thinks Joaquin Phoenix was “truly terrible” in Napoleon


Brian Cox, known for his fiery persona both on screen and off, reportedly held nothing back during a talk at London’s HistFest.

The “Succession” star took aim at historical dramas, singling out Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” and his own experience on Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart.”

According to a report published by The Standard, Cox, speaking about the film “Napoleon,” termed Joaquin Phoenix’s performance “truly terrible.” 

“It really is appalling. I don’t know what he was thinking. I think it’s totally his fault and I don’t think Ridley Scott helps him.”

About Phoenix’s role, he later added, “I would have played it a lot better.” 

The actor also condemned historical filmmaking on the whole, stating, “it’s a load of nonsense.” He even acknowledged the historical inaccuracies in “Braveheart,” despite his own role in the film.

Cox also did not spare his own colleagues when he was questioned about his “Succession” co-star Jeremy Strong’s in-depth method acting process.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Cox tirade without him going off on method acting — a topic he regularly breached when asked about his “Succession” co-star Jeremy Strong’s intense process.

“Oh no that’s all bollocks. It’s a kind of nonsense. We’re transmitters. That’s what we are as actors. We transmit energy,” Cox stated. 

“You have to do your homework. That’s the delight of it, the information you get because you’re reading everything about Churchill and you’re building up a picture of who this person was.”

At an event where Cox was promoting his West End performance in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” he also dismissed comparisons between his stage role and his character on “Succession.”

Once again, the actor offered blunt criticism, calling theater critics “stupid” and commenting on the decline of insightful criticism.

The conversation also ventured into politics with Cox hinting at a potential US departure due to abortion restrictions and the possibility of a Trump re-election. 

He further expressed his disapproval of Trump, also adding that Biden is “too old.”



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