Brian Cox is so via Logan Roy.
Or at least he left Succession’The reigning patriarch of the media empire is behind schedule on HBO’s Emmy-winning TV drama as the gruff Scottish performer blasted Method’s acting during a Q&A after the screening at Toronto Film Festival for The prisoner’s daughter.
“I don’t like a lot of American shit, having to have a religious experience every time you play a part. It’s bullshit,” Cox said of getting completely immersed in a movie or TV series performance to the point of obsession.
“I don’t stick to the characters I play. I let them pass through me. It’s a matter of being ready to accept, as an actor. You stand there, you’re ready to take whatever is thrown at you,” he added while on stage at Roy Thomson Hall after he and fellow cast members, including Kate BeckinsaleTyson Ritter and Christopher Convery, and The prisoner’s daughter director Catherine Hardwickereceived a standing ovation from the Toronto audience after the world premiere of the drama about family reconciliation.
IN Prisoner’s daughter, Cox stars as Max, a convict who is released from prison on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, then must live out his final days with his estranged daughter, played by Beckinsale. Max also meets a grandson he never knew, played by Convery.
“Max was a great role, no doubt about it. He was always in retreat, like a father. Logan is a completely different character. He doesn’t back down. Except, deep down, he is. But his reactions come from the front, because of his background,” Cox added as he insisted on a different dynamic for the characters in Succession and The prisoner’s daughter they require different acting styles on set.
“So you let people walk through you. We are British. We come from a ‘great tradition,’” he persisted in a mocking tone.
“Commonwealth, baby,” Beckinsale cheerfully added to the Canadian audience.
“You just let it pass you by. And don’t stand in the fucking way,” Cox continued, now in rhythm as the Toronto festival crowd responded with another round of applause.
Cox’s comments follow his Emmy Award win Succession his co-star Jeremy Strong made headlines for The New Yorker profile published late last year in which individuals who worked with Strong discussed the techniques he uses to get into character, such as asking to be sprayed with real tear gas for Trial of Chicago 7. Strong told the publication at the time that he didn’t consider himself a Method actor, but said of his tactic: “If I have any method at all, it’s simply this: Clear out anything — anything — that’s out of character and the circumstances of the scene.”
Also during the TIFF event, Twilight and Thirteen director Hardwicke — who led The prisoner’s daughter from a screenplay by Canadian writer Mark Bacci — credited Convery for being able to star opposite Cox and Beckinsale, given the veteran British actors’ pedigree. “You are very brave for standing your ground,” she told the young actor.
During the brief Q&A, Cox and Beckinsale were full of banter and humor directed at each other.
“Brian was there. I have a history with him. You’re a stalker,” she told Cox at one point after insisting she had seen him as a fan many times on stage in Britain when she was growing up and training as an actress.
“I’m a stalker? You are a stalker. I’ve never been a stalker. You are definitely a stalker!” Cox shot back.
“I’m wearing your panties right now,” Beckinsale said in response, using a common British term for women’s underwear.
“She stole them. She stole them. I had a whole bunch of them and they’re all gone,” Cox replied, before paying serious tribute to Hardwicke as a director. “I didn’t know what to expect this afternoon, I have to admit… But the great thing is the heart of that woman, and that’s what’s in the show,” he said with a nod to Hardwicke.
And then he praised Beckinsale for her commitment to the role of Maxine, a daughter who reluctantly accepts her convict father and, as a single mother, must work multiple jobs to maintain her Las Vegas home and care for her epileptic son.
“She’s so committed to the role, you can’t go wrong acting against something like that,” Cox said.
The Toronto Film Festival continues until September 18.