Brian Cox says he turned down a Game of Thrones role because it paid too little
It seems Brian Cox almost ruled the Seven Kingdoms and the Waystar Royco empire.
A new excerpt from the Succession star's upcoming memoir Putting the Rabbit in the Hat reveals that he turned down a role on Game of Thrones because "the money was not all that great." In the passage, published by GQ, Cox explains his rationale for passing on the blockbuster HBO series in a tone that suggests he harbors no regrets about the decision.
"I'm often asked if I was offered a role in Game of Thrones — reason being that every other bugger was — and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season," Cox writes. "I know very little about Game of Thrones, so I can't tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I'm not going to google it just in case he was, because I turned it down." (Yes: Cox was apparently unenthused at the prospect of being floored by a boar.)
He continues, "Why? Well, Game of Thrones went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course. But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn't have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead. (I lied. I did google it.)"
While on the subject of fantasy franchises, Cox also addresses speculation on why he never played a role in the Harry Potter series — and no, despite what you might think, he didn't pull an Alan Cumming and tell the producers to "f--- off."
"Harry Potter. That's another one they ask me about. Harry f---ing Potter," he writes. "I think someone had a burning cross held up for me not to be in Harry Potter, because all my pals were in it. I think the part I might have played was the one that Brendan Gleeson got, Mad-Eye Moody, but Brendan was more in fashion than I was at that point, and that's very much the way of the world in my business, so he got it. Also, he's much better than I would have been."
Nor does he stop there; apparently determined to spill as much tea as possible, Cox adds that he also turned down the role of Governor Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, noting, "It would have been a money-spinner, but of all the parts in that film it was the most thankless, plus I would have ended up doing it for film after film and missed out on all the other nice things I've done." He also, as revealed in a previously released portion of the excerpt, calls the franchise's star Johnny Depp "so overblown" and "so overrated."
"I mean, Edward Scissorhands," Cox writes. "Let's face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face makeup, you don't have to do anything. And he didn't. And subsequently, he's done even less. But people love him. Or they did love him. They don't love him so much these days, of course. If Johnny Depp went for Jack Sparrow now, they'd give it to Brendan Gleeson."
Cox's memoir hits shelves in all its gossipy glory on Jan. 18.
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