Brian Cox is a Scottish actor who has appeared in a number of successful films and TV shows over the years. He has become known for his powerful performances on screen and his ability to portray a wide range of characters with great skill and nuance.
One of Cox’s most recent projects has been the hit film ‘Succession’, which has brought him renewed critical acclaim and a whole new generation of fans. The show follows the dysfunctional Roy family as they fight for control of a media empire, and Cox plays the patriarch, Logan Roy.
But despite his impressive body of work and his considerable talent, Cox has recently found himself embroiled in controversy over comments he made about his ‘Succession’ co-star, Jeremy Strong, and his acting technique.
In a recent interview, Cox was asked about Strong’s approach to acting, and his response was blunt and cutting. “It’s the American s***,” he said, referring to Strong’s training and method.
Cox went on to explain that he believed Strong’s approach was overly ‘intellectual’ and focused too much on technical aspects of acting, rather than the emotional and instinctual elements that he believes are more important.
The comments quickly went viral, with many fans and industry insiders jumping to Strong’s defense and accusing Cox of being out of touch and dismissive of the work that goes into mastering the craft of acting.
But Cox was unapologetic, insisting that he stood by his comments and that he believed his own approach to acting, which he describes as more rooted in the ‘classical’ tradition of theater and performance, was more valid and effective.
So, what exactly is the ‘American s***’ that Cox is referring to, and why has it sparked such a strong reaction from the acting community?
For starters, it’s worth noting that the term ‘American acting’ is a broad and somewhat nebulous one that can encompass a wide range of styles and methods. But generally speaking, it refers to an approach that emphasizes the psychological and emotional aspects of a character, and that seeks to explore and understand the motivations and inner workings of their psyche.
This approach is often associated with the so-called ‘Method’ school of acting, which was popularized in the United States in the mid-twentieth century by figures like Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler.
The Method places a heavy emphasis on the actor’s own personal experiences and emotions, and encourages them to draw on these in order to create truly immersive and authentic performances.
This approach has undoubtedly produced some of the most iconic and memorable performances in film and theater history, from Marlon Brando’s raw and vulnerable turn in ‘On the Waterfront’ to Meryl Streep’s chameleonic transformations in films like ‘Sophie’s Choice’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada’.
But for some actors and critics, the Method and its various offshoots have come to be seen as overly indulgent and self-centered, with too much emphasis placed on the actor’s own ego and too little on the needs of the story or the overall production.
Cox appears to be coming from this perspective, with his comments suggesting that he sees Strong’s approach as too self-conscious and technical, and not focused enough on the underlying emotional truth of the character they are portraying.
It’s worth noting, however, that this is far from a universally held view among actors and industry insiders.
Many actors and filmmakers continue to swear by the Method and its various iterations, and see it as a vital tool for creating nuanced and layered performances that resonate with audiences.
What’s more, it’s hard to argue with the success that many Method-trained actors have had over the years, with many of them winning critical acclaim and Oscars and contributing to some of the most beloved films and TV shows in history.
Ultimately, the debate over the merits of different acting techniques is likely to continue for years to come, with passionate advocates on both sides making their case.
But one thing is clear – with talents like Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong contributing to our screens and stages, audiences can be assured that they are in capable hands, whatever the technique.