‘Succession’: Brian Cox Revealed 1 Way His Personality is a Direct Reflection of Logan Roy

For many reasons, the actors on the HBO series Succession may not encourage any direct comparisons to their characters. The series follows the ruthless, power-hungry, and privileged. Of all of them, the family patriarch Logan Roy is the most callous. Though Brian Cox, the actor who portrays him, differs from the character in many ways, he explained that they do have one personality trait in common. Here’s what he had to say about their connection ahead of Succession Season 3.

Succession Season 3 actor Brian Cox in a suit and sunglasses at the Golden Globes.
Brian Cox | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Brian Cox is mostly dissimilar to his ‘Succession’ character

Though both Logan and Cox are from Dundee, Scotland, the majority of their similarities end there. Cox grew up quite poor and now has little sympathy for his uberwealthy onscreen counterpart. He’s also a sworn socialist and supporter of Scottish independence. This puts him at immediate odds with Logan, a billionaire who levies his wealth for protection and intimidation.

Kieran Culkin, who portrays Logan’s son, said that Cox differs from his character. He spoke about Cox in an interview on WTF with Marc Maron

“Brian is about the most approachable man,” Culkin explained. “He’s like a big, cuddly teddy bear.”

He added that Cox and Sarah Snook, who plays Logan’s daughter, “are the furthest from their characters in the show.”

The actor relates to Logan’s anger

Despite this, Cox noted that he does share one quality with the fictional media tycoon: anger. In a conversation with The New York Times about Succession Season 3, Cox explained why he believes this.

“There are moments when that demonic [Logan] comes out. Because he’s quite angry,” he said. “That’s something that probably he and I have in common.”


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According to Cox, the root of his anger rests in his childhood. Per The Guardian, Cox grew up in poverty in Scotland. His father, who Cox described as a lovely man, died when the actor was eight. Because his mother’s mental illness resulted in her hospitalization, Cox went to live with his older sisters. By the time he was an adult, Cox had lived in three separate households.

“I’m angry about my childhood, in retrospect. I look upon it now, and I go, ‘Jesus, that was [expletive], and there was nobody really to help me.’ I had to do it all on my own.” He added, “I felt I needed some parental help. I needed some guidance. My son will tell you. I’m quite angry at times.”

Brian Cox regularly smokes marijuana to keep calm 

Though not directly a method to treat his anger, Cox explained that he frequently smokes weed as a way to calm himself at the end of a long day. He turned to the drug because he often found himself wired up at night. 

“I find it helpful for my health. There is something fundamental about it. It’s a vegetable and there’s a root and you feel it goes to some kind of root in you. I got into it because I used to get so wired at the end of a night. I needed to relax, and I didn’t want to get into taking all kinds of pills. Marijuana was able to calm this whirling dervish of a brain down.”