Brian Cox’s disdain for method acting is so famous that he’s moved on to parodying it.
The “Succession” actor described the technique as “fucking annoying” last month while discussing his co-star Jeremy Strong. Clearly aware his quotes have gone viral, Cox dropped by “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday and cheekily doubled down.
“I’ve been a little harsh on it,” Cox told Jimmy Fallon. “And I’m sorry about that. In fact, I’ve been trying to set the record straight in a MasterClass series of acting that I’ve been doing. Actually, I brought a clip. I think this more eloquently explains my feelings about acting.”
Cox and Fallon played it straight when introducing the supposed teaching tool, which shows the actor sitting in a dark set with production lights nearby. Cox then imparts his wisdom on acting.
“Hi, I’m Brian Cox and this is my MasterClass on the craft of acting,” he says in the video, which briefly cuts to a title card noting that “Tip #1” is going to be unveiled.
“Just fucking do it! Act! Say the fucking lines! And don’t bump into the fucking furniture!” Cox says in the clip.
While Fallon cheekily feigned tears at the “beautiful” clip, Cox’s actual stance is no joke.
In a recent Town & Country interview, the native Scotsman lamented Strong’s adamant pursuit of method acting, saying “he’s fucking gifted” and should “have a hit of marijuana” instead of torturing himself so much.
Cox doubled down on his unfavorable view about method acting before appearing on the “Tonight Show.” He told Variety last week that Strong “learned all that stuff” from actor Daniel Day-Lewis, for whom Strong once served as an assistant.
“It’s really a cultural clash,” he told the outlet about the varying approaches on set. “I don’t put up with all that American shit. I’m sorry. All that sort of ‘I think, therefore I feel.’ Just do the job. Don’t identify.”
Strong has said in response to method acting criticism that “everyone’s entitled to have their feelings.”
“I also think Brian Cox, for example, he’s earned the right to say whatever the fuck he wants…you don’t always like the people that you love. I do always respect them,” Strong said in a GQ interview published last month.
Whether one technique is superior to another is presumably trivial to “Succession” fans, who’ve been eagerly anticipating the next season — which creator Jesse Armstrong recently revealed would be the last — since December 2021.
Season 4 of “Succession” premieres March 26 on HBO.