KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Brian Cox may play a ruthless billionaire media mogul in the HBO award-winning series Succession but the legendary Scottish actor’s politics in real life is nothing like Logan Roy’s.
In an interview session with the 75-year-old who was promoting the show’s latest season, Cox slammed billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk who have become the poster boys for the recent space race.
“You get these great guys wanting their 11 minutes in space and saying stupid things like ‘Oh, we need more spaceships’ and you go f*** off, the last thing we need is more spaceships,” he said via Zoom in New York.
The dark comedy centres around the wealthy Roy family who run a media conglomerate and the power struggle to gain control of the business.
Succession is one of many recent shows that highlights the lifestyles of the mega-rich so Malay Mail asked Cox why we are so fascinated by the lives of the world’s wealthiest.
“Unfortunately, the one per cent have more than one per cent influence and that’s the difficult thing.
“We’re realising they’ve been getting away with it for a very long time,” he said.
Cox added that we live in strange times and there is much to reflect about, especially when it comes to the ultra-rich and their pursuits which these days include space travel.
“I mean, Christ, the planet is in such a state we’ve got to tend to the planet first before thinking of getting up there.
“Because actually it’s all about escape — that’s actually what it’s about,” he said.
Cox, who was born into a working-class family in Dundee, is very much aware that many around the world won’t be afforded that privilege to escape from their own reality let alone being propelled into space for leisure.
“The lack of reality is so prevalent at the moment and we just don’t know where we are,” he said.
“When you go through four years that felt like 100 years of Trump’s presidency, you go where are we, why have we come to this truly appalling state?”
It’s a question Cox believes many have been asking and that’s why he thinks people are microscopically looking at the rich and powerful.
The award-winning Shakespearean actor who has been in films such as Braveheart, Manhunter and Troy used the US steel magnate Andrew Carnegie as an example.
The 19th century industrialist was a well-known philanthropist who didn’t believe in inherited wealth and that his money should be bequeathed to institutions for good deeds.
He also famously tried to stop the First World War and was confronted with the reality that a lot of steel was required which led to an economic boom for the US.
“He had been the steel capitalist of all time so he was hoisted by his own petard and he became a very troubled guy — he irrationalised himself,” Cox said.
“It’s just interesting to know where that wealth is going — is it going into spaceships? What does it do? How much money do you need?”
“We all have that avaricious streak in us whether we like it or not — it’s a hard thing to shake up, some people deal with it wonderfully well but it’s there, it’s always there.”
Succession season 3 airs at the same time as the US on Mondays, 9am exclusively on HBO GO and HBO (Astro Ch 411), with a same day encore at 10pm on HBO.