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Griffin Eckstein

Brian Cox: "Napoleon" star "terrible"

"Succession" star Brian Cox wants Joaquin Phoenix’s "Napoleon" to f**k off.

Cox laid into Phoenix’s “truly terrible” performance in Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” at a HistFest panel on “history on stage and screen” at the British Library, and he didn't pull any punches.

“I would have played it a lot better than Joaquin Phoenix, I tell you that,” Cox said. “I think he’s well named. Joaquin … wackeen … wacky. It’s a sort of wacky performance.”

The film, which sits at a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was panned by many critics, and faces fresh scrutiny from the Emmy-winner. Cox expressed disappointment at the lack of historical accuracy in Ridley’s and others’ films. 

'“Braveheart" is a load of nonsense,” Cox said. “Mel Gibson was wonderful but it’s a load of lies. He never impregnated the French princess. It is a bollocks [sic] that film.”

Even critics weren’t safe from tirades by the Roy family’s patriarch: Cox lambasted them for comparing his theater and television performances.

“Most critics are stupid. They really are. Theater criticism has gone right down the tubes,” Cox said. “You think of those wonderful critics of the past, there’s nobody to match them now. Because they don’t do their homework.”

And in line with his well-documented tradition, the actor took aim at method acting.

“Oh no that’s all bollocks. It’s a kind of nonsense. We’re transmitters. That’s what we are as actors. We transmit energy,” Cox said. “You have to do your homework. That’s the delight of it, the information you get because you’re reading everything about Churchill and you’re building up a picture of who this person was.”

Cox also touched on American politics, criticizing increased restrictions on abortion access in many states and the potential re-election of Donald Trump.

“It’s very hard to govern America and you certainly don’t need idiots like Trump doing that,” Cox said, hinting that he may leave the country in the event of a Trump victory. “I do think that Biden is a good man, but he’s too old.”

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