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Why A Few Succession Stars Found Brian Cox's On-Set Behavior 'Incredibly Scary'

Throughout most of HBO's critically beloved family drama "Succession," veteran performer Brian Cox plays the absolutely terrifying patriarch of the powerful Roy family. As Logan — head of Waystar Royco, the fictional company at the heart of "Succession" — Cox is a constant force to be reckoned with, lording his absolute power over his children Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin). According to an interview with Snook, Cox could sometimes be intimidating when the cameras stopped rolling ... and it had to do with whether or not he'd eaten recently.

"He has a habit of sometimes going into a false — or could it be real, who knows? — diabetic rage, where he'll go [growl] all of a sudden," Snook told Times Radio (per Deadline). "I think part of it's a little of trying to just jolt the energy of the set and rustle a few feathers, get it going and moving faster. The quality of his voice can be very terrifying sometimes, for sure. Thunderous." 

Culkin has also said that Cox would become belligerent if he got hungry on set. So what does Cox have to say about that? "Well, yeah I do get hangry because I'm diabetic," Cox once told This Morning on ITV (also per Deadline).

Other performers on Succession said Brian Cox could be intimidating on set

Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin aren't the only "Succession" cast members to reveal that Brian Cox could definitely be an intense person to work with on set. J. Smith-Cameron, who plays Waystar Royco executive Gerri Kellman, described him as "terrifying," according to the same Deadline report, and the outlet also discussed an interview between actress Justine Lupe and Times Radio, during which Lupe said Cox could be "incredibly scary." Lupe, who plays Willa Ferreyra — a call-girl who ends up marrying into the Roy family by wedding the oft-forgotten eldest boy, Connor (Alan Ruck) — said that while Cox is definitely a force majeure at times, he contains multitudes.

"Brian has moments of being incredibly intimidating on and off camera," Lupe said. "He's got a power to him as a person and I think he knows that about himself." Still, the actress went on to say that Cox was also an amazing colleague: "He's also one of the more kind people that I've interacted with on set ... He was always so supportive and sweet."

Logan Roy was a terrifying presence throughout Succession

On one hand, some of Brian Cox's co-stars have described him as a supportive presence on the set of "Succession," while others have acknowledged that he can be intimidating and angry. Weirdly, these two aspects of Cox's behavior on set match perfectly with the character of Logan Roy. In the strangest way possible, Logan did love his children; he even tells them that he loves them while insulting them in Season 4, Episode 2 ("I love you, but you are not serious people"). In an interview with TV Insider after that episode, "Rehearsal," Cox told the outlet, "Logan's Achilles heel, I say time and time again is he loves his kids and he's not getting very much back from them. Only treachery and betrayal."

This doesn't excuse Logan's behavior, to be certain. He's physically abusive to his children — as well as his grandchildren — and despite Cox's comments about the Roy children betraying their father, there's no question that the powerful CEO is willing to screw over his children for his own personal gain as well. When Logan dies in Episode 3 of Season 4, his ensuing absence is what drives every single plotline for the following seven episodes as his children squabble over who will take his place and whether or not they'll sell their father's legacy to Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skårsgard). Logan Roy is one of television's most forceful and powerful characters, and there's no denying that Cox is an exceptionally powerful actor; in so many ways, he was the only person who could have ever played the role.

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