Actors are misunderstood: 'X-Men' villain Brian Cox

  • Sat,20 Jul 2019 09:44:14 AM

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS): For Brian Cox, an actor's job is to reflect the truth. The "X-Men" star, however, feels people don't really understand actors.

"People don't really understand actors very much. I constantly find that actors are misunderstood," Cox, 73, told IANS over the phone from London.

"People think that actors do some kind of magic. I'd go back to William Shakespeare's ‘Hamlet' quote, 'twere, the mirror up to nature' to describe my job as an actor," he added.

Cox says he finds the journey of exploring human experiences through his work fascinating.

"(My job is) To tell the truth about situations, about why people come to be what they are. That is endlessly fascinating. It gets more fascinating at my age," he pointed out.

Cox feels it gets better with age.

"I'm in my seventies now and I am still fascinated with trying to understand what the human experience is, and why. Why did we invent all these religions? What does it reflect on our life experiences? What is humanity and what are we as human beings?

"This is what I enjoy about my job. I am always given another insight (through my projects) into how human beings operate. It is fascinating and endlessly interesting.

"It is all about telling the truth about certain situations – that has been my drive as an actor whether I am playing King Lear, Hermann Göring or Winston Churchill. (The effort is) To get to the truth of what people are – not just what we see in terms of our presentation, but getting into the inner life as well," the actor explained.

Starting his career in theatre, Cox has carved a place for himself with power-packed performances as the anti-mutant villain William Stryker in the "X-Men" movies, the villainous opportunist King Agamemnon in "Troy", CIA Deputy Director Ward Abbott in the "Bourne" franchise and Winston Churchill in "Churchill".

At present, Cox, who started working in the sixties, is seen as media mogul Logan Roy in the show "Succession", aired in India on Star World.

The Scottish actor finds flaws charming, and roles dipped in hues of grey attractive.

"Most human beings have flaws. That is a human condition. I don't know anybody who is perfect," the actor chuckled.

He continued: "Flawed characters are interesting. They always say that 'the Devil has the best tunes'. I will not go that far, but I understand where that comes from. My interest (in flawed characters), from an actor's point of view and from what I try to do, is to tell the truth about people."

Picking his role of Hermann Göring in the 2000s television docu-drama "Nuremberg" as a reference point, the actor explained: "I learnt a lot while playing Göring. I learnt about a man who has a certain belief system, as well as what came up against the holocaust and stuff like that.

"There is a good book which has come out in Germany about the (World War) period, with historians pointing out that many people got away with it because they were organisers. I think that nobody is exempt from some kind of responsibility," said Cox.

In a seamless way, Cox connects it with his present role of Logan in "Succession", which follows the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging father (essayed by Cox) begins to step back from his media and entertainment conglomerate.

"Logan is also not exempt (from the consequences of his action) but he has his reason for doing what he does. He isn't a lover of humanity because he is disappointed by it. It goes back to his childhood. It all goes back to childhood every time," he said.

The second season of "Succession" premieres internationally in August.

Although the show is very "consuming", Cox hopes he will get to do another season.

 

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