Succession’s Brian Cox was initially ‘irked’ by namesake Prof Brian Cox

·3-min read

Brian Cox, star of Succession, and Brian Cox, professor of particle physics, have come together to discuss often being mistaken for one another and the difficulty of politics and fame.

Scottish actor Brian Cox gained recognition for his extensive work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, before starring as Logan Roy in the critically acclaimed HBO series.

Meanwhile Prof Brian Cox is a former musician turned physics professor who found fame presenting the BBC’s Wonders Of The Solar System and Forces Of Nature.

In an interview with The Guardian, the two Brians were brought together, with actor Brian Cox revealing he used to get “irked” at his namesake after the pair were almost mixed up on a restaurant reservation, but has since learned to embrace the name the pair share.

Prof Brian Cox reminded the actor of this, saying: “Do you remember that time we both nearly turned up to the same restaurant?

“I think I’d got there first, and I could see the horror on their faces, because they thought they had double-booked.

“They must have thought: “Two Brian Coxes aren’t going to turn up and say: ‘Hello, table for Brian Cox please’.”

The Succession actor replied: “It annoyed me initially – but has been such a great lesson – to find someone who is extraordinarily successful with the same name as me.

“It irked me at first, then I thought, it’s not important.

“I mean, we have the same name, but then something comes into play where you go, ‘Well, it’s only a name’.”

“So it has been wonderful meeting you, Brian, because it’s proved that the name doesn’t matter.

“I’m very pleased that we’ve got the same name, but ultimately it’s just one of those curiously strange accidents.”

Sunday Morning
Professor Brian Cox is often confused with his namesake, Scottish actor Brian Cox (James Manning/PA)

The pair also reflected on the difficulty of having a political opinion when in the spotlight.

“I’m not supposed to have political views but I do, but that’s also to do with my history,” said actor Brian Cox.

Prof Brian Cox asked his namesake: “Would you ever consider going into politics? I suppose the great example of an actor going into politics was Ronald Reagan.”

“Let’s not get into Reaganomics because we could be here all day!” responded the Scottish actor.

He also remarked: “That’s clearly why we’ve got the same name, Brian! It’s quite extraordinary and very harmonising to talk to you this way because you realise that regardless of our different pursuits, we’re on a very similar journey.”

The actor discussed his character Logan Roy, founder and CEO of the media conglomerate Waystar Royco and patriarch of the Roy family in dark comedy drama Succession, with Prof Brian Cox and revealed an interesting observation about the fictional media tycoon.

Actor Brian Cox explained to the physicist: “I had another beautiful moment yesterday – I shouldn’t be giving all this away, but I don’t care – where Logan realises he doesn’t have any other pals and how lonely he is, which I found incredibly moving.

“Again that’s part of the human condition; that sense of loneliness. That’s why there’s a heroic element to Logan, because he’s in deep struggle with himself. And as you’ve said, the problem is that we are in a constant deep struggle with ourselves.”

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