“Succession’s” Brian Cox Just Dragged Joaquin Phoenix’s “Appalling” Performance In “Napoleon,” And His Comments Are Truly Wild

“Something logan roy would say.”

If there’s one person we can always count on for a brutally honest opinion, it’s Brian Cox.

Brian Cox in a suit with a patterned tie and pocket square at an event

Over the years, the Succession star hasn’t shied away from sharing his honest thoughts with the world, whether about politicians, TV shows, or even his own costars.

Five cast members from "Succession" posing; one in a silver gown, three in suits, and one in a brown ensemble

And now, the actor has taken aim at Joaquin Phoenix and his acting skills in Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, which was released last year.

Joaquin Phoenix on the red carpet

Going full Logan Roy, the actor described the performance as “truly terrible,” saying during a conversation at the British Library in London over the weekend that he would’ve done a far better job himself.

Brian gesturing while speaking into a microphone

“It really is appalling,” he said of the Oscar winner’s performance, as reported by the Standard. “I don’t know what he was thinking… I would have played it a lot better than Joaquin Phoenix, I tell you that.”

Closeup of Joaquin Phoenix

As you might remember, Napoleon massively divided critics following its release in November last year, and Joaquin’s performance was at the center of mixed reviews — with some describing him as “magnificent,” while others branded his portrayal as “oddly anti-charismatic.”

Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon looking at another person stoicly

However, away from the acting, one of the main criticisms of the movie was its questionable historical accuracy, with French historians saying that the “lackluster” film was “like spitting in the face of French people.”

Joaquin Phoenix and Ridley Scott on the red carpet

And while the film’s director responded to backlash over perceived inaccuracies by telling historians to “get a life,” it seems like Brian is siding with the critics.

Closeup of Brian Cox

“You can say it’s good drama. No — it’s lies,” he said in his recent interview, in which he also slammed Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning Braveheart, calling it “a load of nonsense.”

Brian Cox in an jacket pointing towards the camera while on a street

If you know anything about Brian, you’ll know his frankness is hardly anything new. However, that hasn’t stopped fans from reacting to his scathing review of Joaquin’s performance — with many questioning if he’s still in character as Logan Roy.

Brian Cox in a formal suit with tie at the "Succession" premiere

As referred to in the commentary, Brian’s most notable criticisms in the past were directed at his Succession costar, Jeremy Strong, who played his onscreen son, Kendall Roy, in four seasons of the award-winning drama.

Brian and Jeremy Strong at the AFI Awards

On multiple occasions, Brian has criticized Jeremy’s “fucking annoying” method acting techniques, once telling the New Yorker: “It’s a particularly American disease… I just feel that he just has to be kinder to himself, and therefore has to be a bit kinder to everybody else.”

Closeup of Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox at an event

For what it’s worth, Jeremy didn’t seem to take the comments to heart. Instead, he brushed it off and told GQ that Brian had “earned the right to say whatever the fuck he wants” — whether Joaquin will have the same reaction remains to be seen.

Closeup of Brian Cox
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