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Succession’s Brian Cox Didn’t Want to Work With ‘Overrated’ Johnny Depp

In his recent memoir, iconic actor Brian Cox didn’t hold back in explaining why he didn’t take a role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which all came down to him not wanting to spend years in a “thankless” franchise and not being the biggest fan of Johnny Depp. The actor, who is well known for voicing his opinion, had an excerpt from his memoir shared by GQ magazine, which saw him recalling his reasons for not joining the huge Disney movie franchise.

The memoir, entitled Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, looks back at the long and prolific career of the actor, who is currently playing the role of the formidable Logan Roy in HBO’s Succession and has previously worked across numerous genres with roles in The Ring, The Bourne Identity, Rise of The Planet of The Apes and in Manhunter as the first on-screen iteration of Hannibal Lecter prior to Anthony Hopkins making the part his own. In the text, Cox revealed that he “turned [his] nose up” at the role of Governor Weatherby Swan in the highly popular Pirates movies, a role that would subsequently be taken on by Jonathan Pryce. Cox wrote:

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“The guy who directed Pirates was Gore Verbinski, with whom I made The Ring, and he’s a lovely chap but I think I blotted my copybook by turning down the Governor. It would have been a money-spinner, but of all the parts in that film it was the most thankless, plus I would have ended up doing it for film after film and missed out on all the other nice things I’ve done.”

Related: These Are The Best Johnny Depp Performances Of All Time

Brian Cox Did Not Want to Be Part of the Pirates of the Caribbean’s “Johnny Depp Show”


Johnny Depp in action on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

As well as preferring to explore other roles than being tied to an ongoing franchise, Cox continues explaining that his other reason for not joining the franchise comes down to his opinion that Johnny Depp is “so overblown, so overrated” in the industry that he simply didn’t want to be part of what he calls the “Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow Show.”

“Another thing with Pirates of the Caribbean is that it’s very much the ‘Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow Show,’ and Depp, personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown, so overrated. I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face make-up, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less. But people love him. Or they did love him. They don’t love him so much these days, of course.”

The cutting last comment on the subject by Cox is in reference to the ongoing court disputes between Depp and Aquaman star Amber Heard, whose messy and vicious divorce and accusations of physical abuse led to Depp being asked to step down from his role in the third Fantastic Beasts film at Warner Bros. and has subsequently led to Depp being reportedly blacklisted over the seemingly never-ending libel trails and media headlines surrounding the pair. Despite the issues, Heard kept her role in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, much to the annoyance of Depp’s supporters in the matter, who threatened to boycott the movie when it is released in December this year.

Cox himself is currently riding high on the success of Succession, which earned him an award for Best Actor in a Drama Series at the Golden Globes. The memoir Putting the Rabbit in the Hat is releasing on January 18th.


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