In a lively and wide-ranging conversation, one of the most revered actors of his generation talks Hollywood rivalries, Scottish independence – and the future of the hit TV show

Over the years, I have crossed paths several times with the Dundonian actor Brian Cox. In 2002, I interviewed him for the BBC about the controversial US indie film L.I.E., of which he remains particularly proud. We met again in Shetland, where I co-curate the annual Screenplay film festival, when he was campaigning for Scottish independence. More recently we did a podcast together in which he enthused about his love of Danny Kaye in the 1955 comedy The Court Jester, a film he rewatches every year. No wonder, then, that reading his hugely entertaining autobiography, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, feels like catching up with an old friend.

In his book he recounts being at the Golden Globes in 2020, where he won best actor in a TV series as Logan Roy in the scathingly satirical Succession. Among the attendees were Elton John and Al Pacino, both of whom pointedly praised Cox for his outstanding title role in the 2017 drama Churchill – a film that was overlooked at awards season in favour of Darkest Hour, for which Gary Oldman won an Oscar playing Churchill.

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