'Succession' Star Brian Cox Turned Down Major 'Game of Thrones' Role

Brian Cox has been a working actor for decades, and he put all of his unfiltered opinions about Hollywood In his upcoming memoir Putting the Rabbit in the Hat. The book comes out on Jan. 18, and GQ released an excerpt ahead of publication. The award-winner has found his career-defining role as Logan Roy In HBO's Succession, but Cox turned down another massive show on the network before becoming the media magnate. 

"I'm often asked if I was offered a role in Game of Thrones – reason being that every other bugger was – and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season," Cox wrote. "I know very little about Game of Thrones so I can't tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I'm not going to Google it just in case he was, because I turned it down."

According to Cox, the financial offer for the role wasn't sufficient. "Why? Well, Game of Thrones went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course," Cox continued. "But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn't have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead."

Cox also revealed that he turned down a supporting role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise – the Governor, who ended up being played by Jonathan Pryce – and had some choice words for star Johnny Depp as well. "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," Cox admitted. "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."

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"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," Cox wrote. "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."