Succession star Brian Cox’s incredible link to Birmingham & heartfelt advice for young actors

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Star of American drama show Succession Brian Cox spent some time in Birmingham in the 1960s

Birmingham is home to a lot of talented people and has attracted many creative folks from different cities over time. From actors to musicians, many stars have passed through the city.

For instance, Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor was raised in Cullercoats, Northumberland but moved to Birmingham in 1980. Similarly, actor and star of American drama show Succession Brian Cox also spent some time in Birmingham.

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The trained Shakesperean actor, who has won an Golden Globe, Olivier, SAG and Emmy awards joined The Old Rep Theatre Company, on Station Street, next to New Street in the city centre, in 1966. A petition has recently been launched to ‘save Station Street’ and have it designated as a cultural asset following the shock closure of the nearby Electric Cinema. Brian has backed the campaign saying: “What is really important is the historical significance of the Birmingham Old Rep.

“It was beautifully designed, with the raking such that there is no bad seat in the house and it would be tragic to lose such a wonderful and historically important venue.”

Brian took to the stage at the Birmingham theatre in Peer Gynt and Othello alongside Alison Key and Michael Gambon. Since then, he’s become a huge star in America after starring in Braveheart, The Bourne Supremacy, Troy, X-Men and many more including voice acting in Good Omens.

Despite his huge success, the Old Rep stays close to his heart - and for the 105th birthday celebration of the theatre, he had his own seat installed in the auditorium.

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Brian Cox  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)Brian Cox  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Brian Cox (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) | Getty Images

According to the Old Rep’s website, he said at the time: “This place really is history. It’s incredible. And for me it’s still vivid in my mind and very present with me still.

“We were all forming our personalities as young actors, it was fantastic fun it really was. There was a real sense what the theatre was about, the sheer mechanics of the theatre. It was in your bones and of course it stayed there – you can’t deny it.”

He had also shared some advice for young actors: “I think it’s just persistence, it’s about following your bliss, not giving up and not being distracted – and there’s a lot of distractions.

“I know very good actors who fall away, but you have to have the stamina and you have to have the ability to be available, always available at the right points so you don’t cut yourself off anywhere. Don’t lose the idea that anything is possible. When people try to corral you, just don’t be corralled; stick to your purpose.”

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The cast of Succession (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images) The cast of Succession (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
The cast of Succession (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Brian Cox in Succession

The drama returned for the fourth and final season in March 2023 - where the hated Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his dysfunctional family return to battle for the top seat in the media mogul’s business.

Roy’s children Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) will fight it out for the last time to become the CEO. Meanwhile, we are yet to see where Roy’s oldest child - Connor - heads with his presidential campaign.

Jesse Armstrong’s HBO TV series is a dark tale of what power does to people and how the elite are completely disconnected from the realities of normal people. The series finale will air on May 14.

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