Brian Cox, who plays the ruthless media mogul Logan Roy in the hit TV show ‘Succession,’ has shared his thoughts on the real-life counterpart of his character, Rupert Murdoch, who recently stepped down as chairman of Fox.
Cox portrayed Roy, the cunning and powerful leader of the conservative Waystar Royco empire, which owned its own Fox News-inspired TV station, for four seasons.
In May, it was reported that ‘Succession’ creator Jesse Armstrong had originally planned to make a drama based on the Murdoch family, called ‘The Murdochs.’ He later changed the family name to Roy, and the show became a TV sensation.
Last week, Murdoch announced that he would be leaving his position as chairman of Fox, and that his son Lachlan Murdoch will take over.
On Sunday, Cox told the BBC how he feels about the media tycoon’s recent transition and his decision to hand over the reins to his eldest son. Murdoch, who has been married four times, has another son and four daughters.
“I think he’s been watching too much ‘Succession,’ clearly,” Cox said.
“I mean, you can’t predict these things, but the fact that he picked one over the other and it’s quite funny, really. And it just seems to me … there’s all kinds of rumors about how [Murdoch] was supposed to have told [his ex-wife] Jerry Hall to ‘please do not talk to the writers of “Succession.”’ This could all be heresy, so I don’t know.”
Speaking about the 92-year-old Murdoch’s condition, Cox said, “He’s probably the most tenacious human on God’s earth. He’s just kept on going, but I think eventually there comes a point when he has to stop and it had to happen and it’s happened.”
The Emmy winner then directly responded to Murdoch’s farewell message to his employees, in which the mogul wrote: “The battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense. My father [founder of the Murdoch media empire, Keith Murdoch] believed in freedom, and Lachlan is absolutely committed to the cause. Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who question their provenance and purpose.”
Cox mocked the statement in the message, saying, “Freedom? Freedom for what? Freedom to impose his ideas on other people, freedom to kind of manipulate certain things in certain directions? I mean, he’s certainly done a lot of that in his life.”
The 77-year-old actor also shared a story about how the husband of Elisabeth Murdoch — a daughter of the now-emeritus Fox chairman — once ran into him at a cafe and noted that ‘Succession’ was “an interesting series.”
The Murdoch in-law also pleaded, “Do you think maybe the writers could be a bit nicer to us next season?”