Brian Cox: ‘I think there could very easily be an uprising in the United States’

I’ve become something of a late-in-life Brian Cox fan. I’d never really cared about him one way or the other as an actor before I got into Succession. It’s so funny to think that after a fifty-year career on stage and screen, Cox will probably be best known for playing a Scottish version of Rupert Murdoch on an HBO show. Cox’s take on Succession’s patriarch Logan Roy is brilliant, funny and infuriating. Cox is 76 years old and he’s using this Succession success to do interesting side projects, like his new docu-series, How the Other Half Live. He goes around to rich people’s homes and he looks at all of the crazy sh-t they have and it sounds like he shames them for being rich. Good times. To promote this new series, Cox chatted with the Telegraph about money, Hollywood, America and a lot more. Some highlights:

On Succession: “Logan is a very lonely man driven by one idea, and his Achilles heel is that he loves his children. If he didn’t love them, he could carry on in his mercenary ways, but it doesn’t work. It just exacerbates the situation. It is easy to describe [the characters] as monstrous, but they are also victims of a society and a value system. Even though it is brilliant satire, there’s a tragic element to them, too.”

Exploring the wealth divide in ‘How the Other Half Live’: The growing wealth divide is a “demon”, he says. “No matter what faith or gender we are, the thing we suffer from is our exposure to money and relationship to it.”

Whether he’s rich: “I’m doing well, but I’m not one of them. I’m not a multimillionaire. Having money makes you safe, but it makes you guilty at the same time. Which is why we need a proper welfare system.”

Whether he’s poor by Hollywood standards: He says his own vices are clothes, but no longer food, since he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. “I tend to fly publicly,” he adds. To paraphrase the journalist Tina Brown’s recent description of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, does he feel “poor by Hollywood standards?” “I don’t know where Tina Brown is living… but the Royal family are never going to be poor. We have this idea of Hollywood, but it’s simply untrue. There are a lot of very sad people there trying to make a buck. It’s a very difficult place to live. And Hollywood is the worst place in the world to raise female children. There are so many pressures on young women already, and it just exacerbates them.”

His weird experience at a Me Too meeting: “Let me tell you my Hollywood story. I got a Golden Globe [in 2020], which was lovely. Then, I was invited to this MeToo meeting. I arrived late, so I had to stand at the back while all these rather intense Hollywood women were listening to Ronan Farrow [the journalist] talk about the work he had done [exposing the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein]. Then it finished. Everyone turned around and immediately took out their devices and started filming me, walking up to me and saying, ‘Can you tell us to f— off?’. I thought: ‘Is this appropriate? This is a MeToo meeting.’ This is the problem – that people do things on a tokenistic level. I find that questionable.”

He is pessimistic about the future of America: “I thought America was a great society to be part of because of its egalitarian principles. But have those principles been practised? Have they f—! I think there could very easily be an uprising in the United States.”

Whether his children will inherit much from him: “I have some property, so that will probably be divided up among them. They’ll have a safety net, as long as it’s not too much of a safety net, and they actually get out and work their a–es off. But it’s nothing to do with me. I’m gone by then!”

[From The Telegraph]

“I don’t know where Tina Brown is living… but the Royal family are never going to be poor…” Yeah. I mean, Tina Brown’s comment was about how the Sussexes are poor compared to the uber-wealthy in Montecito, but I appreciate that Cox brings it back to the enormous wealth held by the Windsors. I also think LA/Hollywood is probably a very difficult place to raise kids in general, especially girls. But honestly, name a place where it’s easy to raise girls?

As for his socialism… I don’t think money and our relationship to money is the root of all evil, but I do think there should be better and stronger welfare systems in place, especially here in America. So much would be solved here if we had tax policies which made sense and we actually punished white-collar criminals appropriately.

Photos courtesy of Olivier Huitel / Avalon and Euan Cherry / Avalon.

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44 Responses to “Brian Cox: ‘I think there could very easily be an uprising in the United States’”

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  1. Brassy Rebel says:

    My sister informed me yesterday that after the 2024 election there will be civil war. We’re kinda in one now IMHO, but I told her I don’t have the emotional bandwidth anymore to worry so far ahead. I’m just trying to get thru today and tomorrow.

    • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

      I agree. We’re already in a Civil War. This one isn’t being fought physically, at least not yet. It’s more ideological at this point. I hope the mid terms are a wake up call for people to stop being apathetic about democracy and voting to protect it. Fascists grow stronger daily and folks will look up one day and ask how did we get here.

      • PPP says:

        I think it IS already violent. Most mass shooters are motivated by various right-wing ideologies and I’d say the greater part of them have been radicalized to a degree. Black people are routinely killed and disproportionately imprisoned by the police, and many prisoners are living lives not that different from slaves during the days of chattel slavery. There are and have been white power strongholds like Elohim City, there are a NUMBER of them across the country. The Me Too backlash has led to people like Amber Heard and Megan the Stallion to be harassed for having the audacity to be victims of criminal behavior by famous, wealthy men. And they’re luckier than indigenous women, who are facing such violence that it is now termed a genocide. We’re just gaslit into thinking our disagreements are only manifesting in toxic expression, but it’s BEEN violent.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I feel your pain – here in the UK it feels like bomb is about to go off, there is so much tension within society. I think this winter and the upcoming budget will set off wide spread social unrest and am here for it – the Tories need to be burned to the ground.

      I have been reading the same thing about the 2024 election – the GOP/MAGATs are planning something big if they don’t win, they are already planning to cheat and restrict Gen Z’s voting power (raising the voting age etc..). The Dems need to be more proactive and aggressive – taking the lead instead of following. I recently met several young US citizens working for the summer here in London as interns and that was their biggest complaint about the Democrats – these guys are informed and angry.

      • Tacky says:

        Voting age is enshrined in the constitution. Republicans have no power to change it.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        Since when did they let the constitution stop them? That’s the problem.

      • Tacky says:

        The suggestion that Republicans can arbitrarily change the voting age is ludicrous on its face. Other voter suppression tactics can be tried, but changing the voting age isn’t one of them.

      • Haylie says:

        @ Tacky, the Constitution is only as good as the nation is willing to uphold it.

        Plus, if there are enough GOP governors, they can convene a constitutional convention to make amendments.

        Nothing is absolute.

      • Liz Version 700k says:

        They can’t raise the voting age as it is in the Constitution. However, what they are trying to do is take over enough state legislatures to be able to call a Constitutional Convention and then take away a lot of fun Constitutional rights. I pray people realize how important it is to vote dem across the board even in statewide elections that do many don’t bother to show up too.

      • teecee says:

        Changing the voting age would require amending the constitution, which is d*amned near impossible. And if they tried it, I would love how they explain to their precious military that they’re allowed to serve but not to vote. It wouldn’t fly.

        I understand being vigilant but some of these comments are approaching fear mongering.

      • MsGnomer says:

        Regarding reading something about an uprising in 2024, please make sure this is from a serious news source. There are people using the openness of the internet to create huge rumors and fear mongering. In fact, governments outside the West have nationally funded bot farms to create instability in our democratic systems to try to collapse it, maybe even by commenters on this site. This effort is prolific, but the institution of the United States federal government has the elasticity to make it through these challenges. I have no doubt.

    • teecee says:

      I don’t think it will happen. Certain factions of Republicans are turning on Trump and there’s no one else who could lead them into something like that.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        If the election on Tuesday proved anything, it proved that when Democrats are afraid they vote. I want them to have some fear, especially the young ones who should realize they have the most to lose. I don’t want anyone on the side of democracy to think that “this can’t happen” or “that won’t happen”. “It can’t happen here” was proven very wrong on January 6th, 2021. Assume the worst. Vote for the best.

      • Lucy says:

        Right, I think the trump MAGA ppl are concentrated in certain demographics, which as much as they want to be, aren’t a fighting force and there isn’t a central rallying point.

        Like, January 6th was their big shot, as far as unified location and purpose. They are for sure working to infiltrate all levels of government, which is why you’ve got to show up and vote for the local dog catcher votes, but I don’t see how a direct attack can be mounted. I think lone wolf type things, like the guy who attacked the FBI office, and Mr Pelosi, aka small time terrorism will be the name of the game for years.

        By the 2024 election, gen z plus millennial voters will outnumber boomers 45 to 25. So our gd job is to vote like our lives depend on it and hunt the Christian nationalist/white supremacist groups relentlessly.

    • JanetDR says:

      @BrassyRebel This seems like the perfect place to share my new thing when I drive past confederate, Trump or F@@@ Biden flags which happens often here in rural western NY state. My old thing is wishing I had an automatic weapon to shoot their flag up…. but for some reason the old Union Army song “Battle Cry of Freedom” sprang into my mind the other day so I sing that instead and feel inspired vs. angry. 🎶Down with the traitors and up with the stars 🎶

      • Duchess of Corolla says:

        @Janetdr, I fight the urge every day to destroy every one of those flags, along with all the crappy signs I see here in my rural part of SE Pennsylvania. It sickens me that I have to look at the f$@! Biden crap, but heaven forbid I should insult the bloated orange crook that has nearly destroyed America. Horrible!

      • JanetDR says:

        @Duchess of Corolla , I cannot believe that those disgusting flags are still flying. It’s rural America everywhere I guess. 😥

      • Cait says:

        Hey, Janet – my dad is from Wyoming County (Perry/Warsaw), and I swear I saw more Confederate flags visiting my family there than I did growing up in the Florida panhandle!

      • JanetDR says:

        @Cait, I’m in neighboring Allegany and I totally believe you! It’s so strange how many people here identify with the confederacy. 😥

  2. HeyKay says:

    If the US politicians would actually work on solving problems together instead of grandstanding and playing party politics, a ton of issues would be fixed.

    I agree many of us are emotionally getting by one day at a time. It’s just overwhelming to see what awful shape the country is in, the economy has tanked and people are struggling.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Actually, the US economy is going great guns. That’s one of the reasons inflation is so high and the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, trying to slow it down. But people are so focused on high prices they don’t realize that unemployment is at historically low levels. And wages are up, just not high enough to counter inflation. If the Fed throws us into recession before 2024, the Dems will be cooked.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      the good thing about the House being so close (still not sure who’ll have the majority but it won’t be by much) is that they will have to work together to get anything accomplished & just being the party of obstruction, especially when it comes to dealing with our economy, may no longer work to the GOP’s advantage. Especially with GenZ stepping up and proving to folks that their votes DO matter

      • Tacky says:

        Republicans have zero interest in legislating. If they win the House they will spend the next two years holding hearings about Hunter Biden’s laptop and impeaching every appointee in the DOJ.

      • Erin says:

        @tacky- agreed, they have no interest in actually doing anything but gaining power. They have no solutions to the problems they blame on the dems like inflation and they will happily let people suffer just to stick it to the libs.

      • Fuzzy Crocodile says:

        I kind of agree that with the House being so close, they may actually have to do work.

        They’re going to have to run on something in 2024. And the midterms kind of showed election denying and saying “we have a plan” but not actually having one isn’t a winning strategy. They also don’t have abortion to fall back on either. And it sounds like there is a lot of backlash against leadership due to this election’s poor showing.

        But we will see.

      • @poppedbubble says:

        The GOP is not going to work with Dems if they win the house. The Freedom Caucus MAGA members will insure that doesn’t happen. They already said they won’t vote for McCarthy as speaker and/or want major concessions. Nothing is going to get done and they (and the media, right and left l) will blame the Dems instead of laying it squarely at the feet of republicans.

    • teecee says:

      The US economy is doing much better than most of the rest of the world right now. Cox should take a look at what’s about to go down in his home country and pray that there’s not (ANOTHER!!) run on the pound.

  3. Nicegirl says:

    Scary times indeed. A lot in this resonates with me.

    I am one who believes we need to codify rights, like STAT, due to the dirty tactics and strategies being effected by the fascists. We’re in danger.

    Stay safe celebitches. 🖖 💕

  4. MicMac says:

    I was around for the late 60s early 70s. This isn’t them. Cities under martial law for years.
    Riots, Kent State, half of some cities burnt to the ground, important civil leaders assassinated, army recruiting offices bombed.

    Things are polarized, but I’d hardly say it’s a civil war. I’d hope not because one side is better armed, and have the preponderance of skill to use them.

    • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

      It’s a myth that only “one side” has access to and own guns. There are many legal gun owners who aren’t MAGA right wing crazy and they know how to use guns. I have many in my family.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Seriously. 1968 alone was insane. And what of the Klan & horrific racial terror violence of the 1920s? Or the President having to mobilize the National Guard to make sure children could attend integrated schools? Things have been this divided or worse before.

      The current danger is not civil war but a) weaponizing societal fractures to radicalize vulnerable people online & b) stochastic terrorism as a result. The goal is to weaken community so people will feel forced to depend on demagogues. But Trump lost. Bolsonaro lost. Putin is losing. There was no red wave last week. There’s reason for hope.

      • tamsin says:

        @Lizzie Bathory
        Hope you are right. People won’t give up power or share it without a fight, though.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      MicMac, I was around in the 60’s as a child and it was a violent decade. This feels much different. I do think that the far right political and religious extremists have been engendering violence. We see the result when people didn’t run for office again. We see the result when we look at Mr. Pelosi. I think there’s a lot going on in the political arena that we don’t know about. I do think that the extremists in this country think that violence will get them what they want. They are very wrong if they think they are the only ones who are armed. I think that is one spot that they have completely missed. They really believe that the “libs” would never own a gun…or the independents…or the moderate republicans. The 2024 election will be the defining timeframe. I think the extremists know that if they can’t take the country in the elections their timeframe closes. I don’t know what they’ll do, but it’s not going to be good.

    • MsGnomer says:

      What nonsense to post that “one side is better armed.” and martial law. I know many responsible adults who own weapons who despise what the MAGA people are doing to OUR country. We are working very industriously to preserve our nation from people who would try to destroy it. Your comment is incendiary to me, possibly a bot.

    • Lucy says:

      Preponderance of skill to use them? Guns aren’t hard to use, by design. It’s concerning how many law enforcement/military guys were in the list that leaked from a white supremacist group, but that was still less than 200 people. But the idea that only MAGAts have guns or know how to use them is completely wrong. Also, they like to think of themselves as rough and ready, but they are in no way prepared four an actual armed conflict that lasts more than 20 minutes. They’re undisciplined, lazy and are most useful as a mob.

  5. SomeChick says:

    It is easier to raise girls literally anywhere other than LA. He has that right. It’s so skewed how women are portrayed and it starts so young.

  6. Jack says:

    The economy is a mixed bag right now. Yes, low unemployment, but tech companies are preparing (or in the process of) layoffs. It’s not just Twitter and Meta. My company (based in NY) is laying of 20% of employees and 30% in my division. Our company isn’t making their numbers, so it’s not just to make shareholders richer.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Jack, I’ve read the same. Tech is going to be laying off across the board. How much of that is attributed to AI? I’ve read where tech is the one area where there is knowledge among the wealthy tech owners that AI will change all areas of employment and they can see it coming. I think they are well aware of the problems to come for the 1% if something isn’t done to address that.

  7. HeyKay says:

    I’m working class and am having a tough time financially these last few years. I am full time employed but no health insurance included.
    I grew up in poverty, that worry of what if something happens never leaves me.
    People getting by w/o savings or family to help are very concerned about their futures.
    Wall Street and investments are not in my future so when I say the economy is worrying, I mean for those of us working and living paycheck to paycheck = worried! Hoping nothing else needs repairing and if the cost of heat and groceries would drop, that would be great!

    I’m 61, and I can tell you that for me personally “The War on Poverty” is still not won. Not by a long shot for a lot of people.
    I live pretty frugally but I know when the housing bust hit 2008-2010 a LOT of neighbors went thru foreclosures. At one point, 3 out of 8 houses on my street were up on foreclosure at the same time.

    IMO, Trump has brought us down and divided this country in a million awful ways and his die hard followers are frightening in their cult of MAGA/Trump.
    The IT workers, who are generally assumed to be in high demand and a safe area of employment, I think are often also under pressure in a very competitive market. Plus, big city cost of living and housing is terrifying.
    Wealth hoarding and the glamorization of crooks like Trump, Gates, Musk, Kardashians, is sickening.

  8. MsGnomer says:

    The pope declared a while ago that we are already in WWiii, fighting piecemeal. That said, I hope no one is provoked into violence by off the cuff remarks from people like this guy who works in theater. Russian bot farms have been undermining our American system for a while, using our openness against us and fueling our fury. Putin hopes we implode.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    We’ve already had one, in all honesty. January 2020 was only the start of the political violence. My guess is we won’t see anything on par with an organized Civil War-type situation until we have a major food shortages and severe poverty to worry about. It’s more likely we’ll see an increase in domestic terrorism. We may get VERY lucky if the youth stays engaged long enough to crush the fascist wave with their vote, and we do have more safety mechanisms in place than 1930s Europe did, but once it’s there, it’s hard to stamp out.

    A big thing that’s going to hinge on a lot is if the establishment can wake up and start responding to the younger generation pushing left. If they don’t move there economically, I think we’re seriously at risk for DeSantis and a fascist wave in 2024. Millennials and Gen Z showed up for Democrats this year, but without a candidate that starts speaking to what they want and their policies, you will see more voter estrangements, which could open a path for the Republicans to take control again.

    Cox gets what’s really at the heart of it, though, IMO. Identity politics definitely do exist and are built into our system problematically, but a lot of it boils down to economics. A lot of our problems would frankly be fixed by simply repairing the wealth gap.

  10. ML says:

    As to what Cox says about a civil war: people here in Holland have asked me my opinion on that from time to time. Economic opportunities, racism, and gun violence usually lies at the heart of those queries to me.
    As to the past election, it’s heartening to see that people showed up in greater than expected amounts for human rights. Someone from NY (Liz?) told me about which elections expats can vote in based on your state of origin. One of my friends here is from NY, so I passed on the info. I have more information for expats from her:
    In many states (check the link) US citizens born abroad to American parents can vote in US (in some cases only federal) elections!! I did not know this. In a few years, my teen will be able to vote.