Brian Cox hated living in LA: ‘They pretend they’re happy, but they’re deeply miserable’

Variety’s Actors on Actors series has been happening in recent weeks for Emmy season. It’s always a big thing about which actors get paired together for their on-camera conversation. Personally, I enjoyed the vibe between Claire Danes and Kieran Culkin a bit too much (he is so flirty in real life), but sometimes, the actors-pairing brings out the worst in each other. I’m not saying that’s what happened between Emily Blunt and Brian Cox, but I’m not sure they brought out the best in each other. I’ve come around to the idea that Brian Cox really is this grumpy old man who seems to be followed by a dark cloud wherever he goes. Meanwhile, I usually like Emily unless she’s talking about how much she dislikes being a naturalized American citizen and living in America. Some highlights from their Variety talk:

BRIAN COX: What’s so nice about English girls is they’re so direct, and they’re not full of nonsense. You’re just direct and straight to the humor. I love that about the English girls.

EMILY BLUNT: I miss that, living in America. I miss the directness and the irreverence and the attitude.

COX: They’re a bit Christian here. They do everything by the so-called Christian book, which I question. I think it’s a bit hypocritical, quite honestly.

BLUNT: I’ve found my little pocket of Brits in and around Brooklyn…. Do you love living in Brooklyn?

COX: Brooklyn is finally the place where I’ve felt at home. It’s taken me a long time to feel at home in this country. I used to live in Los Angeles, but as I say, I ran out of farmers markets. What am I going to do in Los Angeles? Everybody’s so miserable. They pretend they’re happy, but they’re deeply miserable.


BLUNT: “The Devil Wears Prada”! It was just an extraordinary overnight shift in my life when that came out.

COX: I loved it. And to work with one of the greatest screen actresses of all time, I so envy you. One of my ambitions, before I snuff it, is to work with Meryl.

BLUNT: Oh, don’t say “snuff it”! You will. She’s amazing and was slightly terrifying on that film. She said it was one of the first times she’s tried Method acting. But it made her so miserable, playing Miranda.

COX: I met her once, and I said, “I never liked you.” And she went, “What?” I said, “I never liked you because I was jealous.” How can anybody be that good?

[From Variety]

Don’t you see, they both live in Brooklyn, which is the only place in America they’ve ever liked because they hate the puritanical, humorless, hypocritical, indirect Americans and their farmers markets? Don’t you just love it when two immigrants sit around, bitching about their adopted home? All of this time, I’ve never really understood why both of them feel the need to live in America if they’re going to look down the noses at everyone here. Succession is over – Cox can move back to Scotland. Blunt should insist that John Krasinski uproot himself and their kids to move to England. Enough already. Sidenote: I don’t find English people “direct” at all – they speak and write in these absurd riddles, talking around topics and using their little “codes.”

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124 Responses to “Brian Cox hated living in LA: ‘They pretend they’re happy, but they’re deeply miserable’”

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  1. Smile says:

    He seems deeply miserable.

    • Josephine says:

      and apparently he’s into girls. maybe if he tried speaking to American WOMEN he would find them to be more direct, probably directing him to go away.

  2. Nixie says:

    Eh I’m a Cali girl living in England and I find most people here deeply miserable and passive aggressive. But I’m a guest so I’m too polite to say so. Lol. It’s fine. I know lots of lovely people.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      I always found it fascinating when people point out the differences, positive or negative, across cultures. I love hearing people’s impressions of a place I know well — whether positive or negative. I’m often the immigrant, too, so I’m curious to know what was just my impression and what might be a real difference.

      I’ve never understood the lack of curiosity indicated by a defensive attitude.

      • Kitten says:

        “I’ve never understood the lack of curiosity indicated by a defensive attitude.”

        It’s neither a “lack of curiosity” nor it is “defensive” to be a tad offended when people engage in unfair stereotypes. Like, there are ways to speak about a country that shows a more objective and fair assessment instead of just talking sh*t. And Emily has a history of this so…

    • Fabiola says:

      I live in California and I prefer people to be nice and cordial even if it’s fake. I don’t want people to be rude to me for no reason.

      • BeanieBean says:

        We Americans are nice, doggone! When Cox & Blunt talk about being ‘direct’, what they really mean is ‘rude’. They enjoy being rude.

      • og bella says:

        LOL – and I’m from NYC and the opposite is true for me. I think the saying is west coast is nice/polite but not kind and east coast is kind but not nice/polite.

      • keekee says:

        Fabiola, “rude” and “direct” are different things by definition. Being spoken to directly is not the same as being spoken to rudely.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      It never tracked with me that I’m a ‘guest’ and I shouldn’t complain, I always did and if someone tells me to go home I point out that at my age I’d need to win the lottery to up sticks and go.

      I really liked what the county councillor said at my naturalisation ceremony “we are privileged to have you here and grateful for you to have chosen this country” – it’s not the country that does immigrants a favour….

      • GrnieWnie says:

        Personally, I think complaining about your host country is kind of a bonding exercise.

        (Obviously, you need to be selective about it. Not everyone will enjoy hearing your thoughts).

  3. Sunnyish says:

    Emily Blunt has gone on how she cringes hearing her kids speaking with an American accent. She is insufferable.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I wonder what kind of accent she expects them to have. 🤔

    • Josephine says:

      I don’t think it’d awful to want your kids to sound like you, even if you know it’s not going to happen. I thought most of their comments were not insulting. My father is an immigrant and speaks of qualities he misses in his home people. He has lived in 4 different countries and there are definite cultural differences – I don’t think we as Americans have to be so insulted by people who note the difference. British humor, for example, does seem different. That said, Cox has been on a tear lately and I think he does mean to be insulting. His bit about “girls” says so much.

      • Kitten says:

        This is so, SO weird to me. I don’t understand why anyone would care whether their kids sounds like them or not….just seems extremely vain and self-centered to me.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        I’m pretty sure Harry’s kids won’t sound like him.

      • Erin says:

        My best friend from high school is married to a Brit and they live in the US and I have never heard him say anything about his American children’s accents and she has never told me he’s said anything. I think if he did she would be like, that’s weird because we both decided to live in America. Does she cringe when John her husband talks then too? Just weird.

      • Josephine says:

        @ Kitten – I know people who have moved south (in the US) and slightly wince that their kids have southern accents and vice-versa for the southerners raising kids in the north. I doubt any of these parents, including Emily Blunt, truly care but I can see the very light preference to have your kids mimic your accent. I’m also guessing Blunt was joking (always hard to tell in print, especially from someone known for a super dry humor). I think my Dad is the tiniest bit sad we don’t sound like him and i’m not the least bit insulted by that. I get it, especially when the accent is part of the place you left.

      • Abbie says:

        “This is so, SO weird to me. I don’t understand why anyone would care whether their kids sounds like them or not”

        Language is a marker of personal identity. Of course it matters. Maybe it’s less clear in this case since both Brits and Americans are English speakers, but think of someone from Venezuela immigrating to the US and having kids who don’t speak Spanish and whose mentality, behavior, mannerisms, etc. are all completely different from Venezuelan people. Heck, many immigrants’ children from non-English speaking countries can’t even communicate with their grandparents and wider family back home.

        It IS important and of COURSE it hurts the parents to see their child grow up a complete stranger in terms of the culture and environment that the parent grew up in.

      • Pointillist says:

        I love every one of your comments, Josephine.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Maybe she shouldn’t have married an American then! She must envy Stanley Tucci, who married her sister since they live in London.

    • kd says:

      All the regular Brooklyn brownstone folks displaced by the monied classes – to have them now gripe about their lot in the Americas?

    • VivaLasVirgos says:

      A pal of mine met her hubby and apparently he is hella pretentious and arrogant. So, they’re probably perfect for each other. She probably thinks he’s the exception to these ghastly Americans. I’m not American but, having come from two counties colonized by that island currently swimming in shit, I am team USA on this one.

  4. Roo says:

    I am embarrassed for them. They talk about finding genuine people yet continue to work in an industry based on and led by artifice.

    There are good and kind and sincere people everywhere and, if these two didn’t see them in a state larger than their home country, perhaps they are the problem?

  5. Southern Fried says:

    So bye snobs. I’ve admired Cox’s work but lately his attitude sucks. His digs at Jeremy Strong were mean then he doubled down after he got attention for it. I was so ready and happy for him to die on Succession as it freed up the time for more of the rest of the story. He can suck it. As for Emily it surprises me.

  6. Olivia says:

    He always comes across as whiney, rude and miserable. Like everyone and everything surrounding his job as an actor is a chore. Imagine if he was female… he’d be labeled a difficult b*tch and be shunned from Hollywood, like Katherine Hiegl and countless others. But he’s a privileged white old man so he keeps getting work and awards.

  7. helonearth says:

    I don’t agree with all their comments, but the Christian part – definitely. Too many people use their faith/ hide behind it to be hateful to others. That is not an American trait exclusively, but I do hear more Americans in the public eye doing it.

    • Kitten says:

      Right, but who brought religion to the United States? It wasn’t Native Americans…

      And I’m not saying I don’t agree that our country is too religious but we’re a lot younger than Spain or France so gives us time. Additionally, the fact that we’re becoming more and more secular is exactly why the RW Christian Evangelical movement has become louder. They’re freaking out because their shit is becoming obsolete.

      • Mallory says:

        This point! Our Christian fundamentalism uses the King James Bible, which was commissioned for the church of England. Ignoring the heredity of this cancer while looking down on us is not cute.

      • Kitten says:

        It’s like when western Europeans talk about how racist the US is. As if African people just spontaneously rose from the earth instead of being crammed like cargo into the bottom of a boat and shipped to our country by European colonizers. The cognitive dissonance is truly something to behold…

      • Abbie says:

        “Right, but who brought religion to the United States?”

        Why does that matter? They aren’t talking about Pilgrims from 300 years ago, they’re talking about people living today.

        If you think like this then go back further and blame all the Jewish Roman Empire citizens who listened to Jesus and brought his teachings to Europe…..

      • Ronja says:

        To be honest, I really don’t understand this take. What does the origin of the religion or who brought it over hundreds of years ago have to do with this? The way it’s practiced and used in the US today is different from other Christian countries in Europe.

  8. Brassy Rebel says:

    I didn’t know that anti-Americanism was a thing among naturalized citizens. I mean, no one kidnapped them and forced them to become American. Nothing brings out my patriotism like a couple of British ex pats trashing all things American. How entertaining for a podcast!

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I see now it’s not a podcast. Whatever. It’s not entertaining.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        What US channel or streaming services airs “Variety’s Actors on Actors”?????

    • Debbie says:

      I honestly know what you mean about the anti-American griping, and I’m no flag waiver at all. I’m a naturalized American and that kind of whinging always seemed rather ungracious to me. It doesn’t mean that one must everything about the country but the way they did it above seems very ungracious, especially when they’re making a VERY lucrative living and we all know that’s the primary reason they’re here. Their attitude just makes me feel all kinds of Yankee Doodle.

    • Felix says:

      Your post highlights one of the fascinating (and to me, disturbing) parts of US culture: how widespread the culture of flagf**king and veneration of national symbols is across political, class, religious and racial lines. The idea that ‘immigrants’ should be grateful they’re in the US and must keep their mouths shut is pretty awful. The only other country where I’ve experienced this kind of thin-skinned, defensive nationalism across all social cleavages is in Brazil.

  9. AB says:

    Ehh I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them expressing their thoughts about living here. I’m not crazy about the idea that immigrants should only be fawning and grateful and never say a bad word. My husband is a naturalized citizen and he’s super critical of this country, as he should be because we’re a mess lol. When I lived in his country, my friends were all expats and we would do the same because his country is also a mess. I am still loved aspects of living there, and my husband loves aspects of living here. 🤷🏾‍♀️

    • Coco says:

      No one is saying he can’t have an opinion; the problem is his been complaining about everything and everyone for the last 2 and a half years. I mean he spent months just talking crap about his coworkers while saying he likes them. He was just miserable, and if he was so unhappy he can find some place where he will be he has the money.

      He wrote a memoir where he spent time judging other people’s acting skills like he’s above them.

      • AB says:

        He’s obviously a cantankerous asshole, but I’m sure he’s just as much of a dick in Scotland as he is here. Telling immigrants to go back to their own country is rarely a good look and that is the tone of this post.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh come ON. Coco is saying that a famous, wealthy, white man who is so miserable here has every resource in the world to help him relocate. That’s a bit different than telling a Mexican family who risked their lives to walk 3,000 miles into our country that they should just go home.
        The difference is both gratitude and privilege.

      • Coco says:




        Please just stop he is a rich white man who is not being discriminated against.

        It is like a relationship, no relationship is perfect and everyone has their complaints, but when it gets to the point where all you do is complain about your partner and everything about them you hate it’s time to move on and find someone who makes you happy.

        I never said he had to go back to his own country I said find some place that makes him happy.

      • AB says:

        @Coco and @Kitten (I’m on my phone so can’t tell who I’m directly replying to)

        I stand by what I wrote. Kaiser says in the post “Don’t you just love it when two immigrants sit around, bitching about their adopted home?” Not a great statement no matter who the subject is, and this is the point of my original comment. I’ve been told to go back to my country while in my actual hometown here in the US, so maybe I’m sensitive about the phrasing. Whatever. I’m not defending Brian Cox of all people, nor did I say he was being discriminated against.

        I guess we can all agree to disagree as there’s no resolving an internet back-and-forth.

    • Ahus says:

      I honestly think it’s interesting and funny to hear people complain about the USA. Sheds a light on something we may not see- or maybe it’s just the way they see it. Who cares, they’re not completely right and they’re not completely wrong

      • Liz says:

        I like the way you approach this. For me, I’m American but I’ve spent most of the last ten years living abroad, and I do tend to find Americans very sensitive to criticisms of the USA. I have found in other countries, they tend to be just as hard on their own countries as they are on others, and this doesn’t translate very well within the USA. It’s like we can criticize ourselves but we don’t like when others do it.

        As an expat, I do find a certain sense of solidarity when I come across my fellow Americans (or other expats) and we can vent a bit about the difficulties we’re facing wherever we are, there’s a certain comfort in doing that while living in a foreign environment (even if you’ve naturalized, it’s still different than where you were raised).

        Granted, we do this in a bar and not in an interview, but still, it helps 🙂

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Exactly, AB… I’m a naturalised Brit and I criticise the UK constantly, I don’t see why I should fawn over this country all the time. The only reason why I haven’t packed my bags is that my husband hates to move even within the same county, there’s no chance he’d even move to another country.

      I naturalised because of Brexit as I didn’t trust their new immigration system for EU citizens to work flawlessly and I often have to cross the border because my family leaves in another country.

      So, I do find Emily usually annoying anyway but I’m cutting her some slack here. Brian is just grumpy 24/7 so not surprised he endlessly whines in interviews. I’d eat my hat if he wasn’t complaining about Scotland too.

      • Coco says:

        No one said they had to fawn over a county all the time. All Brain ever dose is complain why be miserable when you can be someplace that makes you happy. He has the money to live were he likes that’s going to make him happy.

    • Josephine says:

      I’m with you, AB. There seems to be a real overreaction to some comments that aren’t even that insulting and likely were tinged with some humor. Cox is a jerk and seems like a bully but we Americans can take some criticism without telling people to go home. I’ve read many comments by actors from other countries (and some from the US) talk about disliking Los Angeles. It’s really set up so differently from older cities with dense, defined downtowns and actors are likely hanging out with other industry people, who may well not be great. It seems like “celebrity” is done differently in LA than even NYC. My husband has a great story of having a beer with Ian McKellen in London – McKellen was out completely on his own and no one disturbed him at all. I think that may not happen in LA?

      • Ronja says:

        The tone, including comments in the main post and in responses about going home, makes me uncomfortable. I’m not from the country I currently live in but have been here 20 years, pay taxes, contribute to the society and enjoy my adopted country. It doesn’t mean I can’t look at it critically and see flaws or even major issue. After all, this is my home now and I’m part of this society. I don’t understand not having the right to comment on an adopted country, whether it’s positive or negative.

  10. Lizzie says:

    Who invited these whiners? Don’t let the door hit you on your way out of my country.

  11. Miranda says:

    I’m a lifelong New Yorker who went to UCLA, and while I did find the general attitude of Californians to be overly happy and off-putting, I realized that the problem was mostly me rather than them. I’m an introverted misanthrope, and NYC absolutely nurtures that. My husband — a very outgoing Southerner — was laughing just the other day because there are so many people in our building, including myself, who are so desperate to avoid even momentary confinement in close quarters with a stranger who might, ugh, try and talk to us, that we will actually gesture for people to NOT hold the elevator for us.

    • Kitten says:

      I’m a northerner with a midwestern partner and I relate to this so much. The constant waving hi and the “What’s your name? Where are you from?” to every random stranger….honey, we just don’t DO that in Boston lol….

  12. Haus of Cats says:

    The gentrification of Brooklyn and the out Burroughs makes me slightly miserable.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Ditto. These two lack self-awareness.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Lady, tell it. No one asked them to move to Brooklyn and displace the generations of Black and Latino families there by overpaying for brownstones and pricing real Brooklyners out of the market. Maybe they should F off a little and realize the damage they’re doing to communities of color by being so insufferable that they cannot stand being around other insufferable wealthy white people so they have to inflict their toxicity on POC.

  13. equality says:

    Yes, EVERYONE in LA is miserable. What a tool. He needs to learn how to zip it sometimes.

  14. Denise says:

    Lol the projection. I’m Eastern European and I work with Brits and Americans a lot. Brits are most non-direct people on the planet. They speak in code all the time, I had le-learn how to write business emails because I was so “direct”. On top of that, they are very complicated to deal with.

    Americans are much more easygoing, what you see is what you get type of peope. Definitely more open and to the point in their communication.

    These Brits are delusional which is very on point for them

    • windyriver says:

      Thank you! Was just thinking I must have missed the nuances of how direct the British are back when Meghan was still part of the Firm and there were multiple articles about how she didn’t understand/wasn’t fitting in, etc., and many commenters noted her (American) directness was probably off putting because with the British, especially in their business experiences, you always had to approach issues sideways.

      In fact, Cox talks about going “straight to the humor” (and Blunt follows up with preferring “irreverence and attitude”); these are actually big ways to deflect from dealing – directly – with any issues at hand, and tells me, they really are just so British.

      • The Recluse says:

        If those two expat yokels want irreverence and attitude, they should have come and hung out with my co-workers and me at the old National Gallery of Art shops. We were a snarky, spiky bunch. Heck, they could come out to small town NM, and I’ll entertain them with my gallows humor.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I have that too (Scottish person living in London), have been told on many occasions to tone down my written comms as it can come across as being aggressive and I’m like no, am just being direct.

    • Jais says:

      Yeah, Brit’s being more direct is not what they’re talking about here. It’s just easier for them to understand other Brits rather than Americans. They’re saying it’s directness but it’s not.

      • May says:

        @jais, if they are saying it is directness but it is not, what is going on? Do they not understand what being direct is? Are they joking? Or, are they just so very unaware of themselves and what they are doing and saying? I agree with the posters above reminding us all of how difficult Meghan was viewed by some in the UK precisely because she is direct, and that what Cox and Blunt are saying is bull.

        I have only traveled in the UK, I never lived there, but I did encounter quite a few Brits while living in Paris and my God some of them were incredibly negative people with their humor just plain meanness and mockery wrapped up in sarcasm and mimicry. Talk about coming across as being “miserable” ! Oh, but I, as an American, just did not understand their “dry” humor. I also agree with the passive-aggressive take that someone mentioned above. While I did have a couple good friends from the UK, I tended to steer clear of the really negative Brits that I encountered because they always seemed like such downers. Gosh, how “woke” of me!

    • Christine says:

      Agreed. My vote for most direct is Aussies, and I love that about them.

    • Abbie says:

      They mean direct in terms of actually saying what bothers you, instead of pretending everything is always fine and great. They don’t mean how you phrase things, that’s different.
      For example:
      Eastern European: “This sandwich is $hit.”
      Brit: “It’s alright….could do with a bit more seasoning…”
      American: “Great sandwich!”

      • Light says:

        Abbie, I 100% agree with your take. That’s what they meant: people in the US are so into positivity whereas Brits are more ironic and it’s natural for them to whinge a bit.

      • May says:

        Wow @abbie, I am an American and I would definitely not say that a sandwich was “great” if it wasn’t. The only time I might not be direct and open about what I felt about a food item is if someone I knew personally labored over a hot stove to make it, in which instance, I probably just wouldn’t say anything at all, or, imake an encouraging constructive suggestion. There are times when politeness trumps directness. But for a supposedly “polite” people some Brits come across as just downright rude.

    • Felix says:

      lol, as a Brit, I love your post because I’ve had so many culture clashes through communication with blunt, direct Eastern Europeans 💀 It’s true Brits are ridiculously non-confrontational and indirect (until they get drunk and all the repressed emotions spill out violently). It must be very challenging to deal with if you come from a more plain speaking and direct culture.

  15. Digital Unicorn says:

    As a Scot living in London I can safely say English people are not direct – they are passive aggressive and talk around the point never telling you what they need or want, you have to guess.

    I prefer Americans and Canadians – they are mostly direct and you know where you stand with them. I have always found them to be courteous and polite – more so than my fellow Brits.

    As for LA, love visiting there but a friend lived there for a year and said that it can be a bit shallow and hard to make proper friendships as everyone is trying to make connections to make it in the industry.

    • Huckle says:

      I was born and raised in LA County and I never experienced this. I know I am just one person but I would just say It’s a very large place and not everyone is trying to make it into acting. Also, in my narrow experience, the friendships I made there were the most real I’ve ever had.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’ll be your second. I was also born in LA County & lived there my first eight years of life. Neither parent worked in the film industry nor had any desire to. From my childish perspective, I liked everything about it, except the smog. Still remember the smog.
        In any case, I get really tired of British actors, in particular, badmouthing LA–oh, they’d never want to live there, never want to raise a family there, etc. Yet how many millions of people do that very thing? It’s so insulting.

      • ZeeEnnui says:

        I’ll jump in as a third native Californian. Raised in Orange County and have lived for 20 years in L.A. The stereotype is so tiring, and it’s so lazy to generalize to make yourself seem cool to your fellow Brit friends. Sure there is a surface level of fakeness to it but the people here are warm, laid back, and friendly. Like, any big city you have to find your people and your neighborhood but when you do, it’ll be genuine, diverse, and awesome. The reason for the stereotype at all is (at least from my personal observation) of people who aren’t from California desperate to make it who buy into the stereotype and put on a fake persona that they think makes them “L.A.” It never works.

        Also, I’ve traveled extensively through Great Britain and have many relatives there. Unless I missed it, I’ve never met a direct English person. They go out of their way to actively avoid saying anything even remotely direct. The Scottish and Irish are far more approachable and direct with people. Major eye roll directed at Cox and Blunt.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I’m originally from Italy and I agree with you, Digital Unicorn, English and direct is an oxymoron…

    • Jaded says:

      @DI — Canadian here who spent a lot of time in England as I was in a relationship with an English guy who had business interests in Canada so we were back and forth a lot for 4 years. It took me ages to get used to his lack of directness and “talking around” things. I finally realized it’s their way of getting you to reveal stuff whilst not revealing anything about themselves. Although we are still great friends 20+ years later, it was part of the reason why we called the romance quits.

  16. Lizzie says:

    Where’s that Heritage Foundation when you need them?

  17. Haylie says:

    These two both seem insufferable. LA wasn’t the problem. It’s them. And who they chose to associate with in LA.

  18. Eowyn says:

    I’m laughing at the characterization of Canadians. Passive aggressive, while saying sorry all the time but not meaning it.

  19. Sue says:

    Interesting. I’m American and when I was studying abroad in England I was told by British guys that they liked American girls because they were so direct. *shrugs*

  20. Amy Bee says:

    English people are not direct. They assume others should know how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking all the times. Wasn’t the complaints about Meghan was that she was too direct? GTFOH.

  21. Jessie Quinton says:

    English people ARE not direct. They talk in circles, slip in little conversational jabs at you, and then if call them out on their sh*t they are very easily offended.

  22. AnneL says:

    Emily Blunt is such a good actress, but she has been getting on my nerves for a while now. Cox sounds like he’s always cantankerous.

    I mean, immigrants and naturalized citizens can criticize this country. That’s fair as there is plenty to criticize. But this sounds more like snobbery. Of course they finally feel at home in Brooklyn. It’s has character and charm. And the parts where they no doubt live are a giant gentrified bubble of renovated brownstones and cute pricy shops and insanely expensive private schools. It isn’t the Williamsburg of “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” any more.

    And since when are Americans not direct enough? I thought we were too outgoing!

  23. HeyKay says:

    Brian Cox is so full of himself.
    Go ahead and move, no one cares where you live.

    Cillian Murphy, Irish actor of Peaky Blinders show and Christopher Nolan films, had spoken of as his kids were growing up they were turning into “posh, snotty, proper little elite Englishmen” and he and the Mrs. said “Not today!” and they moved the family back to Ireland and of course to be closer to the older family members, etc.
    I thought he was very funny about it, but I can really see his point.

    • Josephine says:

      Cillian Murphy is a treasure. I would choose Ireland as well – the people are so fantastic and the country so beautiful. Glad he went home.

      • Cloud says:

        Love Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt as actors and don’t care much about their real life personalities. I will get around to watching that A Quiet Place sequel sometime soon just for them. Emily can do just about any genre.

  24. R says:

    Eh, I can relate? I HATE the country I’m currently living in. A combo of genuinely just not fitting in the culture and the people here and attaching my abuse/trauma with this place. It’s not an entirely rational thing, but it’s just a GUT feeling of ‘Fuck, I hate this place’ (and the place hating me back). I’m grateful for the education and health insurance I’ve gotten here, but that’s it. People here are terrible towards POC and queer people. And every time I think about how this country’s gov REFUSES to apologise for its colonial past, my blood boils. Every time I’m out of this country, I can breathe and be less of an anxious being and every time I have to return to where I live, I revert back to being a miserable, depressed person. I’m finally at a place where I can plan my exit out of this country and the RELIEF I feel is…
    An immigrant doesn’t always have to love the country they’re immigrating to imho, especially when they’re immigrating purely out of financial reasons…I also know plenty of people who thought US was going to be this magical, wonderful place (either for education or internship), but then reality settles really hard (high rents, expensive to no health care and fear of guns )and they opt out of permanently moving there.

  25. KP says:

    So they have not been to New England? Just saying. We will gladly be your rude direct Americans.

  26. WiththeAmericann says:

    I don’t mind their criticisms but what I do mind is their ignorance. They’re judging an entire country based on Los Angeles, and specifically the LA they lived in and worked in, which is the film industry. And yes, there are unspoken rules about always being happy and well.

    But This would be like living in London, working in finance, and judging the whole country as pro money laundering thieves.

  27. Coco says:

    I agree English people are not direct. That is why they feel the UK isn’t as racist as America when it is. The difference is Americans are direct with their racism while the British play mind games making you think how you are being treated or what they are saying isn’t racist when it very much is while smiling in your face. If you get offended by it they make it seem like you the problem.

  28. Wilma says:

    I spend some time in LA and it was one of my favorite places in the world. I love the diversity of people you get there and the cultural mix. People were so nice over there and not in a superficial way at all. Maybe it’s a Hollywood thing they’re projecting on the entirety of LA?

    • WiththeAmericann says:

      I said this in a different way up thread and I think this is absolutely the issue. In film, there’s definitely a “never feel bad never be sick” vibe and it’s an industry run on a$$ kissing and being slavishly admiring of whoever is making bo.

      That certainly isn’t how the entire city is.

    • Jenn says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. I spent the majority of my adulthood in Chicago, where I learned to connect with others through our shared misery, grief, and moping. (A Scottish friend has joked that I’m Scottish at heart.) But as I continue to heal emotionally, I find myself appreciating the social sense of collectivism here in LA. Surely what bothers Cox is that people here are guileless; he confuses that openheartedness and willingness to connect on a human level with a type of stupidity. (He may have tried his know-it-all superiority act here, too, which would not be warmly received.) I do think Cox is very funny, but he can also sound like an immature dinosaur.

      Earlier this year I read a beautiful interview with Alfred Molina in which he articulated why he will never leave LA and return to the UK, and a lot of his reasons really resonated with me. I think it feels like the place actually WANTS you here, like it isn’t trying to spit you out. (For the record, I’m fat and middle-aged with bad skin: if people here are “superficial,” I haven’t met them yet, thank you very much.)

  29. Nicole says:

    I’m pretty direct bordering on crass, and when I talk to Brits, I find that I make them uncomfortable. Honestly, it sound to me that they are only comfortable with English posh. American/Western posh is more along the lines of Jennifer Aniston. A lot of people really don’t give a f*ck west of the Rockies IMO.

  30. Lens says:

    I haven’t seen “the English” and now Emily has talked me out of it. She’s insufferable and needs to go back to England permanently. It’s not just this interview it’s all her interviews in general and I don’t want to hear it anymore. I don’t know what the state of the Krasinski marriage is, I never see them together but I’m sure they can work it out. Brian Cox does what all other actors avoid – sh*ting on their co workers.

    • AnneL says:

      I watched it. It was well done in many ways, and certainly the acting was fine. Good production value. But it was too clever by half with making us look at the American West through the eyes of a Posh English Woman. Of course she would see it as brutal and racist. It was. But when her character dismissed the words of the frontiersman of Scottish descent, saying his ancestors were basically forced out by the British and the Highland Clearings? “Scotland still exists,” she says.

      Sure, it still exists as a country yolked to England and with a large portion of its population displaced to Northern Ireland, the US, etc. Kind of like there are more people of Irish descent in America than there are in Ireland, thanks to the colonization by England and the Famine. Now it seems like Emily is a lot like her character in that show, actually. Privileged and sheltered and judgmental.

  31. Feebee says:

    How civilly boorish of them. He lives in NYC but he’s calling Los Angelenos miserable?

    I understand what they’re saying about English directness but they see it like that because they’re from there. From the outside Americans own the British on directness. It’s a different directness. I find American directness kind of endearing where as English directness is more confronting because when they decide to be direct it’s the confronting kind. Because as many have pointed out they’re not usually direct at all.

    Anyway as a naturalised American myself I’m forever grateful for my time stateside. I’m glad my kids grew up as Americans, I love my American friends, even the trump-lite ones. America is obviously not immune to criticism even by immigrants but whatever they’re doing ain’t it.

    Maybe Brian could try what he’s accusing LA of being… pretend to be happy even for one interview?

  32. LOLA says:

    Ha. This reminds me of the article/spreadsheet that came out a number of years ago. What Brits say, what Americans think they mean, and what Brits actually mean-

    Chiming in as an Australian who has lived in London, and still live in the U.K, and has spent a lot of time in New York. Never been to LA, but not sure I could handle it, although of course there are multitudes of personalities and different people there. I’m drawn more to NYC (I love Brooklyn/Fort Greene – and yes I know it’s been gentrified. I remember when no one would go to W’burg. Now people I would NEVER have imagined living there own 2 million dollar apartments). The nuances in every culture/country are soooo varied. It can feel like one is immediately tarnished as an idiot poor cousin as an Aussie in the U.K. ESPECIALLY in the upper classes- which I thought I knew about but whoa, that is a different ball game altogether (I have aristocratic English family).

    Emily and Brian probably only deal with the Hollywood elite etc , so their comparisons are different. Regular sentient folks know that there are a wide variety of people and you meet some you gel with and some you don’t.

    My pet peeve (and I apply this to myself) is people complaining about the country they have opted to move to (as in, a choice, cf. Refugees etc) . Go home then! You have to respect the people you’re around and who are a citizen of their country (obviously not everyone- looking at you republicans, tories, guns).

  33. Plums says:

    Hearing British expats talk about missing interacting with direct people as opposed to Americans is such a bizarro world thing to hear. But then, I can sort of understand it if they’re really talking specifically about LA showbiz industry people? It’s a level of inauthenticity that transcends nationality, and I think any right thinking person would prefer New Yorkers. What is the saying? LA people are nice but not kind, and New Yorkers are kind but not nice?

    Then again, I question the judgment of anyone from western Europe who would willingly continue to live in America if they didn’t have to at this juncture.

    • Kitten says:

      My Iowan husb always says that midwesterners are nice but not kind and New Englanders are kind but not nice. Like, people from Iowa are super-friendly, polite and jovial to your face but will actively vote to take your rights away behind your back. A New Englander will impatiently grab your groceries from your hands and carry them up your stairs while berating you for trying to do it on your own in the first place lol.

      And I think most western Europeans would prefer NYC to LA simply because it feels more European; more familiar.

  34. Kitten says:

    LA is more than just Hollywood but these insular rich folks probably wouldn’t know that.

  35. Spillthattea says:

    Sorry but he’s right about LA

  36. As an Angeleno I can say we don’t miss you Brian. Stay in NYC or go back to the UK, we won’t cry about it.

  37. Jess says:

    I love when Euros complain about America. I can feel the American flag begin to wrap around me. Two obnoxious Brits living in a gentrified Brooklyn complaining about LA and American culture. It truly makes me chuckle.

  38. Salty Pom says:

    I am married to an English man who left the UK over 40 years ago because they are a class conscious condescending bunch of miserable gits (with some notable exceptions).

    *the Pom in my name refers to my Pomeranian. If I were more technically savvy I would add her photo to this post.

  39. Abbie says:

    As a Continental European, I agree with them. And the fact so many Americans here are insulted just shows you indeed do not understand how Brits communicate, lol.
    They aren’t trying to personally insult anyone, they are just being open and concrete about what bothers them, complaining is how people bond and communicate in many countries (particularly in Europe).
    This is the directness that they are talking about, but it doesn’t mean insulting. Trust me if they wanted to insult anyone, you would know, they’re not indirect about insults either, lol.

    I’ll never forget when a French classmate of mine astutely observed that Americans use small-talk and bright cheerfulness as a way of being polite. It’s not about honest expression of emotions, it’s about making others comfortable around you.
    Whereas in much of Europe honest emotion and direct communication are much more valued. Masking one’s feelings and thoughts is considered as fakeness and pretention which are all considered as bad character traits.

    Cultural differences entail deeper things than words, food or habits. They also entail normative values that form identity and meaning.

    • R says:

      @Abbie. Agreed. I also wonder how many of the commenters have lived abroad? Like, I don’t think Emily Blunt and Brian Cox HATES living in the US or American people.It’s not personal either. It’s just that, they see another UK person who has made the decision to move to US and they code switch to their UK identity and they allow themselves to miss their old home. They reminisce about what they miss about the UK, what they don’t like about their current home and it’s super normal talk amongst immigrants/expatriate. There is a kind of stress and longing being away from the country you’re originally from. I miss the European country I was born into and I feel antsy when I can’t travel to the Asian country my parents came from. (hate the place im currently living, but that another story).To my Asian friends I complain about European politics and to my white friends I can talk shit about the ‘motherland’/country my parents come from. I assume it’s the same Emily and Brian. When they’re in the UK, they gonna miss things from the USA and vice versa. It’s not a black and white thing where u forget/completely hate/denounce the country you’ve left for the one you’re immigrating to where it’s all sunshine and happiness.

    • May says:

      “(C)omplaining is how people bond and communicate in many countries (particularly in Europe).
      This is the directness that they are talking about, but it doesn’t mean insulting.” @Abbie, I would disagree with this general notion, having lived in both France and Germany. First, I don’t think complaining is equal to directness when they’re complaints are clearly false (like indicating that Americans are not direct). Also, as I indicated in a prior comment, I found some Brits I encountered to be negative, Debbie Downers. Contrarily, I did not find that same continual, negative energy with other Europeans. Yes, they (and I) would loudly complain about anything that we found unjust, unfair or simply unpleasant.
      Americans do that as well but we tend to do it to actually see a change and not just to be petty and miserable (is this why some Brits seems so pressed about Meghan and Harry actually leaving after they were told so often that Brits want them to leave?).
      Complaining is also not how I saw most Continental European people bonding. I never saw negativity as a draw, either to myself or other people.

    • Em says:

      But you and Emily are just wrong. Brits are not direct at all. Especially compared to New Yorkers?? Who are famously assertive. It is so weird to hear her describe Brits as direct. The French, on the other hand, yes. They actually are.

  40. Lovely Rita says:

    Yes I understand everything, but this isn’t exactly “Well, they can’t make tea properly and they don’t have Watney’s Red Barrel Ale.” (Money Python, thanks). This is more “Oh, Americans are so boooring with their misery and fake niceness and hypocritical Christianity.” You know, not like Americans saying “Sure does rain a lot here and I’d sell my soul for a salad, ” but more like, “Brits are self-important, classist snobs who think they still rule the world.” Or similar, while living and working there, in a mainstream interview. I’d love to see what the great British press would do with that!

    But let me just say please, have at it, Brits, but maybe not do it on blast in an interview for Americans? You know, the same people who have made your careers in TV and movies and who have paid you all your money? I guess we are all just overly polite, friendly, ignorant faux-Christian hypocritical twats who have never been out of Peoria. Too bad you must live amongst the unwashed to make your millions.

    And they are not direct, Meghan was direct, and look where that got her. I have to admit, this lifelong Anglophile has taken many a step back after what was done and is still being done to Harry and Meghan. And yes I know the public aren’t writing the articles and lies, but they’re lapping it up and commenting on said articles with approval. So anything like this, I’m reacting to with more verve than I used to, for sure.

    • Salty Pom says:

      @Lovely Rita – you’ve articulated it perfectly. Am loving the idea of BM dealing with a reversal of roles situation and your H&M observations are spot on.

  41. Beverley says:

    How silly, uniformed, and trite these Brits are who judge a city of 4 million by the attitude and actions of those few in the entertainment industry. Here’s hoping on some fundamental level these complaining Brits understand that you can’t judge an entire population by a select few.

    (Yeah, using the same lens, I’m looking at the Royal Family, the BM, and their deranged sycophants. If we judged all of England or the entire UK by those fools, one would have to assume the entire nation is populated by rabid racists.)

  42. MaryContrary says:

    Oh he’s plenty direct. And not necessarily in a good way. I read some other interview he did during covid complaining about his sons homeschooling-and said words to the effect that “older fatherhood had been thrust upon him.” First off-dude, if you didn’t want more kids don’t hook up with a much younger woman and get yourself snipped. Two-how nice for your sons to read that you basically consider them a major inconvenience. Perhaps he’s not much different in real life than the a-hole he played in Succession.

  43. Kate says:

    The tone of this post, my god! ‘ Don’t you just love it when two immigrants sit around, bitching about their adopted home?’

  44. Sandy123 says:

    This kind of attitude is sadly prevalent and annoying. I live in Japan and most of the other foreigners I talk to here can’t say enough bad things. It’s exhausting to listen to, especially since I don’t relate. Tell it to someone else, my god…

  45. Betsy says:

    So these two clowns have lived in *two* cities in our vast and incredibly diverse country, but they know America and how Americans are? Lol. Okay, kittens.

  46. Em says:

    As a foreigner who has lived in both Edinburgh and London, and travelled all across Britain, British people are the LEAST direct people I have ever met anywhere in the world. I was astonished when I read that lol.

    • Anna says:

      Go to Poland, we are direct! If I spoke in English like I speak in Polish my English colleagues would be constantly insulted. Bear in mind, we are not rude, just direct. “Please send it over by tomorrow” is a perfectly normal and polite statement in Polish, in English I’ve learned to write “when you happen to have the time, would it please be possible to hand it over by tomorrow?”. This is far from direct. And they are both insufferable, it amazes me how people who can travel a lot and periodically live in other countries can be so narrow minded and judgemental, instead of curious and understanding that people have different ways of life.

  47. AC says:

    I’ve lived in LA all of my life and majority of my family still live around the area, or at least SoCal. And we’re definitely not miserable 😀. Having visited England multiple times, I have to say a lot of them look and are actually miserable. I’ve never seen so many couples fighting in my life . Brian and Emily can speak for themselves. But at the same time so many Brits still come to find work in Hollywood, and take on American roles. Can you say Hypocrisy.