Succession’s Logan Roy is no darling Daddy, says actor Brian Cox

21 October 2019

Succession’s Logan Roy is no darling Daddy, says actor Brian Cox

HBO satirical drama series Succession (2018-current, stream seasons 1 and 2 on Showmax here, with Season 3 coming to Showmax soon) is a very visceral (and very entertaining) look at the dysfunctional Roy family – and it’s a metaphor for society, explains Brian Cox, who plays ailing business magnate and patriarch Logan Roy.

Where to stream Succession

Update: Succession S3 is streaming first on Showmax express from the US now. New episodes land on Mondays until 13 December 2021. Also binge S1-2.

Logan Roy snapshot: His net worth, wives, brother, best quotes and the actor who plays him

  • Logan Roy was born in Dundee, Scotland, into a poor home. He was sent to live with an abusive uncle in Canada and clawed his way up in the world.
  • His net worth isn’t explicitly stated in the show but it’s certain that he’s a billionaire, and then some.
  • His first wife and mother of Connor isn’t named in the series. The mother of his children Kendall, Roman and Shiv is Lady Caroline Collingwood (Harriet Walter), and his current wife is Marcia Roy, played by Hiam Abbass.
  • There are so many great quotes to choose from. One of our favourites: “Not to be crude about it, but politics is what comes out the a**hole. Wouldn’t you rather be up front, feeding the horse?”
  • His estranged brother, Ewan, makes an appearance in the series. He is played by James Cromwell.
  • Logan Roy is played by Brian Cox, who is Scottish like Logan.

The showrunners could’ve killed Logan off“, says Brian, “but he’s survived his stroke and he has come out stronger as a result. You see his ‘tools demonic’; he’s driven by these demons and it’s these demons that have made him survive as long as he has. People like that have a tendency to live quite long lives. I keep saying to Jesse [Armstrong, the series showrunner], ‘Is this going to be my last season?’ And he goes, ‘Well, we’re not sure yet.’”

Logan Roy is never second in command

Logan is as mean as a bulldog chewing on a hornets’ nest. He has made very public, very troubling mistakes in business that have cost him millions. But each time, he has clawed his way back and beaten back his enemies. He’s not even willing to let a stroke kill him. But because of who Logan is – a very, very, very, very, very wealthy and powerful media giant with a lot of employees relying on him for their jobs – the question of who will take his place at Waystar RoyCo needs to be answered.

Logan Roy is not a particularly lovely character, but he is a fascinating man,” admits 73-year-old Scottish actor Brian. “He’s a man of great stature – he has a sort of Lear-like, Shakespearean quality to him. He’s not quite what he seems and yet he’s exactly what he seems. It’s a wonderful paradoxical role in that way.”

Read more: 6 reasons to add Succession to your watchlist

The Roy kids are not good enough

And that king-like stature is exactly why, while he loves his kids, he sees them as simply not good enough to take over his business legacy. “He has these four kids and he wants them to be possessed of some character. The problem is that they’re not. None of them. None of them is worthy of being his heir and that’s the problem!” says Brian.

“He has these four kids and he wants them to be possessed of some character. The problem is that they’re not. None of them. None of them is worthy of being his heir and that’s the problem!”

Brian Cox

Kiddie conundrum

Logan’s issues with his children stem from the world he was born into – the old-school world, where everything was done properly and the right way – versus the world his adult children have grown up in, the wrong way.

“The broader issue here is that we live in this age of wealth and entitlement,” says Brian. “Look at the Kushners and Ivankas [referencing US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and scandal-hit son-in-law Jared Kushner] of this world. A lot of them are behaving horribly. Look at the Murdoch kids [referencing the children of Australian media giant Rupert Murdoch]. In a way, they’re all found wanting because they’re basically cut off from reality. It’s something that’s a bit of a cancer in our society.”

And Logan’s lot are arguably worse…

Connor (Alan Ruck)

Logan’s firstborn and doesn’t care for the family business. That angers the UK-born Logan more than Connor’s political aspirations during season 2.

Kendall (Jeremy Strong)

The second-eldest son and he’s the real business deal. At least he tries to be. But as desperate as he is for Logan’s approval, Kendall just can’t help turning everything he touches into a giant steaming pile of poop. Whether it’s drugs, an affair or even trying to lead a coup against his dad, Kendall is a mistake in Logan’s eyes.

Shiv (Sarah Snook)

Logan’s eldest daughter who he’s never expected to follow in his footsteps. She’s the one who challenges his mind most – in a good way – as a political fixer who knows how to spin bad publicity into something meaningful.

Roman (Kieran Culkin)

Roman is nothing short of a disaster. Drugs, orgies, public displays of lewdness, reckless business deals and all-out, headline-making carnage is the name of the game for young Romulus. And while Logan loves the boy, Roman is only allowed to be in the family business because Logan gets a kick out of watching Kendall try to put out the fires that his little brother starts.

Succession is first and only on Showmax
From left: Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy; Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy; Brian Cox as Logan Roy; Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy; Alan Ruck as Connor Roy. Image: HBO

“I don’t think he’s toying, he’s giving them lessons in a hard life. These are entitled children who’ve had everything done for them and they need to be schooled on the harsh realities of business,” says Brian. “Logan is testing his children if they have the mettle in them, and for a lot of episodes, the mettle is not clear. Logan does love his children, but at the same time, it’s all about their worth in terms of the company. It’s about the nature of succession and that is not there.”

Brian Cox bio: His most famous roles, from films to TV shows and voiceover, wife and whether his net worth compares to the Roys

  • Brian Cox was, like Logan Roy, born in Dundee, Scotland, on 1 June 1946. He is 75.
  • A renowed stage actor, he has two Olivier Awards, an Emmy and a Golden Globe, which he won for Succession.
  • He’s also well known for his voice work, which includes several video games, audio books and films.
  • He’s married to his second wife, actress Nicole Ansari. He has a son and daughter from his first marriage and two sons from his second.
  • Online sources estimate that Brian Cox is worth about $15 million – the sort of money Logan Roy wouldn’t notice if it went missing from his bank accounts.

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