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Courier subscribers welcomed Hollywood star Brian Cox “home” to Dundee with cheers and applause on Friday night at an exclusive “in conversation” event about his life and career.
The Dundee-born and raised actor was interviewed by Courier editor David Clegg at the “evening with Brian Cox” held at DC Thomson’s Dundee Meadowside HQ.
Brian talked about everything from his years growing up in poverty in Dundee to his early career in theatre at Dundee Rep.
He also talked about his recent success in film and TV shows including award-winning satirical drama, Succession.
His “proudest moment” was when they filmed an episode called ‘Dundee’ in Dundee.
Poignantly, in that series he plays Logan Roy, the patriarch of the dysfunctional Roy family and the billionaire founder of the global media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo.
Before taking to the stage, Brian was given a tour of the DC Thomson building, including a trip to the top floor Vista Room and The Courier newsroom.
In a move that might well have impressed the fictional Logan Roy, he took the opportunity to try out editor David Clegg’s chair.
Asked about the secret of Succession’s success, but refusing to give any spoilers for season four, Brian said: “People love to hate.
“They get entertained by horrible people.
“They love that sense of what’s coming next and what new profanities there might be.
“It’s absolutely bizarre.
“I’ve actually grown to like Logan Roy. I think he’s become one of the most misunderstood people.
“I grew up with people like that!
“He’s an absolute b***ard. But I’ve seen the roots of people like that. I understand them.”
Describing the city of Dundee as “deep in the system”, he talked about the “tough times” growing up in the city.
His dad died when he was eight and his mum had several nervous breakdowns.
They endured poverty. But there was a sense of community in the city and a “sense of care” that helped him thrive.
It was the “tragedy” of his parents lives that inspired him to write the book.
At Dundee Rep he recalled how people were “extraordinarily kind” to him.
“I was a fish out of water, but everyone in theatre is fish out of water!” he laughed.
One of the most serious stories in his book was experiences of the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001.
He was on United Flight 24 from New York to LA and about to take off when the pilot said there had been an “incident” at the Twin Towers. The packed plane was pulled over.
Moments later he saw the “puff” as the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
He recently had it confirmed by an ex-CIA man neighbour that the reason there were three empty seats on the plane was that just before take off, three men who were possibly involved in the terror plot, were barred entry for being late. He felt “very lucky” they never got on the plane.
Looking relaxed throughout and often leaving the audience in hysterics with his banter, the fireside chat was followed by an audience Q&A session and the opportunity to get a signed copy of Brian’s autobiography, Putting the Rabbit in the Hat.
Questions from the public ranged from advice to anyone who wants to be an actor/actress to why is there a dearth of working class actors?
He also expressed his love for playing Broughty Ferry burger tycoon Bob Servant, and suggested that he’s about the age now where he could play Grandpa Broon!
Brian was also presented with a framed copy of the Dundee Evening Telegraph from the date of his birth.
Tickets for the subscribers event, which were free of charge, sold out in just 32 minutes when made available.
With no fee charged by Brian, The Courier made a donation to Social Bite – a charity close to his heart.
This was the second exclusive Courier subscriber event following a similar evening with Ricky Ross at the end of last year.
Further exclusive Courier subscriber events are planned in future.
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