Brian Cox is a great actor, having appeared in a wide range of movies like Manhunter as the first to portray Dr. Hannibal Lektor on screen, Braveheart as William Wallace’s uncle Argyle, multiple Bourne movies as Ward Abbott, X-Men 2 as Stryker, Troy as Agamemnon, Trick ‘r Treat as Mr. Kreeg, RED and its sequel as Ivan, Rise of the Planet of the Apes as John Landon, and of course the timeless classic Super Troopers as Captain O’Hagan, among many others.
And as it turns out, Cox almost added another great title to his resume: HBO’s hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones. The Scottish actor was actually offered a role on the juggernaut series, but ended up turning it down. Now not only is he a huge fan of the show along with the rest of us, or a “great Game of Thrones fanatic” as he puts it, but he’s also seen a few of his friends get to play in that world. And so, understandably, he now regrets his decision to turn down the job. See what he had to say below.
The reason Cox turned down a gig on Game of Thrones is a simple one: it didn’t offer enough coin. We see how big the show is now and obviously this was a mistake, but he was offered the role earlier on when it wasn’t a juggernaut yet. Speaking to Vodzilla he said:
“Stupidly, I turned it down in the early days because they didn’t pay enough money. Now they have more money. And I was silly. I was silly, it was silly, because I’m a complete addict now. But I don’t know what I could play.”
It’s not clear exactly which character he was offered, but if it was early on it could have been someone like King Robert Baratheon (played on the show by Mark Addy)—though he might have been a little too old for that role—or perhaps more likely Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Jeor Mormont (played by Cox’s Braveheart and Troy co-star James Cosmo).
Of his friends who have been on the show, Cox said:
“I just watched my friend Ian McShane (Septon Ray), and I thought, ‘Ooh, Ian’s in it’, so I settled down to watch him. And I thought, ‘Ian did that?’ and immediately I thought, ‘God, they must have paid him well’, because I know Ian! And there was Max von Sydow (The Three-Eyed Raven) doing that character that he did, so in a way, it’s attracting certain people who do film, and, of course, I’ve got friends like Clive Russell (Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) and Charlie Dance (Tywin Lannister) is an old pal, being in it, and they had a great time in it.”
Cox has appeared in plenty of television shows and miniseries over the course of his career as well, including a run on HBO’s Deadwood alongside the aforementioned McShane, so it’s a shame we didn’t get to see him on Thrones.
Sadly there’s not much time left before the series leaves us, but it’s not over yet. I say get this man one of the few remaining roles! Cox is still up for it too, given that the price is right of course (hey, he’s old enough and well-established enough to want what he’s worth!): “I’m still waiting for the call for Game of Thrones and if they’ve got more decent money, I’ll be there!”