Why Does Brian Cox Keep Doing These Things?

Dustin Waters
Dustin Waters is a writer from Macon, Ga, currently living in D.C. After years as a beat reporter in the Lowcountry, he now focuses his time on historical oddities, trashy movies, and the merits of professional wrestling.

Shakespeare: “If money go before, all ways do lie open.”

Logan Roy: “Would you like to hear my favorite passage from Shakespeare? Take the fucking money.”

Two years after debuting his iconic role as Succession patriarch Logan Roy, classically trained actor Brian Cox took on a somewhat surprising gig. Yes, in 2020 Cox began his stint as the voice of fast-food chain McDonald’s. 

He’d launch the battle cry for McDonald’s entry into the Great Chicken Sandwich Wars. Cox would even sing the little “ba da ba ba bahs” at the end of the commercials. It was an odd tonal mix for the fast-food behemoth.

Despite his cruel nature and immense wealth, Logan Roy seems the most likely out of all the characters on Succession to actually enjoy a nice burger and fries. In fact, we see as much in the season 1 episode “Which Side Are You On?”

In the scene, a terrified Kendall is called to his father’s home, worried that his plans to seize control of the family company have been uncovered. Instead he finds his dad honking down on a greasy cheeseburger while watching the game. 

“I haven’t had one of these in, gah, I don’t know how long,” Kendall tells Logan. Meanwhile, Logan houses his burger. It’s a very normal scene. At least by Succession standards. 

So Logan Roy is the voice of McDonald’s. Sure. Why not? But then last year Cox announced another surprising project. This time he’d be playing The Controller in The Greatest Race-style James Bond reality game show 007: Road to a Million.

Immediately upon seeing the trailer, I asked myself why, coming off one of the most celebrated TV series in recent history, had Cox decided to host a game show. Well, the answer is very silly. 

Apparently, when Cox was first presented the role, he assumed it was for a proper James Bond film. So he jumped at the chance. That makes sense.

So why did Cox not pull out of the project after learning it was a glorified reality competition? Likely the same reason he was willing to step into the booth for McDonald’s.

Asked by USA Today, “And being the Controller, there was a paycheck?” Cox responded, “That was the most important thing.”

That’s a very Logan Roy response — although a little G-rated.

Finally this week we saw Cox release his most absurd collab in the form of a five-minute clip for Tekken 8 in which he recounts the full history of the fighting video game franchise. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. 

“What the hell is a Devil Gene? And why do these fathers and sons keep throwing each other off cliffs?” Cox asks in “Tekken 8 — Story So Far.” 

Standing before a CGI cliffside, Cox recounts the family tragedy that underlies the King of the Iron Fist Tournament. Father betraying son. Grandfather betraying grandson. Devil Jin sprouting his demonic wings and seeking vengeance.

I highly recommend watching the clip if you’re a fan of Succession and want to confuse your brain. And if you’re a fan of Tekken, well, Succession may seem a bit boring. It features zero fighting bears, crouching spin kicks, or Phoenix smashers. 

I guess for now we just sit back and wait for Cox to make his next unpredictable move. Will he endorse some sort of executive-style luxury vape pen? Become the spokesperson for the U.S. Steinholding Association? Perhaps even announce that he’s Santa Claus? The world will wait and see.

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