Whisky Magazine Issue 32
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Brian Cox appears in two of the summer's biggest blockbuster films. He spoke to Vivien Devlin about his love of Scotland and Scotch
By 1995, with his 50th birthday approaching like a grey cloud over the horizon, Brian Cox had quickly come to realise that he had reached the pinnacle of his acting career in Britain.
By then he already had the distinction of achieving landmark stage performances such as his Olivier-award-winning role as Titus Andronicus at the Royal Shakespeare Company, followed by a world tour in the title role of King Lear with the National Theatre.
“I had exhausted all the possibilities of work in Britain. I felt I had to move on, to reinvent myself. I wanted to go to America and try my hand at being a character actor in the movies.”
Fast forward to March 2003 and I am at the Grafton Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, sitting with Brian Cox in a terrace bar overlooking a shimmering cool blue pool – the perfect Hockneyesque, Californian backdrop.
I hardly recognise him as he walks into the hotel lobby, lurking behind baseball cap, shades and beard. But once the street disguise is removed, that distinctive square chiselled face, serious charismatic eyes and thick silver-grey hair appears.
The voice has that rich, deep measured tone of the true Shakespearian actor, yet now tinged with a transatlantic modulation. He looks tanned and fit, due in part to his current rigourous training programme for his next role as Agamemnon in the movie Troy, based on Homer's Illiad and also starring Peter O'Toole and Brad Pitt.
Cox's tentative and challenging move to Tinseltown to try his hand ...