Actor Brian Cox, who plays Logan Roy on HBO’s Succession, says he turned down a role on Game of Thrones season one because the pay wasn’t good enough.
In a recent GQ published excerpt from Cox’s memoir Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, The actor recalls the time he was offered the role of Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones – and explained the money it was asking wasn’t good enough to get him into the group.
“I’m often asked if I’ve been offered a role on ‘Game of Thrones’ for the reason that every other bastard has been too – and the answer is yes,” says Cox in the excerpt. “I was supposed to be a king named Robert Baratheon who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season. I know very little about Game of Thrones so I can’t tell you if he was an important character or not, and I won’t google it just in case he was because I turned it down.”
“Why? Well, Game of Thrones became a huge success and of course everyone involved made an absolute fortune. But when it was originally offered, the money wasn’t all that big, shall we say. Also, I wanted to be killed fairly early on, so I wouldn’t have had any of the benefits of the long-term repercussions of a successful series where your wages increase with each season. So I left it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead. (I lied. I googled it.)”
While Baratheon’s role on the show ended relatively quickly compared to the show’s eight seasons, he has a fairly significant role in the show’s first season. Ahead of Game of Thrones’ final appearance, IGN spoke to Mark Addy to ask him how he wanted viewers to remember the late king.
“I think he’s an interesting character because the first impression of him is of someone who isn’t a great king, and it’s only when you see some of the guys who follow him that you think, actually, he wasn’t that bad like he could have been,” Addy explained.
“He was never happy with his lot, when we meet him on the show he said goodbye to a warrior, that’s where he was happiest. Those days are behind him now and he is in a state of decline, realizing late that he has surrounded himself with enemies and married half of them. It took him a while to realize that, but it’s just too late. I think he is very misunderstood. I would say…I want him to be remembered as a misunderstood king.”
As for Cox, it’s not that the actor hasn’t had enough work. Most notably, Cox played media tycoon Logan Roy on HBO’s critically acclaimed Succession. Last season we said, “Cox is once again in impressive form as Logan. His ability to shift between quiet dominance, sweet manipulation and cruel rage makes every scene he finds himself in at a Russian roulette set for how it will turn out to be people in his crosshairs.”
In other Game of Thrones news, George RR Martin recently confirmed that he has seen a version of the first episode of HBO’s upcoming prequel to the series, House of the Dragon. In a blog post, Martin wrote of the experience: “I saw a rough cut of the first episode. And I loved him.
For more on House of the Dragon, check out this article detailing the Who’s Who in the show’s teaser trailer.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. you can follow him Twitter.