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Feature
Brian Cox: A Viewer's Guide
The highs (and lows) of the actor’s career

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Brian Cox has many things to commend him. A proven character actor with a gift for lighting up films like Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, David Fincher’s Zodiac and Spike Lee’s 25th Hour in even short bursts, the Scotsman is equally accomplished in meatier on-screen roles, and on stage. His political leanings mean he’s capable of taking academics down a peg or two. We think he’s also a nuclear physicist and may have also been in D:Rream, although that may need checking (ED: Are you perhaps thinking of Professor Brian Cox?). Read on for our guide to his finest film moments.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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Brian Cox: A Viewer's Guide |

ESSENTIAL VIEWING: Manhunter (1986)

The part that should have launched Brian Cox’s Hollywood career back in the ’80s, Dr. Hannibal Lecktor and Manhunter was followed by a strangely fallow period for the actor. TV gigs were faint reward for a majestically sinister turn as the serial-killing savant that Anthony Hopkins would later make into a household name (albeit with a slightly different spelling, since this one was changed for copyright reasons). Cox, recommended to director Michael Mann by Brian Dennehy, based his interpretation on Scottish killer Peter Manuel. “It’s one of the great roles,” he remembers of gel-haired jailbird Lecktor, criticising the character’s eventual descent into Hannibal-era purgatory. “For me it's like playing [The Third Man’s] Harry Lime. If you went on playing Harry Lime, Harry Lime becomes meaningless because the character is wrapped in his own mystery.”

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Your Comments

1 Super troopers
Best film is definitely super troopers...oh and the guy who used to chase the A-team was called colonel decker! More

Posted by echoalpha92 on Sunday October 28, 2012, 22:43

2 uncle
i know it's only a cameo, but Cox was so badass as william Wallaces uncle Argyle in Braveheart, the character should have got his own movie. More

Posted by dangoodfellow on Sunday October 28, 2012, 08:13

3 Where the hell is Red?
Brian Cox was bloody brilliant in Red (not the one with Bruce Willis in. This is another film). It's probably one of the most little known, underappreciated, underrated films I know (even more so than The 25th Hour). It really is a hidden gem. More

Posted by SUPER_movie_FREAK on Saturday October 27, 2012, 21:38

4 RE:
Cox is brilliant in everything he does. I've met him a few times, he went to school with my Dad. If you get the chance to see him on stage, then do so! This is a masterful actor at work.   His best movie work came at the start of the 00s with brilliant performances in 25th Hour, Adaptation, X2, L.I.E. and The Bourne Identity. More

Posted by Beetlejuice! on Saturday October 27, 2012, 14:11

5
Well I liked Troy, so phoeey to you all! To me it's greater than the sum of its parts. If you like 'epic' movies, I would not be afraid to recommend it to someone. More

Posted by sifter132 on Friday October 26, 2012, 22:39

6 Korrektur
"less Das Boot than Das Sandal" DIE Sandale. In fact, in German there's a - somewhat dismissive - term for these kind of (wannabe) epic period movies: Der Sandalenschinken. More

Posted by Samurai_Zoso on Friday October 26, 2012, 20:33

7
Definitely 25th Hour, what about Rushmore? More

Posted by mike2005 on Friday October 26, 2012, 17:54

8 Super Troopers
Obv his best comic turn/film is Super Troopers! More

Posted by watch_it_son on Friday October 26, 2012, 16:15

9
Couldn't agree more with Denis Bergkamp here - 25th Hour is without doubt one of the movies of the last 10 years and is grossly underappreciated here in the UK. Maybe it is more of an American love in. Glad to see L.I.E in here though as that is his finest performance by a long shot. More

Posted by kojaksmoneybox on Friday October 26, 2012, 15:54

10
Pretty sure x-men 2 wasn't in 2011 More

Posted by baseballfuries22 on Friday October 26, 2012, 14:46

11 25th Hour?
Take out Escapist and replace with one of the most underrated films of the last decade. More

Posted by bergkamp on Friday October 26, 2012, 14:39


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