As anyone who has traveled around the internet movie landscape for a while knows, deposed and disgraced Ain’t It Cool News supremo Harry Knowles loved Brian Cox in Alien. What Brian Cox would think of Harry Knowles, we can only guess, since Knowles long since dropped out of consideration as part of the Hollywood sphere. Anyone else, it seems, is fair game though.

Brian Cox has a new memoir out – Putting The Rabbit In The Hat – and with a characteristically Celtic bluntness he has hit out at everyone from Johnny Depp to Quentin Tarantino.


Scotland’s greatest export since Irn Bru has held nothing back when talking about some other people in Hollywood. He criticized Depp’s performance in Tim Burton’s 1990 film Edward Scissorhands:

“I mean, Edward Scissorhands. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face make-up, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less.”

Here he was referring to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which Cox called:

“…very much the ‘Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow’ show…”

He went on to reference Depp’s public divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard when he cuttingly writes:

“Personable though I’m sure he is, [Johnny Depp] is so overblown, so overrated. But people love him. They don’t love him so much these days of course…”

He also tackled his own co-star in The Glimmer Man Steven Seagal, saying that Seagal is:

“As ludicrous in real life as he appears onscreen. He radiates a studied serenity, as though he’s on a higher plane to the rest of us. And while he’s certainly on a different plane, no doubt about that, it’s probably not a higher one.”

He praises Spike Lee as one of the best, but has this to say about his 25th Hour co-star on the Lee movie, Edward Norton:

“[He’s] a nice lad but a bit of a pain in the arse because he fancies himself as a writer-director.”

On Quentin Tarantino, he cuts right to the chase:

“I find his work meretricious. It’s all surface. Plot mechanics in place of depth. Style where there should be substance. I walked out of Pulp Fiction. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood wasn’t as bad as I’d feared, it still wasn’t good enough to convert me.”

Brian Denis Cox CBE was born in Dundee, Scotland on 1st June 1946. After coming up the old-fashioned way, via the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, he won plaudits as the first Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter (1986) and then went on to play supporting roles in Rob Roy (1995) and Braveheart (1995).


He is the winner of two Olivier Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. Cox has also been nominated for a British Academy Television Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. So he is probably qualified to say this stuff.

Putting The Rabbit In The Hat is available in eBook and Hardcover from all the usual suspects. It will be released in paperback in July 2022.

Brian Cox has still never appeared in Alien.

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