Brian Cox is a quintessential That Guy actor. The 70-year-old is good in everything he’s been in — from The Bourne Identity, to Super Troopers, to Manhunter, where he played Hannibal Lecter six years before Sir Anthony Hopkins turned the serial killer into a cultural icon in The Silence of the Lambs — but no one has ever uttered the sentence, “I can’t wait to see this Brian Cox movie!” That’s true of many of the older, more established actors on Game of Thrones, too. Teenage boys and girls weren’t exactly stopping Jonathan Pryce, Max von Sydow, and Liam Cunningham on the street until they were on the HBO series; now Pryce can’t go anywhere without someone kicking the Three-Eyed Raven in the shin. The same fate nearly befell Cox, but he turned down an unspecified role on Game of Thrones, and he really regrets it.
Well, stupidly, I turned it down in the early days because they didn’t pay enough money! Now they have more money. And I was silly. I was silly, it was silly, because I’m a complete addict now. But I don’t know what I could play… I just watched my friend Ian McShane, and I thought, “Ooh, Ian’s in it,” so I settled down to watch him. And I thought, “Ian did that?” and immediately I thought, “God, they must have paid him well,” because I know Ian! (Via)
Cox — who was recently on Penny Dreadful and will return as Captain O’Hagan in Super Troopers 2 — also praised von Sydow, as well as his “friends like Clive Russell and Liam Cunningham and Charlie Dance [being] in it and they had a great time in it.” I’m sure their accountants had a great time, too.