Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Brian Cox scared the hell out of everyone while filming Succession's "boar on the floor" scene

Illustration for article titled Brian Cox scared the hell out of everyone while filming iSuccession/is boar on the floor scene
Screenshot: HBO (YouTube)

In “Hunting,” an episode from Succession’s second season, Brian Cox’s Logan Roy, domineering head of the Waystar Royco business empire, gathers his family and employees during a corporate retreat to humiliate them with a rousing game of “boar on the floor.” The game, which involves adults oinking and snuffling around on hands and knees like “piggies” to fight over sausage links while executives look on laughing, is hard to watch—a reminder of the ruthlessness of Roy himself and one of the darker examples of the show’s satire of the wealthy and powerful.

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It turns out, filming this scene wasn’t easy for the actors involved either. In a roundtable discussion with Succession’s cast from Variety, we learn that “boar on the floor” was as uncomfortable to shoot as it is to watch.

At the center of the scene is Cox, who says the extremity of Logan’s behavior made him “apprehensive whether it was going to work or not.” Cox explains that he tried to tap into the “absurdity of the whole thing” to pull it off. To do this, he pulled elements—like Logan’s ominous introduction of a dessert cart before “boar on the floor” gets started—from his role as Titus Andronicus in the Shakespeare play when “Titus has baked the kids in a pie, and he comes on with his chef’s hat.”

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Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy, recalls “the way [Cox] wheeled in the dessert trolley... with this glee and mania” and how, while filming, it was “like we were in this place that felt absurd, and it almost felt like we needed a safe word on the set, too.” Kieran Culkin (Roman Roy) says that he “was scared every time” Cox “comes at me” in the scene, saying he “was scared that something different was going to happen every time.”

All of this said, please remember: Brian Cox does not seem to be anything like Logan Roy in his personal life. For a solid reminder of this, watch him play the role for a business meeting with Cookie Monster, teach Hamlet to a toddler, or warmly engage with the rest of the cast in the video of the full roundtable. 

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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