For close to 60 years, Brian Cox has consistently delivered some of the best stage and screen performances by any living actor—from his numerous Shakespearean roles to his criminally under-appreciated meta-performance in Deadwood’s third season to his elevating of schlockier genre fare like cult favorites Trick r’ Treat and Super Troopers. There’s also his latest turn as the looming family patriarch and media magnate, Logan Roy, on HBO’s Succession (which you need to be watching, by the way).
Any actor, let alone lowly pedestrian, might rightfully feel graced by God if Cox sat in to learn them a thing or two about the art form. Knowing this, we totally aren’t resentful of this cherubic toddler sitting, clearly oblivious, next to Brian Cox as he teaches them the opening lines to Hamlet’s famous “To be, or not to be?” soliloquy in this unearthed 2009 video.
Look at that kid, making Brian Cox (the Brian Cox) chuckle endearingly as his words falls on deaf ears. “To be, or not to be?” Cox, a Royal Shakespeare Company alum, intones to the tyke, his casual recall of the lines already more grave and soul-searching than most actors’ manage after months of study, to which the toddler responses with a cheery, affirmative, “Yeah!”
Hey. Kid. He isn’t asking YOU the question, he’s trying to impart decades of artistic wisdom upon your curly, flaxen hair! It’s not as though the very image of legendary performer Brian Cox (the Brian Cox) positing Shakespeare’s famous existential query to a child, untainted by this world’s dirtiness, who then responds with a playful, uplifting affirmative is, in itself, a work of art that could make us reevaluate our role and time on this mortal plane and...
...Huh. Alright, it’s been a long day. Who needs a drink?