On Friday, College’s Law Society (LawSoc) presented its Praeses Elit award to renowned actor and Succession star Brian Cox.
The award, which is given to those who make an “indelible impact” in their field was presented to Cox for his “fantastic and varied career” as well as his “unflinching dedication to justice and politics”.
Secretary Louise Cullen highlighted Cox’s diverse screen roles, from the Bourne franchise and Braveheart to a voice role as the Green Dragon Scooby Doo, as well as his long career on stage and in Shakespeare productions.
Cox described the inspiration of working class and lower middle class British actors such as Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole who made it in Hollywood at a time when “it was all Americans” in movies.
Cox also played the corporate conglomerate patriarch Logan Roy in Succession which culminated in a highly anticipated final season last year.
He described the group dynamic of the cast as the best part of working on the show, though he alluded to the more solitary methods of one of his castmates: “There was only one person who had a problem with that. But I won’t say who.”
While he has been proud of the success of the series, noting how people have “become obsessed” with it, Cox told LawSoc that having played so many roles, he viewed it as “just another piece of work”.
Though, like his Succession character, Cox was born in Dundee in Scotland, he emphasised his Irish heritage which he discovered through a recent genealogy test made up 88% of his ancestry.
In a brief discussion about politics, Cox expressed his belief in an eventual united Ireland, as well as a breakup of the “preposterous” United Kingdom in favour of a confederation of three independent Scottish, Welsh and English states respectively.
He expressed his regret that the Scottish people have a habit of “shooting themselves in the foot” when it comes to independence, lamenting the recent loss of momentum for the Scottish National Party and expressing his admiration for Nicola Sturgeon who unexpectedly resigned last March.
“They don’t [just] shoot themselves in the foot, they hold up their foot and shoot off each toe individually,” he quipped.
LawSoc, now in its 90th year, has had a strong showing this year, hosting a number of guests including singers Ellie Goulding and Maisie Peters, Lord Alan Sugar, former Senator David Norris and author and activist Reni Eddo-Lodge.
We, Law Society, were founded in 1933, and for 90 years, we have provided opportunities for our members to engage in a wide range of events to advance discourse, to socialise and to experience new phenomena.
Previous recipients of the Praeses Elit Award, founded by former Auditor Mary Robinson, include Jean-Claude Juncker, Stephen Fry and Daisy Edgar Jones.