Succession actor Brian Cox believes that Russian artists should publicly criticize the country’s invasion of Ukraine, but acknowledged the inherent danger of voicing their opinions.
“That’s the problem, they put a lock on their mouths and it’s very difficult,” he told TMZ. “You could risk twenty years for high treason, I don’t know if you’re killed, but you don’t know.”
“One has to be very careful in this situation not to get hysterical and overreact,” the Scottish actor continued. “Because that’s what’s happening, and there’s nothing worse than the word that goes wrong. So you’ve got to be very careful about it.”
He said he doesn’t “see any other way” than for the performers to call out their native country’s president. “They have to stand up for themselves,” the Churchill star remarked, noting that, “at my age, I would.”
Cox also pointed out that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a “good” and “honest” man. “He’s doing an extraordinary thing, and he’s actually done a great deal to unite a lot of what’s happening in the Ukraine, and I think that’s what’s very important,” the actor concluded.
The Succession patriarch spoke out about the “truly, truly awful” invasion while the show’s cast was accepting a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series on Sunday.
“The thing that’s really distressed me is what’s happening in Russia, to my fellow actors and actresses and performers and writers and critics,” he said. “They are told, under pain of high treason, they cannot say a word about Ukraine. And I think that is pretty awful.”
“I think we should all stand together, and also for those people, the people in Russia who don’t like what’s going on, and particularly the artists. I think we should really join in celebrating them and hope that they can make a shift,” Cox finished. “Because I believe they can.”