The actor said he showed up to the church where the series was filming funeral scenes.
Succession left fans shook during the fourth and final season, when the Emmy-winning HBO drama unexpectedly killed off patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) in episode three. But in order to make sure the news of his character's death didn't leak to the internet, the 76-year-old actor said he showed up on set so that it would appear that he was filming.
"I did actually turn up for the funeral," Cox told Deadline. "On my funeral day, they were going to do a scene with me, a fake scene with me at the church, so, just to throw people off the scent."
Despite having a plan in place to shoot a fake scene, the actor said that "it was very difficult" filming inside the church and the production team decided that "the one thing they didn't need to do was have a fake scene with Logan Roy that wouldn't even be in the show."
However, Cox was already on his way to set when he found out the change in plans. And in a move very similar to one Logan would pull, he decided to show up at the church anyway. "I said, 'I'm coming in.' They said, 'Yeah, but we're not doing the scene.' I said, 'Look, I'm coming in because I know there's going to be a whole lot of paparazzi there, and they're going to be wondering what that funeral is,'" Cox recalled.
"If I hadn’t done that, if I hadn’t come, they would’ve gone, it’s Logan’s funeral," the actor explained. "And I was the one who took that responsibility. They didn’t even think of it. They were so rushed, and so much, you know, this last season was very difficult to film."
With Cox able to throw photographers off the scent, his death came as a big surprise -- not only because his character managed to survive after he was originally supposed to die in season 1 but also since it came so early in the final season.
In a behind-the-scenes video streaming on HBO Max, creator Jesse Armstrong spoke about his decision to finally kill off Logan, especially early into the final season. "There's a couple of factors that play into where Logan's death falls in our narrative trajectory. One is sort of like, 'Ooh, maybe it will surprise people,'" he said, admitting that he's "not immune to such thoughts as wanting to keep the show exciting and fresh."
"I think much more prominent was the feeling that if we're gonna do this, we just don't want to see people crying and then have a funeral and then be done with the show," Armstrong added. "We want to see how a death of someone significant rebounds around a family."
"It'll be interesting to see how Logan's shadow looms," Cox said in the same convo with Deadline, revealing that despite appearing on set after his death, he does not know what happens next. "I really don't know, because I'm out of it." All he did say is that Succession will be "a slightly different show when you don’t have Logan."
While speaking to ET, Kieran Culkin offered a similar sentiment, explaining how the final episodes will shift. "The first two episodes feel almost, I would say, very like Succession," he said. "It's very much the show that it is and does what it does every season."
"It sort of then goes in a different direction," he continued, explaining not to expect any more of the same. "The rest of the season goes in a different direction."