Veteran actor slams Joaquin Phoenix: ‘Truly terrible’


Brian Cox slammed Joaquin Phoenix’s “truly terrible” role in Napoleon and said he could have played the part “a lot better.”

“It’s terrible,” the Succession actor said of the historical drama during a recent live talk, per the Standard. “A truly terrible performance by Joaquin Phoenix. It really is appalling. I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Cox, 77, said he believes Phoenix’s bad performance in Napoleon was not only his fault but also that of director Ridley Scott, who he claimed “helps” the Oscar winner.

“I would have played it a lot better than Joaquin Phoenix, I tell you that. You can say it’s good drama. No — it’s lies,” he added.

Cox then made remarks about Phoenix’s name.

“I think he’s well named. Joaquin … whackeen … wacky,” he said. “It’s a sort of wacky performance.”

Page Six has reached out to Phoenix’s rep for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Napoleon, produced by Apple Original Films and distributed by Sony Pictures, was released in November 2023.

In the war drama, Phoenix, 49, played French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and it depicted his rise to power and his relationship with his wife, Joséphine Bonaparte, played by Vanessa Kirby.

The film reportedly grossed over $US200 million globally and snagged several Oscar nominations, including best visual effects, best costume design and best production design.

While it’s unclear why Cox slammed the Joker star, that wasn’t the only person he seemed to have an issue with.

Cox also shared his disdain for theatre critics who compared his former role in Succession to his lead performance in the West End production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

“It’s stupid! Why make that comparison? It’s so obvious. Most critics are stupid. They really are,” he said.

“Theatre criticism has gone right down the tubes. You think of those wonderful critics of the past, there’s nobody to match them now. Because they don’t do their homework.”

Former President Donald Trump was also named in Cox’s tirade when he revealed that his time in America would end if the politician, 77, was re-elected this upcoming November.

“It’s very hard to govern America and you certainly don’t need idiots like Trump doing that,” he said. “I do think that [President Joe] Biden is a good man but he’s too old.”

This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission.