Brian Cox turned down a role in 'Game of Thrones' because the money "was not great".
The 75-year-old actor confirmed he was approached to play King Robert Baratheon - whose death in the first series sparked the chain of events that pitted various houses at war with one another - in the HBO fantasy drama series because he couldn't see any long-term benefits to a role which he knew would last for only a handful of episodes.
In an extract from his memoir 'Putting the Rabbit in the Hat' obtained by GQ magazine, he wrote: “I’m often asked if I was offered a role in ‘Game of Thrones’ — reason being that every other bugger was.
“The answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season.
“I know very little about Game of Thrones, so I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.
“Why? Well, ‘Game of Thrones’ went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune.
“But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn’t have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead. (I lied. I did google it.)”
The 'Succession' actor also has no regrets about turning down the role of Governor Swann in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films, in part because he didn't want to work with "overblown and overrated" Johnny Depp.
He wrote: “It would have been a money-spinner, but of all the parts in that film it was the most thankless, plus I would have ended up doing it for film after film and missed out on all the other nice things I’ve done.
“Another thing with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ is that it’s very much the ‘Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow’ show, and Depp, personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown, so overrated,” Cox adds. “I mean, ‘Edward Scissorhands’. Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face make-up, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t. And subsequently, he’s done even less. But people love him. Or they did love him. They don’t love him so much these days, of course.”