Brian Cox is a grumpy legend. He is never one to hide how he really feels, and doesn’t seem to care who he offends, such is his status and stage in life. He is forthright and frank when asked about anything. The latest target is Ridley Scott’s historical epic Napoleon.

The Succession star was the featured speaker at HistFest recently, a two-day event in London that talks about the arts through the lens of history.

The London Evening Standard captured his quotes, tied to the theme of historical movies when he was asked about Napoleon:

“It’s terrible. A truly terrible performance by Joaquin Phoenix. It really is appalling. I don’t know what he was thinking. I think it’s totally his fault and I don’t think Ridley Scott helps him.

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. I think he’s well named. Joaquin … wackeen … wacky. It’s a sort of wacky performance.”

The conversation then tackled the wider subject of historical accuracy in blockbuster movies. As a proud Scot, he also spoke about 1995 Oscar winner Braveheart, in which he starred as the uncle of Gibson’s William Wallace:

“Braveheart is a load of nonsense. Mel Gibson was wonderful but it’s a load of lies. He never impregnated the French princess. It is a bollocks [sic] that film.”

It is well known that everything from the right of primae noctis, to the blue face paint is completely made up for the movie. William Wallace wasn’t even “Braveheart” as that monicker belonged to Robert The Bruce and his actual heart, taken on a crusade after his death and was given when the Scots completely failed to get any further than Spain in their efforts to support the crusades.

The timelines also fail to match the historical facts, with Wallace’s childhood falling at a time of peace in reality. Brian Cox may have a point here in his blunt description.

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