21 questions

Brian Cox Believes You Can Have the Best Meal in the City in Almost Any Restaurant Here

Name: Brian Cox
Age: 64
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Occupation: Actor, currently appearing in That Championship Season on Broadway, alongside Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Gaffigan, and Chris Noth.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Mayor Ed Koch. I have great, great affection for what he did for the city, taking it back from the brink of bankruptcy and restoring a sense of order.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Just recently, Gabriel’s on 60th Street. But this fluctuates, for it is hard not to have a best meal in almost every restaurant in New York. I had a lovely goat stew. I think it was called Kid Arrabbiato.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Rehearse and play, rehearse and play!

What was your first job in New York?
In the early eighties at the Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street, a play called Strange Interlude, written by Eugene O’Neill in 1923. It is a story of a woman (Nina) who decides to have an abortion after learning insanity runs in the father’s family. She then decides to get pregnant with another man (Ned Darrell — my role) and pass the baby off as the first man’s child. Unfortunately, Ned and Nina fall passionately in love and must keep it secret forever for the sake of their son. I do remember that it was truly overwhelming and exciting to experience the volatility of a New York audience for the first time.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
A Little Night Music with a brilliant performance by Elaine Stritch and an equally brilliant performance by Bernadette Peters.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
It varies.

What’s your drink?
A good Malbec. Reserva or Trapiche (Argentine).

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Thirty percent of the time? I make different things to suit my appetite and the hearty appetite of my two boys.

What’s your favorite medication?
Reversatrol (and cinnamon).

What’s hanging above your sofa?
Two paintings by Bob Kane, a wonderful New York–based artist. They’re of the Ca’ d’Oro in Venice and form part of a quartet, the other two of which are in storage in London.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Thirty bucks?

When’s bedtime?
When I am at the theater, usually 1 a.m. Otherwise earlier.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I liked the old one a lot, but having walked the new one today, I think it might be marginally better. There is more room for pedestrians and quite frankly, it is a lot cleaner.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
I don’t have much of an opinion. He’s a little brash and gung ho for me, but I guess he has done a lot for the city and as long as he doesn’t turn it into a theme park and behaves himself, he’s all right by me!

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Dark apartments! Apartments that get very little natural light.

Who is your mortal enemy?
Actually, I think it would have to be people who do not understand the nuances of the English language.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
In the U.K. in November of last year, I think. I drove around my native Scotland, from Edinburgh to Dundee and back again, many times, and mainly as my duty as rector of Dundee University. I had business to attend to there, and also with family still in both cities, it’s always a joy for me to go back to Scotland. Not to mention, driving in Scotland is one of the greatest pleasures anyone can ever have. The scenery never fails to astound me at how changeable and beautiful it is.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Well, like everyone else has been affected I guess. Business cutbacks, the greed of others at the expense of some. All of this affects one personally and also in terms of the lack of principled behaviors around us.

Times, Post, or Daily News?

Where do you go to be alone?
The gym.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
A responsibility to the traditions of this great city, I think, and its cosmopolitan nature, along with a respect for both the poor and the rich.

Brian Cox Believes You Can Have the Best Meal in the City in Almost Any Restaurant Here