SCOTLAND has never been as ripe for independence as it is now, Brian Cox has told Nicola Sturgeon.

Speaking to the First Minister in front of a packed crowd at Central Hall in Edinburgh, the HBO Succession star said Scotland lacked the confidence to go it alone.

The event, part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, saw Sturgeon interview Cox on politics, his life and his book Putting the Rabbit in the Hat.

During the talk, the Dundee actor revealed that he is planning on making a movie set in Scotland and announced his plans to return to his home country permanently.

READ MORE: Brian Cox says the 'future has never been brighter' for film industry in Scotland

He also promised Sturgeon he would be in Scotland to campaign for a second independence referendum.

Cox said his country “has to be free” as he said the differences between Scotland and England have been growing.

The Hollywood actor said he wished the people of Scotland had "more confidence" to vote for independence.

Asked what made him shift from New Labour to the SNP, he told Sturgeon: “The Labour Party started here in Scotland.

“After all those years of Thatcher and the horror of that - and of course I wasn’t living in Scotland at that time - I did the voice of Labour at the time in 1997, I was very passionate about socialism, I am a socialist, ostensibly a socialist.

“So I was really, really pleased to be a part of that, and we got the biggest majority ever.

“And then systematically we blew it. Big time. And then finally Iraq was the thing that did me in. And Tony Blair’s hubris over Iraq I just thought was awful.

“I thought there’s something amiss.”

Cox said by the time the 2014 independence campaign had begun he realised social democracy was largely missing in the UK.

The National: Brian Cox said the gap between Scotland and England has grownBrian Cox said the gap between Scotland and England has grown

He said: “The only place that social democracy seemed to be present was back in my home country so I thought I’ve got to go, I’ve got to shift.

“I can’t hang around with this anymore because we’re on a hiding to nothing.

“It’s always gonna be the same stopping game, endlessly.

“My country has to be free, we have to be free. We have to be our own person because it’s become so obvious … anyone who comes here sees the difference between the north and the south – it’s so evident now.

“Scotland has never been more ripe for it [independence].

WATCH: Andrew Bowie squirms as Brian Cox praises Scotland's Covid efforts

“The only thing is, I just wish the people of Scotland would have a bit more confidence.

“And that’s the thing that really gets me."

Cox said it was "through conditioning that we haven’t got that confidence"

He continued: "Once we’ve got [confidence] we will all agree … you just look at this bunch of, I won’t say, but what we’ve been through and you go, you know, this is where we should be and we should have our own country and it should happen now.

“It shouldn’t be about personalities, it should be about country first, not politics, country first ... and democracy."