There aren’t many actors like James McAvoy, able to go from blockbusters with huge budgets to cinema (and theatre) that couldn’t be more independent. Over the past two decades, the Scottish actor has shown what he’s made of. But what is behind such a personality?
Without any doubt, much is due to his propensity for acting and the passion he always puts into play. From the faun named Tumnus de The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Wardrobe, the Witch at the Charles Xavier Of X-Men – The beginning, McAvoy doesn’t miss a beat.
That’s why, over the years and thanks to the various roles he has played, he now has a following of fans and admirers quite broad. And, we could well say, deserved. Just look at any red carpet of one of his films, or the queues that form outside the door of the dressing rooms of the stages he walks.
The transition from dramatic actor – role that marked the beginning of his career with an exemplary title such as The last King of Scotland – a superhero of the Marvel, gives the perception of its versatility. In fact, there are many genres he has tackled, up to the hosting of a renowned show such as the Saturday Night Live.
Mc Avoy begins his journey back in 1995 with The Near Room and, after a period al Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, appears in a number of British films and shows. It doesn’t take much, and Hollywood notices him, inserting his name in the firmament of stars. But let’s find out some aspects of his journey that perhaps not everyone knows…
James McAvoy and family problems
Born on April 21, 1979 in Glasgow, James McAvoy had a tumultuous family life. The last of three brothers, he first experienced the separation and then the divorce of his parents while still a child. So long as the mother was rather frailwas sent by his grandparents, Mary and James Johnstonein the Drumchapel area of Glasgow.
Consequently, McAvoy is grew up with an estranged father, although he idolized him as a child. After some public comments from the man, on a possible reconciliation with the family, a young James did not want to go too far.
“I can’t feel bothered. I know what happened and what didn’t.” The actor claims he hasn’t suffered emotionally as a young boy, thanks in part to the love and support of his maternal grandparents. That sense of security is what has allowed him to be at peace, despite his father’s absence.
Chance or fate, how do you get to Hollywood?
Considering the fascination that James McAvoy exerts in each of his performances, one might think that the road of acting has been destined. In reality, according to what was revealed during the interviews, it would have been a pure and simple – as well as happy – case. Which he had I start with a teenage crush…
Teenage McAvoy dreamed of becoming a priest or joining the Marina. However, things took another turn when he, at the age of 15, was selected for a role in The Near Room. It wasn’t the set that triggered the spark for him, but rather the colleague Alana Bradywith whom he fell in love and followed in an acting group.
James McAvoy apprentice pastry chef
After a humble start in Glasgow, James McAvoy gets an offer he can’t refuse: a place in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. But that doesn’t change the way she faces life, keeping her feet firmly on the ground and without excesses.
Perhaps it is also due to his experience as a pastry chef, a profession in which commitment and effort are required. When he won an episode of The Great Celebrity Bake Off he said he worked as an apprentice to pay for his studies.
A leap into the void for charity
In addition to acting, James is a lover of heights and hiking. While he was spinning The last King of Scotland, put his passion to good use by coming into contact with an organization, the Retrakwhich helps street children to trace their families.
This is how the actor took part in a rather particular project, which led him to jump from the roof of the Guy’s Hospital in Londonwhich has the nomination of being the tallest building in the world. “I was terrified but it was fun. It’s a good way to try and raise money for charity.”
James McAvoy passes out during a torture scene
Torture scenes can be tricky, as there is a need to balance believability and the safety of whoever is in the scene. The actors are well aware of this. Yet, during a scene de The last King of ScotlandJames McAvoy passed out in the scene where his character, Dr Nicholas Garriganis skewered with meat hooks.
He revealed it himself to Contact Music. “It said in the script that Nicholas refuses to scream despite being tortured. And I was thinking how it was possible not to scream. If I can’t breathe from the pain, then I won’t be able to scream why I have no more breath to translate into voice.”
His solution, while clever, caused him to pass out seriously, due to the number of takes. Not surprisingly, the actor then declared that this remains one of the most difficult scenes of his career.
Be an action star
If it owes its popularity to action roles – see Wanted, X-Men And Split – it is surprising to know how James McAvoy was initially opposed to taking this path. The producers, in fact, considered him physically unfit to embody a star all muscles and testosterone.
The breakthrough comes with Wanted (2008), in which she starred alongside Angelina Jolie. McAvoy plays Wesley, a mild-mannered white-collar who finds himself, despite him, becoming one of the most dangerous killers in the world. The actor said he was contacted after months of his audition, precisely because they were looking for someone different from him. But the gamble finally paid off…
James McAvoy slapped by a woman
As we said, James McAvoy is very keen to take his projects seriously, including the dangerous scenes. Another example is given to us by the filming of filter: here the realism consisted in being beaten by a woman. At the time, the actor asked his on-scene partner to actually hit him, and she did.
But the hardest part, he later revealed, was where his character, Bruce, had to blackmail a fifteen year old to have a sexual performance with him. “After that, there’s really no scene that’s going to give me any problems.”
A video addiction that causes memory lapses
Most of the time, James McAvoy is the picture of professionalism in front of the camera. But sometimes his attention has taken a hit. Like for example in 2007, while he was filming Becoming Jane and was seduced by the dark powers of Xboxes. The actor has in fact revealed to the Graham Norton that I was up three nights in a row, playing at oblivionafter each 16-hour day of filming.
Needless to say, the tiredness that James brought to the set in the morning, to which was added the memory lapse. After forgetting his lines, he decided to fall in line, burning the video game cd on the stove. And since that day he seems to have never returned to the old addiction.
The broken hand
Generally, James McAvoy’s performances in Split And Glass are considered among the best of his career. His ability to play 23 different personalities of the protagonist, including the incredibly powerful one of Beastconfirmed his acting skills and his versatility.
In one scene, James he gave vent to all the anger of his character, punching a metal door. Result? A broken hand. In fact, he should have hit the soft part hidden in it, but he missed going straight to the other.
M. Night Shyamalan he said he saw McAvoy blanch, asking his people to squeeze into his face to capture the perfect moment for the scene. Rather than go to the hospital, the actor chose to seek treatment on set so he could continue filming.
James McAvoy & Patrick Stewart
Most everyone knows that McAvoy took over for Patrick Stewart as the leader of the X-Men Charles Xavier. But perhaps not many know the background between the two. In addition to film and television, both actors are celebrated Shakespearean stage actors.
And here we find out how they interpreted Macbeth, in two different moments of history: McAvoy in 2005 in Shakespeare Re-Told: Macbethwhile Stewart in 2010 in Great Performances: Macbeth. Also, in an interview with Jimmy Fallon, James confirmed his eagerness to become Jean-Luc Picard. “If they don’t hire me, I’ll do it on my phone.”
And here’s the confirmation of how much he really cared… This is the video made during the lockdown, in total isolation but with the help of many nice colleagues:
The risks of the trade
Shaping the physique depending on the writing needs is a hallmark of great actors, although then we have to deal with the consequences of such choices. Many of James McAvoy’s roles have required changes, more or less important.
A striking example of this is the character of the Beast in Split: to do justice to the character, he put on more than 7 kg in less than 4 months. Two years later, she took the same path, having to reinterpret it in the sequel Glass. But McAvoy has also tackled weight loss and fitness in the past for the film filter. After started smoking and drinking, he felt he was closer to his character. Physically and psychologically.
Never shave your head!
Though you never seem to get old, James McAvoy it is not fixed with treatments or cures that they keep that youthful face of hers. When she found out that she would interpret Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class he decided to physically transform himself, completely shaving his head.
Obviously, it was a mistake out of impatience and naivety, since the filmmakers wanted to show a young, full-haired Xavier. To remedy the incident, the actor underwent a 15 hour sessionto glue all the extensions to his head.
James McAvoy delivers for the Muppets
Serious actors are very careful about the type of role they choose, in order to preserve their work even in the eyes of critics. On the other hand, James McAvoy shows a much more casual approach. Not surprisingly, in his filmography, we find many bizarre roles. Such as for example the UPS courier Muppets Most Wanted.
While the actor only had one line in the film, he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed his time on set. During an interview with ScreenSlamcalled it an honor to be cast for Muppets Most Wanted and pointed out that Sam the Eagle he is his personal hero.
The most humiliating experience ever
Despite his many action roles, James McAvoy rarely plays stereotypes of macho man. The actor is known for his sensitivity displayed in every role, but there is one in particular that has, in a sense, shaken him.
This is Wesley Gibson in Wanted. To give his character credibility, McAvoy had to suffer the verbal insults of Jolie – his partner on stage – to reach the final goal, in which a modest and common man becomes a ruthless and witty killer.
In an interview with MTVthe actor stated that the experience (which lasted for more than one take) left him with a negative sign in the psyche. “It was the most humbling experience of my professional life.” Also, he revealed that he’s not a fan of the kissing scenes.