James Andrew McAvoy (born 21 April 1979) is a Scottish stage and screen actor. He made his acting debut as a teen in 1995's The Near Room and continued to make mostly television appearances until the early 2000s. His notable television work includes State of Play, Shameless, and Frank Herbert's Children of Dune.
But McAvoy is on his feet doing the walk and explaining how they tried high heels, ballet shoes, stilts, God knows what else, and found it was best if he just walked on his tiptoes with his shoulders so and his knees thus and his stomach out like this until eventually he did it like this. And he's tottering around the place giving the impression his knees are on backwards and his heels are way up his calves, and the cleaning staff are standing about wondering if they should call security. When he is satisfied he's done a proper job of the walk, he turns his attention to the talk. First the theory, then the practice. The American producers would have been happy with his own Scots accent, but he knew better. He read the Chronicles of Narnia as a child and knows Lewis wrote in English and his characters have English speech patterns.
On the table in front of him, a mobile phone makes its presence heard. He looks at it with dislike, picks it up, glares at its face, turns it off and puts it in his pocket. "The level of communication we have now," he says, dourly, "is to be marvelled at. Flick a switch and we know if a butterfly's wing has twitched in Thailand. We have so much information. The more we get, the better the technology, the less rounded the information, the less we know about what we're communicating and the people we're communicating with. You can spend a hell of a lot of your life talking without ever actually having a conversation. Communication itself becomes an illusion, the more so that it's all so f-----g incessant ...
Besides being a talented actor, McAvoy is a skilled fencer and acrobat. He married to actress Anne-Marie Duff in 2006. The two met while appearing on the British television comedy Shameless.
(2007) The thing that attracts me to all the jobs I've done over the last few years was the offer of employment. I've had to audition for every single job I've ever done, I think. So it's not just a question of being attracted. Yes, I like the things I've done, and I've been very luck that the things I've done - I think - have a certain level of quality. But had I only got parts that were rubbish, I'd be doing them as well, because I'm an actor and I need the work. But I'm getting a little more choice. When I read The Last King of Scotland, I thought this is excellent, and I'd be very lucky to get this. That was my choice, but afterward I still had to convince somebody else to choose me.
"I don't mind playing somebody who's not likable, or makes the audience feel slightly conflicted," he states matter-of-factly. "I would like to say it's work that I've chosen. But I think they've all been parts they've found difficult to cast, through them being lippy or aggressive or whatever. And I've been lucky - I've come in late in the process, when they've thought, 'We don't know how to f***ing cast this.' And I've figured out what the problem is."
I'm 5 foot 7, and I've got pasty white skin. I don't think I'm ugly, don't get me wrong, but I'm not your classic lead man, Brad Pitt guy.
"I judge people very quickly" he says. "There was someone I worked with recently who, within five minutes, displayed all the attributes of a f-----g d---, and I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Weeks later I was still there, going 'You're so f-----g self-obsessed.' I've spent a long time giving people the benefit of the doubt, and I'm tired of it."
Combine that appraisal with a confession that even in his early twenties he never really liked to go out ("All of my friends got so drunk they couldn't even walk, let alone dance, and you just stand there going 'So what am I going to do?'") and a tangent about lookism in pop culture ("I saw a clip of something this girl has on a humongous fat suit and she's singing that 'my milk shake brings all the boys to the yard' song, and I just felt like, 'That's so disrespectful.' I would not want to be a woman in this industry. Horrible."), and a portrait of McAvoy begins to emerge.
He grew up in Glasgow, moving with his grandparents after his parents divorced when he was seven. As a child, he thought of becoming a missionary and later considered joining the navy before acting captured his attention. McAvoy went to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to study acting. At the age of 20, McAvoy moved to London, hoping to advance his career.
He has one sister and a younger half-brother named Donald. McAvoy has not been in contact with his father since childhood. According to his father, McAvoy avoided any contact with him after he moved in with his new lover. Nonetheless, the actor had a good upbringing. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Jordanhill, Glasgow, a Catholic school, and briefly considered joining the Catholic priesthood. In a 2006 interview, the actor admitted that part of the reason why he considered becoming a priest was that he wanted to use it as an excuse to travel. During his education, he worked at a local bakery.
James McAvoy was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a psychiatric nurse, and James McAvoy Senior, a builder.He was brought up as a Roman Catholic. His parents divorced when he was seven, which McAvoy took hard. McAvoy's mother suffered from poor health and subsequently decided it was best that he live with his maternal grandparents, Mary and butcher James Johnstone, in the nearby Drumchapel area of Glasgow in a terrace council house. His mother lived with them intermittently.To date, the actor regularly visits his grandparents.