James McAvoy: biography
James McAvoy is a Scottish actor. James McAvoy became popular as a dramatic actor in pictures "Inside I'm Dancing", "The Last Station", "Atonement", "Becoming Jane". McAvoy was at his peak of popularity when he joined the X-Men movie universe, screen-adaptation by the same-name series of comics and he respectively performed the leading role of the Professor Xavier in three pictures of "X-Men" trilogy: "X-Men: First Class", "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "X-Men: Apocalypse".
Having taken part in the shootings of blockbusters James had again attracted the attention of critics with his drama talent performing the role of the person with multiple persons in the drama "Split". The actor played ten roles in this picture, including female roles.
James McAvoy was born in the capital of Scotland - Glasgow. His father James McAvoy Sr. was a builder, and his mother Elizabeth Johnstone was a nurse. James has a younger sister Joy who became a singer and the leader of the Scottish girls’ band "Streetside".
When James turned 7 years, his parents decided to get divorced. Their daughter Joy left with her mother Elizabeth, and James was taken on education by the maternal grandparents. James didn’t see his father anymore.
James attended Catholic Boy’s school in Jordanhill, for some time he had been dreaming to become the priest, and later he had been thinking of the career in the United States Navy. But in 16 years the young man got acquainted with David Heiman, rather famous actor and aspiring director.
After this acquaintance, James began his artistic career. Heiman told the guy various funny stories from the movie sets and also invited James to take part in the shootings of his new picture "The Near Room". Later James would also get the professional education when in 2000 he entered prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
After his debut on the big screen in the thriller "The Near Room" during 1997 James took part in the shootings of two television series "The Bill" and "An Angel Passes By" and also in the dramatic war movie "Regeneration". James played supporting roles in all these movies, but on the other hand, he got experience in front of the movie cameras and proved himself in a desire to become the actor.
Then there was a long-term break because of James' drama studies at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Only in 2001, James McAvoy appears on the screens again. He performed in historical mini-series "Lorna Doone", in war series "Band of Brothers" and in German teenage horror film "Pool". Later he got episodic roles in the series "Foyle's War", " Frank Herbert's Children of Dune", "State of Play", "Shameless" and supporting roles in the movie "Bollywood Queen " and in tragicomedy "Bright Young Things" and the comedy "Wimbledon".
McAvoy received his first leading role in the sentimental drama "Inside I’m Dancing" in which he played a role of a wheelchair-bound young man Rory O'Shea who still stays optimistic. The movie had received very positive feedback and had been even called the Best Irish movie of the year.
In 2005 James took part in the first part of the well-known "The Chronicles of Narnia" which had the title "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". In this movie, he played a character of a faun Mr. Tumnus. Actor's popularity was supported and strengthened by his role in the historical drama "The Last King of Scotland" for which he was nominated for BAFTA Awards in 2006. At the same time, McAvoy performed in the leading role in the romantic comedy "Starter for Ten".
In 2007 there was a release of biographical drama "Becoming Jane" in which the actor played Thomas Lefroy – a beloved of the famous writer. Alongside he appears in the war movie "Atonement" for which he got the Empire magazine award and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
The movie tells about the life of the writer who had faced World War II in her early childhood, and later in her books, she had been trying to change the fate of the people affected by war and her own words. The leading female role in this picture was performed by Keira Knightley.
Next year James McAvoy together with Angelina Jolie shot in a fantasy action movie "Wanted" where the actor got a leading role of the ideal murderer, even though he wasn’t tall enough (170 cm) and in general McAvoy looked harmless.
In 2009 McAvoy turned into the character of Valentin Fedorovich Bulgakov in German-Russian-British movie "The Last Station" about the last days of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy.
The further actor’s career was taking off. He played leading roles in the historical drama "Conspirator", in the black tragicomedy "Filth", in the criminal action movie "Welcome to the Punch" and in the thriller "Trance". The actor enthusiastically commented on the last movie in his interview. According to the actor, it was interesting for him to play a role in this movie as the hero of McAvoy step by step turned from the smiling guy into an unappealing character, and movie events became more gloomy and rigid with the sequence of time than at the beginning of the picture. Other major characters whose roles were performed by Zoe Saldana and Vincent Cassel also try to find themselves, what makes the plot even more interesting and exciting.
Still, James McAvoy had won great popularity after shootings in the super-hero action movie "X-Men: First class". The scene of movie's actions takes place in an already popular universe of X-men, which is known for the audience from comics, cartoon series and other movies. In this universe, some children are born with superpowers. The actor played a leading role of the telepathist Charles Xavier also known in the movie under the name of Professor X.
"The First Class" restarts the movie Universe of the X-Men, presenting young personages, the formation of the superheroes’ team and the main characters. The movie became the beginning of the planned trilogy about the X-Men. In the first movie Xavier still works together with a future villain Magneto Erik Lehnsherr who was performed by Michael Fassbender, and with a future spy Mystique, Raven Darkhölme acted by Jennifer Lawrence.
The movie shows how the team of superheroes had broken up, and the best friends Charles and Erik became the main antagonists of the fandom, on whose conflict the legendary of the movie universe is based. Also at the end of the movie, there was given an allusion to the opening of Xavier’s school for mutant children about which X-Men comics tell.
In 2013 McAvoy filmed in the experimental movie "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him" where he played the character of Conor Ludlow. The project is interesting because in a year the second part "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: She" was released. In the second part, the actor played the same role. Both movies are built upon the same plot but from different points of views of two main characters, which supplement each other.
In 2014 McAvoy filmed in the sequel to the comics’ blockbuster about mutants "X-Men: Days of Future Past". The movie became the sequel not only for "The First Class". The picture unites in the one movie universe a couple of pictures - "X-Men: The First Class", a movie from the previous trilogy about mutants "X-Men: The last fight" of 2006 and a solo line of movies about a mutant Wolverine , in particular, the last film about the hero "The Wolverine" with Hugh Jackman in the leading role.
It became possible because of the movie’s plot about time loop and time paradoxes. New "X-Men" show the apocalyptic future in the 2020-s for the sake of fight with which mutants set off to the past and change some critical events. In such a way the authors of the picture explain differences among franchise movies.
A role of Professor Xavier in the movie is performed by the actors from both trilogies: by James McAvoy who had finally become similar with original Professor X, having appeared bald and in a wheelchair, and by Patrick Stewart. Also, Magneto is represented in this movie, whose role was played by Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen.
In 2015 a gothic horror movie "Victor Frankenstein" was released, here James acted in a major role of a young scientist. The picture shows a new view of the classical literary work by Mary Shelley. The audience sees the events not from the standard points of view of doctor Frankenstein or the recovered monster but as it is perceived by the scientist’s assistant Igor. The image of the assistant comes to the forefront, and his role is played by Daniel Radcliffe.
In youth, James McAvoy had a long relationship with Emma Nelson, with whom together they studied at school. Young people even lived in a civil marriage for 6 years. After Emma had left, the actor had severe depression, alcohol problems, and there was a crisis in his career.
James met the actress Ann-Marie Duff on the movie set of "Shameless". They dated each other for 2 years and in 2006 they got married. In 2010 Ann-Marie who is 9 years older than her husband gave birth to their son Brendan.
In May 2016 McAvoy divorced his wife. Actors stayed friends and decided not to live apart not to affect their little son mentally. When Ann-Marie and James aren’t involved in the shootings, they live together in Northern London.
During shootings of the movie "Split", the actor got acquainted with the assistant director of M. Night Shyamalan - Lisa Liberati. Soon Lisa and James made became friends and then they had a love affair as it is considered by the press. The actor doesn't confirm information about these relations. But journalists lean on the words of eyewitnesses and base their opinion on rumors. The British press calls Liberati and McAvoy - teenagers in love who chat a lot with each other and laugh much, and they say that maybe the actor isn't ready for public relations after his recent divorce.
James McAvoy doesn't hide other aspects of his private life from admirers. The actor leads an official account on Instagram where he publishes both photos from public events and his selfie photos with friends. McAvoy has more than 500 thousand followers on Instagram.
James McAvoy at present
In 2016 the actor returns to his character of Charles Xavier in the fantastic action movie "X-Men: Apocalypse". The new movie becomes a sequel to "Days of Future Past" and is considered to be the last film of the trilogy. The Apocalypse appearing in the movie title is not a day on an event, it’s a name of an ancient and strong mutant which wakes up at present time, becoming a threat to mankind. The heroes, already known from the last movies are ready to fight against this threat. The role of the Apocalypse was performed by Oscar Isaac.
At the beginning of 2017 the psychological thriller with horror elements "Split" came out. M. Night Shyamalan became the director of this picture. The movie tells about three girls who were kidnapped by the person who was called Kevin, suffering from multiple personality disorder. James McAvoy performed the role of the antagonist and because of specifics of the character he had to play not only one leading role but ten instead. In the head of the maniac there lived a kidnapper Dennis, eight-year-old Hedwig, a moderate girl Patricia, a violent cannibal beast the Animal, Barry, Orwell, Jade and 16 more persons whose distinctions hadn’t been reflected by James on the screen.
Critics appreciated the movie and acting of McAvoy though before the picture was released web users had negatively commented on the choice of McAvoy for the leading role, not trusting actor’s talent.
On the 26th of April, 2017 Shyamalan announced on Twitter that he was going to shoot a sequel to "Split". The future movie will become the crossover of the thriller and another movie by the director "Unbreakable". Bruce Willis had already appeared in the cameo role of David Dunn from the picture "Unbreakable" in the final of "Split".
The director will continue a plot about David and Kevin's opposition. The sequel will be titled as "Glass", and the premiere of the movie is set for January 2019. Leading roles in "Glass" will be acted by James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy who played a character of the kidnapped girl from "Split" and by Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson from "Unbreakable".
On the 12th of March, 2017 the spy thriller "Atomic Blonde" was premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The picture will come on big screens at the end of July 2017. James McAvoy and Charlize Theron performed the major roles in this movie. The movie tells a fictional story about spy games in Berlin of 1989 before falling of the Berlin wall.
- 2004 - "Inside I’m Dancing"
- 2005 - "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
- 2007 - "Becoming Jane"
- 2007 - "Atonement"
- 2008 - "Wanted"
- 2009 - "The Last Station"
- 2010 - "The Conspirator"
- 2011 - "X-Men: First Class"
- 2013 – "Filth"
- 2014 - "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
- 2015 - "Victor Frankenstein"
- 2016 - "X-Men: Apocalypse"
- 2017 - "Split"
- 2017 - "Atomic Blonde"