Category Archives: James McAvoy

Secondary Character Saturday — Robbie Turner (Atonement)

WHO: Robbie Turner

FROM: Atonement

Book Cover

BY: Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan au salon du livre de Paris 2011.

Ian McEwan au salon du livre de Paris 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


PROS: Smart, passionate, romantic, kind, strong, loyal,

CONS: Bitter, hot-headed

BEST SHINING MOMENT: Doggedly making his way through the fields of France to Dunkirk, holding on to the hope that he will be reunited with his true love.

MOST INTENSE MOMENT: Confronting Briony when she comes to Robbie and Cecilia’s flat to atone for lying about him to the police.

Movie Poster

In the Joe Wright 2007 movie of the novel Robbie is played by very nicely James McAvoy. Here are some highlights from the film….

Keeley Hawes 2.10.13 Thought of the Day

“I’ve been really lucky with my career so far. I haven’t been pigeon-holed, which sometimes happens to actors. … I’m even lucky enough to have done my pocket version of Lady Macbeth!”– Keeley Hawes

Zoe Reynolds

Zoe Reynolds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clare Julia “Keeley”  Hawes was born on this day in  Marylebone, London, UK in 1976. She is 37 years old.

The youngest of four siblings she grew up in a working class family. Her father drives a taxi, and her brothers followed suit. Keeley is the only one in the family who was bit by the acting bug. They lived near the Sylvia Young Theatre School and she attended on a grant. There she took ten years of elocution lessons to lose her cockney accent. She also took acting lessons.  At 16 she began modelling for a year and half before making the switch to working as a fashion assistant for Cosmopolitan magazine.

In 1996 she landed a role in Dennis Potter’s Karaoke with Albert Finney and her acting career started in earnest. She had a starring role in the BBC’s 1998 adaptation of Dicken’s Our Mutual Friend. Her Lizzie Hexam is shy, humble, poor, innocent.

Her next major mini series role, Cynthia Kirkpatrick, in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters is none of those things. The only thing Lizzie and Cynthia have in common is that  they both wear a corset… and Hawes is wonderful in both parts.

In 2002 she took on a much more modern role as Zoe Reynolds in the BBC One spy series Spo0ks (MI-5 in the US). She met her husband, Matthew MacFayden, while working on the series.

Keeley Hawes and Matthew MacFayden from Spooks (Image courtesy

Keeley Hawes and Matthew MacFayden from Spooks (Image courtesy]

Speaking of modern, Hawes starred in two modernized Shakespeare plays; an Andrew Davies penned retelling of Othello for Masterpiece Theatre, and as Ella MacBeth in BBC’s  Shakespeare Retold  with James MacAvoy.

Hawes has been busy (I’m only mentioning the performances I’ve seen == all of which have been excellent).

Her latest “Masterpiece” was last year’s Lady Agnes Holland on the reboot of Upstairs Downstairs.

James McAvoy 1-1-13 Thought of the Day

“That’s the main thing that attracts me – characters who have big journeys. I like playing those people.”
— James McAvoy

Scottish Actor James McAvoy at Hollywood Life ...

Scottish Actor James McAvoy at Hollywood Life Magazine’s 7th Annual Breakthrough Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Andrew McAvoy was born on this day in Port Glasgow, Scotland in 1979. He is 33 years old.

The son of a psychiatric nurse and builder McAvoy has a sister and a half-brother. His parents divorced when he was seven and he went to live with his maternal grandparents. McAvoy was raised Catholic and attended St. Thomas Aquinas school in Joranhill, Glasgow. He considered becoming a priest, but followed his acting instincts instead.

His first professional gig came at 15 when he landed a role in the film The Near Room.  He had small roles in movies and guest spots in TV series while in school. He graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2000.

McAvoy continued to build his CV with high-profile guest spots on series like HBO’s Band of Brothers (he was Pvt. James Miller on “Replacements”) and BBC’s  Inspector Lynley,   Foyle’s War, and State of Play.

In 2003 the SciFi Channel took on Frank Herbert‘s Dune as a mini series and McAvoy landed the role of Leto Atreides II.

Leto Atreides II

Leto Atreides II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He had the lead role in Rory O’Shea Was Here as a disabled man whose enthusiasm shakes up the world around him.
McAvoy’s dark side came  out for his haunting performance as Joe Macbeth in ShakespeaRE-TOLD’s Macbeth. with the always wonderful Keeley Hawes as Ella (Lady M) and Richard Armitage as Peter Macduff.  [They only RE-TOLD four of the Bard’s plays — all of them interesting and worth a look — but this one is the real gem in the series.]
I’ve got two words to say about his next movie…” Mr. Tumnus. “
He stole The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe with his portrayal of the sweet, conflicted fawn who meeting Lucy  Pevensie.
From fantasy to drama biopic McAvoy next played the naive personal physician to Ugandan leader Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Needless to say things go south quickly as the doctor gets in way over his head and Amin shows himself to be a brutal dictator.  (McAvoy won the BAFTA; Scotland in 2007 for his work on the film.)
He played a trio of romantic roles (albeit in very different genres) in Penelope, Starter for 10, and Becoming Jane (as Tom Lefroy to Anne Hathaway’s Jane Austen) in 2006 and 2007.
McAvoy landed the role of Robbie Turner in the movie version of Ian McEwan‘s novel Atonement.  (He won the Empire Award for Best Actor in 2008 for his role in Atonement.)
He shifted gears to play a fish out of water action hero in Wanted opposite Angelina Jolie.  Then went back to historical drama with The Last Station –a movie about Leo Tolstoy’s last days — and The Conspirator — the story of Mary Surratt’s involvement in the Lincoln assassination.
Most recently he’s been seen on the big screen as Professor X in the X-Men prequel — X-Men: First Class, and heard in a duo of voice parts as Gnomeo in Gnomeo & Juliet and Arthur in Arthur Christmas.
According to IMDB he has FIVE movies coming out in 2013:
  • Welcome to the Punch
  • Filth
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby; Hers
  • Trance

And, rest assured, there’s another X-Men in the works.

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