“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 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 (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. “
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
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby; Hers
And, rest assured, there’s another X-Men in the works.