James McAvoy

(James McAvoy Jr.)

James McAvoy
James McAvoy
  • Born: April 21, 1979
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Actor

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A story about my life would be utterly dull. Life
As an actor sometimes you can be a bit emotional and forceful, and that's not always the way to be.
As I get older, I want to do more films for kids because they're the best audience around. Just putting a smile on a kid's face is the best thing.
At the heart of every really good Christmas movie is the threat, I suppose, to Christmas. Something is wrong with Christmas, in all of these movies. In 'The Polar Express,' there's a kid that doesn't really believe, and that's the threat to Christmas. In 'Santa Claus: The Movie,' jealousy and greed are threatening to overrun his Christmas. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Basically, every character I've ever played, I've based entirely on internal conflict. And I love doing that, because I think it's very human. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Because technically actors are just public servants really. They just tell stories because people need to be told stories. That's all it is. And yet we get treated as though we're important.
Distance is a bad excuse for not having a good relationship with somebody. It's the determination to keep it going or let it fall by the wayside; that's the real reason that the relationships continue.
Every time I do a movie, especially an animated movie, I just seem to scream and shout and hyperventilate for money. Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
Fear is really powerful; it's really useful to me.
Film sets are a strange place, but an exciting place. I do love my work; I really enjoy going to work. But if you just spend all your time on film sets or even on stage, you can become a Michael Jackson figure, living in your own little universe. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Filmmaking is a miracle of collaboration.
For me, Charles Xavier is a monk. He's like a selfless, egoless almost sexless force for the betterment of humanity and mortality.
Girls didn't really take much interest in me until I was about 14. But I knew how to talk to them very quickly. What I figured out - that my friends didn't - was you have to talk to women like you're not constantly trying to have sex with them. That seemed to work. Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I actually went to drama school at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow, so I stayed in my home town the whole time. However, I see more of my friends now than I did then. It's strange. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I also really liked playing Mr. Tumnus in 'Narnia'. I got to play my favorite character in children's literature, which I loved. You don't get the chance to do that in other jobs.
I always believed that I never wanted to be an actor. I only did it because I was allowed to do it and I had to do something.
I always have a beard between jobs. I just let it grow until they pay me to shave it. People are quite surprised it's ginger. Sometimes they ask me if dye my hair and I always say 'Wow, no!' I'm 'trans-ginger.'
I am a nerd, but I don't dive head-first into any fiefdom of nerdiness, except for maybe 'Star Trek.'
I considered becoming a priest very seriously. I wanted to travel the world. By the time I turned 16, I realized I was only in it for selfish reasons. And, more importantly, I didn't want to sacrifice the ladies! Time ;Travel
I decided to give up the idea of being a priest before I decided I wanted to be an actor. I considered it for a couple of weeks, really. I'm a young Catholic, do you know what I mean. You're going to consider it.
I did 'Narnia' because it was a good opportunity and all that, but really? I wanted to play Mr. Tumnus because he's my favourite children's character. That was awesome.
I did undergo hypnotherapy, and it didn't work! The guy couldn't put me under. I was very disappointed. I was very keen to be suggested, to have somebody tell me to run naked or cluck like a chicken or whatever, but it didn't work for me, I'm afraid. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I do find it strange, doing magazine shoots. Photographers always go, 'Why don't you like to have your picture taken? That's what you do for a living anyway. Just pretend you're acting. It's the same thing!'
I don't do Facebook and I don't do Twitter, and already I notice that, with some of my friends, there's a whole sphere of conversation that I'm completely on the outside of, and that's my choice. But, to a greater extent, that's what the whole of life is like. Life
I don't know if anybody's ever ready for another award season. It's kind of like Christmas.
I don't know why I get cast in a lot of period pieces. Stephen Fry told me that I had a face for period, that I look like someone from 1920.
I don't know why we're not interested in seeing good people. I think we like seeing good people, but only if bad things happen to them. Which is weird, isn't it?
I don't mind playing somebody who's not likable, or makes the audience feel slightly conflicted.
I don't really... go to 'the opening of an envelope.' I don't really turn up to all the events, you know what I mean? If I'm involved, I'll go, and if there's a good friend who needs support, I'll go, but otherwise... I don't go. I'm probably just a bit like my grandparents; I like staying in.
I don't think I'm ever going to get to the point where people run across a freeway to take a picture of me. I really don't see it getting to that level of hysteria unless I have an affair with the Queen of Sweden or something like that.
I don't want to be all worthy about it, but I don't do red carpets, I don't do events and I don't accept freebies that much.
I generally get challenged; I haven't been typecast, which is really, really, nice. It's not something that every actor gets, really. It's luxury. Most actors are capable of it, but they aren't afforded the opportunity to express their variety.
I judge people very quickly.
I kind of embarked on a fruitless search to find information about my character, Frederick Aiken. And it was fruitless, unfortunately, because there's so little about him.
I like cooking, but I don't think I could be a chef. Everyone from the ground up does terrible hours, whether you've just walked in off the street and you've got no experience, to whether you're the head chef. You can work 14 or 15-hour days. It's really, really intense. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I like playing a variety of characters. I feel like I've been able to play different kinds of characters - I've done a lot of period pieces - but I've never had to play the same type of character too much.
I like playing sport, and I like doing physical stuff. I like hiking and I like climbing and I like playing sport. I do a lot. But I don't like the term 'exercising.' I feel like with sport, you're playing games. But with exercise, you're literally just trying to stop yourself from dying too young. It's weird. Sports & Athletics
I like reading about the past. I'm definitely not a history buff, but I do read a bit of history now and again, and to do that for work is really exciting. History ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I look at the Christian Bale movies, the 'Batman' films, and that shows you that superhero movies don't just have to be about men in tights. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I love Christmas. I never used to. I didn't hate it, but I could take it or leave it. But, as I got to the age of 25 or 26, Christmas became quite a big deal, and I love it now. I love the food, and I love sharing time with people. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I love going to art galleries. The Tate Modern is one of my favourite things to do. But I don't invest in the history of it and I don't read up on it. I am a guy who would buy a print rather than buy an original. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;History ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I play football once or twice a week. I eat pretty healthy. I'm in fairly good shape most of the time. Time
I really liked 'Starter For Ten' because I grew up watching 1980s teen films like 'St. Elmo's Fire' and 'The Breakfast Club' and I've always wanted to play the underdog lead hero in a 1980s-inspired film.
I remember that it was never that difficult for me to get a director to look up and pay attention to me. Mind you, I don't know if that's necessarily charm. But I've played roles where my character has to be charming and I've found it quite easy to do. I think some of it is in my bones, but some of it is more deliberate.
I still take work if I think it's good. If I like the script, I'll do it. If I don't, I won't. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I take a lot of pride in being myself. I'm comfortable with who I am.
I think fear is one of the natural states of most actors, to be honest.
I think my recognizability ebbs and flows. I don't lead a particularly celebrity lifestyle or anything like that. I don't go to showbiz parties or red-carpet events, so it all depends on whether I've got a film out. I've not been very visible in the last year or so and as a result hardly anyone stops me in the street.
I think the most romantic thing you can do is just turn up. Turn up when it's difficult for you. Travel halfway around the world or just up the road. Whatever it is, just be there. Travel ;Romantic
I try to keep my life low key, and I don't like going to parties unless they're thrown by a friend of mine, or they're to do with a project I'm in, or it's because I've been nominated for an award. Life
I want to be like Matt Damon and do a hugely successful thinking-man's action franchise like 'Bourne.'
I wanted to be a doctor at one point and I also wanted to be a pilot. I think if you grow up in a dodgy area, reality often beats down those ambitions as you get older. But with me that never really happened.
I was brought up by my grandparents. So people go, 'Oh, what was that like? That must have been hard.' And you go: 'No, it wasn't.' It was just completely actually normal because the new norm seems to be whatever you make of it, doesn't it?
I was talking to one of my aunties at Christmas and she said she didn't think it was ever in my nature to go against the grain, that I was always a good boy. I think she was right - I did always want to be good. Nature
I'd like to have stayed in the Scouts beyond the age of 12.
I'd like to keep work work and life life. It means you've got your life to come back to, somewhere to come home to at night that isn't invaded by your day. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If a scene is three pages long, quite often people break it up and do a page, say 'cut' then move on to the next bit, they do it in cuts. I don't really like doing that; I like to go through it all in one organic run, then give notes afterward. A little bit more like theater.
If my career isn't going that well, I'd rather it flounder than desperately trying to show up on red carpets: 'I'm for hire! Remember me!'
If you don't have the good fortune to work a lot then you take any job you get offered, whether it's a good job, fun job, a bad job, horrible job, whatever, you just take what you need to take. But I'm lucky in that - at the moment anyway and hopefully forever, but who knows - I get the chance to pick jobs for the kick of it and the fun. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
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'm having the life that I kind of hoped I might have one time, you know? I do feel like I have a place here. And, at least, I deserve it, as much as anybody else, hopefully. Life ;Time
I'm instinctively very suspicious and guarded, and I try to counteract it so much. I find reason allows you to be open, and my only sort of ambition in life is to try and be as open as possible. Life
I'm probably more dangerous in a car than I am on a motorbike; on a bike I'm very mindful of the fact that if you make a mistake, you're dead.
I've cried a lot because of women. I cry a lot, as a person. Women
I've done enough for a while and people get fed up of seeing you, but apart from that, although I'm young, I need a bit of rest. You could say I have become a house husband. It's not a new man thing, it's just largely a boring man who doesn't mind staying in the house thing.
I've never worked as hard as when I was at drama school. It's the most professional environment I've ever been in.
I've played a lot of very posh, sort of noble or aristocratic English people, which is nothing like what I am, so I feel that there is quite a lot distance there and have played a little bit far away from myself.
I've seen beautiful actresses get spat at or just someone trying to get a rise out of them so they can get an extra hundred bucks for a photo. It's really rough.
I've spent a long time giving people the benefit of the doubt, and I'm tired of it. Time
Marriage is an ongoing thing, man. You continue to work at it. But it's joyful. And joyous. I don't care if people are living without a marriage certificate. It's just about people, in some way, saying to each other, 'I commit to you. I will help you in this life.' Life ;Families, Children & Parenting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
My favorite name of a fandom is Benedict Cumberbatch's - 'the Cumberbatches' is just the best name.
My grandmother would take me to the cinema quite a lot. She'd take me with her and sometimes she'd sneak my sister in, and then we'd sometimes just sit and watch the movie again.
Next year, if no one gives me any work, that's fine. I'm not going to do well anyway. I'm not an actor, I'm just exploiting this industry. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
No movie has ever got enough time. It doesn't matter how much money you've got, and it doesn't matter how much money you've not got. You never finish on time. You're always up against it and you're always working up until the end. Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
Nobody can be whatever they want to be. No kid can do whatever they want to do. It's a total lie. But they have the right to try and do whatever they want to do. That's their right, to aim to do whatever they want to do.
One of the weird things about Hollywood is we're all imposters; we're all just glammed up.
Our intellect, our awareness, and our consciousness is the most powerful form of life on this planet. It's totally worthwhile. If our animal instincts stopped, we would die. We don't think about it, but if your consciousness were responsible for all of your bodily functions, you would die. Life
Passing my motorcycle theory test gave me a disproportionate feeling of greatness.
People come up to me and they're usually nice, but as it goes on you realise that some people aren't nice. Some people are not nice at all.
Shakespeare's stories are still very strong. He structured fantastic stories about things that were fundamental to the human being and psyche.
Shooting films in Britain is always difficult, because we've never got enough money to make them. Money, Coins & Minting
Since my worldview has expanded, I don't consider myself working class anymore, and I'm attracted to playing characters who go through a similar evolution.
'St. Elmo's Fire' is one of my favorite films. I like the storytelling of those teenage American films. You don't get that now. Teenage American movies are all about sick jokes, puking a lot, arse jokes. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
That's the main thing that attracts me - characters who have big journeys. I like playing those people.
The funny thing is, I've never really hurt myself in an action movie. I've done 'Wanted,' 'X-Men,' 'Welcome To The Punch,' even 'Trance' to a certain extent has little bits of action and stuff, but I've never really hurt myself at all - not even like a sprained ankle. Humor
The minute you start to strategize too much, the more you start to think you're in control of your own fate. And you're not, really.
There's something about Michael J. Fox that I loved when he did all the '80s stuff. His way of performing all the physicality, which is why it's so tragic now, but the way he used his body so much as well, I loved.
Until I'm on the set of a film, to me it's still not for real.
When I started acting, I thought if I got one or two jobs a year I'd be lucky. So yeah, my career has gone so much farther than I ever suspected it would, and as such I feel lucky for everything I get. I feel thankful and grateful.
When I was 15 or 16 - I slept really well then. Now I sleep on a bed of anxiety-tipped nails.
When you can see kids smiling, that's one of the best things. That's why I did 'Narnia.'