Apr. 21st, 1979
Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
James McAvoy's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
James McAvoy (born (1979-04-21)21 April 1979) is a Scottish actor.
McAvoy was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a psychiatric nurse, and James McAvoy, Sr., 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 terraced council house. His mother lived with them intermittently. The actor has regularly visited his grandparents. He has a sister, Joy, and a younger half-brother, Donald.
McAvoy has not been in contact with his father since childhood. According to his father, McAvoy avoided any contact with him after the elder McAvoy moved in with his new partner. Nonetheless, the actor considers himself to have 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, McAvoy 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.
He made his acting debut as a teen in 1995's The Near Room and continued to make mostly television appearances until the late 2000s. His notable television work includes State of Play, Shameless, and Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. Besides screen acting, McAvoy has appeared on stage with Three Days of Rain in 2009, and in 2011 he did voice work for animated films including Gnomeo & Juliet and Arthur Christmas.
McAvoy also starred in Privates on Parade in the Donmar Warehouse, this time catching Sam Mendes's attention. Also during 2001, the actor appeared in Band of Brothers, an eleven-hour World War II miniseries by executive producers 'Steven Spielberg' and 'Tom Hanks'. It was shown on the HBO network.
Starting in 2003, McAvoy began to build his film resume with Bollywood Queen. That film was followed with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), a commercial hit. His performance in Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland earned him not only critical praise, but several award nominations. 2007's critically acclaimed Atonement marked the breakthrough in McAvoy's career. It also earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination and his second BAFTA nomination. Another big point in the actor's career was starring in Wanted (2008). Since then, he is notable for playing Charles Xavier in the 2011 superhero film X-Men: First Class, a role he will reprise in X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.
McAvoy dated Scottish actress Emma Nielsen (stage name Emma King) for six years until 2003. While working on Shameless, McAvoy started a relationship with his character's love interest, Anne-Marie Duff, who is nine years his senior. When they first began dating, McAvoy and Duff agreed not to speak to the press about their relationship.
At the age of 27, he married Duff, then 36, on October 18, 2006 in a quiet ceremony. When asked by 'Ryan Seacrest', during his radio show, if he wished he had waited longer to get married so he could exploit his fame better, McAvoy replied that he had married the woman of his dreams. "The world seemed less scary.... And I started to like myself a little bit more".
They have one child together, a son, Brendan (b. 2010). During interviews, the actor has opted not to discuss his son and have not announced their child's birth date, although he has stated "the little man" keeps him up at night. McAvoy leads what has been called a modest life. Prior to marrying Duff, he purchased a second floor flat in North London during 2006 for about £178,000. Also, he and his wife drive a 1990s Nissan Micra that is worth less than £1,000. The couple enjoy a close relationship and rarely leave their flat, choosing to instead read or do sudoku puzzles together. Of this lifestyle, the actor said it is "mundane, and I love it that way".
McAvoy's big interest outside acting and science fiction is football; he is a huge fan of Celtic Football Club, stating that his dream role would be to play Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone.
- McAvoy and 'Jessica Brooks (II)' (qv) were the first actors to tackle the complex roles Leto II & his twin sister Ghanima Atreides, the strange prescient _"Children of Dune" (2003)_ (qv) based on 'Frank Herbert' (qv)'s novel of the same name. Although Leto and Ghanima were only nine years old in the novel, their ages were bumped up about seven years, making them about sixteen for the Sci-Fi Channel's miniseries in March 2003.
- Chosen as one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive for 2007.
- Before he went into acting, he wanted to join the Navy.
- His younger sister is 'Joy McAvoy' (qv), a singer in the Scottish girl group Streetside.
- His parents divorced when he was seven.
- After his parents divorced, McAvoy and his sister moved in with their maternal grandmother.
- After growing up in Glasgow, he moved to London at the age of 20.
- Born to James McAvoy, a builder, and his then wife Elizabeth Johnstone, a psychiatric nurse.