James McAvoy: “Fame serves me at times, and it hurts me at times. It’s just part of the job”

Scottish actor James McAvoy (b. 1979) is an award-winning screen star who has appeared in a huge variety of films, from blockbusters such as “X-Men: First Class” (2011) and its later installments, or films that were nominated for Oscars with “The Last King of Scotland” (2006) and “Atonement” (2007), to arthouse films like “Filth” (2013). Through the years, he also starred in several West End productions.

In M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” (2016) and “Glass” (2019), he played a character with twenty-three alternate personalities, and he appeared opposite numerous stars, including Anne Hathaway, Maggie Smith, Saoirse Ronan, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, and Charlize Theron.

Last weekend, he was the guest of honor at FACTS Belgian Comic Con in Ghent, Belgium, where he drew a massive crowd for his Q&A. Since SAG-AFTRA, the Union that represents many actors, is currently on strike against the major studios, networks, and streamers, it has put together a set of guidelines to allow their guests to still participate in such events, requesting them not to discuss their work or characters and avoid comments that can be seen as promoting projects that fall under the Union’s strike order. Therefore actors will discuss other, more general topics about their life and work.

James McAvoy during his FACTS Q&A in Ghent, Belgium | Film Talk

In the first part of James McAvoy’s Q&A, the moderator asked questions, and then the microphone was handed to the audience, as long as they respected the strike rules.

This Q&A has been slightly edited and condensed for clarity.

James, is this your first time in Belgium?

No. I have filmed in Ostend [“Filth,” 2013], and I was in Blankenberge when I was twelve. That’s it.

Is there anything that strikes you about Belgium or Belgians?

I immediately got a taste—or a flavor—of how much people like beer here. Last night, when I arrived, there were about twelve people in front of the hotel I was staying at, just drinking cans of beer.

When I was in the U.K., there was a famous drinking game, ‘Name three famous Belgians.’ Can you do that?

Jean-Claude Van Damme. I’m a big football fan and a Spurs fan as well, so I’d say Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, and the guy who doesn’t seem to make it at Chelsea—I don’t know why he can’t make it work, or why they can’t make it work better with him, but Romelu Lukaku is amazing.

And three famous Scotsmen?

Well, there are quite a lot of actors I could mention, but there’s also Alexander Graham Bell and Robbie Burns.

James McAvoy: ‘Acting is probably one of the least glamorous jobs you can do’ | Film Talk

What would be the perk of being an actor?

The perk of being an actor… I don’t know. If you’re a successful actor and you get to work a lot, you work and work and work, but when you don’t work, you’re just off. Not a lot of people get that rhythm. Many people work fifty weeks a year, from nine to five. When I work, it’s from six in the morning until eight in the evening, but when I don’t work, I’m just off. Then I get to be with my kids, my friends, and my partner. That’s kind of a perk.

What is the most unexpected thing about acting?

I don’t know if you guys know this because it seems to be really glamorous when we’e up here or when we’re on red carpets, but it’s probably one of the least glamorous jobs you can do. You’re generally freezing pretending to be hot, or you’re generally hot—too hot—pretending to be freezing. You’re always covered in water, or you’re always covered in blood, so it’s never that glamorous, I think. People think it’s glamorous, but it’s when we’re going to sell a movie that it gets glamorous.

What would be the most difficult emotion to express as an actor? Crying, laughing, something else?

I don’t really find any of them difficult. I think if the script is really good, it comes naturally. If the script is bad and they’re asking you to cry, it’s very hard to cry. If the script is bad and they ask you to laugh, it’s hard to laugh. As long as the script is good, I feel like it comes naturally because the story just wants to be poured out of you.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you have liked to be?

If I wasn’t an actor, I think I would have joined the Navy. So, if I hadn’t gone to acting school, I would probably have done that. I would also have liked to be a park ranger in a big national outdoor park, working in the outdoors.

If I wasn’t an actor, I think I would have joined the Navy,’ James McAvoy says | Film Talk

Do you have tips for anyone who wants to be an actor?

I feel that a lot of people I talk to these days say, ‘I want to be an actor,’ and then I ask, ‘What are you doing about that?’ ‘I don’t know, I just want to get an agent.’ But you’ve either got to go to acting school, or you’ve just got to do acting, no matter what age you are—eight, sixteen, twenty, thirty, forty. The minute you decide you want to become an actor, start acting. So what does that mean? Go to an amateur dramatic club, go to acting school, go to youth theater, make sure you are in front of people, performing and failing. Because it is through failing and being kind of not appreciated that you start to lose your ego in a bad way, and you start to be yourself on stage without worrying about anything else. And I would say, actually, ‘Being on stage, even if it’s amateur or youth theater or anything like that, it’s healthy for you.’ Even if you don’t want to become an actor, it’s healthy for your self-esteem, for your ego, and for your ability to withstand criticism because you get really good. It doesn’t matter what people think of you because if you can control it or can’t control it—whether you like me as an actor—I can’t control whether you like my performance. The only thing I can control is what I’m trying to give you. And that means that there’s a certain power in that. So even if you don’t want to be an actor, I would always suggest some form of acting and some form of performance. I think it helps you to sleep better at night.

Being on set must be exciting, but also exhausting. Do you have any rituals that help you?

Alcohol, copious amounts of alcohol [laughs]. No. No, I don’t really; I just find it quite easy to go home and switch off and go to bed. I used to eat a sandwich every night after getting home from doing a play. A really big fat cheese and ham sandwich with onions on it, and then I realized I was losing my voice. I realized that eating a sandwich at night and then lying down was making me lose my voice because of the stomach acid, so there you go. Stop that ritual.

You have been acting for more than twenty years now?

I’m forty-four, so I’ve been acting for twenty-eight years.

What has changed the most in those twenty-eight years in the acting industry?

What has changed the most… I don’t know, man. I’ve changed a lot. I’m older and wiser and hopefully better. I think the scripts I get are less finished. I used to get scripts, and it felt like we could shoot that script. These days, I get scripts, or I get a script for a TV show, and the rest hasn’t been written yet, and they’ll get written while we’re making the show. It never used to be like that for me. With movie scripts, there’s less money for development, so I get a script that’s maybe the third draft, whereas I used to get a script when it was in the seventh draft. That means that you’re going into something that feels a little less well-prepared. That’s maybe the only thing I can point out.

Do you prefer CGI or real-life special effects?

Real-life special effects are always preferable, but sometimes they’re just not doable. But I don’t mind working with CGI, and I don’t mind working with a green screen. Again, if you have a good script, a green screen is great. If you have a bad script and you’re working with real people, it’s really hard. If you’re working with a good script and you’re just playing against tennis balls, I think I’m happy, you know.

You are very famous. Do you love or hate fame?

[Laughs.] I don’t love it or hate it. It has never been something awful for me to deal with. It has never affected my life in a way that it does affect some people who are in the top five percent. So I’m kind of lucky. Generally, I don’t love it or hate it. It is what it is. Fame serves me at times, and it hurts me at times. But it’s fine; it’s just part of the job.

Have you ever used your fame to get something, like a table, at a fully booked restaurant?

Absolutely. I generally walk around with a hat and a pair of glasses, but sometimes, if you’re walking up to a restaurant, you’re thinking how wonderful it would be to get a table while it’s all fully booked. So I take the hat and the glasses off and say, ‘Hi! How are you doing?’ And the people I’m with, say, ‘You ask, you ask.’ It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does.

James McAvoy | Film Talk

What’s your strangest story related to being famous?

Oh my God. I met a couple at a party once. The woman decided to tell me that I was her allowance. You know, it’s like you have a list of five people or something, and if your partner meets any of them, they’re allowed to do something with them and vice versa. I was at the top of her list. They never thought they would meet me, but they had their list. The guy was going, ‘What the hell.’ But the girl, she was like for real. She went away to the bathroom, and the guy was like, ‘Dude, I love her, man. I really love her.’ I was like, ‘I am not doing this.’ I was married at the time—I’m married now. So I said, ‘I’m not going anywhere with your partner.’ But it was weird. She made the point of telling me that most people would actually pick for the top of their list somebody like Channing Tatum. But she was like, ‘Not me’ [laughs].

A final question before we go to the audience. You’re a father. How did fatherhood change your life?

It gives you perspective. You realize that what you want and what you do isn’t the most important thing anymore; they’re the most important thing—whether you like that or not at times. They are your first and last consideration, definitely one hundred percent. You become the least important person in your life.

Ladies and gentleman, it’s your time to shine. Please line up. There are a few basic rules: English only, one question per person, articulate and speak in the microphone, and please respect the rules we explained in the beginning. So no questions about series, movies, or names. Just general questions.

[Still, there were some questions about his films or roles. Mr. McAvoy’s response to some of the questions was, ‘I am sorry, that’s a question I can’t answer right now. I’m currently on strike and I’m not allowed to talk about any of my work.’ Here is a selection of the questions asked by members of the audience]

Hi James, I always liked your acting, but now I also like you as a person and as a human being. I’ve been to so many conventions, and usually actors do not take the time to say ‘Hi’ or ‘Thank you, nice meeting you.’ But you do, and I want to thank you for that.

Thank you. You guys come and spend your money and your time, and before today, you spent money and time watching our movies and TV shows and whatever. It feels really important to me to try and give a bit of energy back. So in those moments—even though I’m saying the same things and stuff—I am literally trying to give some energy. Aside from the fact that I make money from these things, which I do, it’s a really unique opportunity to meet the people who helped you get where you’ve gotten to. Other than red carpets for a film, you just don’t meet the people who appreciate your work and have supported your work and what you did for twenty-eight years. So, generally, thank you.

As an actor, you always have to learn new things, like riding horses. What has been the most difficult or most entertaining thing you had to learn, and did you ever hurt yourself?

I can talk about this because it’s a play in the West End. I did a play called “The Ruling Class” [2015] in which I had to learn to unicycle while wearing nothing but my underwear and a pair of high heel boots—while playing the flute. That was really difficult, and, of course, I learned to unicycle. But once the play finished, I never got on a unicycle again. And I don’t think I could ride the unicycle today.

What is the most inspiring book you read about acting?

I have to be honest. I have not had a good time reading books about acting. I don’t know why. I never felt like somebody can teach me how to act—I know that sounds bad. People definitely helped me learn how to act, but as soon as somebody starts to teach me how to act, it works for them but doesn’t necessarily work for me. It’s the same with directors; as soon as they’re trying to tell me how to act, I don’t think it works. But then helping you figure out how to act, I think, works. For me, it was watching acting, watching other actors, watching movies, watching theater that has really informed my acting, and then also doing it myself. My belief is that acting isn’t just about feeling emotions and being truthful and realistic or believable. Acting is about storytelling, and the minute I figured that out, everything became much easier. Because who knows whether you’re being truthful, who knows you’re being realistic. I might think I’m being realistic, and you think I’m not. But I can say I did tell the story, and as soon as I started trying just to tell the story, everything started falling into place. But in terms of books, I’ve never really enjoyed great books on acting.

Do you have a favorite book on any topic?

My favorite books are pretty classic standards like “To Kill a Mockingbird” [1960] and I mention another book here—not necessarily a movie—a book called “Atonement” [2001] which I think is one of the most incredible books I ever read. Those are some of my favorites.

A girl asks Mr. McAvoy, ‘What is your favorite movie of all time?’ Due to the SAG-AFTRA restrictions during the strike, he can’t give her an answer, so he whispers it in her ear | Film Talk

If you could pull off any heist without any consequences, what would you steal?

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money. As a kid, I thought I’d like to be a pilot, I’d like to be a doctor, and I did want to be a bank robber. Not a violent one, if you were able to do it all by like tunneling and safe breaking, I thought, ‘Well, that’s a cool way to make lots of money.’ You don’t hurt anybody, and in my head, the bank was insured, so you wouldn’t be stealing the money from people. You would be stealing it from a corporation that was insured. So I was like, ‘Hey, I’ll be a bank robber.’ I didn’t quite realize it was illegal, and you would go to prison for thirty years. But that’s weird. I did actually consider being a bank robber from about the age of seven to twelve.

I admire your performance in “Cyrano de Bergerac” [2019]. It was an exceptional theatrical experience. Do you have any dream roles you like to play? Maybe some Shakespeare?

Yes. I wanted to be in “Julius Caesar” in fact before we did “Cyrano de Bergerac,” I was going to do “Julius Caesar” and I had an idea of how we wanted to do it—Jamie [Lloyd] and I—Jamie, the director that I worked with a lot. But about four or five different productions of “Julius Caesar” were all going to happen in the theater at that exact moment, and so we decided to do something else. Jamie came to me and said, “You want to do “Cyrano de Bergerac”?’ I said, ‘Yeah, man.’ So maybe we’ll do that one day. Shakespeare, I don’t like all of Shakespeare, but there are some great roles out there, so hopefully I’m going to play them. I do want to play King Lear, but that’s when I’m really really old.

Do you have a favorite place in Belgium?

I’m not saying this because we’re in Ghent, but so far I’ve really enjoyed Ghent. I had one of the best meals I’ve ever had last night in Ghent. It’s a very beautiful city. The other places I’ve been to were Ostend and Blankenberge. I was in Blankenberge when I was twelve, and I was in Ostend when I was making a movie, and I saw nothing of it. But I feel like I’ve got a bit of a flavor for this one, and I’m not just saying it because we’re here.

Is there one quote that has always stuck with you?

One quote that has always stuck with me? Oh, man. [Pauzes.] Something my grandmother said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of crying,’ and she always told me it was okay to cry.

We’re here at the convention to meet our heroes and idols. Did you ever have an idol?

They were all football heroes, really [laughs]. There’s a player called Henrik Larsen. He was massive for me. And there’s Neil Lennon; he was a Northern Irish player and later became a really successful manager for Celtic as well. Those two players were so big for me growing up.

James McAvoy says goodbye to his audience at the end of the Q&A | Film Talk

If you could swap life for a week with another celebrity, who would you choose?

I think it would be a singer or a musician who gets to play a big stadium rock concert… You know what? Taylor Swift has done amazing concerts; I’ve been at one of them back in 2015 or something like that when she was doing the “1989” album. That was an incredible gig, and the atmosphere in that crowd was electric, so I may swap careers or lives or bodies with Taylor Swift.

FACTS, Ghent, Belgium
October 21, 2023


THE NEAR ROOM (1995) DIR David Hayman PROD Leonard Crooks SCR Robert Murphy CAM Kevin Rowley ED Martin Sharpe MUS James Grant, Jo Homewood CAST Adrian Dunbar, David O’Hara, David Hayman, Julie Graham, Tom Watson, James Ellis, Robert Pugh, James McAvoy (Kevin)

REGENERATION (1997) DIR Gilles MacKinnon PROD Allan Scott, Peter R. Simpson SCR Allan Scott (novel “Regeneration” [1991] by Pat Barker) CAM Glen MacPherson ED Pia Di Ciaula MUS Mychael Danna CAST Jonathan Pryce, James Wilby, Jonny Lee Miller, Stuart Bunce, Tanya Allen, David Hayman, Dougray Scott, John Neville, James McAvoy (Anthony Balfour)

SWIMMING POOL, a.k.a. THE POOL (2001) DIR Boris von Sychowski PROD Benjamin Herrmann, Werner Possardt SCR Boris von Sychowski, Lorenz Stassen (adaptation by Ryan Carrassi; original idea by Andreas Bütiw) CAM Notker Mahr ED Sabine Mahr-Haigis MUS Johannes Kobilke CAST Kristen Miller, Elena Uhlig, Paul T. Grasshoff, John Hopkins, Isla Fisher, Jason Liggett, James McAvoy (Mike)

BOLLYWOOD QUEEN (2002) DIR Jeremy Wooding PROD Jeremy Wooding, Michelle Turner, Michael Cowan, Jason Piette SCR Jeremy Wooding, Neil Spencer (play “Romeo and Juliet” [1597] by William Shakespeare) CAM Jono Smith ED Ben Yeates MUS Steve Beresford CAST Preeya Kalidas, James McAvoy (Jay), Ciarán McMenamin, Ray Panthaki, Kat Bhathena, Karen Shenaz David, Ronny Jhutti, Matt Bardock, Ian McShane

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS (2003) DIR Stephen Fry PROD Gina Carter, Miranda Davis SCR Stephen Fry (novel “Vile Bodies” [1930] by Evelyn Waugh) CAM Henry Braham ED Alex Mackie MUS Anne Dudley CAST Emily Mortimer, Stephen Campbell Moore, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, Stockard Channing, Richard E. Grant, Michael Sheen, Peter O’Toole, James McAvoy (Simon Balcairn), Stephen Fry, John Mills, Marge Champion

STRINGS: A JOURNEY OF LOVE AND BONDS, a.k.a. STRINGS (2004, animated) DIR Anders Rønnow Klarlund PROD Niels Bald SCR Naja Marie Aidt (story by Anders Rønnow Klarlund) CAM Jan Weincke, Kim Hattesen ED Leif Axel Kjeldsen MUS Jørgen Lauritsen CAST (voice only) James McAvoy (Hal), Catherine McCormack, Julian Glover, Derek Jacobi, Ian Hart, Claire Skinner, David Harewood

WIMBLEDON (2004) DIR Richard Loncraine PROD Mary Richards, Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Eric Fellner SCR Adam Brooks, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin CAM Darius Khondji ED Humphrey Dixon MUS Edward Shearmur, John Colby CAST Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Sam Neill, Bernard Hill, Eleanor Bron, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau, James McAvoy (Carl Colt), John McEnroe, Chris Evert

INSIDE I’M DANCING (2004) DIR Damien O’Donnell PROD James Flynn SCR Jeffrey Caine (story by Christian O’Reilly) CAM Peter J. Robertson ED Frances Parker MUS David Julyan CAST James McAvoy (Rory O’Shea), Brenda Fricker, Steven Robertson, Tom Hickey, Anna Healy, Alan King, Ruth McCabe, Sarah Jane Drummey

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (2005) DIR Andrew Adamson PROD Mark Johnson, Philip Steuer SCR Andrew Adamson, Ann Peacock, Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus (book “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobde” [1950] by C.S. Lewis) CAM Donald McAlpine ED Jim May, Sim Evan-Jones MUS Harry Gregson-Williams CAST Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus), Jim Broadbent, Kiran Shah

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND (2006) DIR Kevin Macdonald PROD Andrea Calderwood, Charles Steel, Lisa Bryer SCR Peter Morgan, Jeremy Brock (novel “The Last King of Scotland” [1998] by Giles Foden) CAM Anthony Dod Mantle ED Justine Wright MUS Alex Heffes CAST Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy (Dr. Nicholas Garrigan), Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Simon McBurney, David Oyelowo

PENELOPE (2006) DIR Mark Palansky PROD Reese Witherspoon, Scott Steindorff, Jennifer Simpson SCR Leslie Caveny CAM Michael Amathieu ED Jon Gregory MUS Joby Talbot CAST Christina Ricci, James McAvoy (Johnny/Max), Catherine O’Hara, Reese Witherspoon, Richard E. Grant, Michael Feast, Ronni Ancona

STARTER FOR 10 (2006) DIR Tom Vaughan PROD Tom Hanks, Pippa Harris, Gary Goetzman SCR David Nicholls (also novel “Starter for Ten” [2003]) CAM Ashley Rowe ED Jon Harris, Heather Persons MUS Blake Neely CAST James McAvoy (Brian Jackson), Alice Eve, Rebecca Hall, Joseph Friend, James Gaddas, Catherine Tate, Mark Gatiss, Robert Cawsey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic Cooper

BECOMING JANE (2007) DIR Julian Jarrold PROD Robert Bernstein, Graham Broadbent, Douglas Rae SCR Sarah Williams, Kevin Hood (letters by Jane Austen) CAM Eigil Bryld ED Emma H. Hickcox MUS Adrian Johnston CAST Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy (Tom Lefroy), Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith, Anna Maxwell Martin, Lucy Cohu, Laurence Fox, Ian Richardson

ATONEMENT (2007) DIR Joe Wright PROD Paul Webster, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner SCR Christopher Hampton (novel “Atonement” [2001] by Ian McEwan) CAM Seamus McGarvey ED Paul Tothill MUS Dario Marianelli CAST James McAvoy (Robbie Turner), Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan, Ailidh Mackay, Julia West, Harriet Walter, Juno Temple, Felix von Simson, Charlie von Simson, Benedict Cumberbatch

WANTED (2008) DIR Timur Bekmanbetov PROD Jim Lemley, Marc Platt, Jason Netter, Iain Smith SCR Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan (story by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas; comic book series by Mark Millar, J.G. Jones) CAM Mitchell Amundsen ED David Brenner MUS Danny Elfman CAST James McAvoy (Wesley), Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Angelina Jolie, Common, Kristen Hager, Marc Warren, Chris Pratt

THE LAST STATION (2009) DIR Michael Hoffman PROD Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling, Jens Meurer SCR Michael Hoffman (novel “The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy’s Last Year” [1990] by Jay Parini) CAM Sebastian Edschmid ED Patricia Rommel MUS Sergei Yevtushenko CAST Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamati, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon, James McAvoy (Valentin), Patrick Kennedy, John Sessions

THE CONSPIRATOR (2010) DIR Robert Redford PROD Robert Redford, Bill Holderman, Robert Stone, Greg Shapiro SCR James D. Solomon (story by James D. Solomon, Gregory Bernstein) CAM Newton Thomas Sigel ED Craig McKay MUS Mark Isham CAST James McAvoy (Frederick Aiken), Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Danny Huston, Justin Long, Tom Wilkinson, James Badge Dale

GNOMEO & JULIET (2011, animated) DIR Kelly Asbury PROD Steve Hamilton Shaw, David Furnish, Baker Bloodworth SCR Kelly Asbury, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Kathy Greenberg, Emily Cook, Mark Burton, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley (play by William Shakespeare; original screenplay by Rob Sprackling, Johnny Smith; story by Kelly Asbury, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Rob Sprackling, Johnny Smith) ED Catherine Apple MUS Elton John, Chris Bacon, James Newton Howard CAST (voice only) James McAvoy (Gnomeo), Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne, Stephen Merchant, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Hulk Hogan, Dolly Parton

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011) DIR Matthew Vaughn PROD Gregory Goodman, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer SCR Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman (based on Marvel’s “X-Men” comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby; story by Bryan Singer, Sheldon Turner) CAM John Mathieson ED Lee Smith, Eddie Hamilton MUS Henry Jackman CAST James McAvoy (Charles Xavier—30 Years), Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Belcher, Bill Milner, Rose Byrne, Beth Goddard, Morgan Lily, Oliver Platt, January Jones

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011, animated) DIR Sarah Smith, Barry Cook PROD David Sproxton, Carla Shelley, Steve Pegram, Peter Lord SCR Sarah Smith, Peter Baynham CAM Jericca Cleland ED James Cooper, John Carnochan MUS Harry Gregson-Williams CAST (voice only) James McAvoy (Arthur), Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Ramona Marquez, Michael Palin, Joan Cusack, Robbie Coltrane

WELCOME TO THE PUNCH (2013) DIR – SCR Eran Creevy PROD Rory Aitken, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Ben Pugh CAM Ed Wild ED Chris Gill MUS Harry Escott CAST James McAvoy (Max Lewinsky), Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, Peter Mullan, Johnny Harris, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey, Natasha Little

TRANCE (2013) DIR Danny Boyle PROD Christian Colson SCR Joe Ahearne, John Hodge (story by Joe Ahearne) CAM Anthony Dod Mantle ED Jon Harris MUS Rick Smith CAST James McAvoy (Simon), Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson, Danny Sapani, Matt Cross, Wahab Sheikh, Mark Poltimore, Tuppence Middleton

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: HIM (2013) DIR – SCR Ned Benson PROD Ned Benson, Cassandra Kulukundis, Todd J. Labarowski, Emanuel Michael CAM Christopher Blauvelt ED Kristina Boden MUS Ryan Lott CAST James McAvoy (Connor Ludlow), Jessica Chastain, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, Nikki M. James, Jeremy Shamos, Marta Milans

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: HER (2013) DIR – SCR Ned Benson PROD Ned Benson, Cassandra Kulukundis, Todd J. Labarowski, Emanuel Michael CAM Christopher Blauvelt ED Kristina Boden MUS Ryan Lott CAST James McAvoy (Connor Ludlow), Jessica Chastain, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Jess Weixler, Nikki M. James, Jeremy Shamos

FILTH (2013) DIR Jon S. Baird PROD John S. Baird, James McAvoy, Ken Marshall, Stephen Mao, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Will Clarke, Mark Amin, Christian Angermayer SCR Jon S. Baird (novel “Filth” [1998] by Irvine Welsh) CAM Matthew Jensen ED Mark Eckersley MUS Clint Mansell CAST James McAvoy (Bruce), Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, John Sessions, Shauna MacDonald, Joy McAvoy

MUPPETS MOST WANTED (2014) DIR James Bobin PROD David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman SCR James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller (characters created by Jim Henson) CAM Don Burgess ED James Thomas MUS Christophe Beck CAST Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Tony Bennett, Jermaine Clement, Céline Dion, Lady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Salma Hayek, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, James McAvoy (UPS Guy), Chloë Grace Moretz, Miranda Richardson, Saoirse Ronan, Til Schweiger, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014) DIR Bryan Singer PROD Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker SCR Simon Kinberg (based on Marvel’s “X-Men” comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby; story by Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman) CAM Newton Thomas Sigel ED John Ottman, Michael Louis Hill MUS John Ottman CAST Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Famke Janssen, James Marsden

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM (2014) DIR – SCR Ned Benson PROD Ned Benson, Jessica Chastain, Cassandra Kulukundis, Todd J. Labarowski, Emanuel Michael CAM Christopher Blauvelt MUS Ryan Lott CAST Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy (Conor Ludlow), Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hadar, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Jess Weixler, Nikki M. James, Jeremy Shamos

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (2015) DIR Paul McGuigan PROD John Davis SCR Max Landis (also screen story; novel “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” [1818] by Mary Shelley) CAM Fabian Wagner ED Charlie Phillips, Andrew Hulme MUS Craig Armstrong CAST Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy (Victor Frankenstein), Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Bronson Webb, Daniel Mays, Spencer Wilding, Robin Pearce, Charles Dance

X-MEN: APOLCALYPSE (2016) DIR Bryan Singer PROD Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker SCR Simon Kinberg (based on Marvel’s “X-Men” comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby; story by Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty) CAM Newton Thomas Sigel ED Michael Louis Hill, John Ottman MUS John Ottman CAST James McAvoy (Professor Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner

SPLIT (2016) DIR – SCR M. Night Shyamalan PROD M. Night Shyamalan, Marc Bienstock, Jason Blum CAM Mike Gioulakis ED Luke Ciarrocchi MUS West Dylan Thordson CAST James McAvoy (Dennis/Patricia/Hedwig/The Beast/Kevin Wendell/Crumb/Barry/Orwell/Jade), Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Betty Buckley, Izzie Coffey, Brad William Henke, Sebastian Arcelus, M. Night Shyamalan

ATOMIC BLONDE (2017) DIR David Leitch PROD Charleze Theron, A.J. Dix, Eric Gitter, Beth Kono, Kelly McGormick, Peter Schwerin SCR Kurt Johnstad (novel series “The Coldest City” [2012] by Antony Johnston, and illustrated by Sam Hart) CAM Jonathan Sela ED Elísabeth Ronaldsdóttir MUS Tyler Bates CAST Charlize Theron, James McAvoy (David Percival), John Goodman, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Sofia Boutella, Bill Skarsgård, Til Schweiger

SUBMERGENCE (2017) DIR Wim Wenders PROD Cameron Lamb SCR Erin Dignam (novel “Submergence” [2013] by J.M. Ledgard) CAM Benoît Debie ED Toni Froschhammer MUS Fernando Velázquez CAST James McAvoy (James Moore), Alicia Vikander, Hakeemshady Mohamed, Alexander Siddig, Reda Kateb, Alex Hafner, Celeyn Jones

GNOMEO & JULIET 2: SHERLOCK GNOMES, a.k.a. SHERLOCK GNOMES (2018, animated) DIR John Stevenson PROD Steve Hamilton Shaw, Carolyn Soper, David Furnish SCR Ben Zazove (story by Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg; characters created by Kelly Asbury, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Rob Sprackling, Johnny Smith) ED Prakash Patel, Mark Solomon MUS Chris Bacon CAST (voice only) Johnny Depp, James McAvoy (Gnomeo), Emily Blunt, Kelly Asbury, Mary J. Blige, Michael Caine, Julio Bonet, Gary Bradbury, John Stevenson

DEADPOOL 2 (2018) DIR David Leitch PROD Ryan Reynolds, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner SCR Ryan Reynolds, Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese (characters created by Fabian Nicieza, Rob Liefeld) CAM Jonathan Sela ED Elísabeth Ronaldsdóttir, Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt, Craig Alpert MUS Tyler Bates CAST Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Bill Skarsgård, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, James McAvoy (Charles Xavier [uncredited])

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: CYRANO DE BERGERAC (2019) DIR Jamie Lloyd, Tony Grech-Smith SCR Martin Crimp (play “Cyrano de Bergerac” [1897] by Edmond Rostand) CAST James McAvoy (Cyrano de Bergerac), Anita-Joy Uwajeh, Eben Figueiredo, Michele Austin, Adan Best, Nari Blair-Manget, Adrian Der Gregorian, Tom Edden, Chris Fung, Carla Harrison-Hodge, Mika Onyx Johnson

GLASS (2019) DIR M. Night Shyamalan PROD M. Night Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan, Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock SCR M. Night Shyamalan (also novel) CAM Mike Gioulakis ED Blu Murray, Luke Ciarrocchi MUS West Dylan Thorsdon CAST James McAvoy (Patricia/Dennis/Hedwig/The Beast/Barry/Heinrich/Jade/Ian/Mary Reynolds/Norma/Jalin/Kat/B.T./Kevin Wendell Crumb/Mr. Pritchard/Felida/Luke/Goddard/Samuel/Polly), Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, Luke Kirby, M. Night Shyamalan

DARK PHOENIX (2019) DIR – SCR Simon Kinberg PROD Simon Kinberg, Todd Hallowell, Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker CAM Mauro Fiore ED Lee Smith MUS Hans Zimmer CAST James McAvoy (Professor Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Jessica Chastain

IT CHAPTER TWO (2019) DIR Andy Muschietti PROD Barbara Muschietti, Roy Lee, Dan Lin SCR Gary Dauberman (novel “It” [1986] by Stephen King) CAM Checco Varese ED Jason Ballantine MUS Benjamin Wallfisch CAST Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy (Bill Denbrough), Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgård

TOGETHER (2021) DIR Stephen Daldry, Justin Martin PROD Sonia Friedman, Guy Heeley SCR Dennis Kelly CAM Iain Struthers ED Úna Ní Dhonghaíle MUS Paul Englishby CAST James McAvoy (He), Sharon Horgan, Samuel Logan

MY SON (2021) DIR Christian Carion PROD Christian Carion, Laure Irrmann, Rebecca O’Brien, Vincent Maraval, Marc Gabizon, John Friedberg, Adam Fogelson, Noémie Devide, Brahim Chioua, Marc Butan SCR Christian Carion, Laure Irrmann CAM Eric Dumont ED Loïc Lallemand MUS Laurent Perez Del Mar CAST James McAvoy (Edmond Murray), Claire Foy, Tom Cullen, Gary Lewis, Michael Moreland, Robert Jack, Owen Whitelaw, Paul Rattray

THE BUBBLE (2022) DIR – PROD Judd Atapow SCR Judd Atapow, Pam Brady CAM Ben Smithard ED James Thomas, Dan Schalk MUS Andrew Bird, Michael Andrews CAST Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Leslie Mann, Fred Armisen, Keegan-Michael Key, David Duchovny, Iris Atapow, Guz Khan, John Lithgow, James McAvoy (James McAvoy)

THE BOOK OF CLARENCE (2023) DIR – SCR Jeymes Samuel PROD Jay-Z, Jeymes Samuel, James Lassiter, Tendo Nagenda CAM Ron Hardy ED Tom Eagles CAST LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy, Chase Dillon, David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodard, Michael Ward, Marianne Jean-Baptiste


LORNA DOONE (2000) DIR Mike Barker PROD Deirdre Keir SCR Adrian Hodges (novel by R.D. Blackmore) CAM Chris Seager ED Guy Bensley MUS John Lunn CAST Neil Finnighan, Jack Baverstock, Trevor Cooper, Aiden Gillen, Barbara Flynn, Peter Vaughan, James McAvoy (Sergeant Bloxham)