Razberry Candy – James McAvoy

With the release of yet another film in the XMen franchise, it seemed a perfect opportunity to Razberry Candy up Scottish Actor James McAvoy who is one of those brilliant actors who has seemed to rise effortlessly to the dizzy heights of Hollywood success!  This is of course totally untrue and McAvoy has done his apprenticeship well.

NAME: James McAvoy (age 35 – born 21 April 1979)

ABOUT: McAvoy is a successful Scottish actor, who success in the small screen in the UK, continued on the other side of the pond, where he is now a fairly decent contender for a “A” list celebrity status, but his down to earth persona and love of the simple quiet life has engendered him to many.  In a Hollywood world of narcissism and egos so big each one seems to need their own trailer, James McAvoy brings in a breeze of fresh air!

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Elizabeth (a psychiatric nurse) and  James McAvoy, Sr. (a builder) he is one of three children having a sister, Joy, and a (half) brother, Donald.   His parents divorced when McAvoy was just seven years old and the young boy, due to his Mum’s poor health, ended up living with his maternal grandparents, Mary and James Johnstone.  He lost contact with his father in young childhood. 

School for McAvoy was the Catholic school, Thomas Aquinas, and it was during that time that he briefly considered the priesthood, later stating the main reason had been the chance to use it as an excuse to travel!  His acting debut came in 1995, in the little known film, The Near Room, however at this time he was just 15 years old, and wasn’t sure acting was for him, however he fancied co-star Alana Brady so much, she inspired him to study acting – perhaps then it was 15 year old hormones going crazy that we can thank for James McAvoy the actor today!

He studied at and graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2000, and his career then took a slow upward path, with small guest appearance on UK TV shows and the bit parts in movies.  He also appeared on the stage during this time with roles in plays ‘Out in the Open, and Privates on Parade (a play which Sam Mendes saw him acting in and was impressed enough to remember him).   He had a small part in Band of Brothers, in 2001 and the 2002 adaption of White Teeth, both of which were shown to an American audience.

Continuing in his spate of USA cable shows, in 2003 he had a part in the Sci Fi Channel produced “Frank Herbert's Children of Dune”, and later in the same year as a reporter in British made State of Play.

The big screen also appeared in his early work and in 2002, McAvoy had a small part in  Bollywood Queen, and in 2004 he had a supporting role in in the rom com Wimbledon, also in 2004 he had his first principal character role in Inside I'm Dancing, playing “a maverick with duchenne muscular dystrophy”.

In Britain, 2004 was McAvoy breakthrough year, when he secured the role Steve McBride, in the BAFTA winning and rather brilliant Channel 4 series Shameless (this was also where he met his wife, and mother of his son, Anne Marie Duff).  His success continued in 2005 when he played Mr Tumnus the faun in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe. 

Since then his career had continued on its impressive upward trajectory, and in 2008 he was thrust into the big time with his lead role, co-starring Angelina Jolie, in the action/sci fi/adventure Wanted. 

We always like a bit of a filmography on a Razberry Candy – as always it’s non-exhaustive and could well have omissions!!

Movie Roles

1995       The Near Room               

1997       An Angel Passes By (Short film)

1997       Regeneration   

2001       Swimming Pool                 Mike     

2003       Bright Young Things       

2003       Bollywood Queen                           

2004       Wimbledon       

2004       Strings Hal Tara (voice)                

2004       Inside I'm Dancing

2005       The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

2006       The Last King of Scotland             

2006       Starter for 10    

2007       Becoming Jane

2007       Penelope           

2007       Atonement       

2008       Wanted               

2009       The Last Station               

2011       Gnomeo and Juliet (voice)

2011       The Conspirator               

2011       X-Men: First Class           

2011       Arthur Christmas (voice)

2013       Welcome to the Punch

2013       Trance

2013       Filth      

2014       Muppets Most Wanted                Delivery Man (as himself)

2014       X-Men: Days of Future Past       

2014       The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (not relased at the time of writing)

Television Shows

1997       The Bill

2001       Band of Brothers

2001       Lorna Doone

2001       Murder in Mind

2002       White Teeth      

2002       The Inspector Lynley  Mysteries

2002       Foyle's War        

2003       Frank Herbert's Children of Dune

2003       State of Play      

2003       Early Doors        

2004–2005           Shameless         

2005       ShakespeaRe-Told         

2009       Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps

Despite some really great roles (including personal favourites The Last King of Scotland, and Filth) the role he is arguably best known for is the telepathic superhero Professor X, leader and founder of the X-Men, a role he first took  on in 2010 in, X-Men: First Class, a prequel to the film series, (Patrick Stewart has of course played the more mature Professor X).   McAvoy has just this year reprised his role as Professor X in X-Men: Days of Future Past and in the franchise that keeps on giving….. is scheduled to do so again in X-Men: Apocalypse.

At the time of writing, McAvoy was busy filming another adaptation of Frankenstein, in which he takes the leading role(s) – and is due for release in 2015!

McAvoy is a very keen fan of Football, and all things Sci-fi.   His charity endeavours have included a “terrifying" base jump from the world's tallest hospital building to raise money for the Ugandan children's charity Retrak.  He is a supporter of the British Red Cross and has travelled to Uganda to help raise awareness of Red Cross projects there.

WHAT MAKES HIM RAZBERRY CANDY?: x-Men, British, down to earth, starred in Shameless – solid gold creds we reckon!