- 1. Early life
Date of Birth: 21 April 1979
Age: 43 years old
James McAvoy is a Scottish actor. He made his acting debut as a teen in The Near Room (1995) and appeared mostly on television until 2003, when his feature film career began. His notable television work includes the thriller State of Play and the science fiction miniseries Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. He has performed in several West End productions and has received four nominations for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, and has also done voice work for animated films including Gnomeo & Juliet, its sequel Sherlock Gnomes, and Arthur Christmas.
In 2003, McAvoy appeared in a lead role in Bollywood Queen, then in another lead role as Rory in Inside I'm Dancing in 2004. This was followed by a supporting role, as the faun Mr. Tumnus, in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). His performance in Kevin Macdonald's drama The Last King of Scotland (2006) garnered him several award nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. The critically acclaimed romantic drama war film Atonement (2007) earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination and his second BAFTA nomination. He later appeared as a newly trained assassin in the action thriller Wanted (2008).
In 2011, McAvoy portrayed Professor Charles Xavier in the superhero film X-Men: First Class, a role he reprised in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018), and Dark Phoenix (2019). McAvoy starred in the crime comedy-drama film Filth (2013), for which he won Best Actor in the British Independent Film Awards. In 2016, he portrayed Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 alternate personalities, in M. Night Shyamalan's Split, for which he received critical acclaim, and later reprised the role for the sequel Glass (2019). Since 2019, he has portrayed Lord Asriel Belacqua in the BBC/HBO fantasy series His Dark Materials.
McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, to bus-driver-turned-builder James McAvoy Sr. and psychiatric nurse Elizabeth (née Johnstone; died 2018). He was brought up as a Roman Catholic. His parents separated when he was seven and divorced when he was eleven. McAvoy's mother suffered from poor health and subsequently sent him to live with his maternal grandparents, Mary and James Johnstone, in the nearby Drumchapel area of Glasgow. His mother lived with them intermittently. McAvoy has a younger sister named Joy and a younger half-brother named Donald. He has not been in contact with his father since childhood. He attended the Catholic St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in the Jordanhill area of Glasgow and briefly considered joining the priesthood. In a 2006 interview, McAvoy said he considered becoming a priest as a child because it seemed to be a way to explore the world via missionary work. During his education, he worked at a local bakery.
McAvoy applied to join the Royal Navy and had already been accepted when he was also offered a place to study acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). After graduating in 2000, he moved to London.
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