On May 09, whilst promoting “X-Men: Apocalypse”, James McAvoy appeared on “The Graham Norton Show” alongside co-star Jennifer Lawrence, comedian Jack Whitehall, actor Johnny Depp and musician Wyclef Jean. Screen captures of the show have now been added to the gallery.
James and his ‘Victor Frankenstein’ co-star were on GMB recently, and they talked about what their relationship is actually like. When asked about each other’s worst habits, Daniel said James could be intimidating on rehearsals, and James stated Daniel was annoyingly professional. Watch the video below.
Last month, 20th Century Fox debuted the first trailer for the revisionist thriller Victor Frankenstein (watch it here!). The horror movie is heading to theaters on November 25, and to keep its promotional train humming, they have released two videos with the movie’s leading men, James and Daniel Radcliffe. You can watch Daniel’s video on Movie Web, and James’ explanation about Victor below.
James McAvoy isn’t sleeping well. The last time he appeared on the London stage, playing Macbeth two years ago, he would wake every day at 2am or 3am and find it impossible to drift off again. Now, as he returns to the Trafalgar Studios to star in Peter Barnes’s antic 1968 satire The Ruling Class, the same thing is happening.
If anything, the demands of this role are even greater than those of the Thane of Cawdor. “Macbeth was more physical than any action movie I’ve done, so I didn’t think I’d have anything to worry about,” he says, rocking back on a chair in a deserted rehearsal room. “But this has turned out more physical still. Not violent – well, sometimes it’s violent… It’ll be a massive workout, really.”
When we meet, on a bone-cold winter evening, McAvoy, 35, has been in rehearsals for a month. He looks lean and a little frayed, grey flecks in his hair. This is the first time Barnes’s play has been revived since it played the West End in 1969. The director Jamie Lloyd, who will shortly spring into the rehearsal room, rediscovered it in an anthology of Sixties plays. There was also a 1972 film version, in which Peter O’Toole took the starring role, but both Lloyd and McAvoy have tried to avoid it.
“I play football sometimes with Patrick Marber and I told him that I was doing The Ruling Class,” says McAvoy, “and he said that he’d played Jack Gurney, my part, when he was at university, when he was at Oxbridge or wherever he was. It seems that loads of drama students maybe do it, but it seems to be that professionally people are scared of doing it. But it’s the right time to tell it now.”
I know I always say this, but James’ interviews on The Graham Norton Show are always my favourite, and this weekend’s was no exception. Screen captures have now been added to the gallery, and click below to see two videos from the show – one when James delivers his outrageous lie to get out of an interview and the other when he does a spot of unicycling with Mark Ruffalo.
James McAvoy passed on playing the part of a grieving young dad in the film The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby in 2010, an easy decision for the actor to make back then. “I’d just had a kid, and I didn’t want to touch a script about a couple that loses a baby,” he says. Two years later, the Australian actor Joel Edgerton was attached to the role, then fell off the project. Director Ned Benson approached McAvoy once more. “They had four or five days to save the financing,” McAvoy says, “and it was two years on from having my kid. It wasn’t as raw, and it didn’t seem so horrific to me at that point.”
Despite his stealthy upward career arc, the fact that McAvoy is now in a position to help secure funding for a sensitively handled major commercial picture comes as some surprise to the actor. “Honestly? If you’d have told me about my career as a wee boy, I’d have been really fucking surprised,” he says. “I wouldn’t have believed you. I didn’t even think about acting until I was acting.”
McAvoy, a 35-year-old with a sandy complexion and handsome physique, fits comfortably into the transparent 21st-century fame model. He is neither showy nor defensive on the subject of his talent and possesses enough quiet, internal self-confidence to back it up. He left drama school in Glasgow at the end of the ’90s, a time when his native Scotland was precipitously attracting Hollywood’s interest, post-Trainspotting. That he’s never played a relative of Ewan McGregor’s seems like a shortcoming on the part of all casting directors; however, he did get to play the lead in the recent, underappreciated Filth, based on Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s 1998 novel about a misanthropic, coke-snorting Scottish policeman.
McAvoy and I spend an afternoon talking in the churchyard of a grand, decaying chapel in the East End of London. It’s a scorching, sunny day. He arrives on a motorbike and says his recognition factor is low enough to get away with sitting out in the sun without interruption. This turns out to be true, though he’s partially disguised behind tortoiseshell-framed Ray-Bans. He’s genial to a fault, swears a lot during conversation, and is never stumped for either anecdote or opinion. It’s almost impossible to gauge whether he would be of any use in a fight, a personality trait that has surely proven handy for a dramatic portfolio that has had him racing between playing tough and tender, hero and heartbreaker.
Perhaps Andy Warhol’s famous saying holds true that “one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party.”
At least, if you ask Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy the stars of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, in theaters on Friday, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, opening Oct. 10.
Them tells the tale of the couple, and the fallout from their breakup, while Him focuses on the story of Conor and Her focuses on the same story but told from the perspective of his wife, Eleanor.
It’s the combined version of the first two films, Him and Her, each of them focusing on the demise of a relationship from the point of view of a grieving husband and a suicidal wife. They gambol, flirt, frolic, and then, appear to self-destruct in very disparate ways. The horrifying cause is revealed midway through the film, in a scene that’s breathtaking in its candor and simplicity.
There’s a fine line between turning a romantic film into something unique and letting it slip into the void of Hallmark cheese. Thankfully, “The Disappearance Eleanor Rigby” aims for the former. In order to separate it from other like-minded projects, writer-director Ned Benson got risky. He split the film into two separate narratives, titling them “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her,” respectively. The finished product gives us a glimpse at the depths of heartbreak. Overall, it’s a tragic, emotional and ambitious project, anchored by two wonderful performances from actors Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. (For those un-interested in watching the full 202-minute version of the movie, a combined two-hour cut, entitled “Them,” is also getting a release this week.)
I spoke with McAvoy (the film’s ‘Him‘) in New York recently about the film(s). We discussed everything from the story’s dark material to the difficulties of shooting two scripts at the same time (something McAvoy didn’t realize was happening until he got on set) to his upcoming role in “Frankenstein.” I also shamelessly asked the Scottish-born actor about the enduring legacy of “Braveheart” in America, which seems to be shown every weekend on TNT.
I feel like we mostly hear you do English accents on screen. It was fun hearing you with an American accent in this film.
Yeah, when was the last time I did an American one?
“The Conspirator,” I think?
“The Conspirator.” And “Wanted.” I think that’s the only other one. Oh and “Band of Brothers.”
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love, get married, start a family, confront a crisis, split apart. It’s one of the oldest stories ever told, and writers and filmmakers are always searching for new ways to tell it: exactly the challenge that the screenwriter and rookie director Ned Benson faced in making “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” which opens Friday.
Though it was not his intention when he started nearly a decade ago, Mr. Benson ended up making not one film but three, each of which uses the same cast to tell the story of Eleanor Rigby and Conor Ludlow, played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, from a different point of view. “Her” is the version of their romance, breakup and attempt at reconciliation as experienced by Eleanor, “Him” is Conor’s account, and “Them” is a kind of condensed hybrid, with both viewpoints synthesized into something more neutral and detached.
“The point is perspective and subjectivity,” Mr. Benson, 37, said last month, seated on a bench in Tompkins Square Park, just yards from the spot where the films’ final scenes were shot. “With ‘Him’ and ‘Her,’ I wanted to show their separate experiences, and the disparate ways they perceived that,” whereas “ ‘Them’ is more a straight-up two-handed love story.”
James is appearing on the cover of Nylon Guys‘ September issue, which has a brand new photoshoot as well. Hopefully scans will surface soon, but check out the shoot in the gallery and read more on the interview over at nylonguys.com.
On his career: “For a long time, I was playing the normal guy in an exceptional world, or the normal guy who was in a relationship with someone much more weird and interesting. I was holding the audience’s hand, guiding them into a world they weren’t familiar with, keeping them onside when things got grotesque. Basically I was letting everybody else do the fireworks.”
On his past roles: “The last two or three years have been so unlike what I was doing for the 10 years before them. There’s a part I’ve been offered and really want to do, but I was worried about taking it because the character is a proper mental case. And I feel like it’s been a couple of years of solely playing mental cases.”
Michael Fassbender on James’ X-Men set pranks: “Oh, he’s lethal! You’ll find him hiding underneath cars, waiting for you. He once tried to break into my trailer through the skylight. It’s like being in one of those Pink Panther films, and he’s Cato jumping out of the freezer. Just when you think the day’s over, you come home to find James sitting on your toilet with a BB gun.”
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2014 > Session 006