Known for his versatility and distinguished Scottish accent, James McAvoy took Hollywood by storm with his ability to seamlessly fit into any character. Best known for his reprising role as Charles Xavier or Professor X in the X-Men franchise, the actor has a fairly varied filmography.
He has admitted that Charles Xavier has been one of his most challenging and favourite roles. “For me, Charles Xavier is a monk. He’s like a selfless, egoless almost sexless force for the betterment of humanity and mortality,” said McAvoy.
McAvoy began acting early. At 15, he starred in The Near Room. Although he was never invested in the profession, he quickly became a member of a theatre troupe before making appearances in TV shows.
Joe Wright recognised his talent and kept serenading him. McAvoy kept refusing until 2008 when he starred in Wright’s film Atonement alongside Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan, earning his breakthrough.
While he has featured in several roles and shone through irrespective of his screentime, McAvoy’s collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan in 2016 resulted in a disturbing creation which unsettled several viewers.
In 2016, McAvoy starred in Shyamalan’s film, Split. The film received plenty of flak from mental health advocates for allegedly promoting stigma against people suffering from DID but marked a good comeback from the filmmaker.
In the film, Casey attends her friend Claire’s birthday party and while they are coming home, they get attacked by a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder who takes them captive.
The man manifests various personalities and the one taking over right now makes him hold young girls hostage and prepare them for sacrifice to his 24th persona by the name of The Beast.
When Casey realises that her companions have been slaughtered and comes across the note written by the man’s therapist minutes before she was killed, she realises that she must fight for her survival against the dangerous and varied personas of the man.
McAvoy played Kevin, the man with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) who has 24 different personas which can get pretty dangerous and horrifying.
He was lauded for his epic performance as a supervillain with a compelling origin story. Fearless and uninhibited in portraying such a terrifying set of characters, McAvoy demonstrated his nuanced acting abilities.
Also starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley, the film is a harrowing watch. While it has been removed from certain regions like the USA, UK and Canada, the film is still available in Australia, India and several other countries.