James McAvoy Video Interview On Michael Fassbender, ‘X-Men: First Class’
James McAvoy’s breakthrough role came with 2007’s Atonement co-starring Keira Knightley, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Actor category. McAvoy, 33, followed that up with roles in Wanted, The Last Station, Gnomeo and Juliet and The Conspirator. But his big blockbuster role was as young Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class. The actor faced the daunting task of portraying the character made popular by Sir Patrick Stewart in the previous X-Men movies. “I suppose I was nervous,” McAvoy told uInterview exclusively. “I didn’t really see myself as that type of figure and I certainly didn’t see myself as the same kind of actor as Sir Patrick Stewart, who did a fantastic job portraying him in the other three or four other movies because he’s in Wolverine as well.”
McAvoy’s relationship with co-star Michael Fassbender almost got off on the wrong foot – or leg. “My standout moment was probably when I nearly broke both [Michael’s] legs one day driving a golf cart and I don’t think he’ll forgive me for that simply because I was thrown clean of the cart, he was thrown into the driving seat,” he told uInterview. “And because of that, everybody blamed him, which was fantastic.”
I suppose I was nervous. I didn’t really see myself as that type of figure and I certainly didn’t see myself as the same kind of actor as Sir Patrick Stewart, who did a fantastic job portraying him in the other three or four other movies because he’s in Wolverine as well. So I was a little bit confused and a little worried but then I read the script. And so there was a really different and definite angle we could take on the character. There’s a whole new path to go down. When I saw that was filled with a lot more humor and naïveté and foolishness I think(because he’s very wise in the other incarnation). Not just foolishness but a certain level ego-driven naïveté. I thought there was a hell of a lot new stuff I can do as well, not just recreate something what someone else did. I was nervous but excited about the prospect of doing something new.
For me it was really important for me to find something different. A hook that made him different from the guy we see in the other movies. In the first scene in the old script was always him and a girl in a bar in England. And I thought immediately that entire situation is so different from the one we’re used to seeing him. The guy is 30 years old and he’s still in bars and he’s still drinking and he’s still chatting up girls when he could be off changing the world with his power. And I just thought that made him much smaller in terms of his worldview and in terms of his view and what he is in the world. And gave him an ego and gave him a sense of something else. I thought we’d take that and run with it and try to make him as cocky as possible. Not hugely egotistical but slightly egotistical and as naïve as possible. Because he’s always so wise in the other movies, he’s always so selfless, a leader and teacher of people. So I wanted to start him off in a place that was very different. And the director, when I said all that stuff to him, he basically went yes, I agree, that is a good idea, carry on.
Michael and I got on like a house on fire. We both like the same things in our work and we both have the same kind of taste really. My standout moment was probably when I nearly broke both his legs one day driving a golf cart and I don’t think he’ll forgive me for that simply because I was thrown clean of the cart, he was thrown into the driving seat. And because of that, everybody blamed him, which was fantastic.
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