Born in Glasgow in 1979, James McAvoy started out in theatre as a member of PACE Youth Theatre after his acting debut in The Near Room. He later graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
McAvoy began his theatre career acting as a gay hustler in Out in the Open at Hampstead Theatre, playing the role of Iggy. He later starred in Privates on Parade at Donmar Warehouse, a performance which caught Sam Mendes’ attention. His performance as Walker and Ned in Three Days of Rain at the Apollo Theatre saw him nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor. Read a Three Days of Rain review starring James McAvoy here.
He was nominated for the same award two years later for his portrayal of title character Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios. Read a Macbeth review starring James McAvoy here. In 2015, McAvoy took on the role of Jack Gurney in The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios. The show ran for four months and opened to four star reviews, with McAvoy recieved the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. He recently starred in Cyrano de Bergerac at the Playhouse Theatre in 2019.
He is, perhaps, best known for his roles in film, namely his performance as Mr Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He also played Dr Nicholas Garrigan in The Last King of Scotland, later starring in Atonement alongside Saoirse Ronan. He's also Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series.