james mcavoy: i’ve spent years playing ‘mental cases’

The Scottish actor continues his big year by gracing the September cover of NYLON Guys magazine…

by Christian Lavery


Not many people are having a year as big as James McAvoy. Fresh off a starring role where he played Charles Xavier in

X-Men: Days of Future Past

, which will be followed up

X-Men: Apocalypse

in 2016, the Scottish actor is also set to turn heads next month in the romantic drama

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

(even though he initially turned the project down.) We’re just glad the circumstances changed and he ended up taking the part—and that he’s our newest cover star.


Gracing our latest issue, aka “The Badass Issue,” McAvoy has a lot to share. Check out page 102 of this month’s mag for the full story. In the meantime a few quotes and photo outtakes will have to suffice. The issue hits stands today.

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,” says McAvoy citing roles in

Welcome to the Punch



, and


."A cry-wanking scene is the struggle to live, in a single moment."

On his role in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

:The Scottish actor says he initially turned down the starring role in

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

because its subject matter was “too close to the bone” for someone whose life was the picture of domestic bliss. “Then two or three years later….they had something like four days to save the film, so they came back to me. At that point, my kid wasn’t brand new anymore, so that made it a bit more feasible.”