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James McAvoy Biography

Birth Name:
James Andrew McAvoy
Birth Place:
Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland

Fast Facts

  • Was raised by his maternal grandparents after his parents' divorce when he was 7 years old
  • When he was in high school, director David Hayman came to give a talk
  • Hayman eventually cast him in the film The Near Room, which helped McAvoy get into drama school
  • Also considered careers in the clergy and the Navy
  • Before finding fame, worked in a bakery
  • Met his wife, Anne-Marie Duff, on the set of the television show Shameless
  • Is an avid fan of the Celtic Football Club
  • Has supported the charity Retrak, which works with street children in Africa to give them an alternative to living on the streets, since filming 2006's The Last King of Scotland in Uganda
  • Earned positive reviews for his performance of the title role in a 2013 West End production of Macbeth that was set in futuristic Scotland


  • 2008Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: nominated
  • 2008BAFTA Film Awards-Best Leading Actor: nominated
  • 2008European Film Awards-European Actor: nominated
  • 2007BAFTA Film Awards-Best Actor in a Supporting Role: nominated
  • 2006London Film Critics Association-Best British Actor: nominated
  • 2006British Independent Film Awards-Best Actor: nominated
  • 2005London Film Critics Association-Best British Supporting Actor: nominated


  • James McAvoy -- Father
  • James Johnstone -- Grandfather
  • Mary Johnstone -- Grandmother
  • Elizabeth McAvoy -- Mother
  • Joy McAvoy -- Sister
  • Brendan McAvoy -- Son