Scots actor James McAvoy driven by ‘fear’ of being jobless

James McAvoy on his way to appear on Good Morning America on May 24, 2016 in New York. Picture: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images
James McAvoy on his way to appear on Good Morning America on May 24, 2016 in New York. Picture: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images
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SCOTTISH film star James McAvoy has put his success down to casting directors who “can’t be bothered looking at anyone else”.

Despite his fame, the Holywood star says it is “fear” that drives him on because of a lack of jobs in the industry.

McAvoy graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in 2000 and rose to prominence with his roles in hit TV shows, State of Play and Shameless.

He has gone on to even more success on the big screen, starring in Filth, a film adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel by the same name, as well as playing the role of telepathic superhero, Professor X, in the X-Men films.

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Despite his incredible success, the star, who grew up in Drumchapel on the outskirts of Glasgow, feels he has been “lucky” to land some of his roles in the past.

He said: “I’ve been lucky probably. I have this assumption that (the films) have been fairly tricky to cast and then I arrive near the tail end and they’re just exhausted and can’t be bothered looking at anyone else.

“There are so many actors out there and so few jobs for them. Not everyone is going to end up satisfied.

“So it’s just fear, it’s fear that you’re working on.

The Scottish actor donated £125,000 to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) last year to help underprivileged Scottish youngsters who aren’t able to pursue their acting dreams due to financial constraints.

Having graduated from the RCS himself in 2000, McAvoy hoped his donation would allow youngsters to enjoy the same opportunities he had previously.

After the scholarship was announced, McAvoy said: “I come from a place where nobody had done anything like it and it worked out pretty good.

“I had that opportunity and I want the same for other young people out there who may not have even considered going to college or any other kind of higher education.”

He continued: “There are few opportunities for young people to engage in performing arts.

“I see tons of young people who are vastly intelligent, but because they have this ingrained humility, it gets in the way of them expressing themselves and showing how brilliant they are.”

McAvoy is currently starring in the latest installment of the X-Men film series but says he hasn’t forgotten his Scottish roots, even paying tribute to the Scottish delicacy, square sausage, on a US chat show recently.

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Speaking on The Late Show to a slightly bewildered American audience, McAvoy said: ”I’m a professional Englishman and a private Scotsman.

“I’m the real deal. I’m the full square sausage.

When asked to explain what it was, he said: “People in Scotland are wild about it, people elsewhere in the world are running away from it.”

“I grew up in a council estate called Drumchapel and my friends (from the area) think I’ve got really posh... that’s what 16 years in London does to you.

“I got tired of people not understanding what I was saying.”

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