Scots actor James McAvoy based personality on Saoirse Ronan

James McAvoy takes a photo with a fan during the Glass European Premiere. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire
James McAvoy takes a photo with a fan during the Glass European Premiere. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire
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James McAvoy has said he based one of the multiple personalities he portrays in his latest film on actress Saoirse Ronan.

The 39-year-old Scottish actor returns to play Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has more than 20 personalities, in the M. Night Shyamalan film Glass.

Saoirse Ronan plays Mary Stuart in a scene from Mary Queen of Scots. Picture: Liam Daniel/Focus Features via AP

Saoirse Ronan plays Mary Stuart in a scene from Mary Queen of Scots. Picture: Liam Daniel/Focus Features via AP

It is the sequel to both Split and the 2000 thriller Unbreakable starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.

He told The Graham Norton Show: “All of them had one driving characteristic. That was key to getting into them physically. I based one of the twins on a young Saoirse Ronan.”

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The film marks the first time all three characters – Crumb, Willis’ character David Dunn (known as The Overseer) and Jackson’s character Elijah Price (also known as Mr Glass) – star alongside each other.

McAvoy said of working with Hollywood A-listers Willis and Jackson: “They are massive movie stars.

“You work with movie stars that are your contemporaries, but when you are working with somebody that was a movie star when you were a wee boy, someone that was starring in Moonlighting when you were six, it is unbelievable. It is different.”

Ronan stars as Mary Stuart in the new film Mary Queen of Scots, which is released into UK cinemas on 18 January.

American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson also stars in Glass alongside McAvoy, playing psychiatrist Dr Ellie Staple.

She told Norton: “I just wanted Samuel L. Jackson to like me. He is an incredibly formidable human and right away you feel that if he likes you, you are going to be OK in life.

“We had a bit of a swear-off. I have a potty mouth and so does he. It was a lot of fun.”

Paulson said she cried when Shyamalan told her she had landed the role.

She said: “I really wanted to work with him. I said yes without even looking at the script. It was desperation and admiration.”

British star Richard E. Grant and Stan and Ollie stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly also appear as guests on the show.