James McAvoy: ‘Being told well done means so much’

James McAvoy still finds it special when someone says well done.

The Scottish star may be a big Hollywood name these days, but it doesn’t mean he’s not humbled when he talks to fans. He’s a regular on both the big screen and London stage, but still finds his A-list status surreal.

“It’s an amazing thing to be recognised, just by anybody,” he admitted to Britain’s ES Magazine. “It’s always surprising just how special it is for people to say, ‘Well done’. (Former soccer manager) Alex Ferguson said that’s the best thing you can do to somebody. Don’t give them huge superlatives because it just becomes water off a duck’s back. Just say, ‘Well done.’”

James hails from humble beginnings, and has kept life pretty low key with his wife Anne-Marie Duff and son Brendan. The 36-year-old star won’t be drawn into discussions about the backgrounds of actors, as he doesn’t think it has an influence on talent. He does worry though that wannabe stars from a working-class background aren’t getting the support they need.

“I don’t really care about where actors come from and what background actors are,” he said. “I couldn’t give a s**t if there are loads of posh actors or not. It is a sign, however, that social mobility on a larger scale isn’t being made a priority by this government and that’s something that disturbs me a lot.

“Art is the thing that lets you see beyond your limitations, whether it’s music or drama or visual art or literature. It’s a transcendent tool that allows you to move beyond the things that are keeping you back, the things that make you feel small and keep you where you are.”

– Cover Media