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Poll

Of these films, which is your favorite?

  • X-Men: First Class
  • Arthur Christmas
  • The Conspirator
  • The Last Station
  • Gnomeo & Juliet
  • Atonement
  • Becoming Jane
  • Wanted
  • Starter For 10
  • Penelope
  • The Last King of Scotland
  • Other-Inside I'm Dancing, Wimbledon, CON, etc

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 4
Comments: 0


I'VE BEEN DEAD LUCKY by the BBC - October 7th 2004 -

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Scotsman James McAvoy has worked constantly since leaving the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, appearing in a diverse range of TV projects including Band Of Brothers, White Teeth, State Of Play, and Shameless. As well as extensive theatre work the 25-year-old has starred in films such as Bright Young Things, Bollywood Queen, and Wimbledon. For Inside I'm Dancing he plays Rory, a rebellious young Irishman not prepared to let Duchenne muscular dystrophy stop him living life to the full.

It's a pretty impressive CV you have, from a dissolute toff in Bright Young Things to playing Steve in Shameless...


I know, it's quite jammy really. I've been dead lucky just to have a varied career and not be pigeonholed. But I suppose that's also because a lot of the work I've done has kind of skimmed the radar a bit. So people haven't gone "Wow, that's what he does!", they've said "Oh he was alright in that, not bad".

Rory, the mischievous character at the heart of Inside I'm Dancing, continues this trend doesn't he?

Completely. The guy's from a totally different part of the world to me and he suffers from a significant physical disability, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a hugely advanced and accelerated form of muscular dystrophy. That's a hugely defining aspect of who he is, though not the only one. He thinks he's charming, and he is, but not as much as he thinks. And he thinks he's right a lot of the time. And he's very arrogant and angry. That's nothing like me.

Did you find that the physical limitations in playing this character actually helped your performance in the end?

I'd say so, but for the first three weeks of rehearsals I was really worried because I consider myself quite a physical actor. With this there was nowhere to hide, which terrified me. Three weeks into the rehearsal I surrendered to it. I still had my body to communicate with, even if it wasn't moving - except for two fingers and my head. That still communicates something, you know? That gave it to me. It changed the way I sounded, and it did things to me in the way that I expressed myself, which I wouldn't have found otherwise. That's the whole physical thing imposing on the mental, instead of the mental imposing on the physical.

There is still a taboo over how people with disabilities are portrayed in films isn't there?

I was pleased that Damien [O'Donnell, the director] had the same idea as I did about Rory. We didn't want to make him a character that people automatically liked. I'm pleased that we've got a character here who's disabled, but isn't necessarily dead nice and meek. He's more real because of that.

What response have you had from the people you researched the character with?

They liked the film a lot. But it's one of those thing that divides people down the middle. I think some people will hate it, but the majority of people I've spoken to in the disabled community think it's a good thing that the film has been made.

Inside I'm Dancing is released in UK cinemas on Friday 15th October 2004.

Date of Birth: 1979

Famous For: Being one of Scotland's bright young things

Infamous For: Playing, ahem, Leto Atreides II in the mini-series Children Of Dune

Soundbite: "I got into acting just because I didn't know what else to do, and I enjoyed it"

Useless Fact: His girlfried is Anne-Marie Duff, who plays his on-screen girlfriend in Shameless

What we really want to know: If he feels his Class 4 fencing schools will come in handy in Hollywood

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