Scottish actor James McAvoy has disclosed his plan to take a break from his acting career to focus on other more important areas.
McAvoy, who starred as a younger version of the character Professor X in the “X-Men” film series, recently welcomed a son with his wife, Lisa Liberati.
In a new interview, the actor, 43, who is currently promoting his series, “His Dark Materials,” compared himself to the character Bob Harris from the 2003 rom-com drama “Lost in Transition,” who is estranged from his wife and kids due to his workaholic nature.
Read on to learn more.
James McAvoy Plans To Take A Step Back From Acting
Hollywood star, James McAvoy, has shared that he intends to retire from acting to devote more time to his family. In an interview with The Observer, he frowned at the idea of spending all his days on set and revealed he was applying the brakes to be a more “present family member.”
According to the news outlet, McAvoy came to a point where he had to choose between moving forward in his career and focusing more on the family.
“Do I keep chasing, do I keep progressing, do I keep trying to climb the ladder, the mountain, all that kind of stuff? Or do I just continue to enjoy the act of acting – but taking the foot off the pedal? And not feel like I’m never gonna work again. Or that I’m gonna lose momentum, which arguably I have if I just don’t take every great job that comes my way,” he said introspectively.
He capped it off by saying that he needs to “slow down a wee bit.”
The Actor Recently Welcomed A Son
McAvoy recently welcomed a son with his wife, Lisa Liberati, and the actor’s decision to take his foot off the gas pedal may be a result of him being a new father.
McAvoy and Liberati began their relationship in 2018 after they met on the set of the movie, “Split,” where McAvoy played a principal character and Liberati served as a production assistant to the director.
“It’s just not possible to be a present family member if you are a filmmaker every week of the year, every month of the year,” he said.
“Theatre’s different – if you do tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of theatre, you’re out six nights of the week, invariably. But you’re there more during the day. It’s really film and telly – it just f**king drains you. It’s also a joy and I love it,” he said, but objected by also saying, “But I can’t spend all my days on set.”
The actor is also father to Brendan, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Anne-Marie Duff.
James McAvoy Has Limited His Acting Options To Be Closer To His Family
The “Atonement” actor admits to feeling out of work, but that’s not because there’s no work for him. In recent years, McAvoy’s workload reduced compared to his 20s and 30s, when he was extremely busy due to high demand.
The actor revealed that the feeling was “partly” due to him fine-tuning his options. He remarked, “That’s partly because I limited my choices to staying at home in London as much as possible…Because I wanted to be with the family.”
He further said, “I put in the work quite a lot and I love it. But I don’t want to live to work. The industry is great and it’s given me an amazing life. But it survives on the sacrificial nature of performance. The film industry or the TV industry, they’re just using you up.”
McAvoy has been working on “His Dark Materials” for four years and compared the duration of work to that of his Charles Xavier role in the “X-Men” franchise, noting that the latter was longer.
James McAvoy On ‘His Dark Materials’
About his series, “His Dark Materials,” when asked where his enthusiasm for writer Phillip Pullman’s books comes from, the actor revealed that it stems from the author’s central message.
Pullman is the author of the book His Dark Materials, which is the inspiration for the movie starring McAvoy. “The fight against oppressive moralistic institutions, meaningfully, is something I found quite fascinating,” he said of the book.
In response to the question of whether he has ever met Pullman, the actor replied that he hasn’t. “I’ve never spoken to Philip Pullman,” he said, revealing that he feared the acclaimed writer would not be a fan of his Asriel portrayal.