Belfast Telegraph

James McAvoy pretended to be posh to get ahead in Hollywood

James McAvoy says all that America wants to see is posh actors in shows like Downton Abbey.

James McAvoy faked being posh to make it in Hollywood.

The Scottish star first came to the British public’s attention as a TV actor, featuring in shows like Shameless, before becoming a bonafide movie star.

While he has used his real voice on camera before, he often masks his Glaswegian accent with a well spoken English lilt. The 37-year-old even fooled director M. Night Shyamalan, who recently cast him in new film Split thinking he was English.

“I’m from a council estate where people get stabbed all the time,” James told Total Film magazine. “I made a career out of pretending to be posh English and it worked for me. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. As long as you can play that archetype, then you’re in. Maybe.

“America is not interested in kitchen sink dramas on council estates. America wants to see Downton f**king Abbey. So it’s like, yeah, we’re going to fill that up with posh actors because it’s what sells.”

James also spoke about how the British class system can impact young working class actors. Much has been made over privately educated stars like Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston, the latter two who attended Eton College where Prince William was educated, quickly rising to the top of Hollywood.

The X-Men star has previously criticised the lack of help for underprivileged children who want to get into the arts, and he has again reiterated his sentiments.

“With the way the government does things, art in education isn’t prioritised and, therefore, unless you got to private school you don’t really have the facilities to experience drama or music or art or any of those things. Or maybe even f**king sport at times,” he sighed.

“(Rich kids) are taught all your life you deserve this, you walk on to a stage going, ‘Yeah I f**king deserve to be here.’”

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