Movie Article

Fresh Faces: James McAvoy

We talk to the guy who played Mr. Tumnus in ''The Chronicles of Narnia''

AGE 27

HOMETOWN Glasgow, Scotland

WHY Best known as the meek faun Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia, McAvoy trots back onto screens in a far more sordid affair. In The Last King of Scotland, he plays an audacious doctor who mixes it up with Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) — and sexes it up with Gillian Anderson and Kerry Washington. In other words, he's definitely not in Narnia anymore. ''I hope people don't come expecting another cute, self-deprecating performance,'' he chuckles. ''Because they'll be sorely disappointed.''

SCOT FREE Such a shift was no sweat for the chipper Glaswegian, who spent three years at drama school in his hometown. ''It gave me a chance to play a million different roles,'' he says in a brogue thick as deep-fried haggis. ''It taught me a hell of a lot.''

BROTHERLY LOVE His big break came shortly after he moved to London in 2000 and was cast as a grunt in HBO's Band of Brothers. ''That gave me a bit of money to play around with,'' he says. ''I had been living on a grand a year, so I thought, If I never work again, I can make this last a good couple of years!''

NEXT 2007 will bring more lady-killing: Atonement with Keira Knightley, Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway, and Penelope with Reese Witherspoon. There's also October's coming-of-age tale Starter for Ten. But, alas, no more Narnia. ''I'm gutted about that," he sighs. "Never mind — they can go have fun.''

Originally posted Aug 11, 2006 Published in issue #891-892 Aug 18, 2006 Order article reprints
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