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James McAvoy Talks About Playing The Offensive Lead Character In Filth
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.23.2014



In an interview with IGN, James McAvoy talked about playing the emotionally disturbed, drug-addicted cop Bruce Robertson in Filth, which arrives on May 30. Here are highlights:

On playing crazy people: "What's strange is that both those movies [Trance and Filth], the director thought I wasn't right for it, thought I was too young to do it, didn't have enough darkness. And yet, for some reason, when I went in and auditioned for Danny and then had a conversation with [Filth director] Jon S. Baird, they seemed to change their mind. [Laughs] I don't know what that means, but yeah. I enjoyed playing both of them, because they're just so damaged, so fractured. Simon in Trance doesn't necessarily have a mental illness, but he's been mentally traumatized and exhibits all the same symptoms of somebody who is paranoid or borderline split-personality. Bruce even more so. What's really strange is, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Charles has kind of got a little bit of that as well. It seems to be a kind of year of playing nutjobs."

On Robertson's delusions: "In terms of the kind of fractured nature of his head, basically whenever reality was encroaching on him, that was when he was at his most dangerous. That was when he was most ready to collapse. If he was able to maintain the kind of fake persona of success and power and all that stuff -- which is untrue -- then cool. He would have been fine for the rest of his life. The problem with delusional people is that reality can't help but encroach upon that fantasy, and that's when things become dangerous. That's when the world falls apart for them, when they start to see the world as it truly is I suppose."

On if he's worried about foreign audiences having trouble with certain words: "Not really. I mean, you've got to make a movie true to itself. This film is not half as colloquial as it could have been as well. We really made a conscious decision not to -- not in an attempt to reach out to foreign markets, but just because, as much as the film kind of says at the beginning, you know, 'Scotland: country of contrast,' all that kind of stuff, it's not a film about Scotland. It's a film about this guy's head. So we didn't want to go too heavy into the Edinburgh vernacular that much. But I understand that it's still quite a lot for an American to take in or a non-English-speaking country or whatever. But, yeah, you can't really think about that too much. You've got to make movies that are true to the environment which created them. If you forget that, I think you're suddenly in this nexus of sort of fake land, do you know what I mean? It loses it's integrity."





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