James McAvoy's different take on Professor X

February 11th, 2011

James McAvoy tried to play Professor X as differently as possible from Patrick Stewart's portrayal in the original three movies.

The 31-year-old actor - who is playing a younger version of the 'X Men' character in the prequel 'X-Men: First Class' - says he felt "liberated" when studio bosses told him not to shave his head to look like Patrick's version of the professor and saw it as free reign to act the part differently.

He said: "It started off with the fact that we were going to shave my hair and the studio said, 'Don't shave your hair,' so immediately I said, 'Well f**k it, I'm liberated then.'"

"So, I mean, that's a pretty big marker, so right away you're going a different path. Also, I always felt there's no point doing a film set in the past as a prequel that just shows them being the same people, especially Magneto and Professor X. They're the big two that we really, really get to know well in the other movies that are in our movie."

The Scottish 'Gnomeo and Juliet' star also revealed that decided to make the character less refined and more egocentric to show that Professor X has been on a journey to get to become the kind of person he is known as in the other films.

He explained: "You look at the kind of main, defining characteristics of Professor X, of Charlie Boy, and you go, 'Alright, he's selfless. He's a saint. He's sexless, it seems. He's egoless. He's all about other people. He's all about bettering the world and mutantkind and humankind.' And so you kind of try and flip that on its head.

"You don't make him an evil person, or anything like that, but you make him ego-driven, women-chasing, he likes a good drink. He's not the reluctant leader that you kind of want all heroes to be. He actually kind of wants to be in charge, you know what I mean? And all of those things, just to kind of show a journey."