James McAvoy credits Split success to hammy acting skills

James McAvoy’s intense research for new movie Split led to sleepless nights.

James McAvoy thinks being a show off has something to do with his critically acclaimed performance in Split.

In the new horror movie from M. Night Shyamalan, Scottish actor James pushes his acting abilities to new realms, by playing a troubled man who has 24 different personalities. Character Kevin’s alter egos range from an evil English lady, to a camp New York fashion designer, with James having little more than a change of clothes and accent to define each personality.

“You know what? It was so much fun. Maybe I’m a bit of a show off, I don’t know. I’m a hammy actor,” James laughed to GQ Australia.

“Frankly, you just do the job you always do, but nine times over. I had to figure out why every single character came into existence and what their key attribute is that made them necessary. Then I had to build the characters around them.”

James has dabbled with split personality before in movie Filth, but for Split he was required to really get to know each of the alter egos. Thrown into the mix is also a nine-year-old boy and a chilling orderly figure obsessed with cleanliness.

“You’re doing the job of nine films in the time it takes to make one,” James continued. “Artistically, it was satisfying, exciting. Just trying to squeeze it all in, time-wise, was hard. There were a lot of late nights where I had to stay up and do a tonne of work. But it was a pleasure to do.”

Split is in cinemas now.

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