Second German Interview with James for Cosmopolitan Germany. Translation: Enjoy :-)
Now Honestly, James McAvoy
Every month, Cosmopolitan Editor Melanie Jassner talks to men we really like. This time she talks to James McAvoy about Magic.
Even though, the Scot, James McAvoy 35, is one of the most versatile actors Hollywood, he has lately been showing another side, as badass and Action Hero (like in Wanted, Filth or X-Men). Now, almost seven years after Atonement, he returns back to the cinemas with an emotional movie; “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (from 27.11). The Story tells about a New York couple, Eleanor and Connor (Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy) deeply in love, and due to tragic circumstances, their love is put to the test. We meet in a New Yorker Hotel, in a suite in the 41st Floor. McAvoy, who´s talent of speech is praised by directors, speaks with a distinctive Scottish accent. In the Meantime he rubs his bright blue eyes:” I am so sorry, yesterday was the Premier party and I only slept two hours last night.”
Cosmopolitan: Mister McAvoy, everyone who saw Atonement knows you are just made for romantic roles; nonetheless you waited seven years before you took another romantic part in a movie. Why?
The roles I was offered were no good. I love sentimental romantic movies. They trigger the same feelings as a love song: you want to cry but at the same time feel comforted, because you know that other people go through the same thing.
Cosmopolitan: What was so special in “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” that you decided to take the part?
The manner, how the movie treated the theme of love. It is honest but at the same time poetic. Love is often complicated. Sometimes you hurt each other, even if you love the other so much. That happened to Eleanor and Connor. You feel the two are meant for each other, but they still drift apart. Why that is, you learn at the end. But at the same time the tragic resonates with something magical.
Cosmopolitan: What is magical for you?
Something you can’t explain rationally. Like a spark which touches you deep inside, in very different stages. I, for example, find it fascinating, that you can meet certain people and feel an attraction which you can´t explain. The special thing is, those magical moments usually happen when you least expect them.
Cosmopolitan: When was your last little magical moment?
This morning, when I achieved to get out of bed after only two hours of sleep. (laughs) Now seriously: When shooting “Eleanor Rigby” I even had two. Firstly: There is one scene where Jessica and I are kissing in New York Park at night. Suddenly, fireflies start whirring around us; In the middle of New York. (At this point McAvoy want to know what Firefly means in German- “Glühwürmchen”. He pronounces the word immediately error-free, despite the two “Üs”.)
Cosmopolitan: And the Second one?
Jessica and I talked in a shooting break about our favourite actor. Mine is Sam Rockwell. Without word of a lie, a minute later we saw Sam Rockwell on the other side of the street. I said: “Oh my God”. Jessica:”Let´s say Hello”. I said:”No”. She then grabbed me by my arm and pulled me across the street till we stood in front of him. Jessica:”Tell him”. I said:”You´re my favourite actor”. Sam replied in his deep voice:” Oh that´s great. Thanks”. That was for me a magical New York moment. This is a magical city. Something can happen any minute.
Cosmopolitan: But not in London where you live?
You have to search much more. The Problem with these magical moments are, through our normal daily routine we don’t have the time or the senses to detect them.
Cosmopolitan: As a Hollywood do you have a normal Daily routine? You certainly have somebody who cleans cooks and does your grocery shopping…..
No, as far as that’s concerned I am down to earth. The reason is that I have been working as an actor for the last 19 years and slowly being able to live upon it. My brain has had the chance to adapt to my career. The danger of being conceited was never an issue. I found the time between movies takes to pay my bills, fix the roof if necessary, cook…
Cosmopolitan: You really cook at home?
Yes and I like to. Before my acting career I worked as a baker’s trainee. When I am in New York I always visit my favourite coffee shop “Babycakes” on the Lower Eastside and buy myself a Donut. My wife does the baking that´s not my thing, but I like to cook especially stews.
Cosmopolitan: Soyou are not only a great actor you are also a great husband.
I have many sides! (laughs) Sometime I am just a Daddy and sometimes I feel like a Teenager. I grew up with my grandparents. Whenever I visited them I always saw the child in me, even now at 35. My wife always says:”You doing it again, you are acting like a Teenager”. Then I realise it myself and have to laugh about it. It´s amazing that, depending on who you are with, you change into a different version of yourself.
Cosmopolitan: I read somewhere you were considering to be a Missionary.
Yes, but not because I am a strict catholic, but because it seemed at the time the best idea to travel around the world. Suddenly my luck with women changed which was not the case beforehand. I enjoyed it so much that I definitely didn’t want to live in celibate. So I stayed in Glasgow and studied acting.
Cosmopolitan: And then you played into the hearts of even more woman. Isn’t it hard to stay faithful?
James (laughs) Well, I have a wife, so I am monogamic. My heart also belongs to my son and my grandparents. As far as my friends are concerned, I am not so gracious with my feeling. This is a result of getting older. I found out that my energy is finite.
Cosmopolitan: Even though, you sometimes feel like a Teenager?
Yes, but it´s only for a short period of time. With the birth of my son, four years ago, my light-heartedness completely flew out of the window, but that´s a good thing. I don’t want to be as jaunty as I was before. Sometimes it´s important that some worries give you sleepless nights. The only thing, which makes me sad is, the older you get the more careful and pragmatic you get. I never use to think about boundaries, everything was possible, but with age comes the fear, which says: Life is terminal.
Cosmopolitan: That´s the reason you should try to live as many magical moments as possible. Right?
Definitely! You have to make some space. When I played in “The Chronicles of Narnia” I use the free time between takes to run by myself, from the East to the West coast. That was so liberating and unique. Of course, you can go to the cinema to experience Magic, but for me it happens in real life. Movies are here to remind you what an incredible place our world is. When we watch movies or listen to music, we are able to pause the time for a moment, to see ourselves. They are Magic- Triggers.
Cosmopolitan: De La Soul sings in a song: “Three is a magic number”. Do you also have a number that has a special meaning for you?
Yes, 27. It´s not as if being 27 was the best year of my life, but for some unusual reason the number has a good flair.
Cosmopolitan: What can you do now well, that you couldn´t do with 27?
Let things go. You learn that with the job. You can be rejected as an actor even when you are successful. Besides, for every positive criticism there is always someone who hates you. I am used to be rejected und just say to myself: “Who cares”. Saying Goodbye has always been hard for me.
Cosmopolitan: In which context?
For some reason it ´s really hard for me to say goodbye to another person. I don’t know why, I think it lies in the Family. I try to prolong this moment as long as possible, but causes even more suffering.
Cosmopolitan: In “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” it´s also about being able to submerge, become invisible. Is there a moment where you want to be invisible?
At Award ceremonies when I am nominated but don’t win. Or at a movie premiere when I, for the first time, watch it with an audience and realize: “Oh F*** that movie really sucks”. The lights go on and the audience applaud and I just think:” Oh my God I gotta get outta here, now.” It would be great to be invisible in moments like that.
Every month Melanie Jassner asks one of our readers Questions: This Time: Do you have any musical talent? I use to play the guitar and the piano. In Drama School I also was in the choir and sung Baritone, and I wasn´t too bad. But honestly, the last time I sang was 14 years ago.
COSMOPOLITAN Germany, October 2015 issue has an interview with Rob. Many thanks to @Inthejungle83 for the tip and translation!
Honestly Robert Pattinson, do fame and success drive you crazy sometimes?
Robert Pattinson ate a ‘curry wurst’ for lunch. That is the first thing he tells me after our 'hello’ during our interview in Berlin. He pronounces it adorably 'Denglish Corrywuscht’. “I had French fries with it, but only five”, he tells me grinning. “I’m trying to eat more healthy.” He doesn’t need it though: slightly tanned, the biggest thing about him is his beard, which, like his messy gelled hair, is very groomed. Ever since he played vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga, he is the most sought after blood sucker in the world. The tabloids like to describe him as shy, but here he is smiling non stop, like a rascal planning his next prank. Maybe he is happy that the 'blockbuster’ times are over. Ever since the fifth and last Twilight movie came out three years ago he wasn’t part of huge commercial Hollywood productions. Independent movies are now his thing. Like the ingenious biopic Life in which he plays the photographer Dennis Stock. He took pictures of James Dean for the US magazine Life in 1955, shortly before Dean died and made him immortal with his pictures. Fame and immortality are not strange concepts for Robert Pattinson, right?
Mr. Pattinson when was the first time you felt you were famous?
That was six months before the second Twilight movie came out. A PR guy invites me to a hip party in a club in LA. I forgot the name of the guy standing at the door waiting to be let in. The doorman just looked at me and said: “It’s okay, you can go in.” I was like “what?” Until then I never got into the clubs that easily. Shortly after that came the hot dog incident.
Tell me about that.
Well, I was eating a hot dog and dropped mustard on my shirt. Usually that would have made me uncomfortable, but everyone around me said “hey, that’s totally okay”, it was like I did something amazing . That’s when I knew: I can do whatever I want.
Being famous can be confusing then?
Yes, but only in one aspect: I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but I can’t walk around without being recognized. If people would say a quick “hello”, it would be fine, but every second person wants to do a selfie. That means I always have to be in a good mood.
Is there a question apart from the picture question, you can’t hear anymore?
“I know you will hate it, but………. ”
Who says something like that?
Everyone. Especially back then. During Twilight a lot of people were pulling me about and telling me who I am. I didn’t knowwho I was myself and honestly I still don’t know who I am. But I wanted to have the chance to find that out by myself.
How did you not go crazy with the huge hysteria that came with Twilight?
Maybe becauseI never wanted to become famous. I’m satisfied with small things. The more famous I got, the more I wanted to hide. I was irritated by the hype. The climax of that was in the Munich OlympiaHalle: 3000 fans were cheering when I was answering a question. It’s much better now. The Twilight fans got older and it’s a lot more relaxed now.
Does an ex vampire go into the sun?
Yes. But I’m one of those idiots that puts on sunscreen with SPF factor 50 on the first day and then on the second day wonders “hey, I didn’t get a tan. Let’s take SPF 5.” That means on every single holiday I get sunburn. It’s good that I stayed in London for a while. It can’t happen here.
Is London a save haven for you like Marion, Indiana was for James Dean?
London is home for me. I have been living in LA for six years and didn’t go to Great Britain for some time. During my last stay in London I realized how much I missed it. But it’s more the people that give me the feeling of home and not really the places.
In Life you play the photographer that made James Dean a legend. James Dean died when he was 24 years old so you survived him by five years….
You won’t believe how many of my friends wrote this message to me on my 28th birthday “happy birthday. You are still alive.” Me: “Did you think I would be dead by now?” Them: “Yes.” Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix and Amy Whinehouse, they all died when they were 27.
Do you go to celebrity doctors for your check ups?
No. I went to a dentist in LA who was well know in celebrity circles. There was a techno music playing in the practise. He was telling me about all the people that come to him. The weirdest thing was: he wasn’t wearing gloves for the treatment. I was laying there shocked thinking “do you think you are so cool that you don’t need gloves?” Nasty, I didn’t go there again.
Did you become weird?
I always have been weird. As soon as I have to talk to more than one person, it gets difficult. Having to do small talk at an event is hell for me. The crazy thing is that most people think that the more famous you get the more confident you are. I learned something about that playing a photographer: a camera around your neck will give you security. With it you get a reason to go to certain places or talk to people. I think I will carry a camera around with me from now on.
This is a reader’s question: What is the best part about being a celebrity?
That I can choose my roles and that I can go around the queue at the airport. That is the best by far and I don’t want to miss it.