James McAvoy Reveals the Hardest X-Men Movie for Him to Act In

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
James McAvoy X-Men Charles Xavier

Charles Xavier/Professor X actor James McAvoy opened up about the most challenging X-Men movie that he worked on. 

McAvoy first portrayed the leader of the X-Men during X-Men: First Class, with the actor making an impactful debut alongside Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique and Michael Fassbender's Magneto. 

Ultimately, two generations of X-Men actors collided in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past when McAvoy's Professor X met Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier in an epic time travel crossover flick. 

James McAvoy's X-Men Acting Workouts

James McAvoy in X-Men Days of Future Past

During a panel at this year's Calgary Expo, via Agents of Fandom, Professor X star James McAvoy admitted that X-Men: Days of Future Past was the X-Men movie that challenged him the most as a performer.

The X-Men actor pointed out that he "got more of an acting workout" on that particular film than any movie that he has worked on, noting that it was "so deep and focused so much" on Xavier's story: 

“I got more of an acting workout than I think I’ve had in any other movie. It was so deep and focused so much on Charles’ story. It was as much of an acting workout as any non-comic book movie I’ve ever done.”

Moreover, when Agents of Fandom asked McAvoy what he took away from portraying Charles Xavier in the X-Men films, the actor responded by reflecting on being "careful" that "you're not hurting people because you're pursuing a higher good:"

"You got to be careful that you're not hurting people because you're pursuing a higher good righteous goal. The self-obsession and self-absorption that a good person can have...I'm gonna try to keep an eye on myself."

In a previous interview with GQ, McAvoy offered high praise to X-Men: Days of Future Past, saying that it is "one of the better films that I've been involved in:" 

"It was one of the most positive experiences I've had with a studio. I don't really [see them as just] money gigs. 'Days of Future Past' I think is one of the better films that I've been involved in."

Will James McAvoy Return as Charles Xavier?

James McAvoy's latest comments about his experience working in X-Men: Days of Future Past aren't surprising since the film went on a deep dive into Charles Xavier's character arc like never before. 

While the cherry on top is the meeting between the two generational Professor X actors, McAvoy's impressive portrayal of the X-Men leader was highly praised, considering that he was able to complement Patrick Stewart's already-iconic performance. 

Some have theorized that McAvoy's version of Charles Xavier could make a jump to the MCU, especially now that the Multiverse Saga is in full swing. 

The actor previously responded with "never say never" when asked about a potential X-Men return, but he did point out that he will not be sad about it if he doesn't get to make a Charles Xavier comeback. 

Moreover, with Avengers: Secret Wars rumored to bring back legacy Marvel characters, McAvoy confirmed that he hasn't received a call yet to return in the upcoming MCU crossover movie. 

Whether or not McAvoy ends up returning, many would agree that the actor managed to give his all when it comes to portraying the iconic X-Men character. 

X-Men: Days of Future Past is streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.