James McAvoy 'scunnered' by abuse hurled at female co-stars in Glasgow

The Scots actor claimed that, along with the rest of the cast, he was 'delighted' to leave the Scottish city for Brooklyn.

James McAvoy has said he was left “scunnered” by racial and sexually explicit abuse that was hurled at his female co-stars in Glasgow.

The Scottish actor claimed that during a two-week stint of Cyrano de Bergerac in the city, most of the women of colour in the cast received abuse fairly regularly.

Speaking with British GQ, he said: “The cast were amazing, it was brilliant.

“But I was really saddened, to be honest with you, because most of the women of colour in the cast got racially abused pretty much on a daily basis when we were there.”

McAvoy said the abuse was sexually explicit and violent, and entirely directed toward female actors.

“I was just really saddened. I was absolutely shocked and dismayed and to use a Scottish word, scunnered.

“We were delighted to get to Brooklyn [where the play was to move to next], and leave Glasgow. It was horrible.”

The X-Men star – originally from Glasgow – said he had long debated whether or not to make the revelation, because he “knows how it could go down at home”.

He added: “The narrative that Scottish people and the Scottish media want to hear when one of us has gone away and done all right, they like you to be back at home and go ‘It’s rare. It’s fantastic. I’m chuffed to be here and there’s no crowd like a Scottish crowd’.

“But I was going on stage every night going, ‘I don’t want us to be here. I brought this cast here and I don’t want to be here’.” 

Earlier in the year, McAvoy said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that the crowd in Scotland was “louder and more boisterous” – and even called out to him directly while onstage.

The actor is gearing up to reprise his role as Lord Asriel on season three of BBC drama His Dark Materials this December.

The latest instalment, which is based on Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass, will see Lyra (Dafne Keen) continue to flee the Magisterium, the organisation intent on ruling over a multi-world reality in which humans’ souls are represented by their daemon companions.

A spokesperson for Theatre Royal, Glasgow said: “Everyone at Theatre Royal was extremely upset by these incidents which happened elsewhere in Glasgow city centre.

“Diversity and inclusion remain a priority for us, and we offered appropriate support to the company at the time.”

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