James McAvoy nearly passed out filming a scene from his cult-classic comic book movie Wanted in the late 2000s. In a new interview, McAcvoy takes something of a retrospective trip back through his own career, with a stop at Wanted. As the actor recalled, he went so hard trying to get into character as Wesley Gibson, a meek and emotionally repressed cubicle job worker that he nearly made himself pass out – but then again, he was also carrying a film that the studio didn't quite have confidence in him to carry, so he did have a reason to be putting in the effort.
"I nearly passed out on that job [filming Wanted] just to do the scene where my veins were popping out my head – where they were gonna augment it with CGI veins anyway."
If you need a reminder from 2008: In the opening Act of Wanted, McAvoy's Wesley Gibson is an over-stressed, anxious, and over-medicated wreck of a person. His job as a desk jockey comes with a stereotypical mean boss named Janice (Lorna Scott), who is constantly berating Wesley to the point that the mix of anxiousness and anger nearly makes the poor boy's head pop.
As you can see in the image, James McAvoy indeed went hard to get those facial veins popping in a scene where Janice's abuse becomes too great, and Wesley finally explodes and lets her have it. Kudos to McAvoy for doing the necessary self-stressing to make Wesley's emotional anguish look genuine – but doing those multiple workplace scenes in multiple takes and nearly fainting from the effort seems a bit like overkill.
Then again, that 2008 CGI wasn't the greatest, so maybe McAvoy did end up sparing us some awkward visual moments. The guy is committed, which is why his movie resume looks so great!
If you haven't seen it, check out Wanted (2008), based on the Mark Millar comic series:
The anxious, clumsy and abused office clerk Wesley Allan Gibson has a hell and boring routine life: his obese boss humiliates him all the time and his girlfriend betrays him with his colleague and best friend during working period. When he meets the sexy Fox, Wesley is informed that his father was a professional killer that belonged to an ancient organization called Fraternity and killed by the skilled and powerful Cross, a hit-man that has betrayed the Fraternity. Wesley learns that his anxiety actually is a manifestation of his latent abilities and he joins the society under the command of Sloan. Trained by Fox, he changes his personality and attitude, being prepared to face the dangerous Cross and find a hidden secret.
Wanted is currently streaming on Netflix. Wanted 2 has still not been announced.