James McAvoy at 5’7″: ‘I sometimes get told I’m too short for a role’

James McAvoy seen arriving at the global studios

I love tall men. I want to climb them. There’s nothing better than a lanky-yet-muscular guy above 6’4” who carries himself well. But there’s also something to be said for normal-sized dudes and short dudes too. James McAvoy isn’t really what I would consider short – he’s shorter than average, if “average” is six feet tall, give or take two inches. James is 5’7”. He’s well built, well proportioned and he’s also really handsome and talented. Which makes him just… hot. But Hollywood has given him a little bit of a complex about his height because other people are so obsessed with it. Come on, peeps. We don’t want shorter dudes wearing lifts all the time now! James chatted about his height in an interview to promote his latest play – he’s starring in Cyrano de Bergerac at the Playhouse Theatre.

James McAvoy revealed he’s been turned down for a number of movie roles because of his height. The “X-Men” and “Split” actor, who is 5’7″, told The Telegraph, “As a shorter man, I sometimes get told I’m too short for a role. Or even when I get a role, I’m made to feel like, well, of course, we’re going to have to do something about that,” the 40-year-old added in reference to an unnamed female co-star who said their on-screen relationship seemed unlikely because of their height difference.

She reportedly questioned McAvoy’s casting “because nobody would believe [the character] would be with someone like her.”

“That was a kick in the nuts,” he admitted “I was like, ‘All right, now I’ve got to pretend that I really like you for eight more weeks. This is going to be really tough, because you’re so far up yourself.’ It got really interesting, that relationship,” McAvoy continued said. “Sometimes you’re made to feel like you’re not good-looking enough to get a role.”

[From Fox News]

I will seriously fight anyone who suggests that this wee Scottish angel is not good looking enough. He’s absolutely beautiful! Great face, great smile, gorgeous blue eyes. But I could see how Hollywood – and even British film/TV productions – would still try to “fix” his height. It’s a thing – they’ll make actors stand on boxes so they’ll look slightly taller than their female costars, that kind of thing. And I’ve heard various tall actresses talk about how important it is for them to have tall costars too. I don’t know. I feel like some of it is just standard industry crap, but some of it is just people being mean to James for no reason. Also: interesting blind item about the female costar who bitched about his height. I would say Charlize Theron, but I think she hand-picked James for Atomic Blonde. Angelina Jolie in Wanted? Hm. Jessica Chastain? No, I think she’s kind of short too. Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane? Keira Knightley in Atonement? I NEED TO KNOW.

Michael Fassender and James McAvoy seen leaving the Global studios

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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84 Responses to “James McAvoy at 5’7″: ‘I sometimes get told I’m too short for a role’”

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  1. Slowsnow says:

    And I love your first two sentences.
    Signed: married to a tall man I want to climb.

    Ps/ also need to know who the sh*tty actress was. James is a delight in every sense!!!

    • Trashaddict says:

      Please tell me it’s not Angeline.
      Also, shorter people get less job offers in general than taller folks.
      Sucks that things having nothing to do with ability affect that.

      • BellaBella says:

        Not in the movie world tho. Short people rule! Most actors are short.

      • MariaS says:

        Nah, he’s been really positive about working with Angelina Jolie. Talked about how understanding she was about how much he farted in the car scenes with her because of all the protein shakes they made him drink.

  2. trace_smiles says:

    Well, I got told I was too short for basketball when I was younger and it bummed me out so, I feel his pain 🤷🏻‍♀️

  3. Lucy says:

    Oh, please. He’s too good for anyone who suggests his height is a flaw!

    • Erinn says:


      I’m also not even quite 5’2″. 5’7″ still has 5″ on me. I’m a big fan of the shorter guys – my husband is about 5’7″ – 5’8″.

      Short people can rest easy because we tend to live longer, so there’s at least a trade off, I guess.

  4. runcmc says:

    That is SO crappy, I feel awful for him! Both my fiancé and I are 5’7” and I remember when we first met, I thought I didn’t like men shorter than 6 ft (since I’m tall-Ish for a woman, and super tall for a woman from my country) but his confidence blew me away.

    All that to say: I really hope the movie industry doesn’t beat the confidence out of James McAvoy because that’s the most attractive trait of all, beyond height or anything else IMO.

    • Dani says:

      Same here! I’m 5’7′ and my husband is 5’8′ (and a half so he claims lol) and I used to only like guys over 6 foot till I met him. I didn’t even think twice about his height.

    • Ellie says:

      I am 5’7.5 and my boyfriend is like just 5’4….. definitely had to get used to it!

  5. Ariel says:

    He certainly has every right to feel aggrieved and annoyed, but I do wonder if he knows that’s how women are treated, not just in his industry, but in everyday life – about every part of their bodies and personalities.
    Too big, too loud, annoying laugh, shouldn’t wear that, etc.

    Of course, McAvoy is so damn pretty.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Exactly he is employed in an industry where a 29 year old Angelina Jolie played the role of the mother to a 28 year old Colin Farrell, (In Alexander the great) and in “Kinsey,” where 59-year-old John Lithgow plays the father of 52-year-old Liam Neeson, Hollywood is about as deep as a puddle.

    • lucy2 says:

      Very good point, and he’s done quite well regardless.

  6. vanna says:

    Me thinks Christina Ricci (Penelope). I think he got along well with Angelina Jolie.

    • toro says:

      c ricci is shorter than him

    • Livvers says:

      This was my guess. Supposedly she does not have a reputation as a kind person, shall we say. And McAvoy says nothing about his costar being literally taller then him, more that she thought herself ‘above’ him.

    • Polly says:

      But Penelope literally has a pig snout for a nose. I don’t think she would consider that character too good looking to be with someone like him?

    • ariel says:

      I love Penelope. Such a weird, great movie. Bonus Peter Dinklage and Reese Witherspoon.

  7. bub244 says:

    Whoever said he isn’t good-looking enough for a role needs their eyesight sighted. I’m a few inches taller than him and I think he’s very sexy.

  8. Kate says:

    He’s one of my favorite actors! Had no idea he was short, and don’t care. I’m 6ft1, hell he can climb me! LOL

  9. Livvers says:

    I can’t remember when I first heard this, but I always thought the reason there were so many men in the 5’6″ to 5’10” range in Hollywood was because it is easier to frame shots between them and their woman costars. I remember seeing behind-the-scenes photos of a Ben Affleck film once and his costar was standing on an applebox just to get her head in frame with him. When McAvoy said this I realized it must have been an erroneous assumption on my part (even thought it seems practical to me!).

    • Algernon says:

      No, you’re right. When we shoot commercials, we prefer to match heights of everyone on camera because it’s quicker and easier than dealing with a super tall person who sticks out like a sore thumb. I think James’s comment is more about this particular costar who made him feel bad, because in general he’s a great height for camera.

  10. Abby says:

    Ahh I love him!! Atonement is one of his best movies. Love. I’ll watch him in anything.

    Who is this co-star? How nice he didn’t disclose that.

  11. Lucy says:

    I doubt it is Jessica Chastain. The two of them are good friends. (

  12. Allie says:

    I’m not even 5 feet and was always very happy to meet guys who were shorter than 6 feet. I don’t want to climb anyone. I want to be able to have conversations with someone without getting neckpain from looking up all the time. Also, a huge difference in height looks just super weird as if you’re out with daddy.

  13. SM says:

    Oh, I want to know. Was he ever in a movie with Kidman? It probably is not Theron, she did want his specifically for Atomic Blonde. Keira loves his ass and is petite herself, so who? Maybe Angelina, thought is she really that much bigger than him?

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Keira is the same height as Charlize (5’9”). And Angelina is 5’7”. It may not be any of them.

  14. Adrien says:

    Heh! That’s the average height of American leading men. Korean leads are taller than their British and American counterparts. Majority of the Avengers heroes have that height. Add most Star Wars men to that. Tom Cruise, ahem. Jason Statham, Mark Mark. A lot of these Hollywood actors are surprisingly tiny in real life. The thing with McAvoy is that he has such small frame. He is built like a boy. Diego Luna is around 5’10” but he seemed smaller because he has narrow shoulders and a twinky body.

    • Your cousin Vinny says:

      Add to that George Clooney. I once found myself standing next to him and he was suprisingly petite

    • lucy2 says:

      I was thinking this too – a LOT of Hollywood leading men are considered “short”. RDJ is another one, and Sylvester Stallone too.

  15. IMUCU says:

    James is one of my favorites…I’m 5’4, my husband is 5’7 and he seems tall enough to me (-:!

  16. SJR says:

    McAvoy is Hot! No need to worry about height, he has talent. One of those actors I will watch almost anything because they are in lead role. I first noticed him in Shameless and he really did burst off the screen, right from the start.

    I am 5′ 6″ and I admit I have a “type”… 5’9” or taller, dark hair, soft brown eyes, fit, easy going, funny, must have 40 hour a week employment, a kind way to others.
    Basically, Keanu Reeves. 🙂

  17. Texas says:

    I love shorter men. 5’ 10” (which is not short actually, is perfect). But 5’ 7” would work to.

  18. Jess says:

    Omg James is my forever crush! Also, I love short men. 💁🏻‍♀️
    For the actress, Im gonna go out on a limb and suggest Kerry Washington from Last King of Scotland. Apparently it was a tough shoot all around, and very tough subject matter so who knows what went down. I’m not saying Kerry isn’t awesome (she is!) but maybe she was suggesting that this woman isn’t going to throw her life away for someome so tiny?? Lol Who knows!

    • lucy2 says:

      Kerry is 5’4″, so I don’t know that she’d complain about it?
      I’m thinking Savannah is right and it’s Anne Hathaway. She’s 5′-8″.
      (all heights according to google)

  19. Trillian says:

    I think that’s short. But then, I am from Germany, men tend to be taller here. Living in the US I was often the tallest person in a checkout line (and I am 5’9) and if I had a dollar for every time some guy said “Oh, you’re soo tall” ….

    • Kristina says:

      Yes. I’m 5’6” and all I get are the “YOURE SO TALL” comments. I’m the literal shortest in my entire extended family- My mom’s family immigrated from Austria and she was 5’11”. I can’t imagine all the comments she got If I get it so much at my height. My poor mom always wore flats and walked hunched over 🙁 my husband is 5’10” by the way, which is the American male average exactly. And he’s the shortest of the men when we gather for family events for my side.

    • Moneypenny says:

      You just have to go to the Midwest where everyone is of German, Dutch and Scandinavian descent :). Growing up there at 5’11, I was always a tall woman, but most men were my height or taller!

  20. Turtledove says:

    He is one of a handful of actors that I will watch in *anything*. Talented, charismatic and pretty as hell. Who cares how TALL he is? We are talking about movies, actors have been standing on apple crates for as long as film was rolling.

  21. Polly says:

    He’s great as Lord Asriel in the new adaptation of His Dark Materials.

  22. Lala11_7 says:

    Yea…but he’s about 7’0″ tall….When he stands on his talent….so…there’s that!

  23. Lena says:

    My vote is Charlize who said that. I saw a promo interview for her new movie bombshell with the other actresses and I was kind of taken aback how kind of aggressively blunt and profane she was. I think she might be socially awkward enough to be the type to say something mean and blunt like that. I know people say she said she picked him but don’t they always say how they always wanted to work with such and such and actor once they are doing publicity for the film?

    • Jadedone says:

      Was he a love interest in Atomic blonde? Sorry never saw it.

    • lucy2 says:

      I could see her saying it, she is pretty blunt, but she was a producer on Atomic Blonde and involved in the casting, it wasn’t just promotional talk.

  24. Anne says:

    He lives in my neighborhood in London, and when I first moved here and didn’t know my way around, I was navigating with my head in my phone. Ran smack into him. He is so damn handsome, who cares about the height?

  25. TheRickestRick says:

    As I’m 5’8 you’d think I’d like only tall men but I’ve discovered over the years that there’s something about being able to stand eye to eye and chest to chest. I find it so erotic, much more than craning my neck back for eye contact or kissing. So I’m all in for “short” guys, therefore James McAvoy = perfectly delicious!

  26. Alexandria says:

    I’m too short for anything. I wish I had height. Taller people are deemed more attractive (even tho they look average) and tend to have higher salaries too.

  27. anneliser says:

    I usually prefer taller guys even though I’m on the short side myself … but JM I would hit like Cyber Monday.

  28. Mee says:

    Yeah he’s short. YEAH MOST MALE ACTORS ARE SHORT. A friend of mine is an actress, she’s 5’7 and often lies about her height…says 5’6 because if the guy is short she gets auto eliminated before she even auditions.

  29. Ann says:

    I am 5’7″ and I find that I am taller than a lot of people even though I’m not that tall. I personally prefer men to be taller than me. It’s not them, it’s me, for real. I am big boned woman with big boobs and broad shoulders. I want a bigger partner. I’ve been with shorter dudes and very thin dudes and it just makes me too self conscious because of my own size insecurities. Those personal issues simply aren’t there with a big tall man.

    I would of course make some hypothetical exceptions, including James McAvoy and this gorgeous doctor I work with who happens to be a Marine vet, a successful GI surgeon, and is roughly 5’5″. Hot is hot in the abstract.

    • Joanna says:

      I’m big boned w big boobs as well but I’m 5 ft 6 in. My 6 ft tall 240 lbs husband makes me feel petite and has no problem with my build. After dating guys who wanted me to be so thin, it is a pleasant change.

  30. 10KTurtle says:

    I’m obsessed with IMDB trivia, and based on the heights listed in all their pages almost everyone in Hollywood is under 6ft. My friend and I joke that we could totally “Godzilla the red carpet” because I’m 5’10” and she’s 6’0”.
    Side note: I hate being taller than everyone all the time, but at the same time I get a weird anxiety when I am around people taller than me because it happens so seldom. I would love to meet a guy the same height as me or a little shorter who likes me, but men don’t like taller women (no matter what they all say).

    • megs283 says:

      I’m 5’11” and my husband is slightly shorter than me. In my single days, I used to get SSOOOOO MADDDD seeing a short woman with a tall man. Glad those rage-filled moments are over!

      I dated two guys who were taller than me. They were tall, but they certainly weren’t right for me…

      • 10KTurtle says:

        I wouldn’t say I get mad, because personal preference is personal preference and I was never particularly looking for a tall person myself. I’d settle for a nonsmoker who graduated from high school and doesn’t send me unsolicited d*ck pics at this point… I think anybody is lucky these days to find someone you like who likes you back at the same time.

      • Joanna says:

        What is it w tall guys being w short women? Very rarely do you see a tall man with a tall woman!

    • bub244 says:

      I’m sorry that’s been your experience, Turtle. I’m 5’10” and as a teenager found it absolutely mortifying. Then I came to terms with it, and now I actually really like it – to the point i’ll happily wear heels, even if they put me higher than my 6’0” boyfriend! I totally get the feeling though, I spent so many years slouching so as not to tower over boys. The ones who make you feel bad for it aren’t worth it, and my boyfriend now loves my long legs 😉

  31. Valiantly Varnished says:

    YES to tall men. I often say I want to climb tall men too lol! I am 5’7” so I an not short for a woman but I am not supermodel height either. I don’t think I could date someone my height or shorter. I enjoy tall men.

    Note: When I was in NYC last month to see Tom Hiddleston in Betrayal, Alexander Skarsgard walked past me on the street. First off – my GOD that man is beautiful in person. And second he is a GIANT. 6’4” tall Swede. And then later that night I saw another tall drink of water – Tom Hiddleston- who is tall and lovely and was super nice and gave me an autograph and picture. And also very handsome. It was a good day.

    • lucy2 says:

      5’7″ too, and I too like tall guys, but I wouldn’t be opposed to dating someone my height or slightly shorter, if I liked them.
      I am SOOOOO jealous you saw Alexander in person.

    • Joanna says:

      Wow, I’m so jealous

  32. bekindbekindbekind says:

    A friend filmed scenes with Tom Cruise while standing in a trench so TC would be taller.

    It all depends on your value to Hollywood. If they want you, they’ll do anything to make you look any number of ways. If they don’t, they’ll find an excuse to reject you.

    ETA – This is no disrespect to McAvoy. Hollywood has many levels of “want.” McAvoy is a respected talent. TC is an A++++ superstar. God knows why at this point.

    • msd says:

      Exactly. Hollywood is full of short movie stars. Most of the male ones are shorter than they look and the film business is kinder to short men than tall women, or women in general. It’s a business built on looks but you can be sure McAvoy gets nowhere near the amount of judgment on height/weight/looks than his female co-stars.

  33. Ollie says:

    Went to see this beauty of a man last week at the Playhouse Theatre in London and he is absolutely gorgeous, ladies. Also, got a chance to compare our height after the play as he was signing posters and taking selfies with the fans outside the theatre – what can I say, his 5’7″ match mine 5’5″ quite perfectly :-)))

    • Eugh says:

      Lol anytime I read an IMDb height I also subtract 2 inches for reality. Glad this scientific observation backs up my logic!

  34. No Doubt says:

    I’m tall for a woman…5’8″ to be exact so I need a tall man. The taller the better! I would happily make an exception for him and Shia Lebeouf though haha!

  35. Jess says:

    I actually prefer men close to my height, but as I’m 5’11” that means they’re pretty tall anyway. I once dated a guy who was 6’6″ and it was too big of a difference, I felt like a child around him and I did not find it sexy at all. One – three inches taller is the sweet spot. Never understood the desire to feel dainty or delicate around a guy, but I was lucky enough to grow up in a place (Hawaii) where both men and women are pretty tall and there were always a lot of guys who were much bigger than me so I was never made to feel insecure about my height.

  36. Ignoto says:

    The first person that came to mind was Rebecca Hall. She’s 5’ 10”. They were in the film “Starter for 10” and their height difference was noticeable.

    • Normades says:

      I think this is the best guess. Anne is a try hard but she seems pretty professional and her colleagues all seem to like her. Also her husband isn’t very tall Charlize picked him for the role and the other actresses are all on the shorter side.

      So I’m voting for Rebecca too.

  37. anonymous says:

    I’m starting to think it was Anne Hathaway

  38. Sloth says:

    I have been reading this blog for years, and have come close to cracking and commenting, but this is the article I could not resist! I’m a sucker for James McAvoy and love a good mystery. Becoming Jane was filmed in the aforementioned 8 weeks, which to me is a bit of an Easter egg. There seems to be no documented interaction between the two aside from in the film. When asked about working with each other, their responses seem careful and sometimes tepid from a few interviews I’ve skimmed – James admitted in one that they clashed ‘creatively’, whereas hers were characteristically grandiose although she said when she first met him she minimized him as just ‘a lovely young man’ (despite him being older, thus kinda coming across as patronizing). She’s 5″8, so at least marginally taller. At that time she was also in the midst of what I consider to be her slightly smug – and affected saccharine – phase…

    Whereas Charlize is indeed taller and notoriously does not mince her words, she presumably had veto power as the driving star and co-producer of Atomic Blonde, and her relationship with James seems more in line to the relationship he presents with Jennifer Lawrence.

    And that concludes my 15-minute investigation/15-minute exercise in procrastination 😛

    • Jesma says:

      I wonder is Anne usually has taller costars than James. IMHO he is better looking than Anne anyways.

    • Xpresson says:

      I read something about this years ago. It is Anne Hathaway. They didn’t get on that well on set. The article mentioned something about him not being tall etc. James was not that well known yet so I’m not surprised that Anne wasn’t too keen on him. Anyway…. yeah it was Hathaway

  39. Lou says:

    I’m 5’1 and my man is 6’1. I usually preferred shorter guys but you can’t fight love.

    I’d tap McAvoy in a second. That actress is crazy.

  40. Well, I’m 5’11, so from where I’m sitting you ARE too short for the role. LOVE YOU.

  41. Elizabeth says:

    They could just cast short actresses with him. Someone like Emilia Clarke, maybe.

  42. Steph says:

    I’m with you on the height thing. I can accurately recognize 6’4 from 2 blocks away. And I’ve only once ever dated below 6’2 but ever since Wanted I’ve said James could sooo get it. Also, is that Fassbender with him?

  43. Perthgirl says:

    Rebecca Hall from Starter for Ten is very tall. The one who Sam Mended had an affair with. Would make sense as her and McAvoy were both starting out then.

  44. Alaska says:

    Why would women be interested in big guys? Hmm, I wonder.