James McAvoy on Why He Loves Working With M. Night Shyamalan

In the new thriller Glass, James McAvoy reprised his role as Kevin Wendell Holmes—a role that required some serious bulking up in addition to impressive acting chops. It also reunited him with famed director M. Night Shyamalan, who directed McAvoy in Split, and the February Men’s Journal cover star was happy to be on set with him again. Behind the scenes at our cover shoot, McAvoy called Shyamalan one of “the most prepared directors I’ve ever worked with.”

First of all, McAvoy explained, every director has their own style. On some sets, the filmmaking process is very experimental, with no set idea of what a scene should look or feel like. That means it requires a long series of takes and plenty of editing magic for a winning scene to take shape.

Shyamalan is the opposite: Before the cameras even start rolling, he has a clear vision of what he wants and how a scene should go. For an actor like McAvoy, that can be a breath of fresh air. He knows exactly what he needs to do on camera.

“With him it’s way more deliberate and focused, which I love,” he said.

And if you head down to your local movie theater, you can see how that translates into a finished film: A very ripped McAvoy giving a dazzling, and decidedly creepy, performance as Holmes and his multiple personalities.

Learn more about what it’s like for McAvoy on set in the video above, and check out our full profile on him in the February issue of Men’s Journal, available on newsstands now.