In 2006, the British public crowned James McAvoy as the inaugural Orange Rising Star.
James stole the show from a shortlist of five international young actors and actresses, nominated for their outstanding performances and exceptional talent.
"This award is very special because it's in honour of Mary Selway, somebody who cared about nurturing talent and not just about finding the next big thing for the next five minutes," said James. "It's doubly special because the audience vote for it; it feels nice to know that they are rooting for you."
Born in Scotland in 1979, James trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and is a highly skilled boxer, fencer and acrobat as well as a fire eater. He graduated in 2000.
His film debut was in 1998 in Gillies MacKinnon's Regeneration. James is already known to UK audiences as loveable thief Steve in Paul Abbot's TV series Shameless, and for his roguish role as Simon in Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things (2003). Last Christmas saw him take up the role of charming Mr Tumnus, the faun in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).
James had an exceptional year after receiving this coveted award, firmly establishing himself as a risen star. Five of his films were screened at the Toronto Film Festival and he has starred in Penelope, Starter For Ten, the BAFTA-winning The Last King of Scotland and, most-recently, Joe Wright film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s best-selling novel Atonement.