The multiple personalities portrayed by James McAvoy in ‘Split’

Playing one character is hard enough. What about playing 23 of them in the same movie? That’s what James McAvoy does in the new movie “Split.” Deco’s Chris Van Vliet sat down with him, or maybe one of his 23 personalities?

James McAvoy is one of those actors who really transforms himself when he takes on a role. It’s hard to believe the man I interviewed is the same man who stars in this movie.

James McAvoy is Kevin. Well, kind of. He’s not just Kevin.

James McAvoy: “I play many different people. I play a group of people who all share a body. The original body belonged to Kevin.”

James McAvoy (as Kevin): “My name’s Hedwick. I have red socks.”

Anya Taylor-Joy (as Casey Cooke): “How old are you?”

James McAvoy (as Kevin): “Nine.”

One of his personalities abducts three teenage girls, and they have to wade through all the different identities to try to escape.

Anya Taylor-Joy (as Casey Cooke): “The only way we’re getting out of here is if one of them decides to let us out.”

James McAvoy (as Kevin): “Aren’t you the clever one?”

Anya Taylor-Joy: “Each of the characters, they’re not interpretations, they’re not caricatures, they’re real people. He’s just playing all of them.”

Playing 23 different characters is no small feat, and James said he had no idea what he was getting himself into when he first read the script for “Split.”

James McAvoy: “I was confused, like the audience, then I was enlightened, then I was confused again about something else, then I’d be enlightened again.”

“Split” is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, famous for movies like “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs.” He’s a master of building suspense, and his movies are always very cerebral.

M. Night Shyamalan: “I think I like that mixture of entertaining but talking about important things and provoking philosophical conversations and also artistic conversations.”

James McAvoy (as Kevin): “Someone’s coming for you, and you’re not going to like it.”

While this is a thriller and a horror movie, it’s also kind of a mystery.

James McAvoy: “I think what Night does really brilliantly is he answers every question with another question. So you have it answered, but there’s just another mystery that’s going to take hold.”

James McAvoy (as Kevin): “He’s done awful things to people, and he’ll do awful things to you.”

“Split” is now playing in theaters.

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