Hotly tipped to feature among the big names read out at tomorrow's Oscar nominations for his role in WWII romance Atonement, Glasgow-born actor James McAvoy is undoubtedly on the cusp of a golden era in his career. While he continues to build on his growing international reputation, the 28-year-old remains refreshingly free of Hollywood hype, however, and insists he loves leading a "normal" life.
The man who once said: "I'm not in it for the fame. Who I am isn't important. What I do is," still drives a second-hand Nissan Micra and shares a modest £178,000 flat in London's far-from-fashionable Stroud Green, with his wife Anne-Marie Duff, 37, who bought it before they wed in 2006.
Despite their growing stature - Anne-Marie is a much acclaimed theatre actress and double Bafta nominee - they continue to shop in their local budget supermarket and guard their private life from the press. "We don't turn up together at lots of events," says James, who met Elizabeth I star Anne-Marie when they worked together on gritty TV drama Shameless. "We rejoice in having a normal life."