James McAvoy dives into ‘Split’ with little outside help as he tackles a man with an extreme case of dissociative identity disorder, inhabiting up to 24 separate personalities, each carrying its own voice, movement, and facial inflections.
Actors make a living off of becoming someone else. Some approach it as playing pretend for money, and others completely lose their own personality to become the one on screen. There are a few who even put those to shame, encompassing multiple characters within the same work, so clever, so skilled, so brilliant that you forget about the original actor and buy into them completely. Tatiana Maslany has made a name for herself for portraying double-digit versions of herself in “Orphan Black,” using accents, mannerisms and body language aided by clothing styles and different themes of makeup. So let us dive into the new face of multiple-faced brilliance…SPLIT.
James McAvoy dives into SPLIT with little outside help as he tackles a man with an extreme case of dissociative identity disorder, inhabiting up to 24 separate personalities, each carrying its own voice, movement, and facial inflections. He goes from an older motherly female to a nine-year-old boy nearly immediately. Speaking to Collider recently, McAvoy revealed that there were some personalities that he enjoyed more than others. In fact, there was one that he plain just didn’t enjoy.
“Patricia. Simply because she wore high heels that I was told repeatedly by the women on set were very comfortable high heels. But they gave me nothing but grief.”
In the same interview, McAvoy stated that nine-year-old Hedwig was on the opposite side of that spectrum. Hedwig’s innocence and youthful energy were a nice change, but not without its share of its own darkness.
In SPLIT, three girls, including genre star Anya Taylor-Joy, are kidnapped by McAvoy’s Kevin, and while being imprisoned, discover Kevin’s wildly different personalities, some which might help, and others that have more nefarious plans. All are fearing the appearance of a new force, The Beast, which threatens them all.
Early opinions from screenings this week are positive, with some people saying that they can’t wait to see it a second time. With the success of THE VISIT, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan looks to bring out another successful outing after a string of disappointments. SPLIT opens in theaters Friday, January 20th, 2017, with some theaters having screenings Thursday night.
What are some of your favorite character performances in a film? What are the best multiple character performances out there? Are you heading out to see SPLIT this weekend?