James McAvoy's intense fight scenes with Charlize Theron

James McAvoy's intense fight scenes with Charlize Theron

James McAvoy loved getting his "ass kicked" by Charlize Theron in 'Atomic Blonde'.

The 38-year-old actor plays Cold War-era spy David Percival in the action thriller alongside Charlize as Lorraine Broughton and James admitted his character cannot compete with Charlize's in physical combat.

He told PEOPLE: "I didn't have a lot of fight scenes but I was pretty pleased with myself for figuring out how to keep a cigarette in my mouth while I was getting my ass kicked by Charlize Theron. And by the way I actually did, there was no camera trickery, I actually kept it in my mouth the whole time."

James sports a buzz cut in the movie but is currently bald as he prepares to reprise the role of Charles 'Professor X' Xavier in 'X-Men' movie 'Dark Phoenix', but James admitted he hates when he has to shave his head.

He explained: "I used to like the fact that it afforded me a certain amount of anonymity but it no longer does that. Since I did two movies that everybody saw where I had a bald head, now it's like a f***ing beacon. But what do I like about it? Not a lot at the moment. I like when it's been about five or seven days going in, then it's cool but when it's properly skinhead I look a bit weird. I do like the fact that I don't have to do anything in the morning."

And when he's not working, James prefers to chill out at home rather than throw himself into the Hollywood lifestyle.

He said: "What do I enjoy most when I'm not working? Hard drinking and drugs! No, like most good people, I enjoy the usual s**t. Playing football, reading, I like cooking. All these boring things I like to do when I'm not flying around the world crazy, just being safe at home."

Atomic Blonde

115 min

The crown jewel of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief. ...

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