James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X
I put Jame McAvoy on this list not to shortchange the amazing work that Patrick Stewart did in the first three X-Men films and in Days of Future Past. Yet I have to say that McAvoy’s performance is, in some ways, superior to Stewart’s just because of the different shades he’s able to give Charles Xavier. Whether it’s Professor X’s idealistic hope to unite all mutants together in First Class or the slow but eventual reassembling of his crushed spirit in Days of Future Past, McAvoy provides so much depth to Charles Xavier that I never found in the original three X-Men films. He makes the brilliant man in the wheelchair feel like a real person instead of just a genius mutant. McAvoy gives Xavier a heart to go along with that huge brain of his, and that only makes the character all the more compelling.
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