James McAvoy was once so poor he survived for five years on £1,200.

The 'Gnomeo and Juliet' star and his sister Joy were raised by their grandparents and mother after their parents divorced and although he had a happy childhood, James admitted the family had so little money that he couldn't believe it when he was paid £1,200 for his debut role in 'The Near Room' in 1995.

The Scottish actor - who was raised in Glasgow - said in an interview with WWD: "We lived in a kind of rough-enough area. My grandparents and mother were very protective and made sure that no harm came to us. They were quite controlling, and until about the age of 15 or 16, I was firmly on a leash.

"I got paid something like £1,200 pounds [for 'The Near Room'] - and that kept me going for about five years."

James has recently finished filming 'The Conspirator' with Robin Wright and the actress called James the "life of the party".

She said: "He is Mr. Congeniality, the life of the party. Everyone loves him. You always hear these terrible rumours about how self-consumed and narcissistic actors are. But James is not like that at all. He's thoughtful and very human. He believes we are all one - he's just a love."