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Neil Gaiman Earns TIME100 Spot; James McAvoy on Why He Deserves It

James McAvoy shares why Neil Gaiman (Good Omens, The Sandman) deserves his spot on this year's TIME100 list of influential people.

Second only to its annual "Person of the Year," TIME's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world is an attention-grabber that cut across politics, entertainment, journalism, athletics, science & technology, and more. To celebrate this year's edition, actors Jennifer Coolidge & Michael B. Jordan, recording artist Doja Cat, and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger grace the four covers of the magazine that was released. But inside it where it gets really fascinating, as guest contributors are paired up with honorees to share their thought on why they earned the right to be on that TIME100 list (which you can check out in its entirety here). Just some of those match-ups include Mia Farrow on Coolidge, Mary Barra on Iger, Ryan Coogler on Jordan, Mila Kunis on Zoe Saldaña, Amy Poehler on Aubrey Plaza, Tina Turner on Angela Bassett, Emma Stone on Nathan Fielder, Nancy Pelosi on Hakeem Jeffries, and many more. Acclaimed author and someone responsible for a decent chunk of the quality programming we cover here at BCTV (Good Omens, American Gods, The Sandman, the upcoming Anansi Boys, and so much more). Here's a look at what James McAvoy (His Dark Materials, The Sandman audio drama adaptation) had to say about what Gaiman bring to the TIME100 table.

Image: Netflix/HBO

"What I admire most about Neil Gaiman is his belief in the necessity of storytelling: it's something we need on a DNA level," McAvoy began his testimonial, sharing how he grew up with Gaiman, where he watched the appreciation for Gaiman's work grow over the years as new generations of readers found their way to his world. "I first read a book by Neil when I was 14 years old. It was 'Good Omens,' his brilliant 1990 collaboration with Terry Pratchett. Two decades later, I got the opportunity to star in the 2013 BBC radio adaptation of 'Neverwhere.' I remember feeling so excited that I was being inducted into his sphere of influence—one that has only grown. It's fantastic to see Neil's work gain new fans, most recently with the Netflix adaptation of his award-winning comic-book series 'The Sandman," McAvoy added.

But for the actor, it's Gaiman's ability to offer the reader/viewer a "darkly fantastical and occultish" that they can immerse themselves in while still feeling a the thematic threads that connect back to our reality. "Neil's point of entry into the storytelling realm is darkly fantastical and occultish. The way he writes makes you feel like you're being let in on a massive secret. His worlds are hidden, shrouded in mystery, yet they're never that far removed from ours," McAvoy explained. "They're always just barely within your peripheral vision—under the street or in a dark building, or at the end of a lane. He brings dreamscapes to life."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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