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January - June 2003

Young Adam soundtrack

David Byrne, who was born in Scotland, assembled musicians from Glasgow — including members of Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, the Reindeer Section and Future Pilot AKA — to record his score for the upcoming film "Young Adam," an adaptation of a novel by Scottish beat writer Alexander Trocchi that’s directed by David Mackenzie and starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton. An album drawn from the score and titled "Lead Us Not Into Temptation" will be released in the fall by Thrill Jockey Records. Byrne won an Academy Award as co-composer of the score for the 1987 movie "The Last Emperor."

Source: Los Angeles Times

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, June 30, 2003 // 07:36 a.m.


Down With Love DVD release date

JUNE 25, 2003
By Peter M. Bracke

Leading off today’s news are a number of new street date announcements from Fox Home Entertainment. September 16th will see the release of the recent box office disappointment Down with Love.

Source: DVDFILE.com

Thank you Stefanie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 27, 2003 // 08:05 a.m.


A short time from now, in a studio very near at hand…

By Garry Maddox, Film Writer
June 27 2003

Last wars… Hayden Christensen, Rick McCallum, George Lucas, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor are ready to complete the Star Wars saga. Photo: Merrick Morton

The main cast is back in Sydney. A 1000-strong crew is hard at work. And director George Lucas has finished the script.

The final episode in the Star Wars saga is about to start filming at Fox Studios.

The producer, Rick McCallum, said yesterday that Episode III would be shot almost entirely inside the studios from next Monday. The main shoot would take 12 weeks, with Lucas returning for additional filming over the next 18 months.

The only shooting outside Sydney would be some plate photography - for visual effects - in Italy, New Zealand and Switzerland.

The $US115 million ($172 million) film has yet to get a title but covers Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side to become Darth Vader - completing the six-film saga that began with Star Wars in 1977.

The tone of the new episode would be "dark" - McCallum joked that it saw the young Jedi turn "from a sweet youth into a producer". But he declined to say exactly why Anakin turns into one of cinema’s greatest villains.

"Let’s put it this way, that’s what drives this film."

Episode III will use 60 Australian cast members and up to 300 extras. As well as returning cast members Joel Edgerton and Jay Laga’aia, there are roles for Bruce Spence, Rebecca Jackson Mendoza and Genevieve O’Reilly.

Also back are Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Christopher Lee, SPOILER - highlight to read - while Peter Mayhew plays Chewbacca for the first time since Return of the Jedi. END SPOILER

"It’s a huge picture and, under today’s standards, it’s a pretty moderately budgeted film," McCallum said. "But they’re a lot of fun to make."

For Episode II, Lucas finished the script only three days before shooting started. This time around, he finished with five days to spare.

"I think they’re always tough for him to write," McCallum said. "Especially this one, because it has to tie everything up from the prequels to the original trilogy. And you’ve got really big themes and issues in this one - how and why Anakin turns into Darth Vader."

The last episode contained two scenes with an Australian flavour - some kangaroo-like animals and a podium shaped like the Opera House. McCallum described them as homages to the country and said more could be expected this time round.

After shooting in 40 countries in 13 years, the producer of the last three Star Wars films said Sydney was the easiest place in the world to make a film, partly because of the strong acting and film-making talent.

"There’s no bullshit, no problems, everybody is so enthusiastic and not at all litigious."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Thank you ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 27, 2003 // 07:46 a.m.


Ewan spotted!

Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge, Stars Wars etc) popped in to see a preview of the current show at Darlinghurst Theatre, "Uncle Vanya". He stuck around to have a drink with the cast - and joined the Theatre’s email list which suggests he may become a regular at the theatre.

The Chechov play opened June 19 with a cast including Maeliosa Stafford in the lead role.

Source: donkey.com.au

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Friday, June 27, 2003 // 12:42 a.m.


Stars of the wars move in

26 jun 03

Natalie, Hayden, Ewan, our own Joel and the bright newcomer Genevieve O’Reilly have all been summoned to assemble at Fox Studios on Monday for the first official day of shooting Star Wars: Episode III.

Work on set construction and costume making has been going on for months now, leaving only the security to settle in.

And in view of the fact that this final episode of the trilogy is set to reveal a few secrets, the security, as you would expect, will be top-level. Although reports are it will not be "in your face intrusive or very obvious".

Ewan McGregor will be allowed out on August 6, however, to walk down the red carpet in Sydney with Down With Love co-stars David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) and Sarah Paulson (What Women Want).

Top billed Renée Zellweger in the Rock Hudson-Doris Day tribute flick has also been asked to come out.

Organisers are still waiting to hear her say yes. They’re hoping that since she hasn’t yet said no, she’ll take the opportunity to revisit her relatives out here.

Her dad, now a Texan, was a member of the Cronulla Surf Club, and a picture of him in action still hangs on the club’s walls.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 // 11:31 p.m.


Full celebrity lineup expected this September

Peter Howell
Movie critic
Jun. 25, 2003. 07:33 AM

The SARS epidemic is over, as far as the Toronto International Film Festival and its coterie of celebrities are concerned.

Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Denys Arcand, Robert Altman, Marie-Josée Croze, Marci Gay Harden, Emmanuelle Béart, Ewan McGregor and many other stars are expected to attend the city’s annual cinema celebration, scheduled for Sept. 4-13.

Festival chief Piers Handling said yesterday that barring unforeseen setbacks, he’s confident this year’s festival will suffer no ill effects from the city’s ordeal with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

"It looks as if the serious part of the crisis is now behind us," Handling said, speaking at the fest’s annual June press announcement, held this year at the Carlu, the restored art deco theatre at College Park.

"And I would imagine that two months from now you’ll see a Toronto Film Festival that features the same kinds of films, the same size of films and the same calibre of actors and talent supporting those films."

Handling said he has just returned from a trip to Los Angeles, and he detected no serious concerns about SARS from the film studio executives he spoke with — although many celebrities have steered clear of Toronto during the recent SARS outbreak.

"Nobody is scratching their heads and saying, `We’re really worried about sending films to Toronto,’" Handing said.

"If I had a sense that people were not sending their films to Toronto because of this particular issue, I’d certainly be on the phone absolutely wanting to clarify that, putting our point of view forward. To be honest, I haven’t had to do that."

To prove the point, Handling announced some of the films to screen at this year’s festival, with their stars in attendance, including four gala presentations at Roy Thomson Hall:

(read full list by going to the site - link at the bottom)

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier’s controversial Depression drama Dogville, starring Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, James Caan and Philip Baker Hall, will also get the gala treatment, as von Trier ships his minimalist style and America-baiting attitudes to this continent. The film’s stars are expected to be here but not von Trier, who is afraid of flying.

Twelve titles from the popular Contemporary World Cinema program were announced, including several films that made a splash at Cannes: Bent Hamer’s Kitchen Stories, David Mackenzie’s Young Adam (starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton), Roger Michell’s The Mother and Sedigh Barmak’s Osama. Another Cannes entry, Hector Babenco’s prison drama Carandiru, has been added to the New Brazilian Cinema spotlight in the National Cinema program, which this year focuses on Brazil.

"Were you that desperate this year that you had to invite me again?" Arcand quipped to Handling.

The version of The Barbarian Invasions seen here will be slightly shorter (10 to 15 minutes) and slightly different from the one currently playing in Quebec. It will also be slightly different from the version that had its world premiere at Cannes, because Arcand keeps tinkering with the film.

"People seem to like better the shorter version," Arcand said. "It’s a work in progress."

Handling called 2003 "a transition year" for the festival, and no new programs will be added, or other major changes made.

He held fast to his insistence that SARS won’t hurt the festival in terms of either content or attendance, pointing out that sister festival Sprockets, aimed at children, actually increased its attendance during the height of the first SARS scare.

He acknowledged that the festival does have a contingency plan in case SARS returns, although he declined to give details. But he added that he and his staff have weathered many crises during his decade at the helm, including the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which occurred halfway through that year’s event.

"We’ve had to deal with a potential projectionists’ strike, potential transit strikes, Air Canada strikes, 9/11 … we’re a festival that’s been through a fair bit since I’ve been the director. So we’re used to emergency planning. If something happened, we’d be ready for it."

Handling said that he was caught unawares by a move by rival festival the Montreal World Film Festival, which changed its dates this year to the detriment of other festivals. As it stands now, Montreal’s festival will run from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7, putting it directly in competition with Venice (Aug. 27 to Sept. 16) and partially in conflict with Toronto (Sept. 4-13).

Toronto and Venice officials have complained to the International Federation of Film Producers’ Association (FIAPF), a Paris-based group that regulates film festivals. The federation responded by stripping Montreal of its A-grade status, meaning its prizes will no longer have international status.

More significantly, films and talent in Montreal may not be able to make it to Toronto’s fest. Handling expressed annoyance at Montreal’s move, taken without consultation with the federation or with other festivals. Montreal organizers cite both precedent and the right to self-determination as giving them the authority to set their own show dates.

"I think it’s a little surprising to have two major festival overlapping in the same country," he said. "Just in terms of press attention, etc., you can’t be in both places at the same time."

But will Montreal’s action really hurt Toronto, which is by far the more popular festival?

"Not at all," Handling said.

The Toronto festival box office opens for VISA cardholders July 14, with walk-up sales beginning July 21. More details of today’s announcement are available by clicking http://www.bell.ca/filmfest or calling (416) 968-FILM.

Source: Toronto Star

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 // 08:01 a.m.


Did Catcher Block court Barbara Novak for over a year?

June 21st, 2003
by Claude Marcotte

The magazine National Geographic is featured prominently during Down With Love. I noticed the covers of the two issues shown during the film and, out of curiosity, started researching them in The Complete National Geographic, which contains all the issues of the magazine ever published on CD-ROMs.

The first issue is shown when Barbara and Vicki are in front of a newsstand. It features a white and pink bird on a white background. It is the February 1962 issue:

It makes sense because the film is set in 1962 and the issue, being on a newsstand would mean it is the current issue. Let’s not mention the fact that everyone is not dressed for a New York winter during the outdoor scenes ;-) or the possible fact that National Geographic was not available on newsstands back then, only by subscription (does anyone know if NG was available on newsstands back then?).

The second issue is shown when Catcher is sitting on Peter’s living room sofa after Peter has called him to taste the sauce for a meal he’s preparing for Vicki. Ewan is so handsome and distracting that I had trouble remembering what was on the cover so it took me several viewing to pinpoint it. ;-)

It turns out that it’s the May 1963 issue:

So… did they court for over a year? What a lucky woman Barbara is!

Yes, I know it’s probably an error on the part of the people handling the props for the film, but it’s fun to speculate!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, June 21, 2003 // 11:27 p.m.


Ewan not in Flora Plum?

According to Yahoo Movies, Jodie Foster revealed this week (as reported by "Variety") that Russell Crowe is back aboard as the star again, as was originally planned.

Ewan had signed on to replace Crowe late last year.

Thank you Paris Rouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 // 05:10 p.m.


New Ewan JT Roots commercial

JT Roots has released another canned coffee commercial in Japan featuring Ewan. Let’s hope the full commercial becomes available online in the near future!

Thank you Georginita for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 // 07:05 a.m.


Good news for UK Ewan fans regarding Young Adam!

The BBFC has given its rating for Young Adam. It will be shown uncensored!

Young Adam
Classified 21 February, 2003   .
Run Time 97m 37s

Advice for consumers

Concise Contains some strong sexual elements and language

The main spoken language in this work is English.
The BBFC has placed this work in the DRAMA genre(s).

When submitted to the BBFC the work had a running time of 97m 37s.
The running time of this film was calculated from the measured length of 8785+4 ( feet + frames ).
This work was passed with no cuts made. 

At the time of classification   Warner Brothers  was the distributor of this film.

Directed by  David Mackenzie Producer(s)  Jeremy Thomas

The cast for this work includes: Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan.

A film or video, together with associated trailers may exist in several versions and all versions known to the BBFC are listed below.

Category Type Date Company Run Time Cut Title
18+ Film 02/21/2003 Warner Brothers 97m 37s No YOUNG ADAM
15+ FilmTrailer 05/19/2003 Warner Brothers 1m 54s No Young Adam
Details are likely to be more complete and accurate for the version submitted most recently.
When a film is transferred to video the running time will be shorter by approximately 4% due to the differing number of frames per second. This does not mean that the video version has been cut or re-edited.

Source: British Board of Film Classification

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 // 07:38 a.m.


Studio evolves from ’Ice Age’ to ’Robots’

Posted 6/9/2003 10:34 PM
By Susan Wloszczyna, USA TODAY

Ewan McGregor voices Rodney the robot.

Chris Wedge got the wacky cartoon animals out of his system. Now he’s moving on to not-so-heavy metal.

Last year, the director of 20th Century Fox’s computer-animated Ice Age cracked more than $176 million at the box office, nabbed an Oscar nomination with his first feature and gave the genre-dominating Disney and DreamWorks a run for their family-movie bucks.

How does he top the frigid antics of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and that nutty squirrel-rat Scrat? The co-founder of Blue Sky Studios, the award-winning digital-animation company bought by Fox six years ago, has built a universe completely inhabited by mechanical people.

Wedge offers this exclusive first look at Robots, due in March 2005. He describes the humorous collaboration with children’s book author and illustrator William Joyce (Rolie Polie Olie) as "colorful, whimsical, clanky and fun."

Joyce’s stories "have a golden era of Hollywood nostalgia to them," Wedge says. "The robots aren’t futuristic or spacey transformers. They ooze personality and personify objects that we know in our world, whether a car, an outboard motor or a washing machine."

The voice cast includes Ewan McGregor as a young robot named Rodney, "who grows up on the outskirts of a huge metropolis and wants to work with the most influential character in the city, an inventor," Wedge says.

Halle Berry is Cappy, the hot executive ’bot who catches Rodney’s eye. Stanley Tucci and Dianne Wiest speak for Rodney’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Copperbottom. Mel Brooks is the inventor known as Big Weld. Drew Carey and Amanda Bynes are part of the Rusties, a gang of obsolete robots.

In Robots, "People are judged by what they are made of," Wedge says. "Many themes weave in and out that comment on the state of our technical snowballing and upgrading. We’re not looking at what we’ve left behind."

The White Plains, N.Y.-based Blue Sky, which produced the Oscar-winning short Bunny in 1998, may have hit the big time but remains small and scrappy. While Wedge has a budget beyond Ice Age’s estimated $60 million, "it’s still far below the films that people compare us to," meaning other digitally animated hits like Finding Nemo or Shrek.

But while money constraints led to Ice Age having a stylized look, the director vows that Robots will be more realistic. "We don’t want it to look like animation, but to feel as if you went to a fantastic place and shot a film there."

While cranking out a feature, Blue Sky makes do with a cozy crew of up to 200, far fewer than those employed by competitors. Chris Meledandri, president of Fox animation who just signed Wedge to a five-year deal, says Wedge and his team "are incredibly gifted at finding the sharp, relatable comedy in any situation."

Wedge hasn’t totally put talking animals on ice, however. He is co-producing a sequel to Ice Age and the original’s popular breakout, the nut-obsessing Scrat, could go solo. Says the man who sniffs, scratches and screeches for the jittery critter, "There is new Scrat potential out there."

Source: USA Today

Thank you Mary for the heads up!


CGI ’Ice’ Makers Program ’Robots’

Tue Jun 10, 3:32 AM ET
By Chris Gardner

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios and director Chris Wedge -- the trio behind last year’s computer-animated hit "Ice Age" --- have announced another joint effort with the CGI project "Robots."

Although it was officially unveiled Monday night in New York at the American Museum of Natural History’s Imax Theater in conjunction with Licensing International 2003, the project is already in production with a scheduled March 11, 2005, release.

Several actors have closed deals to lend their voices to the animated film, including Halle Berry, Ewan McGregor, Mel Brooks, Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent ("Little Voice"), Stanley Tucci ("A Life Less Ordinary"), Dianne Wiest, D.L. Hughley, Jamie Kennedy and Harland Williams. Some of them have already spent time in the recording studio.

Mattel, Burger King, Kellogg’s, Keebler, Hewlett-Packard, HarperCollins and Vivendi Universal Games have signed on as promotional partners for the film’s release.

Set in a world composed entirely of robots -- designed by William Joyce ("Rolie Polie Olie") -- the Lowell Ganz- and Babaloo Mandel-scripted project centers on Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place.

Berry voices Cappy, a sexy executive rebot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten. Other lead voices include the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet (yet to be cast), who locks horns with Rodney, and Big Weld (Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way. Other characters include a group of misfit robots known as the Rusties.

"The story has real heart but is also extremely clever and really funny," Fox animation president Chris Meledandri said. "It’s not futuristic and is not science fiction; it’s a far more complex movie to make than ’Ice Age’ with the creation of this entire world that appears as though someone just took a camera and found this world with an imagery that is so unique and compelling."

Wedge made his directorial debut on the prehistoric-themed "Ice Age" and is also well-known for his Oscar-winning short film "Bunny."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Source: Yahoo News

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 // 07:10 a.m.


Fish story may hook us

Louis B. Hobson, Special to the Free Press

Ewan McGregor promises that Tim Burton’s new movie, Big Fish, will be quite a catch this Christmas. "It’s a sea fable. Albert Finney is this old sea-salt storyteller who’s dying. He’s never really connected with his son, who’s played by Billy Crudup," says McGregor, who is currently in Australia filming the final chapter of the new Star Wars trilogy.

"To try to understand his father, the son gets his dad to tell him some of his tall tales. The audience gets to see them unfold and I play the young Albert Finney in those stories."

McGregor says, "This is not a Sleepy Hollow kind of Tim Burton movie. It’s not special effects-heavy, but it is a funny, sad, outrageous kind of movie."

Burton assembled quite an all-star supporting cast, including Jessica Lange as Finney’s wife, his own girlfriend Helena Bonham Carter as all the women in the tall tales and Danny DeVito, Robert Guillaume, Alison Lohman and Steve Buscemi in cameo roles.

McGregor says once he finishes Star Wars: Episode III, he could begin work on Jodie Foster’s long-delayed project Flora Plum.

Set in the 1930s, Claire Danes would play a street urchin who is befriended by a circus freak. He falls in love with her, but she soon becomes a major star.

McGregor will play the circus freak, a role that belonged to Russell Crowe for a brief time two years ago.

"Flora Plum is apparently happening right after Star Wars, but Jodie says it’s not fully green-lit yet," McGregor says.

Source: London (Ontario) Free Press

Thank you Specs for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, June 8, 2003 // 07:54 a.m.


Faster trailer online

MotoGrandPrix.com has an incredible trailer for the motorbike-racing film, Faster, that Ewan narrated. Incredible shots and spectacular accidents abound. Right-click on the link to save the video.

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 5, 2003 // 07:45 a.m.


Family Life Tames Ewan McGregor

June 5 2003
From John Hiscock in New York

He is a man who has had honours, wealth, fame and some very glamorous women thrown at him.

Yet actor Ewan McGregor wants to make it clear where his heart lies.

"I had my bachelor years like everyone else but I have never been a serial shagnasty," he says with a grin. "I never went out with three or four women at the same time.

"When you’re a young man, you want to have a lot of sex and when you’re an older man you want to be in love. I am very much in love. The things that make me happy are my family and my wife, and my work."

Two years ago, with his wife of eight years Ève Mavrakis pregnant with their second child, there were rumours that the handsome Scot was becoming very close with co-star Nicole Kidman on the set of Moulin Rouge.

But 32-year-old Ewan says his wife is the true love of his life and nothing could tempt him away.

The actor and the French production designer met while they were working on an episode of the TV series Kavanagh QC and now have two daughters, Clara, seven, and 18-month-old Esther.

"I realise the family is what matters," he says. "I am not interested in all the other stuff because I don’t think it leads you to contentment.

"Fame and celebrity is a shallow and empty thing because you’ll never wake up being famous enough - you’ll never wake up feeling satisfied and thinking ’I’ve done it, I’m really famous’ because you’ll never be famous enough.

"You’ll never be the best.

"I get my satisfaction from getting up in the morning, looking forward to going to work and coming home to my family, happy that I’ve done my best work during the day and seeing my kids and being with my wife. That makes me truly happy.

"I’ve never had my happiest moments wearing fantastic clothes at someone else’s premiere or a showbiz party.

"I’ve had my happiest moments watching my children playing together."

Ewan rarely gives interviews but when he does he is friendly, modest and willing to frankly divulge his innermost thoughts on family, fame and celebrity.

Dressed in a dark shirt and suit, sipping water and relaxing at the posh Regency Hotel on New York’s Park Avenue, he would have been equally at ease in Clancy’s bar down the street.

STRANGELY, Ewan, who has wowed such glamorous co-stars as Cameron Diaz and Kidman, claims that in real life he was never that successful with women.

In his latest film, Down With Love, he plays suave bachelor Catcher Block, alongside Renée Zellweger. Block is a man who uses any trick he can to seduce the woman he wants.

"I was never like him," says Ewan. Then, pausing a moment, he admits: "But I’m an actor so I suppose I was quite good at toying with ladies’ emotions to get them into my bed."

For example? "Oh, I can’t remember any specific instances," he laughs. "Certainly not ones I’m going to share with you…"

Turning serious, he adds: "But you realise that kind of stuff doesn’t lead you anywhere because you get found out and it makes people unhappy.

"It doesn’t work, so you reach the point where you realise that honesty is the only attractive thing at the end of the day."

He and Ève have worked hard to achieve a balance in their relationship and take their responsibilities as parents seriously, in a bid to ensure their children are brought up to be well-behaved.

"We don’t have an old-fashioned relationship where I come home and my dinner is on the table," he says. "But at the same time we don’t have an ultra-modern one, where we’re ultra-liberal and let our kids do what they want.

"No, there is discipline. I got a really good upbringing from my parents and I try to treat my daughters in a similar way to how I was treated.

"There are people we know who have no rules for their kids and allow them to do anything because they think they should be free.

"But that really annoys me. When you get covered in food because some five-year-old is throwing it in your face, it’s your right to tell them to stop."

Ève is currently taking time off from designing to be a full-time mother. But she has also adapted a French screenplay into English for a film thriller called For The Love Of Art, although Ewan doubts it will ever be produced.

"My wife said to me, ’Do you know who I’d really like to play the detective?’" he recalls. "I said, ’Who, darling?’ knowing it would be me. And she said ’Johnny Depp!’" Laughing, he adds. "I said, ’Thank you very much. That’s nice’.

"But there’s some dark stuff going on - probably too dark for anyone who makes films - so maybe we should do it as a home movie with our friends."

His last attempt at making movies with his friends was not a great success.

Natural Nylon, formed with Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sean Pertwee and Jonny Lee Miller, to make quality, low-budget films, folded soon after he left, amid rumours of behind-the-scenes rows over finances and the films being produced.

"There was no animosity," Ewan stresses. "None at all.

"I left because I didn’t have any time to commit to it any more. I was always away working, so I was merely a name on a bit of paper. I wasn’t involved in any of the decisions or projects and hadn’t been for a year.

"I haven’t been in Britain for more than six months so I haven’t been in touch with any of the guys there."

The Trainspotting star’s next project - in just a couple of weeks - will be donning the robes of Obi-Wan Kenobi once more for the final Star Wars film.

Ewan has never been very enthusiastic about the series and knows nothing about the next one, even though he is only days away from going back on to the set.

"I still haven’t read the script because they haven’t sent me one," he says. "They claim not to have written it yet, so that doesn’t bode well. I’m afraid that I can’t be excited about it because I don’t know what it’s about or anything. I’m not a Star Wars buff.

"There are some fans who could tell us now what the story will be because they’ve worked it out.

"But all I can imagine is there will be a big fight at the end between me and Hayden Christensen. And that’s good because I like all the fighting - it gives me something to do."

Ewan’s PR tour for Down With Love will take him back to Hollywood, a place he used to detest but has now come to terms with.

"I’ve realised that the things that frustrated me about Hollywood are the same everywhere else," he said. "There’s the same A-lists and B-lists in London and the same stuff goes on. But you can be a party to it or not."

For Ewan, though, it is clear that his heart is not in the Hollywood Hills or at swanky London clubs, but very much at home.

Source: The Mirror

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 5, 2003 // 07:28 a.m.


Down With Love in theatres now!

Down With Love in theatres now!

Support this stylish, hilarious, clever, and fun film now before it’s too late! Spread the word about Down With Love!

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 // 11:21 a.m.


Don’t wait to see Down With Love!

After two weeks in theaters, Down With Love has started disappearing from many cinemas, thanks to the questionable marketing "genius" of Twentieth Century Fox. In order to make room for the usual summer blockbusters: X-men, The Matrix, Daddy Day Care, Finding Nemo and Bruce Almighty, cinemas have dropped Down With Love.

Down With Love has gotten excellent reviews yet Fox threw it to the wolves, at the worst possible time of the year for a film like this. Counter-programming against one film is fine, but against 5 big films, it just got lost in the shuffle. What were they thinking? Were they thinking???

The marketing campaign started well: the paper dolls, the funky martini glasses, but then it went downhill. Fox forgot to secure the "downwithlove.com" domain name and a squatter purchased it, hoping to get big bucks out of Fox. Well, Fox wouldn’t budge, the squatter posted negative things on the site. Nice going, Fox! (Here’s some free advice: you buy the domain name as soon as you start production!)

Then the trailer came out and at the end it announced the official site: down-with-love.com. Except the site wasn’t ready. It took a few months before it was actually up. Nice going, Fox!

So, if you want to see it, hurry. In two weeks I managed to see it 4 times. I was looking forward to seeing it all summer. Nice going, Fox.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, June 1, 2003 // 10:01 p.m.


Terrific Young Adam review

All of the promise that was evident in Scottish helmer David Mackenzie’s flawed freshman feature, "The Last Great Wilderness" (2002), is richly achieved in his second pic, "Young Adam," a resonant, beautifully modulated relationships drama set amid the canals and gray stone buildings of early ’50s Scotland. Strongly cast, with an especially fine perf by Ewan McGregor as an amoral drifter caught up in a couple’s passionless marriage, this gently atmospheric pic establishes Mackenzie as an accessible stylist within mid-range contempo British cinema. Film looks set for a long fest career, with moderately warm biz in upscale venues on the back of strong critical support.

Script is based on a novel by Scottish-Italian writer Alexander Trocchi, a bohemian, Beat Generation figure who grew up in Glasgow, got involved in the Paris literary avant-garde, and in 1955 moved to New York. He became a serious heroin addict and (like his characters in "Young Adam") lived on a barge. A friend of such figures as Leonard Cohen, William Burroughs and Norman Mailer, he died from his addiction in Britain in the ’60s.

Though set in the socially and sexually hidebound Britain of the early ’50s, sex is the defining force in all the characters’ lives. From the opening shot of a young woman’s body, naked except for a petticoat, pulled from the waters around Glasgow, film has an undercurrent of charged sexuality in which copulation is portrayed devoid of romance and as a purely physical release from social or emotional frustrations.

When pic begins, young Joe Taylor (McGregor) is working on a barge plying between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s owned by an average working class stiff, Les Gault (Peter Mullan), and is also a cramped home to him, nagging wife Ella (Tilda Swinton), and their young son, Jim (Jack McElhone).

After they fish the body out of the water, the incident forms a topic of conversation as they chug along the River Clyde to Edinburgh. It’s not long, however, before Joe starts making advances to Ella, whose marriage is devoid of physical passion.

Many of the sexual encounters take place in the open, rather than in more cozy surroundings. After leaving Les at a pub one night, Joe -- who endears himself to the couple by rescuing Jim from drowning -- and Ella have a frantic bout of fully-clothed sex on the towpath prior to Les’ drunken return. Soon the two are exchanging bodily juices with Les only a few feet away on the barge.

Not far into the drama, without any warning, pic starts to flashback to an unspecified time when Joe took up with a beautiful young woman, Cathie (Emily Mortimer), whom he met on a beach. Scenes from that relationship run side by side with the present.

In Edinburgh, Joe is introduced to Ella’s sister, Gwen (Therese Bradley). In a nicely written cameo that introduces a welcome breath of humor, boozy Gwen promptly takes Joe round a corner and gets him to service her standing up -- all in the space of a single cigarette.

Pic is more a sustained mood piece than a plot-driven mystery or drama. Relationships remain open-ended, unresolved or simply passing liaisons of sexual convenience. These are all characters literally drifting along through a still stratified society that’s mostly joyless and make-do.

Joe is an unfettered spirit who touches many people’s lives without ever engaging with their day-to-day responsibilities, and the film’s only real drama lies in whether he’ll sacrifice his personal freedom for the benefit of others. Some auds may feel that, at the end of the day, the pic doesn’t actually add up to much.

Given the relative lack of dimension, atmosphere and performances are everything here, and pic scores on both fronts. Giles Nuttgens’ widescreen lensing -- cold and blue-tinged in exteriors and warmer and ruddier in the cramped barge’s interiors (agilely shot in a studio) -- is pointed without being showy. David Byrne’s melancholy, gently churning chamber score adds texture to the visuals. Pic is classically composed and directed, sans handheld naturalism.

McGregor is tops as Joe, underplaying the character’s opportunism without ladling on the charm. Swinton and Mortimer are equally good as two very different women who fall for Joe’s sexual magnetism. Mullan, solid in a smaller role, is more restrained than usual. Bradley is briefly terrific as Gwen.

Period detail is good and natural looking, both in clothes and props. Running time is just right, with no flab.

Source: Variety (site requires a subscription)

Thanks to Perditum and Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 // 7:01 p.m.


Wonderful Ewan interview on video available online

WFAA from Forth-Worth, Texas, has a wonderful Real Video interview with Ewan that was taped on May 6th.

Click on the link above to watch it!

Thank you ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 // 09:45 p.m.


McGregor mulls ’Stay’
Script bought for $1.8 mil at spec auction

May 27, 2003

New Regency is negotiating with Ewan McGregor to topline the Marc Forster-directed drama "Stay."

McGregor will play a therapist at an Ivy League school who tries to prevent one of his students from committing suicide.

"Stay," which has "Sixth Sense"-esque supernatural overtones, was scripted by David Benioff, whose epic "Troy" is in production with Wolfgang Petersen directing Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.

The script for "Stay" was the subject of one of the biggest spec auctions in recent memory; New Regency won with a bid of $1.8 million.

David Fincher originally was slated to direct, but Forster ("Monster’s Ball";) came aboard the film in the spring.

Tom Lassally is producing, with Eric Kopeloff and Guymon Casady exec producing. Regency’s Sanford Panitch and Kara Francis are overseeing the production.

McGregor is onscreen in New Regency’s "Down With Love" and next will be seen in "Big Fish" opposite Albert Finney.

Source: Variety (site requires a subscription)

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 // 07:08 a.m.


Solid Geometry to play at Toronto (Canada) film festival

Solid Geometry, which stars Ewan and was directed by his uncle Denis Lawson, will be one of six Celebrity Shorts shown starting at 9:15pm, Thursday June 5th at the Isabel Bader Theatre as part of the World Wide Short Film Festival.

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 23, 2003 // 07:09 a.m.


Pictures and video clip of Ewan in Cannes promoting Faster

Big Picture USA has several pictures of Ewan (in larger format than this picture) that are worth checking out!

MotoGP also has many pictures in large format (click on Special Photogallery) along with a video clip (click on the image on the right above "Other Videos - free") that are also worth checking out!

Thanks to Roxanne for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 // 07:37 a.m.


Artsy Fare Tops Wish Lists for Cannes Buyers

Tue May 20, 2003 02:36 AM ET
By Stuart Kemp and Scott Roxborough

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Wheeling and dealing at this year’s sluggish Festival de Cannes picked up Monday as high rollers began to vie for a handful of gems.

Films previously thought too artsy for commercial audiences captured the attention of acquisition and distribution executives as a duo of highly anticipated titles hit the silver screen.

Sources said offers are on the table for several films, led by Lars von Trier’s "Dogville" and David Mackenzie’s "Young Adam."

A bidding war reportedly has broken out for the Nicole Kidman competition entry "Dogville," which screened Monday night. Danish sales group Trust Film is thought to have upped its asking price from $4 million to $6 million for U.S. rights and from $1.6 million to $3.3 million for the United Kingdom following the picture’s favorable reception.

"(Trust) has upped the price to $6 million, but I can’t see that happening," one industry insider said. "It just doesn’t seem appropriate for such an art house movie."

Companies eyeing "Dogville" include Miramax Films and Fine Line Features, sources said. The film’s whopping asking price, its two-hours-plus length and its experimental flavor -- which does away with sets in favor of chalk outlines and minimal props -- has forced smaller indie labels out of the running, leaving mini-majors and studios as potential bidders.

"We’ve had (U.S.) buyers say to us, ’We’ve always hated Lars von Trier, but this picture is very interesting,"’ Trust chief Peter Aalbaek Jensen said. "There are so many offers; we are holding back on a deal to set up more meetings."

Meanwhile, "Adam" -- a film noir erotic thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Mortimer and Tilda Swinton -- has Lions Gate Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Focus Features and United Artists circling, producer Jeremy Thomas said.

But Thomas is keeping his cool while fielding calls.

"I don’t want to close the deal at the moment because I want to build the film’s reputation and get my investors out at the right price," he said.

"Adam" screened Saturday in Un Certain Regard, with McGregor and Mortimer jetting in to see the film with an audience for the first time. The duo has been lending their full support to "Adam’s" publicity machine by maintaining a high profile in Cannes.

Based on a 1960s novel by Scottish beatnik author Alexander Trocchi and written by Mackenzie, the movie -- which contains healthy doses of nudity, sex and intrigue -- had potential buyers kept hungry by Thomas, who showed it previously to no one.

But warning bells may be going off among buyers who recall being swept up in the past by festival frenzy, only to see newfound "hot projects" shot down by general audiences. In 1999, Miramax won a bidding war for Palme d’Or winner "Vatel," which went on to become a box office disappointment. And Fine Line and other distributors worldwide were burned in 2000 after a buying frenzy broke out over von Trier’s Bjork starrer "Dancer in the Dark," another Palme d’ Or winner; the innovative musical later stumbled in theaters.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Source: Reuters

Thanks to Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 // 07:08 a.m.


Ewan McGregor, Up for Anything

In ’Down With Love,’ The Scottish Actor Adds to an Already Impressive Range

By Alona Wartofsky
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, May 18, 2003; Page N01


The roundtable interviews, in which packs of eager journalists gleaned quotes from the stars of the new comedy "Down With Love," went pretty well, says actor Ewan McGregor.

Until someone asked the wrong question.

"People bring up stuff that they have no right to. Like personal things and rumors from the past," he says, his voice rising in both pitch and volume. "Things that I wouldn’t ever even ask a best friend, never mind a complete stranger. Somehow, because you’re sitting in a room behind microphones and stuff, they feel they’ve got the right to ask you incredible gob-smacking things."

McGregor does not state this explicitly, but it seems that the wrong question had something to do with the icky insinuations that McGregor provided a special kind of solace to his "Moulin Rouge" co-star Nicole Kidman. "The idea that I slept with so-and-so… when I didn’t -- it’s infuriating because it’s offensive to me and to my wife, to me as a man and a human being," McGregor sputters.

His indignation spent, he leans back a little and shakes his head. "Sometimes the most inappropriate things are asked of you, deeply personal things that you just can’t believe you’re being asked in an interview situation," he says. "And I suddenly imagine really powerful actors, and [reporters] asking them the same question. It would never happen."

It wouldn’t?

"No. Because they’d just get up and walk out," he says. "You know, like the big guys, you would never speak to them like that."

But one could argue that Ewan McGregor is a big guy. After all, the 32-year-old Scottish actor starred as Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in the "Star Wars" prequels "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones," which, combined, grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide, and next month he starts shooting the still-untitled last of the three. He was paired with Kidman in Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling "Moulin Rouge"; the elegant actress got most of the attention, but McGregor’s charms were not overlooked.

This year alone he’ll star in three films. "Down With Love," which opened Friday, pairs him with Renée Zellweger in a frothy spoof of the Rock Hudson-Doris Day so-called "sex comedies" of the early ’60s. McGregor portrays swinging bachelor Catcher Block, "ladies’ man, man’s man, man about town," who adopts a Texan accent to woo the one girl he can’t get. In this case, his quarry is Zellweger’s perky advice author, whose international sensation "Down With Love" counsels women to substitute chocolate for sex until they can learn to enjoy the latter "the way men do -- à la carte."

The suave, smirking Block might not be a role you’d expect McGregor to play, but then, he rarely chooses roles you’d expect him to play. His wide-ranging roles have included a Jedi knight and a junkie, a bisexual rock star and a bisexual translator, a Yorkshire miner and a flighty 19th-century gentleman suitor. He portrayed a brooding James Joyce in "Nora," an art-house film that depicted the tempestuous relationship between Joyce and his wife. And he played an awkward telephone installer who fancies pigeons and the Jane Horrocks character in "Little Voice."

McGregor sings, he dances, and he routinely takes off his clothes. No mainstream film actors display their penises on-screen as frequently as he does. In Peter Greenaway’s erotic "Pillow Book," to cite just one example, his lover paints Japanese calligraphy on every inch -- literally -- of his naked body. And what he does as the unhinged rock star of "Velvet Goldmine" cannot even be described here.

Which raises the question: Is there anything he won’t do in front of the cameras?

"I really don’t think you can know that," he says. "I couldn’t consider myself truly an actor if I had a list of things I won’t do. There are actresses and actors who’ve said, ’I won’t do any nudity ever again,’ and you think, well, how do you know? What if there’s a [expletive] amazing part and you’re naked in the whole play or the whole film, how do you know you won’t do it?… You could be denying yourself the best role in the world that could be your role, the role of a lifetime. But because your bum’s in it, you’re not going to do the part. That’s stupid."

McGregor’s most indelible performance was in the film that made him famous: "Trainspotting," the 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s chronicle of Edinburgh heroin addicts. Gaunt and hunch-shouldered with a grayish tint to his skin and dark circles under his eyes, McGregor’s junkie was a riveting screen presence.

"Down With Love" director Peyton Reed says that people don’t necessarily think of McGregor as a comic actor, "but ’Trainspotting’ is an extremely dark comedy. He’s very funny in that movie."

"Ewan has this kind of punk rock sensibility about him, where he’s just game to try anything and he’s a really, really brave actor. Punk rock is all about an energy and a vitality and an immediacy, and he as an actor has that… He has this intense sex appeal, and kind of this sense of danger," says Reed. "It’s easy to imagine he’s going to be one of those actors who’s going to be around 40 or 50 years from now with a ’Sir’ in front of his name."

McGregor had not arrived on this Earth when the films that inspired "Down With Love" were made, but he grew up watching them and other vintage movies on weekend afternoons. Before starting "Down With Love," McGregor went back and watched the old sex comedies again. Well, some of them: "Some I didn’t make it through all the way because… they are really wandering stories that didn’t really get anywhere," he confesses.

Lounging on a couch in a hotel suite, McGregor is more handsome than he is on-screen. His hair is sandy brown with blond highlights. And his eyes, the color of which would be most accurately described as gray, literally sparkle. He’s wearing a black leather jacket and scruffy jeans with a hole at the right knee.

He is holding a matchstick, which he works between his teeth like it’s a toothpick, until it snaps. Then he works the smaller pieces until they splinter. After that, he sucks on the cap of an Evian bottle. McGregor gestures when he talks, so it is inevitable than he will knock over the open water bottle on the coffee table in front of him. Several publicists and personal assistants hover just outside the door, but he fetches a towel and mops up the spill himself.

McGregor has often said he gets depressed after interviews, which he describes as "a completely unnatural situation." Part of his discomfort has to do with "feeling invaded," he says. "Secondly, it’s the idea that… you’re talking about yourself all day long, which is a slightly unnatural thing to do, even for an actor."

He used to get drunk before meeting with journalists. "I thought it would get me through. But then it leads to you saying things that you just wished you never said -- stupid things that… are basically self-aggrandizing statements by putting other people down." In those muzzy old days, McGregor slagged television talk show hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman ("rather arrogant and uninteresting men"). And British actress Minnie Driver ("She’s gone mad, mad. She goes to the opening of an envelope"). And, obliquely, Hugh Grant, in the course of grumbling about the sorry state of British cinema: "British films have always been slightly off-the-wall, powerful movies. And now if it’s the case that we’re only meant to do romantic comedies with stammering, stuttering leading guys… I’ll do films wherever."

A few years ago, McGregor also got on the wrong side of Scotland’s other, old-school heartthrob, Sean Connery. Asked at a news conference if he shared Connery’s support of Scottish nationalism, McGregor reportedly replied that he didn’t care to be told how to feel about Scotland, "especially by someone who hasn’t lived there for 25 years."

About 2 1/2 years ago -- after the junket for "Attack of the Clones," McGregor stopped drinking for interviews. He once called the process of making the effects-driven "Star Wars" films "the epitome of tedium." Now an older, soberer McGregor insists he’s very happy to be in them. "I really am. And I like being Obi-Wan Kenobi. I like it when kids speak to me about it… because I remember being that way about the first three myself. So there’s no disappointment of being in them at all."

The "Star Wars" films are hard work, he says, in some ways harder than anything else he’s done. "Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s an unrewarding day to spend, standing in front of a blue screen speaking to thin air," he says. "It’s rewarding when you see them, but it’s a fairly unrewarding job to make them."

McGregor evinces more enthusiasm for "Young Adam," a low-budget thriller based on a book by Scottish Beat novelist Alexander Trocchi. The film, which premieres this weekend at the Cannes Film Festival, is "very introspective and quiet and dark -- and really erotic," says McGregor. "I was longing to do some acting like that, where you had time to experience the scene… letting the scene dictate how long it should take, as opposed to the continuity lady with the stopwatch. It was a phenomenal experience.

"It’s great to do the smaller films because you can’t really put anything off, you can’t throw money at any of the problems, so you have to just solve the problems on the set and get on with it," he says. "We were struggling and actually losing bits of scenes because the light went and we didn’t finish."

McGregor has railed against Hollywood conventions in the past, but he’s figured out how to balance big-budget roles with smaller, more adventurous parts. "It’s a really lovely position to be in when you can do them both," he says.

Still, prod him just a little, and he’ll rail again. For example: He thinks it’s ridiculous that mainstream movies rarely depict unpleasant central characters. "Try getting a film made where the central character’s not likable. You can hardly do it. It’s very difficult to get money for a film about somebody you don’t like. And there’s probably more people [out there] that I don’t like than I do like."

He laughs, his mouth wide open. "That’s not true. That sounds like I’m a real miserable bastard. But you know what I mean: There’s an equal amount of people that you meet who you don’t really like as you do like. And yet you’re only meant to make films about the good ones."

McGregor grew up in Crieff, a resort town at the southern end of the Scottish Highlands. His parents were teachers. His older brother, who joined the Royal Air Force, pilots Tornado jets, a vocation McGregor learned to admire only after filming the 2001 war drama "Black Hawk Down." "Now I respect the work that he does much more than I did when I was at drama school, because I didn’t really have any understanding about it," he says.

Inspired partly by his love of old movies and even more so by the allure surrounding his uncle, actor Denis Lawson, McGregor left home at 16 to pursue acting. He studied at Scotland’s Perth Repertory Theatre and eventually moved to London, where he attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Parts in a couple of British miniseries launched his career, and one also irrevocably changed his life: On the set, he met his wife, French production designer Ève Mavrakis. Now they have two daughters, and the family lives in North London.

McGregor’s first big role, the cynical journalist in the dark 1994 comedy "Shallow Grave," was also his first collaboration with director Danny Boyle, screenwriter John Hodge and producer Andrew MacDonald. That team collaborated again on "Trainspotting," an international sensation that proved to be a landmark in British cinema. "We needed a film that had our stamp on it instead of an American stamp," says McGregor. "It seemed, at the time anyway, that Danny and Andrew and John were truly committed to being a kind of British visionary filmmaking team."

But the trio’s next collaboration with McGregor -- and their first outing for a Hollywood studio -- "A Life Less Ordinary," was perhaps too idiosyncratic to appeal to American audiences. Boyle had talked publicly about giving McGregor the lead in their next effort, "The Beach," but that part eventually went to a more bankable star, Leonardo DiCaprio.

McGregor has pointed out that the betrayal of friendship was a theme of both "Shallow Grave" and "Trainspotting." Now, asked about his relationship with Boyle, Hodge and MacDonald, he says only: "I don’t have one with them anymore."

But maybe McGregor doesn’t need them anymore. After "Trainspotting," his box office pull briefly seemed questionable; "Velvet Goldmine" and the thriller "Nightwatch," both released in 1998, were both considered disappointments. But he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a 1997 guest appearance on the television drama "ER," in which he played a convenience store thief.

Then he landed the coveted "Star Wars" role, and Luhrmann cast him in "Moulin Rouge." For McGregor, filming Luhrmann’s musical was just the way he envisioned moviemaking to be as a child. "There was everything in there that cinema can be -- great color and movement and music, and dance and drama," he says. "And walking on the sets -- they were just beautifully made and painted… You’d walk out there and just couldn’t believe it."

The end of this year will bring the release of the high-profile "Big Fish," directed by Tim Burton. Based on the Daniel Wallace novel, it depicts the complicated relationship between a dying traveling salesman, played by Albert Finney, and his son. "The father’s only ever told these massive big flamboyant exaggerated stories about his own life," says McGregor, who plays the father in a series of flashbacks.

"It’s Tim Burton’s film, and it couldn’t have been anyone else’s," he adds. "He can pitch a story in that kind of gray area… It’s like fantastical, but not fantasy, if you like."

There is, perhaps, another reason why McGregor is uneasy giving interviews.

It seems he is not particularly insightful about his work -- or if he is, he’s not letting on.

"I’m terrible at analyzing it or talking about it," he insists. "Even in rehearsals, I try, but I’m not very good at discussing it. I’m much better at getting up and seeing what happens."

From time to time, journalists have suggested that his roles share common themes. He is drawn to outsiders, they say. Or to dark, edgy characters. "People say that you’re this and you’re that, and it always takes me by surprise," he says. "I suppose you could look through them all and go, well, maybe. But they’re all such individual experiences to do, and the people you’re working with are always different, so there’s a different energy in them. For me, they’re all completely unique."

Ten years into his professional career, McGregor still isn’t even sure that he’s a good actor.

"I like to think that I am one. But you can never be sure, really, can you, because there’s no real mark of it. It’s not winning an award. It’s even not necessarily being successful at the box office," he says. "There’s no gauge, really, other than I still just [expletive] love it."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Source: The Washington Post

Thank you Terri for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 18, 2003 // 01:18 p.m.


Young Adam trailer

Thanks to Roberta for these!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 18, 2003 // 10:01 a.m.


Ewan at Cannes

British actor Ewan McGregor, right, and French motorcycle champion Olivier Jacques, left, pose for photographer to promote their film’Faster’during the 56th Film Festival in Cannes, France, Friday, May 16, 2003. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Thanks to lukaya for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 16, 2003 // 10:06 p.m.


Launch of MotoGP movie `Faster´ at the Cannes Festival


Over the past two years, a documentary about the MotoGP World Championship has been filmed at several GPs by a production company from Hollywood. Now the movie, called `Faster´, is finished and ready for its international launch in Cannes during the famous Festival.

The screening will take place in the Riviera 8 Theatre on Friday 16th May at 8pm, but before that launch a party will be hosted at The Majestic Hotel. The high point of the evening however will be the arrival of six MotoGP stars (Valentino Rossi, Olivier Jacque, Loris Capirossi, John Hopkins, Colin Edwards, Alex Hofmann) on their racing bikes along La Croisette, the famous frontbeach boulevard in Cannes that is the centre of attention during the Festival. Narrator Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Moulin Rouge, etc), will arrive at the launch riding a bike alongside the MotoGP stars.

Source: MotoGP

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 15, 2003 // 10:55 p.m.


At the Movies: ’Down With Love’

May 15, 2003
By Ben Nuckols
Associated Press

"Down With Love" is the most exhilarating piece of old-meets-new moviemaking since "Moulin Rouge," and it’s no coincidence that Ewan McGregor is at the center of both.

Director Peyton Reed ("Bring It On") and his team have drawn their inspiration from the Rock Hudson-Doris Day vehicles of the late 1950s and early ’60s, and they replicate the look, feel and sound of those sugary, wholesome sex comedies with joyous accuracy. Except this being 2003, they’re free to shed the wholesomeness when they choose.

But the whole thing would be an empty, transparent exercise in style without an actor of McGregor’s total commitment. He throws himself into the role of a suave ladies’ man with a fearless abandon that Hudson never had. He’s both sly and exuberant, calculating and uninhibited. He has no poses, no defenses, no worries that he’ll look silly or full of himself.

Place McGregor’s blithe, womanizing journalist of "Down With Love" alongside his love-addled poet of "Moulin Rouge," and it’s clear he’s a rare and extraordinary performer, one who combines the old-school showmanship of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly with the emotional nakedness of contemporary Method actors.

McGregor is Catcher Block, and the object of his increasing ardor is Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger), who arrives in 1962 Manhattan from a small town in Maine with a manuscript that shares the movie’s title. Her book urges women to empower themselves in the workplace and in the bedroom, treating sex the way men do - as disposable fun.

Catcher is enlisted to write a story about Barbara by Peter MacMannus (David Hyde Pierce), his editor at Know magazine, who in turn is smitten by Barbara’s editor, Vikki Hiller (Sarah Paulson). At first Catcher blows her off, but when the book becomes popular - and he sees how attractive Barbara is - he vows to romance Barbara and write an expose pegging her just another lovesick girl.

Like Hudson’s character in "Pillow Talk," Catcher creates a nerdy hick persona to woo a woman who despises him but has never seen his face. But "Down With Love" is enlightened enough to know that deception is a game women can play just as skillfully.

Zellweger gets top billing over McGregor, but unlike Nicole Kidman she’s not quite the match for him. While she’s a forceful and sexy self-made woman - far more desirable than Doris Day could ever be - she doesn’t share McGregor’s ease with the movie’s stylizations. Physically, her performance is clunky and awkward.

In the Tony Randall role, Pierce is hilarious and stunningly precise, his every over-the-top reaction pitch-perfect. (Randall himself makes a rather flat cameo as Barbara’s publisher.) The weak link in the cast is Paulson, who starts out charming but becomes more shrill and hissy as the movie goes along.

"Down With Love" astonishes as it celebrates the artistry that once went into popular moviemaking. Reed’s direction crackles with verbal and visual wit; Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography effortlessly recreates the old ’60s Technicolor look and the optical effects in vogue at the time; Larry Bock’s editing brilliantly allows jokes and compositions to spill over from one scene to the next; and Marc Shaiman’s score underlines the action down to the second, with a musical cue for every crooked smile or batting of the eyebrows. The costume design, the art direction - everything is fabulous, and it’s all of a piece.

Only the script, by Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake, shows hints of strain. In their effort to break the taboos of the movies they’re emulating, Ahlert and Drake lose some of their predecessors’ verbal elegance. When you’ve heard the words "have sex with" a dozen times, the movie’s spell over you is in danger of breaking.

And the writers haven’t captured the languid pacing of the previous generation’s movies; though many scenes run longer than is now fashionable, "Down With Love" still feels rushed. The final half-hour in particular pushes what should be juicy material through a whirlwind that dries it out.

Quibbles aside, "Down With Love" is funny, sexy and disarmingly accessible; it builds up such enormous waves of good will that its achievement cannot be understated. This is a movie that intercuts Frank Sinatra and Astrud Gilberto’s versions of "Fly Me to the Moon," and when it’s over you’ll feel as if you’ve been flown there too.

"Down With Love," a 20th Century Fox release, is rated PG-13 for sexual humor and dialogue. Running time: 96 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Thank you ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 15, 2003 // 10:55 p.m.


Star Wars actor attacks media

Thursday, 15 May, 2003

Actor Ewan McGregor has launched a strong attack against media coverage of celebrities, calling weekly showbiz magazine Heat "dirty" and "filthy".

McGregor, speaking to a London radio station on Thursday with Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri, also said that celebrities were entitled to use violence against paparazzi intruding on their lives.

He told LBC radio Heat was "dirty, filthy… I’d like to put that on record. People shouldn’t buy it because it sucks."

He then joked to Spiteri: "I think we should encourage people to beat up paparazzis - use extreme force."

McGregor later said about paparazzi photographers "they shouldn’t be shot, but they should be severely beaten up.

"They don’t have the right to intrude on people’s lives, I really don’t think they do," he said.

Spiteri trailed

McGregor is currently travelling round the UK with Spiteri promoting the Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland.

The attack was thought to have been provoked by Spiteri’s comments that she had been trailed by paparazzi photographers during her recent pregnancy. Pictures had appeared in Heat.

The magazine has also printed pictures of McGregor’s daughter, Esther Rose.

"Especially with my children, I’ve always felt that as a parent, it’s my right to protect my children and everyone would agree with that," the actor said.

Heat magazine said they were making "no comment" about the remarks.

McGregor is not the first star to have run ins with paparazzi and celebrity coverage.

Oasis singer Liam Gallagher and Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay have both clashed with photographers in the past.

Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband Michael Douglas took Hello! magazine to court in a privacy trial after the magazine printed paparazzi photographs of their 2000 wedding.

Source: BBC News

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 15, 2003 // 10:50 p.m.


Ewan McGregor joins in as work on new children’s hospice begins

Wednesday, 14 May, 2003

Actor Ewan McGregor has spurned the opening of the Cannes Film festival to don his wellies as work gets underway today at the site of Scotland’s second children’s hospice at Balloch.

He has been joined by Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri to cut the first turf of Rachel Houses new sibling, Robin House.

Ewan McGregor said: "We are here to break the soil on the new site for the second hospice, Robin House which is just about to be under construction which has been a long time in coming, to raise the money that they have raised, seven million to date and then to get the planning permission through which was done a couple of months ago so its all up and running and its about to be built so its a big day for all of us today."

Sharleen Spiteri said: "It’s going to make a massive difference, Rachel House has only eight beds so their families can come along and spent some time there and they get a bit of break, they have got to take turns in it so its will be great that there is another place where people can get in and I think this place is going to do alot of good."

Asked if it is a place that has captured their hearts, Sharleen said: "A lot of people have asked us the question why did you choose to do this, and you know it is something as Ewan says that you dont want to wear yourself thin on something like this and its was something that was a gut feeling, we saw the work that people do in Rachel House and we both wanted on board to help out as much as we possibly could so its been great."

Ewan McGregor added: "It’s just beautiful there could be no better use for this land than this looking after our kids who arent all that well in Scotland, it’s beautiful and it’s a place where families can take their children and they get looked after by expert carers and they can to take a break, I mean looking after a child with a lifethreatening illness is a 24 hour job, seven days a week so it gives the family a chance to relax and recuperate and where better to do that than here and also its a beautiful place for the kids to be playing outside, it’s gorgeous - look at it."

Source: Scotland Today

Visit the site to see the interview on video!

Thank you Roxanne for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 15, 2003 // 07:25 a.m.


Once-Swingin’ Family Man Talks Love, Going Nude and Everything but the Episode III Script

by Jeanne Wolf | May 14, 2003

Even though Ewan McGregor has become a major star--after inhabiting young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels and appearing opposite Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge--he’s the first to tell you he hasn’t calculated his career. He picks his films for what challenges him and will surprise the audience.

His mission was accomplished, once again, in Down with Love, in which he takes on the sort of role Rock Hudson perfected in his spark-filled romantic comedies with Doris Day. McGregor plays the kind of charming and self-centered guy women love to hate; costar Renée Zellweger can only resist his advances for so long.

Sorry, ladies--in real life, McGregor’s a happily married doting dad with two daughters. He certainly isn’t down on love, and why should he be?

In every Rock Hudson movie, he had a scene in which he wore only a towel. And you had some bare-chested time here…
I knew we would have a towel moment. Actually, the producers had me working out for months to get ready for it. I’ve been naked in almost every film I’ve done, and I’ve rarely ever worked out in a gym before. But they wanted it to be right, I guess.

Given your past nude moments on the screen, are you thinking more about keeping your clothes on in future films?
I’ve never understood actors who have rules against nudity. I wouldn’t consider myself an actor if I had a list of things I won’t do. It staggers me how big a deal everyone makes of it. In my everyday life, I’m naked a lot of the time--probably eight hours of my 24 hours are spent naked. Interacting with my wife and children at home, I’m quite often naked. And yet the second we put it onscreen, everybody f--king s--ts themselves. I don’t get it.

When you watched Hudson in those ’60s films, what qualities of his did you want to bring to your own performance?
When he laughed, I got a sense that he was really enjoying himself. And yet, you didn’t feel like he broke out of character. But there was so much of his spirit, and I wanted to convey that.

I found that it was a tall order. It’s not like rocking back on your heels and letting it happen. It’s the opposite. You have to work twice as hard to make it look comfortable. I was quite nervous about pulling it off. I had a day where I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. Which is becoming part of my whole process, it seems. Because that feeling gets stronger every time I start a film.

I just have to accept that and get on with it. So, then I just fought like hell to try and get it. To be suave and cool and funny. And the dialogue is so clever and witty, it’s a pleasure but really difficult to do.

Everyone wants to play the ladies’ man. But doesn’t being married with kids make it even more fun to play this cad?
Sure, but I think we’ve all had our time. I think most blokes go through a kind of bachelor period, don’t they? I certainly had mine in London. I didn’t have an apartment quite as big as Catcher Block’s, unfortunately. And that probably wasn’t too bad a thing. I’m sure that everybody plays at being something other than they are to attract a lady to his bed, definitely. I think, when you’re young, you go through all that until you realize that’s not the road to happiness. But now I’m very happy to be married with beautiful children.

Yeah, but you guys who had happy bachelorhoods and then have daughters--what will you say to those girls about men?
I don’t know. It’s difficult, isn’t it? I’d love to think of myself as a very liberal, lovely dad. And when the time comes, Clara can come speak to me about boyfriends and stuff. But I don’t think, until it happens, you really know how you’re going to be. I had a brother, and I didn’t have any sisters, so we’ll see what happens, you know? I hope I’ll be cool with it.

Are you a down with love guy?
No, I’m very much an up with love guy. I’ve never been a down with love guy. I don’t recall a time ever when I didn’t believe in love. I’m an up with love guy, big time.

There are lots of sparks between you and Renée. At what point did you know the two of you were going to crackle?
I think from the beginning. I had met Renée for the very first time years and years and years ago at an MTV Awards. We were both backstage kind of stumbling around in the shadows, and we started talking and right away I thought we were very like-minded about, about the way we view our work and being serious and passionate about it.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some fantastic actresses and Renée was just on my list of great women to work with. And she was just wonderful. We had a great sense of playing that I think is really important. I’m always relieved when the other actor wants to play with you in a scene and not just do their bit when the camera’s on them.

Wasn’t it your idea to have the two of you sing and dance together in a kind of music video over the closing credits?
Yes. I just kept saying to them, "I did Moulin Rouge and Renée did Chicago and don’t you think that we should do a song?" And they were like, "Well maybe, we’ll see." I was thinking, What are you nuts? Let us do a song.

Finally, Marc Shaiman, who scored the film, wrote the song. He came up with a classic. We did a video for it that really is like the last number in a huge musical show on Broadway or something. We shot it just weeks ago in one day. It was like trying to recreate that ’60s TV-show feeling. And it was great fun.

Will we see you in another musical?
I love to sing, and I love to record music, because it’s the same thing as acting, it’s just more immediate; you’re just telling a story with the voice. I’ve thought about an album, but I find it difficult to see a way to do it without it being really cheese-o-rama, you know, "Ewan McGregor Sings!" I mean it could be awful. So, we’ll see.

It certainly wasn’t like I told my agent to get me another musical after Moulin Rouge because it was a big hit. You want to protect yourself by not immediately doing another musical that might not be as good.

You’re getting ready to go back to the Star Wars set. How has that changed your life, and what makes you look forward to returning?
It hasn’t really changed my life. When I first thought they might offer me the part, I got worried because it didn’t seem to be my bag. And the size of it was overwhelming and just the fact that it was continuing a legend. There was so much more baggage for me than with any other movie I’d done.

But my worst fears haven’t been realized, which has been a great relief. I don’t get hounded by marauding Star Wars fans anywhere. The only thing that has changed is that I am followed by kind of professional autograph hunters who want me to sign Star Wars stuff so they can sell it on the Internet. And that’s boring. But children get to see me work now and they couldn’t see too many of my earlier films, for good reason. I love it when they come up and speak to me about Star Wars and stuff. I really enjoy that.

Can you give us a little preview of what we’ll see next?
I haven’t actually seen a script, hand on my heart. So, I can’t know what’s coming, although everyone keeps asking me.

What makes doing a movie fun for you?
When you’re challenged as an actor and when you’re pushed by the director and when you’re working with other actors that want to play. And when you’ve got a good crew, and that’s something that’s very often overlooked. There’s a great feeling when everybody round about you is pulling together to make the one thing happen--to make the film the best it can be. There’s like an energy on the set that’s near perfection. It was certainly there on Trainspotting and on this one too.

Source: E! Online

Visit their video gallery to see four scenes from Down With Love!

Thank you Frannie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 // 07:25 a.m.


Pearl & Dean commemorate 50th anniversary milestone with launch of charity initiative supported by Ewan McGregor and Sharleen Spiteri…

2003. It’s the year in which Pearl & Dean, the greatest name in cinema advertising, marks its 50th anniversary. And in celebration of this half-century of involvement with the world of film, it is proud to announce the launch of a special anniversary fundraising initiative benefiting two unique and highly deserving charities. They are the Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland (CHAS) and MediCinema.


Working with a number of high profile partners, Pearl & Dean has mapped out an exciting year-long plan of fund-raising activities, so ensuring that this golden year will be celebrated not just now, but well into the future. And as part of its on-going drive, it will be screening two specially-commissioned commercials for CHAS and MediCinema. Click here for more information on how we produced the commercials.

Pearl & Dean is delighted to announce that two of the most respected young stars in the worlds of film and music will be supporting them in this unique venture - actor Ewan McGregor and Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri.


As a patron of both charities, Ewan is delighted to be able to be involved in both commercials. He wrote and directed the cinema appeal for CHAS, and provided a voiceover for the MediCinema appeal.

He says, “Pearl & Dean’s 50th Anniversary Charity fund means that both these small charities will have the opportunity to mount a nationwide campaign to fundraise this year. Pearl & Dean have donated screen time so that a wider audience will learn of the work of these charities. We have made two adverts for the cinema which have directly involved the people which this fund will support.”

And Sharleen, a keen supporter of CHAS, adds, “It’s an organisation that makes a real difference to thousands of lives every year. The support of Pearl & Dean will help CHAS to keep helping.”

CHAS is the only charity committed to the provision of children’s hospice services in Scotland, offering support to children with life-threatening conditions, and to their families. MediCinema fundraises to install cinemas in hospitals and screens the latest cinematic releases to hospital bound patients of all ages. Their commercial was written by scriptwriter John Hodge (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting) and brought to life by director Rodney Butcher on location at the special cinema at London’s St. Thomas Hospital.

Both Warner Village and UGC Cinemas have kindly offered to support the Pearl & Dean initiative by screening the two commercials at their cinemas across the UK.


To enable the fashion-conscious young to get involved in the celebrations, Pearl & Dean is excited to announce that two specially-designed ‘his’ and ‘her’ T-shirts will be launched to the public this Spring. These unique fashion items will be modelled by Ewan and Sharleen.

And it would be impossible not to acknowledge Pearl & Dean’s legendary musical logo. The distinctive ‘Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa’ tune is as redolent of the cinema experience as the smell of popcorn and hot dogs, and has kept the brand close to the nation’s heart across five whole decades.

‘Asteroid’, as it is officially known, will be celebrated in a specially commissioned anniversary musical button badge, available to buy later in the Spring at selected retail outlets and in cinema foyers. All profits from the badges and T-shirts will benefit both charities.

The Gala Screening

20th Century Fox will be donating a gala screening as a fundraiser for the Pearl & Dean 50th Anniversary charity initiative. Ewan McGregor and Sharleen Spiteri will be co-hosting a cocktail party for Ewan McGregor’s forthcoming film ‘Down With Love’, a romantic comedy in the vein of the 1960’s films of Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Ewan stars as “man about town”, Catcher Block, who is determined to win over pre-feminist star novelist Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger) - in a contagious tale of mistaken identities. All monies raised from this Pearl & Dean 50th Anniversary Charity Fund event will benefit CHAS and MediCinema.

Says Christine Costello, Chief Executive of Pearl & Dean: “2003 is a golden year for us, and in creating the 50th anniversary initiative we’re signalling our determination not just to celebrate, but also to give something back – to both the industry we operate in, and to the wider community.
“I want to thank personally every single person who is helping us with these twin aims - not least Ewan and Sharleen, whose personal support and involvement will undoubtedly help us raise even more money for two such deserving charities.”

Pearl & Dean - Key Facts

Pearl & Dean - Fantastic Facts & Media Features

Press Coverage - Click on any of the articles below for more information:

Metro, 26/2/03

Marketing, 28/2/03.

Marketing Week, 27/2/03

Daily Mail, 25/2/03

Evening Standard, Business Section, 25/2/03

The Independent Review, 11/03/03

The Sunday Post, 20/04/03

For further details on the calendar of events please visit www.pearlanddean.com

For further information please contact:

Kash Javaid kash@publiceye.co.uk Christabel Saunders christabel@publiceye.co.uk or
Clair Dobbs clair@publiceye.co.uk
Public Eye Communications Ltd. Tel: 020 7351 1555 Fax: 020 7351 1010

Source: Pearl & Dean

Thank you Georginita and Roxanne for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 // 06:21 p.m.


Celebs smoked out of bars

By Donna Freydkin, special for USA TODAY

NEW YORK — This spring and summer, celeb-hungry gawkers can skip the velvet-roped clubs and cruise the streets for some nighttime stargazing.

That’s because Manhattan’s new smoking ban, which went into ironclad effect on April 30 (after a 30-day grace period) and prohibits cigarettes in bars and restaurants with very few exceptions, is forcing many nicotine-craving A-listers out of their private VIP rooms and on to very public city corners for their smoke breaks. It’s why John Malkovich, who lives in smoker-friendly France, was forced to leave the premiere of his directorial debut TheDancer Upstairs on April 29 and inhale outside the Bryant Park Hotel on an unseasonably cold spring evening.

A day earlier at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s gala for the Costume Institute, supermodel Gisele Bundchen stepped out for numerous tobacco breaks, at times joined by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, one of those adamantly opposed to the ban.

"I can’t stand it," Carter says. "It ignores the vanity of New York. Michael Bloomberg has forgotten what it’s like to be 25 in New York and that most people want to go out and drink and smoke at the end of the day."

But many are still doing that — just outdoors. On March 31, the very day the smoking ban first went into effect, Colin Farrell puffed on a cigarette outside the New York premiere of his thriller Phone Booth. Even pop star Britney Spears isn’t above the law — she was asked to put out her cigarette at Underbar and Show nightspots recently.

Smokin’ Sci Fi Channel host and 90210 alum Shannen Doherty lights up outside NoHo’s trendy eatery Serafina, where she’s a regular, the restaurant’s publicist says.

"Now that the good weather’s here, it’s not so bad. People can go outside and have a cigarette," says Blondie frontwoman and downtown Manhattan resident Deborah Harry. "It does make the inside places much more comfortable, and maybe it’ll help a lot of people to quit smoking."

Still, not all non-smokers are down with the new rules. "I think it’s ridiculous," Gina Gershon says. "It’s not right. You should have a smoking section inside, but right now, people are all outside of empty clubs and bars."

Smoking has been prohibited at city restaurants with more than 35 seats since 1995, but stand-alone bars were exempt from the ban, until Bloomberg’s new law took effect. Now, owners are subjected to fines of $200 to $400 for a first offense and $500 to $1,000 for a second offense. The licenses of repeat offenders can be revoked, and that’s why bars mean business when they tell you to put out that cigarette.

But while some celebs lament the new law, others couldn’t be happier.

"I’ve given up smoking, so it’s quite good for me, quite handy," says Down With Love star Ewan McGregor, who was in town for a visit.

Source: USA Today

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 // 07:39 a.m.


Delightful Ewan interview online

California television station KRON4 has a lovely interview with Ewan. Click on the link to watch it!

Thank you ElleBee for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 // 07:34 a.m.


Young Adam Cannes poster

Poster from Hanway.com

…Meanwhile, HanWay is continuing to sell Bernardo Bertolucci’s "The Dreamers," Khyentse Norbu’s "Travelers and Magicians" and Noah Baumbach’s "The Squid and the Whale." David McKenzie’s "Young Adam," starring Ewan McGregor, which is sold everywhere except North America and Germany, has its world premiere May 17 in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes.

Source: Variety (requires subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, May 12, 2003 // 07:48 a.m.


Video Feature: Scenes from Down with Love

May 09, 2003

Today, we’ve got scenes from Down with Love, starring Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger! The film is billed as an "old-fashioned romantic comedy with a twist."

Zellweger plays Barbara Novak, author of the pre-feminist manifesto entitled Down with Love – a book about saying "no" to love and "yes" to career, empowerment and sex. As Barbara’s book becomes a best-seller, she becomes the target of ace journalist and ladies’ man Catcher Block (McGregor), who is determined to take her down.

Catch’s best friend and boss, the neurotic and lovesick Peter McMannus (David Hyde Pierce), tries to rein in his star writer, while pursuing the object of his affections Vikki Hiller (Sarah Paulson), Barbara’s feisty editor. Vikki plays tough in a man’s world, which includes her chauvinist boss Theodore Banner (Tony Randall).

Click on the link below and then on the "Media Page" link to view eight scenes from Down with Love.

Down with Love has been rated PG-13 for sexual humor and dialog. The film hits theaters on May 16. Visit the official site for more.

Source: Film Force

Thank you Goddess of Game for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, May 10, 2003 // 11:25 a.m.


The midnight screenings of Moulin Rouge every Friday night have changed to a new theatre in Los Angeles. See below:

see Moulin Rouge every Friday @ midnight!

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Friday, May 9, 2003 // 02:04 p.m.


United Press International’s Interview of the week: Ewan McGregor

By Karen Butler
United Press International
From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 5/8/2003 6:47 PM

NEW YORK, May 8 (UPI) -- "Star Wars" actor Ewan McGregor trades in his light saber for a martini shaker this week, playing a love-dodging man-about-town in the new romantic comedy, "Down With Love."

Co-starring Renée Zellweger, this delightful confection is an ode to the classic Doris Day-Rock Hudson sex comedies. While every frame pops with the super-saturated palette of 1960s Technicolor, stock shots, backlot street scenes, ridiculously palatial New York City apartments and dreamy supper clubs set the scene for McGregor’s hot-shot journalist to try to woo Zellweger’s feminist advice author.

"It was shot entirely in the studio on fantastic sets and brilliant costumes, and that was the magic, to make those films where everything is pretend," McGregor told reporters in New York earlier this week.

Even though McGregor is too young to have seen the original films when they were first released, the 32-year-old "Moulin Rouge" and "Trainspotting" actor said he is a huge fan of the genre, devouring movies like "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back" and "Send Me No Flowers" whenever they turned up on television or were re-run at movie houses.

"I was kind of passionately drawn to old movies on the television when I was a child, more so than children’s television or anything," McGregor confessed. "I would spend most of my weekends watching the matinees, you know, on Sunday and Saturday afternoons, and so, I’d seen all of these films. So, from my naive, child’s perspective, I just thought that New York looked f… amazing; all these colors, and characters and these huge apartments and offices, and now, when I watch them, I go, ’God, that looks like a studio set!’ That’s the magic."

Asked if this film’s aim is to parody the genre, McGregor emphatically replies "no."

"I wanted to nail it," he said. "I mean, that was the point? There was no point in trying to make a modern day sex comedy. We have them already, they’re called romantic comedies, and they’re not usually very good. So, I wanted to nail that. That was the challenge. I felt like we were doing a 1960s sex comedy. That’s all we were doing."

With most of his experience in dramatic acting, including playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in the "first" three films in the "Star Wars" series, McGregor admitted that starring in a trippy comedy like "Down With Love" was a bit daunting.

"From the word ’go,’ it was clear that it was going to be tricky to get because it’s a very specific way to play comedy in a way that we don’t play comedy anymore," he explained.

"As long as I can remember, the thing was that you don’t play the comedy, and in this you do. You really slap it on… It’s not like rocking back on your heels and letting it happen. It’s the opposite. You have to work twice as hard to let it come through, I think."

Once he got the style down, McGregor said he had a blast going to work every day.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "Then, there was the dialogue which was fantastically written by Eve (Ahlert) and Dennis (Drake), beautifully, beautifully written. I can’t remember a more pleasing script to read, and to say, but it took some getting right, as great texts do."

The happily married father of two added, "It was all challenging which is what makes it great fun."

"Also, on top of that, I felt very much like I was living almost my kind of fantasies of being a studio actor like Jimmy Stewart," he revealed.

"I bought myself a little replica of the Porsche 550 Spider, not for $300,000 that’s been reported, but for $26,000. It’s a little fiber glass replica with a VW engine in the back… and in the morning, I would get up and jump in my little sports car and drive to my spot on the studio and go get dressed up like Carey Grant and jump on these huge sets and play with Renée Zellweger, and then, at the end of the day, jump back into my car and drive home to my family and I felt like this is kind of what I dreamed being an actor would be like when I was a kid."

"Down With Love" opens next week.
Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International

Source: United Press International

Thank you Dawn for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 9, 2003 // 12:02 p.m.


Don’t Bet On Me Playing Renton Again

May 8 2003
Rick Fulton Exclusive Movie Interview

McGregor explains why Porno might not push the right buttons

FOR the first time, 192 can reveal the REAL reason why Ewan McGregor isn’t keen on doing a sequel to Trainspotting.

Irvine Welsh’s follow-up, Porno, is set 10 years after the first book which was adapted for the 1996 film, but Ewan reckons it is too "similar".

And he claims Porno didn’t inspire him in the way that Trainspotting did.

The news will be a blow to director Danny Boyle and scriptwriter John Hodges, who is already writing a script based on Welsh’s novel.

Although the Trainspotting cast also included Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner, it was McGregor’s portrayal of Renton which stole the film about Scottish junkies.

Finally opening up to his reasons for being sceptical about a reunion, Ewan told 192: "I’ve read the book, and I really enjoyed finding out what happened to our characters.

"However, I wasn’t sure. It didn’t move me as much as some of the chapters and I felt, ultimately, that it was a very similar story."

But he gave out a very thin olive branch to Boyle, whom he fell out with after the director cast Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach rather than the 32-year old from Crieff.

Ewan added: "To go back to the character, I’d have to read the script, but I don’t know. I would hate to leave people remembering a poor sequel as opposed to remembering a f*****g cracking movie that we made.

"So, it would be a very important decision for me to make."

It’s now up to former doctor Hodges to find the same magic which gave him an Oscar nomination for his Trainspotting adaptation. But he will have to do a great job - after all, it’s not as though Ewan has to do the film.

Earlier this week, he came ninth in a Channel 4 poll to find the 100 greatest movie stars of all time.

Al Pacino won, but Ewan was the youngest in a Top 10 which included legends such as Sean Connery - one place ahead of Ewan in eighth - as well as Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Later this month, Ewan will be reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the last-ever instalment of Star Wars - the third of the prequels which will connect the original three to the newer ones.

And next week, his latest film, Down With Love - a romantic comedy starring Renée Zellweger - will be released in the US. It will be up against the might of Keanu Reeves’ sci-fi epic The Matrix Reloaded - which also opens next week.

But far from worrying about the box-office battle, Ewan is almost nonplussed, claiming: "I don’t really know anything about that side of it. I make them - I don’t really know about selling them."

Down With Love is Ewan’s first Hollywood romantic comedy and, if successful, will cement him in the minds of Tinseltown bosses as a bona fide leading man.

The musical Moulin Rouge, with Nicole Kidman, began the process of turning him into a top-flight Hollywood star, helped by playing young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, more for profile than any critical acclaim. But Down With Love, which stars one of Hollywood’s leading ladies Renée Zellweger, could put him in the Tom Cruise league.

Fans in the UK will have to wait - it isn’t out here until October - but once again, we get to hear Ewan’s singing voice.

Of course, that is nothing new - as well as Moulin Rouge, he’s been a glam-rocker in Velvet Goldmine and his Choose Life rant in Trainspotting went top five when it was made into a dance track.

Ewan, who played French Horn in his school band and also plays guitar and drums, has recorded his own songs for a possible album.

But he’s scared to release it, admitting it might end up being too cheesy.

He said: "I think it’s a very tricky thing to pull off as an actor.

"I have talked about it and recorded some stuff with Marius De Vries, who recorded all the music for Moulin Rouge. But I do wonder if you should keep it for yourself. I find it difficult to see a way of doing it without it being cheesorama. Like, Ewan McGregor sings - it could be awful.

"I’m kind of idealistic about it, and I’d love to be able to record an album with him and then, take it to someone and say, `Do you want to sell it,’ without them putting me on television or asking me to do live stuff. It would be nice to just put it out there."

Of course, the obvious thing would be to release it on a white label or under another name - and that’s something Ewan might think of.

The last time Ewan seriously put out a tune for the charts was the duet with Nicole Kidman from Moulin Rouge, Come What May. It scraped into the Top 30, and then she then went on to sing a duet with Robbie Williams - Somethin’ Stupid, which went to No.1.

But Ewan seems undeterred by the apparent lack of success of his last single. He said: "I discovered that recording songs is just fantastic. It gives me as much of a buzz as acting because, ultimately, it’s the same thing.

"You’re telling a story, but you’re just using one facet of your person - the voice, I suppose - but it’s more immediate as well.

"You get to listen to it immediately and then change bits and improve bits. I loved it."

But for the time being, Ewan is all actor. And a busy one at that. He has spent much of the year in Alabama with his wife Ève Mavrakis and their daughters, Clara, six, and one-year-old Esther, filming Tim Burton’s new film Big Fish.

Then he went to Venice for a friend’s wedding and in three weeks he’s off to Australia for the long haul it takes to make a Star Wars movie.

He’s admitted in the past that he finds the ’blue screen’ work on the film hard going and claims a lot of the acting involves him raising his eyebrows and little else. But after some difficult-to-do movies, it looks like he’s ready for some unadulatated fun.

He said: "Bring it on. I’m ready. You probably know more about it than I do. I start in three weeks and I haven’t seen a script."

Before flying Down Under, he is likely to go to Cannes to promote another film, Young Adam, which was shot in Scotland.

The film features in the festival’s Un Certain Regard section and is one of only a few British offerings in the famous movie festival.

It’s his first Scottish film since Trainspotting and also stars Peter Mullan and Tilda Swinton in an adaptation of Beat Generation, Alexander Trocchi’s cult novel.

It proves Ewan still has a commitment to Scotland and to low-budget, gritty movies, despite the allure of the big-budget Hollywood projects he’s offered.

But playing Joe, a rootless young drifter, caused him problems when he began Down With Love, in which he plays a Rock Hudson-inspired character called Catcher Block.

He explained: "Young Adam is a really very dark, erotic, introspective film about a young man who is basically losing his moral stuff.

"The film charts his moral decline and I finished that film on a Friday, then started rehearsing Down With Love in LA the following Monday - and for the first week, I felt that this was one I wasn’t going to be able to pull off.

"I had a day where I didn’t really think I was going to be able to do it, which is becoming a whole part of my process.

It seems that feeling gets stronger every time I start a film. I just have to accept that and go on with it.

"So, I just fought like hell to try and get it - to be suave and cool on film is just not quite as easy as it looks. The dialogue was so clever and witty."

It took Ewan three weeks to sort out his Down With Love character - a playboy journalist who snags a feminist advice columnist played by Renée.

And choosing Down With Love seems to suggest Ewan is on a winning streak after a career of more ups than downs. Career highs have been Shallow Grave, Trainpotting, Little Voice, Brassed Off, Velvet Goldmine, Moulin Rouge and Black Hawk Down.

But there have been turkeys - Blue Juice, Emma, The Serpent’s Kiss, A Life Less Ordinary, Nightwatch, Rogue Trader, Eye Of The Beholder and Nora.

Ewan admitted: "My poor agent is rather frustrated sometimes because I tend to want to do quite a lot of it because I’m just a sucker for a good story, and I haven’t yet developed the right kind of choosing skills.

"It doesn’t matter who’s directing it or who’s acting in it with you."

So with musicals, rom-coms, sci-fi, war and period dramas under his belt, what does Ewan still want to do?

He smiled: "I’d love to do a cracking thriller, but I find that when I read them, they all tend to feel like an episode of cop drama on the television."

Well, it didn’t do Sean Connery any harm - his cop in The Untouchables won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 9, 2003 // 11:57 a.m.


Scottish actor starstruck by meeting film legend

Wednesday, 7 May, 2003

Even one of Scotland’s biggest movie stars can still be left feeling decidedly over awed by meeting one of his idols.

Attending a premiere in New York last night, Ewan McGregor found himself lost for words when he spotted the godfather of cinema, Robert De Niro.

Asked if he hd fun making his latest film, he said: "Yeah, it was tough it was hard…that’s Robert de Niro!"

He added: "It’s Robert de Niro! Look at that. Me and Robert!"

Source: Scotland Today

Thank you MRS EGM for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 9, 2003 // 11:49 a.m..


Ewan’s Relief As Brother Returns

May 7 2003

MOVIE star Ewan McGregor spoke of his joy yesterday at his Tornado pilot brother’s safe return from the Gulf.

The Star Wars actor said he was constantly worried about the safety of Colin, 34, while war raged in Iraq.

However, Ewan’s fears were eased when his brother, recently promoted to squadron leader, was put on ground duties.

Colin was part of the operations team while his comrades in the famous 617 Dambusters, normally based at RAF Lossiemouth, flew strike missions against Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Ewan said: "He was in Iraq but he just got back last week, which was wonderful.

"It’s such a fantastic feeling when you get them home, you know."

His comments came during a TV interview in the US, where he is promoting his new film, Down With Love, with Renée Zellweger.

Ewan described the film as a reminder of many of the classic romantic films.

He said he loved playing the role of an old-fashioned charmer, adding: "I got to drive around in a replica of a Porsche 550 Spider."

But he insisted his character’s playboy lifestyle was nothing like his own.

He explained: "For me, my wife and kids are the most important thing in my life."

Source: Daily Record

Thank you MRS EGM for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 9, 2003 // 11:44 a.m.


Rediscovering Rock and Doris for the first time

May 4, 2003
By Peyton Reed, Special to The Times

Growing up as a kid in North Carolina in the ’70s, I was never into Doris Day-Rock Hudson movies. If I had come across one on TV, I’d have quickly turned the channel to look for something cool, like an ape riding a horse or a "Twilight Zone" episode.

When I was 13, I got my first Super 8 movie camera. I made short films like "The $10,000,000 Boy," "Attack on Pearl Harbor" and "Here’s My Dog." I didn’t make any sophisticated bedroom comedies. (I did tie a steak knife to a cat’s paw and make a short film about a psychotic feline killer, but I don’t think that counts.)

In college, as an aspiring cinéaste, I immersed myself in Hitchcock, Truffaut, Bergman — all the auteurs. I used words like "mise-en-scène," "oeuvre" and "semiotics." I watched movies constantly — anything and everything I could get my hands on. And not once did I check out a Doris Day-Rock Hudson movie. In fact, I don’t think I saw "Pillow Talk" until about five or six years ago on AMC.

So how did I find myself on the set of "Down With Love" directing Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in a homage to those Day-Hudson sex comedies? Well, I almost didn’t.

I accidentally passed on the movie. I had a pile of scripts to read, my agent asked me if I’d read "Down With Love," I got it confused with another three-word-titled romantic comedy, and I answered, "Yeah, I read it. Pass." I hadn’t read it. A week or two later, my wife and I were traveling back East, and she grabbed several scripts to read on the plane. During the flight, she kept laughing hysterically. "This is great!" she said. "What’s great?" I asked. "This script. ’Down With Love.’ " "Down With Love"?!? Uh oh.

As soon as we landed, I read it. I loved it. I placed a panicked call and set up a meeting with the producers, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. We hit it off, and that was that. Dan and Bruce had responded to the same things about the script that I had. It was funny, it was smart, and it was well-paced. But its most distinguishing feature was how crazily specific it was. The writers, Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake, were very clear about the world they were creating and the rules of it.

It’s a very precise, choreographed kind of comedy. There’s a definite cadence to the dialogue and to the flow of the movie as a whole. It’s almost like a musical without the singing. The movie takes place in New York City in the early ’60s, but not the real New York City. It’s an idealized, Hollywood version of New York — as seen through a ’60s CinemaScope camera. Poppy, colorful and fun.

My first task was to educate myself on the genre known as the "sex comedy" or "bedroom comedy." It’s not one they teach in film classes. Eve and Dennis provided an entire syllabus for me — a list of the crucial (and some not-so-crucial) sex comedies. I started with the obvious, re-watching "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back" and "Send Me No Flowers," the three Day-Hudson vehicles.

From there, I branched out to "Sex and the Single Girl," "That Touch of Mink" and "Man’s Favorite Sport." I discovered "Boys’ Night Out," "A New Kind of Love" and "Come September." The list goes on and on. The common denominator is an inherent lightness. They’re playful, unabashedly romantic and not afraid to be downright silly. They’re rife with innuendo, but by today’s standards they’re pretty chaste. The characters wear great clothes, live in unbelievable apartments and always know the right thing to say.

I couldn’t wait to create a world like that in "Down With Love." JFK was in office. The nation was looking to the future. We were on our way to the moon and on the cusp of the sexual revolution. And in New York, art and culture were blooming — from Broadway to the jazz scene to stand-up comedy to art. I wanted to capture the feel of that time, or rather an exaggerated take on a collective memory of a Hollywood movie version of that time. A vivid world that made you want to leap into it. A world that allowed you to see all the things that have changed in 40 years — and all the things that haven’t. I liked the idea of having a comedy about sexual politics play out in a stylish, hyper-real world.

I wanted to devise a tone for the movie where a character looks out the window at a painted canvas Manhattan skyline and the audience accepts that as their reality. They know it looks fake, but intentionally so. It’s a movie in which a character enters swinging from beneath a helicopter, a book becomes an international hit in two weeks, and a playboy puts on horn-rimmed glasses and a fake Southern accent and convinces a woman he’s an astronaut. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in that world for a while?

As a kid, I loved movies that were so specifically drawn that I wanted to be in them. And not just the fantasies or science-fiction movies. Sure, I wanted to cruise around Tatooine in a landspeeder, but I also wanted to eat at the Fells Point diner in 1959 Baltimore, race bikes on the Cutter team in Bloomington and cut school with Antoine Doinel in downtown Paris. It turns out I also wanted to live in a swingin’ bachelor pad in early ’60s New York City. Who knew?

Peyton Reed is the director of "Down With Love," which opens May 16.

Source: LA Times

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Wednesday, May 7, 2003 // 01:06 p.m.


Tribeca Film Festival aims to buoy spirits


Playful and peripatetic, the Tribeca Film Festival is a big, friendly puppy that doesn’t know what to do with its paws.

Although the festival officially began its 10-day run over the weekend, there are no events scheduled for today, and the equivalent of an opening-night gala doesn’t occur until tomorrow, when the buoyant romantic comedy "Down With Love" is screened several times.

This past weekend was referred to as "Family Festival" in the Tribeca program. Its selection of kid-friendly fare was anchored by yesterday’s premiere of Eddie Murphy’s "Daddy Day Care," which opens commercially on Friday. The comedy is about an unemployed marketing strategist who starts up a rowdy day-care center, only to learn (no surprise) that taking care of kids is hard work, a la 1983’s "Mr. Mom."

It’s often a sign of desperation when a star willingly pairs up with half-pint scene-stealers, but Murphy’s career has already been gradually lowering the age of its target audience with the "Dr. Doolittle" and "Nutty Professor" movies.

After today’s palate-cleansing break, the adult movies begin in earnest.

Tomorrow’s "Down With Love," which opens in theaters May 16, is the perfect curtain-raiser for this downtown festival, now in its second year and still struggling to forge an identity.

"Down With Love" affectionately sends up the Rock Hudson-Doris Day fluff of the ’50s, the way Todd Haynes’ "Far From Heaven" paid homage to Douglas Sirk melodramas, but in a style and with material more accessible to casual audiences.

"Down With Love," a valentine to the archetypal Manhattan of movie-set penthouses with unobstructed views, has oodles of charm. Renée Zellweger looks like a frosted cake as she plays a proto-feminist self-help author whose whirlwind publicity tour spins her, after several plot twists, into the arms of a rakish Ewan McGregor.

Set in the early ’60s, the movie employs period process shots of Manhattan, which serve a special purpose as far as the Tribeca festival is concerned.

Among other things, the festival is about bringing business and foot traffic to lower Manhattan - and the cloud of Sept. 11 hangs over the whole enterprise from its mission statement onward. The period setting of "Down With Love" avoids the awkward problem of showing a pre-World Trade Center milieu without the anxiety all New Yorkers feel whenever a camera sweeps the skyline.

Another New York is visible in a sidebar collection of more than two dozen movies that were shot on location here and enhance the understanding of our city.

An example of a stray gem is "Kill the Poor," a briskly funny and knowledgeable story of a co-op building’s humble origins on the Lower East Side back when that neighborhood was still a war zone for artists and junkies.

Director Alan Taylor’s dark comedy has particular resonance for New Yorkers, many of whom have privately pondered the very questions this movie raises. How can a board of directors get anything done when everyone in the building is nuts? And when is it okay to smoke out a troublesome shareholder with a little arson?

"Down With Love" and "Kill the Poor" offer flip sides of New York, but what they have in common is a city before terrorists struck, a city before there was a financial need for a Tribeca Film Festival.

Originally published on May 5, 2003

Source: NY Daily News

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, May 5, 2003 // 07:54 a.m.


New Roots ad

There is a new Roots ad featuring Ewan, that is currently airing in Japan.

Update: Sadly the commercial is no longer available. Hopefully Japander will have it soon.

Thank you Fuumin for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, April 26, 2003 // 12:35 p.m.


’Big Fish’ wraps, minus the stars

April 26, 2003
By Rick Harmon
Montgomery Advertiser

Michelle Teague packs costumes used in the movie "Big Fish" as the production prepares to leave Montgomery.
-- Photos by David Bundy, Advertiser

The "Fish" is wrapped.

On Friday, Tim Burton’s "Big Fish," which began shooting in the tri-county area on Jan. 23, shot its last scene in the state. Fittingly, there was bizarre weather, but it didn’t matter.

"There has been surprising weather that has been a problem throughout the shoot, but everything was completed on schedule," said Maryellen Aviano-Roberts, the extras casting coordinator for the film. "When the weather was bad outside, we were able to do inside shoots."

The Alabama Film Office has estimated that the shoot has had around a $25 million impact on the area.

But money wasn’t the only impact. During the 93-day shoot, the film turned downtown Wetumpka, where much of the movie was shot, and Montgomery’s Cloverdale district, where the movie had its headquarters, into Hollywood South.

Burton, Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito, Alison Lohman and Robert Guillaume were just some of the artists who were regularly seen here during the shoot.

But by Friday, Burton and the stars had already left. The final shot featured actual fish -- shot by a second-unit crew in a swimming pool at Huntingdon College, another of the film’s main locations.

"Second-unit shooting usually involves stunts or inserts, such as a hand reaching in for a book -- things that don’t involve the major actors," Aviano-Roberts said.

On Friday, the pool was a stand-in for the Alabama rivers that helped attract the film crew to central Alabama.

While this week was the end of the Alabama shoot, it is not the end of the shooting for "Big Fish." The cast and much of the crew will reunite Monday to shoot for several days in Paris, the only location outside of Alabama where the film will be shot.

"Big Fish" is expected to debut in theaters sometime around Christmas, said film publicist Eileen Peterson.

With the stars gone and the filming almost complete, the main action for the film’s crew on Friday was packing.

Few people were still at the old Cloverdale Junior High School, which Huntingdon College now owns and rented to the film crew to use as its headquarters.

A model of a fish hangs in a storage area at Huntingdon College as movie costumes are packed Friday in Montgomery.

Some rooms still had exotic props, such as stand-in figures for lions and bears. Many of the rooms were empty. "Big Fish" crew members wished more of the rooms were empty.

One of these crew members was costume supervisor Cha Blevins. She was overseeing the packing of around 15,000 costumes, due to be shipped back to California. She will stay another week to oversee the packing and will be in California in two weeks to supervise the unloading.

Several 53-foot moving trucks pulled in and out behind the old school, each one leaving as it was loaded.

Some Montgomerians who were among the around 7,000 extras in the film stopped by to say goodbye.

James Fuller was one of them.

"I enjoyed it all," said Fuller, who worked in numerous scenes as an extra.

While the stars impressed him, so did the food.

"It was incredible," he said. "You wouldn’t believe it. They had baked salmon, filets and roasted chicken all on the same day."

It won’t just be extras who will be sad to see the movie go.

"Will we miss them? Oh Lord, yes," said Thomas Upchurch, co-owner of Capitol Book News, across the street from the "Big Fish" headquarters.

"They were great neighbors, totally professional and very nice."

Not all films have left area residents with such warm feelings. The Walter Matthau film "The Grass Harp," which was filmed in Wetumpka in 1994, left both resentment and unpaid bills in its wake.

"The bad feelings go back a lot further than that," Upchurch said. "I still talk to people who are upset about Hank Williams memorabilia they lent the makers of ’Your Cheatin’ Heart’ and never got back.

"The people with ’Big Fish’ have erased a lot of those feelings."

While the film crew is leaving, there will still be members of the crew staying during the next few weeks, changing back some of the locations that they changed to fit time periods in the film.

While Upchurch said the bookstore will miss the film company, he said many of his neighbors in Cloverdale, particularly the restaurants and clubs, would miss them more.

He said the film’s stars and crew worked incredibly hard, but at the end of the day, many would go out to eat and drink. There were also a lot of area residents who went to Cloverdale hoping to see the stars enjoying themselves.

"There will be places around here that will miss the business," he said.

Aviano-Roberts said many crew members will also miss Montgomery.

"I’d walk into the post office and they would say, ’Hi Maryellen. How is it going?" she said. "You just don’t get that type of friendliness in California. And what would be a 10-minute drive here would take you anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours there.

"Everyone here just seemed so mellow and friendly. If I could, I’d pack up the city and take it back to California with me."

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, April 26, 2003 // 07:54 a.m.


Down With Love site updated!

Head on over to www.down-with-love.com to see all the goodies that have been added!

Wallpapers, screensavers, AIM icons…

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, April 24, 2003 // 09:01 p.m.


Young Adam to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival

It’s official: Young Adam will be shown at Cannes but was not chosen for the competition. It will be shown under the "Un Certain Regard" banner.

Here is the list of films that will be shown during the festival.

In the festival press release they mention Ewan is expected to attend the festival:

…the Festival will also be expecting Nicole Kidman, Chloë Sevigny, Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, James Caan, Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier, Bernard Giraudeau, Michel Piccoli, Elsa Zylberstein, Vincent Gallo, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Béatrice Dalle, Olivier Gourmet, Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Keanu Reeves, Monica Bellucci, Lambert Wilson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Didier Bourdon, Hélène de Fougerolles, Toni Collette, Peter Mullan, Tilda Swinton, Ewan McGregor and Jean-Marc Barr.

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 // 07:18 a.m.


Premiere magazine Down With Love Ticket Giveaway

Premiere magazine in association with Tanqueray has a ticket giveaway to a pair of tickets for an advanced screening of Down With Love in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C.

Please not that you must be a U.S. resident and 21 or over in order to enter.

Thanks to Melinda and Norma Jean for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 // 07:10 a.m.


Stila is Down With Love Sweepstakes

Check out the official Down With Love site for how to enter the Stila is Down With Love Sweepstakes.

Sweepstakes entries must be received by 11:59p.m. (Pacific Time) on May 2nd, 2003 and is open to legal residents of the United States (void in Rhode Island and Puerto Rico), 13 years of age or older, except to employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives, and the immediate family members of Sponsor, Stila Cosmetics, a division of Estee Lauder, their parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion agencies and promotion partners.

Thank you Lisa for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, April 19, 2003 // 11:00 a.m.


AMC Down With Love Sweepstakes

AMC is running promos for a contest to win a trip to New York City for Down With Love:

Click image to go to the sweepstakes page

The contest runs from April 15, 2003 through April 23, 2003. It is open to U.S. residents only. You must be at least 21 years old to enter.

Website: AMC

Thank you ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 18, 2003 // 07:06 p.m.


Ewan and Renée’s song on Down With Love soundtrack

April 6, 2003

After winning praise for their singing roles in "Chicago" and "Moulin Rouge," respectively, Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor have teamed on "Here’s to Love," the end-title song of "Down With Love," a comedy in which they co-star. The song, written and produced by film composer Marc Shaiman, will be on a soundtrack album due May 13, with the movie opening May 16. Also on the soundtrack will be a title song sung by Michael Buble and Holly Palmer.

Source: L.A. Times

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, April 12, 2003 // 06:26 p.m.


Happy Birthday, Ewan!

Today is Ewan’s 32nd birthday!

Let’s all wish him happiness, continued good health and success!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 31, 2003 // 07:01 a.m.


Gnomeo and Juliet

Dark Horizons reports:

People News reports that Dame Judi Dench and Kate Winslet are set to provide the voices for a new Disney animated film about garden gnomes. An adaptation of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet", this somewhat light-hearted romantic comedy version of the famous tragedy will have Winslet playing Juliet and Dame Judi her nurse with the setting an English backyard. Sir Elton John, whose production company Rocket Pictures is making it, will write the score for the film in collaboration with Sir Tim Rice. Thanks to Discover Kate.

What’s the Ewan connection?

According to a source close to Ewan News, Ewan would do the voice of Romeo!

Keep in mind that at this point Ewan hasn’t signed to do this project and it’s not a done deal, but Ewan and Elton know and like each other and would probably enjoy working together.

Thanks to Alyse and xcbug for the info!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 // 08:46 p.m.


From the Lennox Herald:

Stars come out for kids’ new hospice

By Marc McLean

Spiteri, McGregor and Connolly lead CHAS charity night at Duck Bay

A STAR-studded entertainment night on Loch Lomond is set to rake in the cash for CHAS.

Duck Bay Marina will play host to a glitzy party where famous blues band Big Vern and the Shootas will perform to raise money for the sick children’s charity.

And the event’s guestlist includes movie star Ewan McGregor, a patron of the charity, funnymen Billy Connolly and Fred McAulay, singer Sharleen Spiteri, TV woman Carol Smillie, golfer Colin Montgomerie and football idols Ally McCoist, Walter Smith and Richard Gough.


They are all expected to make an appearance on Friday, March 28, to give their support for the building of Scotland’s second children’s hospice in Balloch.

"Loch Lomond and Children’s Hospice Association Scotland are very close to our heart, and that’s why we provided the venue for this event," said Duck Bay managing director Russell Cawley.

"Everyone involved is pulling together for the hospice."

A generous local business couple, who want to remain anonymous, kicked off the fundraiser for the hospice, work on which is due to begin shortly.

Big Vern and the Shootas offered to do a charity gig last year and the mystery couple forked out a four-figure sum to pay for it and chose CHAS as the beneficiary.

The nine-piece band then promised their fee to CHAS and Duck Bay offered to host the night and raise more cash in ticket sales.


Russell Cawley said: "We hope this will be a very successful evening and would like to double the fee paid for Big Vern and the Shootas through our ticket sales."

CHAS spokeswoman Roslyn Neely beamed: "I met with Alan Cawley, of Duck Bay, and the enthusiasm to support CHAS is fantastic.

"It seems that a lot of effort is being put into this and it’s wonderful that we will benefit from such a high profile event.

"We really appreciate it and it’s nice to see everyone chipping in to provide a great result for CHAS."

Tickets costing £10 are available from Duck Bay Marina Hotel reception. For more information call 01389 751234.

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Thursday, March 20, 2003 // 06:52 p.m.


From The Citizen:

Charity auction

10:23 Saturday 15th March 2003

A charity auction to raise funds to send young performers from Sawbridgeworth-based theatre group YouthCreate on a two-week exchange programme to Hawaii is being held on Saturday, March 22.

The youngsters will spend three days in Los Angeles, before heading to the tiny island state to stay with exchange partners from the Children’s Theatre of Hawaii.

The children will perform Romeo and Juliet, and take part in workshop sessions with their Hawaiian counterparts.

Sale items include signed photos of actors Ewan McGregor and Sean Bean, a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling, theatre tickets, a framed photo and signed CD by Pop Idol Darius Danesh, and a trip to Florida.

The auction at Bullfields Pavilion, Cutforth Road, Sawbridgeworth, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5 (concessions £3.50), which includes a cheese platter.

For more details, ring 01279 721219, or to submit a bid via email visit www.youthcreate.co.uk.

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 // 06:20 p.m.


From The Mirror:

We hand in your petition

Mar 19 2003
By Rosa Prince, Wayne Francis And Kanchan Dutt

Mirror’s message is clear to Blair with anti-war petition

The Daily Mirror added to Tony Blair’s headaches yesterday by handing in your No To War petition at his front door.

As the Prime Minister continued to defy world opinion by following President Bush into conflict, we made our readers’ views clear.

An extraordinary 229,000 of you signed our petition against war without UN backing. And you were joined by international movie stars, sporting heroes, celebrities and senior politicians.

Joining Mirror readers the length and breadth of the country were legendary film director Martin Scorsese, acting superstar Dustin Hoffman and former US president Jimmy Carter.

Dad’s Army legend Clive Dunn, 83, signed the petition from his home in Portugal, where he spends most of the year with wife Priscilla.

Clive served in a tank regiment in Greece during the Second World War. He was taken prisoner by the Nazis in 1941 and held as a POW in Austria for five years. He said: "I know what it is like to be bombed - I’m not sure Bush or Blair do.

"This is not how I imagined a Labour government would react.

"Blair is playing into the hands of the arms manufacturers who are all making loads of money."

Other stars joining our campaign included George Michael, Pierce Brosnan, Jade Jagger, Elton John, Heather Mills and Ewan McGregor.

Warring couple Zoe Ball and Norman Cook even put their differences aside to sign up, along with Arsenal star Ashley Cole, Denise Van Outen, Jimmy Hill and singer Jay Kay.

But more important than all the celebrities were the masses of Daily Mirror readers. Your petitions filled a massive 80 postal sacks.

And yet more of you texted and emailed our Canary Wharf HQ so we could give Tony Blair your views. So, yesterday morning, our reporters Rosa Prince, Wayne Francis and Kanchan Dutt - along with photographer John Ferguson - took the 80 sacks to Mr Blair’s front door.

And to make sure he was fully aware of the opposition to this war, we brought along a list of each and every person who had signed.

It was so long it filled two large boxes. And we topped each box with a letter. It read: "For the attention of Prime Minister Tony Blair. You will find enclosed a list of more than 229,000 people who have signed the Daily Mirror’s No To War petition… we demand you listen to the public who elected you and halt this illegal and immoral war."

Thanks to MRS EGM for finding this.

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 // 06:11 p.m.


’Love’ takes on ’Matrix’
1960s-style romantic comedy targets female audience


NEW YORK -- Fox has targeted "Down With Love," an old-fashioned romantic comedy with a twist that stars Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, as the pic to counter-program Warner Bros.’ "The Matrix Reloaded."

"Down" will be released May 16, two weeks after it opens the Tribeca Film Festival.

"While males flock to ’The Matrix Reloaded’ that weekend, women will be up for some ’Love’ -- and we’ve got the picture that will satisfy them in every way," said Fox president of domestic distribution Bruce Cohen.

"This is right in that romantic comedy power alley," Fox chairman Tom Rothman said.

Directed by Peyton Reid ("Bring It On"), the film is an homage to the 1960s sex comedies that starred Doris Day and Rock Hudson, shot in super-saturated Technicolor on soundstages and backlots, using such retro technical devices as back projection and process shots.

"Down With Love" is set in Manhattan in the early ’60s and centers on a women’s advice columnist who has sworn off men and a womanizing playboy with an aversion to love. Romance blossoms between them, challenging all of their preconceived notions of sexual status quo.

The film also stars David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Paulson and Tony Randall, who co-starred in the Day-Hudson pairings that served as the film’s inspiration: "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back" and "Send Me No Flowers."

The film reps Zellweger’s first role since her Oscar-nominated turn in "Chicago," which landed her actress honors at Sunday’s SAG Awards ceremony.

Zellweger and McGregor repeat their singing experience on "Chicago" and "Moulin Rouge," crooning an original title tune on the end credits of "Down With Love," penned by recent Grammy-winning "Hairspray" composer Marc Shaiman.

Both stars are expected to attend the Tribeca premiere on May 3, along with other key cast, director Reid and producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, whose previous collaborations include "American Beauty." Also scheduled to attend are Rothman and Fox co-chairman Jim Gianopolis.

"Ours is the ultimate New York movie and this is the ultimate New York festival, so it’s kismet. Wild horses couldn’t keep me from it," Rothman told Daily Variety. "It’s manufactured Hollywood magic but with a contemporary spin; it’s 1960s filtered through the 2000s."

"This is just the kind of kick-off the festival needs this year," said Tribeca fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal. "We’re thrilled. I think everybody needs to laugh right now. New York City needs something to smile about so it’s great that we could secure this movie. "

The full Tribeca lineup, including other red-carpet premieres, is not expected to be announced before late March or early April. This year’s fest marks the first under new executive director Peter Scarlett.

Given that the inaugural edition took place during the post-Sept. 11 recovery period and this year’s fest may be unspooling while the country is at war, Rosenthal is reluctant to make attendance forecasts.

"We’re in a different place in terms of where the world is today than where we were last year," she said. "Nobody’s making any kind of predictions, just like we didn’t make predictions last year. All we can do is promise people a great time, with great movies, great panels and great family activities."

The second Tribeca fest runs May 3-11.

Source: Variety (site requires subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, March 14, 2003 // 07:04 a.m.


Ask Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor a Question!

AOL is collecting questions that might be used in an upcoming interview at Moviefone’s Video Central. This is open to AOL subscribers only.

Thank you Stefanie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 13, 2003 // 07:10 p.m.


Black Hawk Down: Deluxe Edition

The three-disc edition of Ridley Scott’s war epic hits DVD in June. March 10, 2003 - Columbia TriStar has announced a June 3rd release date for the three-disc "Deluxe Edition" of Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down. The set will include anamorphic widescreen video, and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Here’s the full rundown on the contents of the three discs directly from the studio:

Visit the site (link below) for more pictures

Disc One:

  • Widescreen Presentation
  • Commentary: Jerry Bruckheimer (Producer) & Ridley Scott (Director)
  • Commentary: Mark Bowden (Author) & Ken Nolan (Screenwriter)
  • Commentary: U.S. Special Forces Veterans (’93)
  • Digitally Mastered Audio & Anamorphic Video
  • Audio: English, French, & Spanish 5.1 (Dolby Digital)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Thai
  • Filmographies
  • Animated Menus
  • Scene Selections
  • Weblinks

Disc Two:

  • The Essense of Combat: Making Black Hawk Down
    • Getting It Right
    • Crash Course
    • Battlefield: Morocco
    • Hymn to the Fallen
    • Digital Warriors
    • After Action Report
  • 8 Deleted & Alternate Scenes with Optional Commentary
  • Production Design Archive
  • Storyboards with Optional Commentary
  • Ridleygrams with Optional Commentary
  • Jerry Bruckheimer’s Black Hawk Down Photo Album
  • Opening Title Explorations
  • Photo Galleries

Disc Three:

  • The History Channel Presents: The True Story of Black Hawk Down
  • PBS Presents: Frontline: Ambush in Mogadishu
  • Interactive Mission Map/Timeline
  • Target Building Insertion - Multi-Angle Sequence with Optional Commentary
  • Question & Answer Forums, BAFTA - Ridley Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer, Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaaca, Mark Bowden & Tom Matthews
  • Motion Pictures Editor’s Guild - Pietro Scalia,
  • American Cinematheque - Jerry Bruckheimer & Ridley Scott
  • "Gortoz A Ran - J’Attends" Music Video performed by Denez Prigent & Lisa Gerrard
  • Theatrical Poster Explorations
  • Theatrical Trailers

Source: ign.com

Thank you Goddess of Game for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 // 07:02 p.m.


Down With Love Release Delayed?

This had long been scheduled for April 11th, 2003, but in the letters column of the latest "Entertainment Weekly", a Fox representative is quoted as saying that they are currently looking for a new release date (no doubt due to how crammed with movies April is at this point). The positioning of the film on Fox’s official site of their upcoming movies suggests a summer release. This definitely does feel like a summer romantic comedy to me. It’s bigger and more ambitious than the genre usually offers, much like Fox’s 2001 hit, Moulin Rouge.

(about an hour later) Indeed… well, that didn’t take long. ComingSoon.net reports that the new release date is May 16th, 2003, which as I predicted, is just two days off from the May 18th release Fox gave Moulin Rouge in 2001. This date also puts this movie up against The Matrix: Reloaded, which opens the day before. I’d say this is great counterprogramming though; if anything, Down with Love could see *more* box office as people decide to make their day at the movies a double feature, or go to it because they can’t get into The Matrix: Reloaded. Down with Love also has a more friendly PG-13 rating, versus that movie’s (likely) R rating.

Source: Yahoo Movies

Thank you ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor onTuesday, March 11, 2003 // 07:14 a.m.


The re-release "premiere" of Moulin Rouge is tonight at midnight at the Mann Festival Theatre in Westwood, California. It sounds like it will be quite a midnight showing and folks are encouraged to dress up! Come out and join the fun to help make this a success!

Midnight screening of Moulin Rouge!

Posted by ewanspotting.com on Friday, March 7, 2003 // 11:16 a.m.


Fabulous pictures of Ewan in Out magazine

Story by Jeffrey Epstein

In his new film, Down With Love, Ewan McGregor plays the kind of role made famous by Rock Hudson. He sat down to discuss the character, how he loves playing gay, and why Star Wars didn’t live up to his expectations. We also reveal the secrets behind a very lucky piece of terry cloth.

More Ewan

Ewan McGregor is in a towel.

That’s it. Just a towel.

As I walk onto Stage 4 at the Hollywood Center Stages, where this spring’s romantic comedy Down With Love is filming, I hit the elaborate set of the Know magazine offices.

McGregor, as womanizing journalist Catcher Block, is filming a scene with David Hyde Pierce, who plays his best friend and neurotic boss. Did I mention he was in a towel?

“He’s been working out with a trainer for weeks now,” confides Dan Jinks, who is producing the film with business partner Bruce Cohen (the Out 100 alums won the Academy Award for producing American Beauty). “He looks incredible.”

“I’ve never been less naked in almost any film I’ve ever been in,” cracks McGregor after filming for the day is complete. We’re sitting at an umbrella table outside his dressing room. Wearing a blue T-shirt, jeans, and cute camouflage sneakers, the actor, long familiar to queer audiences for gay moments in The Pillow Book and Velvet Goldmine, is now fully clothed and smoking the first of many American Spirit cigarettes. “Usually I’ve got all my kit off, and I’ve never bothered working out,” he says.

“He’s supposed to be this macho playboy guy,” says Jinks of McGregor’s character. “We wanted to accentuate the leading-man body.”

In Down With Love, McGregor is taking on the type of role that was created by another famous leading man: Rock Hudson. The film, set in 1963 Manhattan, is an homage to the Rock Hudson–Doris Day films of that era, such as Pillow Talk (which, coincidentally, was made by gay producer Ross Hunter) and Lover Come Back. Renée Zellweger plays Barbara Novak, an author whose book, Down With Love, encourages women to act more like men. McGregor’s Block is determined to prove that the book is a fraud by seducing Novak. And in the fashion of the films of that time, mistaken identity, double entendres, and lots of fabulous costumes add to the mix.

Unlike most of today’s movies, Love is filming entirely on Hollywood soundstages, with just four days on the Universal back lot for exteriors—no shooting in New York City. But the Los Angeles production is a blessing for McGregor, whose wife, Ève Mavrakis, and daughters, Clara and Esther, flew over from England for the duration of filming.

“It’s the nicest thing,” says McGregor, a native of Scotland. “It was great to come to L.A. and get a bit of sun. I love the routine. Leaving them in the morning, going to work, and going back to them. It’s like real life.”

Growing up, McGregor was a fan of the films to which Love tips its hat. “I used to watch them all as a kid,” he recalls. “Rock Hudson seemed to be breezing through them and having a good time. When he laughs, it looks like it’s him having a great laugh. So I tried to follow suit.” Of course, gay audiences have long been loving McGregor, known for hot man-on-man action in films like The Pillow Book and Velvet Goldmine—something he never thought twice about.

“I remember I heard Sharon Stone once say, ‘I’ll never do nudity again,’” he says. “I just question that. As an actor you should be excited to portray anything and everything. It was weird with me and the Japanese guy in The Pillow Book because it was the first time I’d ever done a gay sex scene. But it was just as strange for me the first time I had to do a straight sex scene—there’s really no difference. And I loved it.”

In fact, he talks about it all the time. On a break while taping a television show in Britain, the host said he’d be asking about filming that scene in The Pillow Book. “I thought they were changing videotapes, and I ended the break saying, ‘I’m going to have to find a way to answer that without using the words ‘smooth, leathery scrotum.’ I thought they were changing tapes, but when it aired on television, they included that.” So how does “smooth, leathery scrotum” come up in conversation? “That’s all I could remember about it,” shrugs the actor, taking another drag off his cigarette. “I have quite the memory of his scrotum, for some reason. I don’t know why.”

To read more about Ewan McGregor and Down With Love, pick up the April issue of Out.

Source: Out magazine

Thank you Dawn for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 6, 2003 // 09:23 p.m.


Treasure Trove of Big Fish pictures!

The Montgomery Advertiser has numerous terrific pictures of Ewan from the set of Big Fish. Click on the link above to visit their site.

Thank you Chris for the great find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 6, 2003 // 06:14 p.m.


Down With Love official site up!

The official Down With Love site is now up!

There’s no need to faint, it only contains a link to the trailer and a link to subscribe to receive all sorts of Fox promotional Emails.

It will hopefully get filled up with all sorts of gorgeous goodies over the coming days (dare we hope?) or weeks.

Thanks to Stefanie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 6, 2003 // 07:31 a.m.


Moulin Rouge petition

Help bring back Moulin Rouge to the big screen nearest you by signing this petition.

Thanks to Elizabeth for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, March 5, 2003 // 07:17 a.m.


Meet Kings of Hollywood

Showbiz Reporter
Tue, Mar 4, 2003

AND the award for leading actor goes to … you can take your pick!

Thirteen kings of Hollywood were put in this picture for American showbiz bible Vanity Fair.

The heroes and heart-throbs — with tens of millions of pounds, 400 film credits and a stack of Oscars between them — met for a photoshoot in LA. Celebrity snapper Annie Leibovitz got them together to appear in Vanity Fair’s April edition — a Hollywood special.

From the left they are: Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, Jude Law, Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle, Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Ewan McGregor and Matt Damon.

The stars looked cool and relaxed in casual clothes.

But the glossy magazine also reveals what you can’t see.

Like Tom Hanks, 46, turning up 30 minutes early with his teenage niece who wanted to see her hero — Brad Pitt, 39.

Tom Cruise, 40, brought his kids Isabella, ten and Connor, eight — and organised a handstand competition while his fellow stars got dressed.

Harrison Ford, 60, drove himself to the event and Hugh Grant, 42, had odd socks on.

Star Wars hunk Ewan McGregor, 31, showed off a new heart and dagger tattoo on his right shoulder.

Movie veteran Jack Nicholson, 65 — the biggest earner of them all — had everyone in stitches with wisecracks.

Vanity Fair describes the all-star shoot as “un-starlike”.

The magazine’s April edition goes on sale in the UK this Friday.

Source: The Sun

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 3, 2003 // 11:11 p.m.


You’ve Got Male

March 3, 2003

’Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size," wrote Virginia Woolf.

Speaking of men, here comes Vanity Fair’s big Hollywood issue. Usually we have trouble figuring out who’s who on the cover, because most of those pictured are all shiny, new, about-to-be stars.

This time out, the cover is all male, and there are five instantly recognizable superstar faces - Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson and Brad Pitt. The foldout then shows us Edward Norton, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Ewan McGregor and Matt Damon.

Photo maestro Annie Leibovitz did the cover, of course, so everybody looks properly iconic. For the shoot, Cruise arrived with his children and organized a handstand competition with his son, Connor, and the crew. Ford drove himself to and fro, and the Joker - Nicholson - kept everybody laughing between poses.

Source: Newsday

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 3, 2003 // 07:12 a.m.


T-Shirt signed by Ewan being auctioned for Red Nose Day


The auction ends March 9th and the current bid is £62.00.

Thanks to Chris and TheForce.Net for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, March 1, 2003 // 08:43 a.m.


Fox Gives Moulin Rouge Back to Fans for Midnight Shows … Because They "Can’t, Can’t, Can’t" Get Enough!

FEB 28,2003

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 28, 2003--Responding to demands from its legions of fans -- including a rally in front of its studio lot -- Twentieth Century Fox has agreed to set midnight shows of the beloved Oscar(R)-winning film MOULIN ROUGE, exclusively at the Mann Festival Theater in Westwood.

For the past several months, Fox has received a steady influx of calls and letters demanding the film’s return to theaters. The fans’ outcries culminated in a rally in front of the studio last week by a group of colorful individuals, lead by Bridgette of Madison County, garbed in the courtesan regalia similar to that worn by Nicole Kidman as Satine in MOULIN ROUGE.

Commented Fox domestic distribution president Bruce Snyder: "Ever since MOULIN ROUGE came off of theatrical release, people have been contacting us requesting that we bring it back as a midnight show. Since the film has become nothing less than a cultural phenomenon and helped launch the ’rebirth’ of the current wave of movie musicals, like ’Chicago’, re-releasing MOULIN ROUGE as a midnight show seems like a good idea."

MOULIN ROUGE is a celebration of truth, beauty, freedom, but above all things, love -- set in the infamous, gaudy and glamorous Paris nightclub, circa 1900. Director Baz Luhrmann brings together gorgeous period design and modern-era pop tunes to create a unique comic/tragic motion picture experience. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor star.

Twentieth Century Fox is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.

Source: Business Wire

Thank you Cindy for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 28, 2003 // 06:00 p.m.


Spank You Very Much


As it’s been, ooh, minutes since Ewan McGregor last did a nude scene in a movie, his many female fans will be glad to hear that the Scottish actor’s latest film, Young Adam, is set to add to his extensive body of nude screen work with a number of scenes that will test the Sauce-O-Meter at the British Board of Film Classification.

According to The Scotsman, the S&M scenes in the film will surprise even those of us inured to the sight of McGregor’s todger. ’It’s an incendiary mix of sex and violence unprecedented in British cinema history,’ roars the newspaper’s incensed critic.

Hold your horses says Empire’s Reviews Editor Alan Morrison, who believes the film has ’a forthright attitude towards sex that’s very much part of the original Alexander Trocchi novel. ’There’s a lot of nudity, but this is the kind of edgy, intense, low budget filmmaking that British cinema should indeed be making.’

The scene that looks set to cause all the kerfuffle features Ewan McGregor and co-star Emily Mortimer indulging in some hanky-spanky with a spoon ("Why a spoon? Because it’s dull, you twit, it’ll hurt more!"). ’They all went into the whole sexual side very much with their eyes open,’ says the film’s director David Mackezie, ’and we’ve got some good stuff.’ Besides, ’they weren’t spanking very hard.’

Source: Empire Online

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 // 10:57p.m.


Ewan McGregor launches cinema advert campaign for hospice

Wednesday February 26th 2003

Moviestar Ewan McGregor is today launching a new cinema campaign aimed at raising money for a second children’s hospice in Scotland.

The actor spent a week at Rachel House in Kinross filming the advert last year.

The new advert highlights the care that scotland’s only children’s hospice gives to terminally ill children and their families.

Cinema advertising company Pearl and Dean have donated screen time for the new advert which Ewan McGregor filmed at Rachel House at the end of last year.

Ewan McGregor said: "We’ve made the film about Rachel House to try and raise the extra £5 million we need to build the second hospice. It’s been an incredible experience doing that."

When that extra money is raised the second hospice with all the same specail facilities that Rachel House has will be built near Balloch providing some much needed respite for many more families.

Source: Scotland Today

Thank you Georginita for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 // 10:44 p.m.


Ewan in plea to film fans for kids

Feb 27 2003
Steve Smith

Superstar Ewan McGregor yesterday made an appeal to film fans to help fund Scotland’s second children’s hospice.

The Scots hunk spent a week with terminally ill children at Rachel House, in Kinross, Perthshire, while making a film to help the charity CHAS raise vital funds for a second hospice.

The 30-second film will be shown at cinemas across the country.

Although Ewan and fellow Scots star Sharleen Spiteri are just two of the stars who have backed CHAS’s campaign for a new hospice, the real stars of the appeal are the children themselves.

One shot from the ad shows a disabled girl cuddled up on a woman’s knee with a smile on her face while she is read a story.

Another shot shows a boy visiting Rachel House’s specialist hydrotherapy room.

A third segment shows three children laughing as they play football in their wheelchairs.

In the film, scripted and directed by Ewan, he tells film fans: "Caring for a child who is terminally ill can be relentless and tiring. Rachel House is there for all the family when the time comes for their child to die."

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 // 10:37 p.m.


Street Scenes

By Blu Gilliand
Montgomery Advertiser
Feb. 26, 2003

Actor Ewan McGregor waves during a rehearsal for a parade scene for "Big Fish" in downtown Wetumpka on Tuesday.
-- Photos by David Bundy, Advertiser

Wetumpka -- Parades are staples of small-town life, but the one that took place Tuesday in Wetumpka was not only star-studded, it was literally a giant event.

The cast and crew of Columbia Pictures’ "Big Fish" shut down Court Street and lined it with extras, including a marching band and a fleet of Shriners driving their trademark go-carts.

Director Tim Burton, left, and actor Ewan McGregor discuss a scene during Tuesday’s "Big Fish" shooting in downtown Wetumpka. The production closed down Court Street to film a parade scene.

Men, women and children dressed in early 1960s attire clapped, cheered and waved as Ewan McGregor, portraying a young Edward Bloom, and Matthew McGrory, playing the giant Karl, marched down the street.

McGregor and McGrory are just two of the stars in the Tim Burton film that began shooting in central Alabama in mid-January and will continue through the end of April. Other stars include Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Danny DeVito, Billy Crudup, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Buscemi, Robert Guillaume and Alison Lohman.

"Big Fish" extras wait for shooting to begin on the parade scene in downtown Wetumpka on Tuesday.

Still, McGrory may be the biggest star. He stands 7 feet 6 inches tall, and Tuesday he was placed on a platform and rolled down a track before the crowd, with McGregor ambling down the street next to him. In the finished film, McGrory will appear to be between 10 and 12 feet tall, according to film publicist Eileen Peterson.

In Tuesday’s scene, McGregor wore a large gold key around his neck, the key to the fictional city of Ashland, which in the film has been given to him by the town’s mayor, played by Charles McLawhorn.

More Ewan!

John Collier and his wife, Rae Ann, were among those clapping and cheering for multiple takes as part of the parade’s spectators. Collier, who has spent as much time as possible watching the filming, found himself in the right place at the right time on Tuesday.

"We didn’t know they were filming here until this morning," he said. "I came to watch and was talking to one of the production assistants, and they said they needed extras.

Twins Jade and Jordan Whitfield, 8, wait with fellow extras David Sheffield, left, and Gary Poe for filming to begin.

" It’s been wonderful. Even with all of the autographs I’ve gotten before, this is just the icing on the cake."

Because the decision to film in Wetumpka on Tuesday came at the last-minute, the production crew had to scramble a bit to get enough extras together. Several production assistants were given impromptu haircuts and shaves so they could pull double-duty throughout the day -- managing the crowd one minute, and trying to blend in with it the next.

Tommy Fell of the Alabama Film Office was on hand to watch the day’s work. He said small towns such as Wetumpka were key to the work the office does to bring film projects to the state.

"There are towns all over the state that can work for different projects," Fell said. "To keep a town like this, where you’re not modernizing it, it really helps."

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 // 07:06 a.m.


Ewan McGregor sex scenes will push censors to their limits

Sun 23 Feb 2003
Brian Pendreigh

Sado-masochistic sex scenes in Ewan McGregor’s new film, Young Adam, are set to test the new liberal approach of Britain’s censors to the limit.

The film, which is based on a book by Scots beatnik Alexander Trocchi, contains an incendiary mix of sex and violence unprecedented in British cinema history.

In one scene, McGregor beats co-star Emily Mortimer on the bottom and then has sex.

The British Board of Film Classification - which draws the line at the erotic combination of sex and violence - said it would be looking "very carefully indeed" at the film, which is being promoted by industry giant Warner Brothers.

Writer-director David Mackenzie, who has described the film as the "Last Tango in Glasgow", admitted: "There is sex and violence in there, and the two are kind of linked."

Mackenzie said McGregor did actually spank Mortimer, daughter of writer John Mortimer. "They all went into the whole sexual side very much with their eyes open and as fine actors, and we’ve got some good stuff," he said. "They weren’t spanking very hard."

Advance footage of the erotic thriller - the book was first published by a French porn specialist in 1954 - has just been screened to critics and others in the industry.

The UK traditionally has the tightest film censorship in Western Europe, and while the BBFC has recently taken a more liberal view of adult films, it remains extremely sensitive about any link between sex and violence that could be construed as titillating.

Sue Clark, the BBFC’s head of communications, confirmed that the board had banned similar scenes in the past.

"Our attitude to sexual violence is that the combination of sex and violence - particularly if there are explicit images - can arouse certain people, and we look at it very carefully indeed," she said.

Peter Woods, an expert on British censorship, said Young Adam would be "pushing the boundaries" of film censorship.

"If the film follows the book, it will certainly give the BBFC something to think about."

Woods said officials at the BBFC had told him privately that they want to further relax restrictions on adult films. "They are waiting for the proper sort of material from the proper sort of distributors," he said.

An unshaven McGregor looks older and sleazier than ever before in the film, and appears in a number of steamy scenes with co-stars Mortimer and Tilda Swinton.

Source: The Scotsman

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 22, 2003 // 09:55 p.m.


’Big Fish’ parade was a washout
Front halts film plans

By Blu Gilliand and Neil Probst
Montgomery Advertiser

Wetumpka -- Friday was a day for learning that sometimes, it does rain on parades.

The much anticipated "Big Fish" parade scene was washed out, while at Auburn University Montgomery, rain almost brought the Mardi Gras celebration to a halt.

Maybe it wasn’t a sunny day but, after all, this is a Tim Burton movie.

The cast and crew of Columbia Pictures’ "Big Fish" gathered on the steps of the Elmore County Courthouse in Wetumpka Friday morning and got a few hours of shooting in before rain brought the proceedings to a halt. AccuWeather reported that the tri-county area had received about a half-inch of rain by early Friday afternoon.

Plans to shoot a parade scene in downtown Wetumpka were put on hold, but the day proved not to be a total loss. Groups of balloon-toting extras stood and cheered in front of the courthouse as character Edward Bloom, played by Ewan McGregor, and a giant named Karl, played by Matthew McGrory, received a key to the film’s fictional city. The parade which was to have been shot today is given for the characters in the film as they leave their hometown.

Just as the threat of rain didn’t stop the crew from setting up and trying to get some shots in, it didn’t deter fans from flocking to the set to watch the action.

Anna Lindzy drove 14 hours from Chicago for a chance to glimpse Ewan McGregor at work, and she wasn’t disappointed. She proudly showed off a T-shirt she’d gotten the actor to autograph that morning.

"We just walked over between shots and asked him," Lindzy said. "He was very nice."

Donnie and Lisa Smith made their second trip from Knoxville, Tenn., to watch the filming, and had a little luck in the autograph department as well. Donnie happily displayed a book, "Burton on Burton," which had been autographed by the director that morning.

The Smiths weren’t the only Tennesseans on set Friday. Jake Fuller was with a group of Shriners brought in from Chattanooga to drive their "Tin Lizzy" miniature cars for the scene. Fuller said his group was invited to participate in the filming because they are the only Shriner organization in the Southeast to use the cars, which Fuller said are authentic 1932 Stutch Bearcats.

"We’ve been here two days, and it’s been a lovely experience," Fuller said. "Columbia’s been good to us."

Directly to the side of the set, sheets of plastic and large blue canopies stood at the ready to shield cast and crew during the off-and-on showers. Between shots, crew members passed out blankets for warmth and took Polaroids for continuity, making sure that each person’s costume, hair and makeup was exactly the same each time the cameras rolled.

Eventually, as the rain fell harder, the extras were herded inside the courthouse and upstairs to the large courtroom. After it became apparent the rain was here to stay, the crew made the call to spend the rest of the day working at the film’s soundstage in Montgomery.

The inclement weather also forced an abbreviated version of Auburn University Montgomery’s ninth annual "Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler" celebration. for Mardi Gras.

The good times still rolled on, though, just without the customary Mardi Gras parade. The New Orleans jazz band Funky Blues Messiahs jammed inside Taylor Center, and visitors enjoyed food and drinks.

Today’s weather forecast isn’t much brighter. The National Weather Service in Mobile says today will be windy, with scattered thunderstorms. The temperatures will be in the high 60s and tonight’s lows in the middle to upper 30s.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 22, 2003 // 05:47 p.m.


Pearl & Dean launch charity initiative for 50th anniversary

Robert Mitchell in London
21 February 2003

UK cinema advertising company Pearl & Dean, has announced a new charity initiative to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.

In association with Warner Village and UGC Cinemas, actor Ewan McGregor and singer Sharleen Spiteri, the company will be spearheading campaigns for both the Children’s Hospice Association Of Scotland (CHAS) and Medicinema.

The campaign will be led with two commercials produced specially for each charity that Pearl & Dean will run from next Friday (Feb 28) in their advertising reels in cinemas around the country. Patron of both charities McGregor wrote, directed and appears in the advert for CHAS, while he provides voiceover for Medicinema’s ad, which was written by John Hodge (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting) and directed by Rodney Butcher.

Both Warner Village Cinemas and UGC have agreed to support these two charities (UGC was previously involved with Medicinema) to the exclusion of all others throughout Pearl & Dean’s anniversary year. There will be collection points for donations in the foyers of all cinemas involved.

Pearl & Dean will also organise a gala screening in association with 2002’s leading UK distributor, 20th Century Fox, of McGregor’s latest film Down With Love – a romantic comedy which also stars Oscar-nominee Renée Zellweger and Frasier star David Hyde Pierce. Revenue from tickets sold will go to the charities.

Further announced fund raising plans include selling a Pearl & Dean musical badge which plays the ‘Asteroid’ theme tune, familiar to UK cinemas since it first played in 1965, and T-Shirts, available later in the year, which will be available in cinemas as well as high street stores. All profits will go to the charities.

Pearl & Dean will act as collector for the charities with all monies put into a single bank account and then split down the middle at the end of the year.

Source: Screen Daily

Thank you Joy the Lemur for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 21, 2003 // 08:30 p.m.


Sexy Stars 2003 Poll results: No. 2 The Songbirds

By Kit Bowen, Hollywood.com Staff

How He Did in Our Poll Last Year: This velvet-voiced Scotsman makes his first appearance in our poll, and what a nice addition he is. The 32-year-old McGregor’s sexy charm wasn’t quite so evident when his career got started, as he starred in such grimy films as the intense heroin opus Trainspotting. Then there was a glimmer of sexiness in his dashingly handsome Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, but it’s when he started singing in Moulin Rouge that we were hooked for good.

Sexiest Role: Hands down, his tormented poet/playwright Christian in Moulin Rouge, who is agonizingly in love with not only the doomed courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman) but with love itself.

Sexiest Scene: As Christian, sweetly singing his own version of Elton John’s "Your Song" to Satine. Sooo romantic.

Best Quote: From Premiere magazine, on playing Obi Wan Kenobi: "I went to choose my lightsaber, and they brought out this wooden case with padlocks on it. My breath was taken away--there were eight or nine different designs of handles. I picked one that had a little mauve button on it. And it has a great, really sexy, violent-looking handle…I saw a clip of me drawing it and switching it on, and it was just an incredible sight…People would want to touch it. I wouldn’t let them. I got very possessive of it."

Physical Feature We Love: It’s really the whole package. His soulful eyes, floppy hair, delectable accent and yes, incredible set of pipes.

In His Future: McGregor will be seen next in Down With Love with Renée Zellweger, an homage to those sweetly coy Rock Hudson/Doris Day romantic comedies. He’s also gearing up for the third and final Star Wars prequel.

Source: Hollywood.com

Thank you walkingguide for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 21, 2003 // 08:24 p.m.


Ewan’s role in Young Adam

ManchesterOnline has an interview with Peter Mullan, who describes Ewan’s role in Young Adam:

He’s just completed Young Adam opposite Ewan McGregor, a very different kind of film by all accounts.

“I play this impotent Barge owner called Les. Ewan arrives on the scene and repays Les’s kindness by proceeding to shag his wife, followed by every other woman in the film! It’s a brilliant role!” exclaims Peter.

“Ewan’s beaming at me like a Cheshire cat because he goes through about eight women in this film. The one sex scene I get - I play a man who can’t get it up! I didn’t get any cast-offs, sloppy seconds, nottin’!

“There’s even two scenes where I’m driving the boat and Ewan’s shagging on the barge steps! I think girls like seeing Ewan getting up to naughties. They seem to go for that for some strange reason…”

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 20, 2003 // 06:58 p.m.


Black Hawk Down Collector’s Edition release date

Title: Black Hawk Down: Collector’s Edition
Region: 4 (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean)
Starring: Josh Hartnett
Released: May 14th 2003
Price: TBA

Further Details
Columbia Tristar have announced a packed three disc Collector’s Edition of Black Hawk Down starring Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore and Ewan McGregor. This hit film from Gladiator director Ridley Scott will be available to own from the 14th May this year. I’m afraid we don’t have the retail price for the package at the moment but we’ll bring you it as soon as we do. I should also point out that this package will not replace the currently existing Black Hawk Down release. Anyway, here’s what this great looking set will include:

Disc 1

  • Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
  • Audio Commentary with director Ridley Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Audio Commentary with author Mark Bowden and screenwriter Ken Nolan
  • Audio Commentary with 1993 U.S. Special Forces Veterans
  • Talent Profiles

Disc 2

  • 8 Deleted Scenes with Optional Director Commentary
  • Image & Design - 7 Featurettes and Features exploring the creation of the movie including:
    - Jerry Bruckheimer’s On-Set Photography
    - Ridleygrams
    - Photo Galleries
    - Storyboard to Final Film Comparisons
  • The Essence Of Combat – 6 Features including actor’s bootcamp & visual effects & music features
  • Picture Disc

Disc 3

  • Ambush In Mogadishu – 60 Minute Making-Of Documentary
  • The True Story Of Black Hawk Down – 92 Minute History Channel Documentary
  • Editor’s Guild Q&A Session with editor Pietro Scalia
  • BAFTA Q&A Session with Ridley Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer and the Cast
  • American Cinematheque Q&A Session with Ridley Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Target Building Insertion – Multi-Angle Scene Deconstruction with optional commentary
  • Gortoz A Ran – J’Attends Music Video performed by Lisa Gerrard and Denez Prigent
  • Photo Gallery
  • Soundtrack Commercial
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Other Trailers

Source: DVD Answers

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 20, 2003 // 07:13 a.m.


Repeat the crime

February 20, 2003

Neil Jordan’s new film has a familiar ring as the director explains

I’VE COME TO a West End hotel to interview a versatile, Oscar-winning director about his movie in which a down-on-his-luck thief recruits a crack squad for a daring casino heist in a famous resort. Steven Soderbergh’s Las Vegas-set Ocean’s Eleven? No, Neil Jordan’s trip to Monte Carlo, The Good Thief. Stylistically, the two films are, well, oceans apart, and yet the links between them extend beyond their mirror-image synopses.

The Good Thief was conceived when Warner Brothers, the studio for whom Jordan had generated a $200 million worldwide gross with Interview with the Vampire and broken Irish box-office records with Michael Collins, invited him to remake Jean-Pierre Melville’s good-humoured 1956 thriller Bob le flambeur.

Jordan liked the Melville movie, took the commission and started writing a screenplay in which Bob Montagnet, an ex-pat American in Nice, sets out to rob a Monte Carlo casino, not of its cash but of its collection of Picassos, Van Goghs and Matisses.

“When I finished the script and showed it to Warners they said no,” Jordan recalls. “It was too European and too nervy for them and, I suppose, too unstarry.” The other problem was that by now Warners were developing a second heist film, none other than Ocean’s Eleven, and once you’ve seen both films it’s easy to understand why the suits chose Las Vegas.

Soderbergh gave us undiluted Hollywood gloss: George Clooney in a tux, cracking wise and winning back Julia Roberts. Jordan offers European grit and panache: Bob (Nick Nolte) starts out as a heroin addict, goes cold turkey and then enjoys a platonic romance with the beguiling Eastern European teenager (Nutsa Kukhianidze) he rescues from a brutal Nice pimp. Clooney’s crew featured Brad Pitt and Matt Damon; the hunk in Nolte’s team is an arachnophobic transsexual bodybuilder.

“Ocean’s Eleven is an American movie, in that you’re right into the premise and then it’s all about the gizmos,” Jordan says. “They present the characters, they go in and that’s it. The Good Thief is more about character, about a man who’s trying to find a reason to live again, to get off drugs — the heroin was maybe the main reason Warners said no — and to try to find some beauty.”

After Warners passed, Jordan and his regular producer Stephen Woolley found a new home for The Good Thief at the Canadian company Alliance Atlantis, and the end result is a breathless picture that invites you to sit up, rather than sit back, and enjoy. With Nolte growling his lines nineteen-to-the-dozen, a scene-stealing cameo from Emir Kusturica as a security genius, and some dazzling cinematography from Chris Menges it merits Jordan’s own assessment:

“I have never done a film that’s so much what you would call ‘entertainment’ — and I found that it’s really hard to be entertaining in such a generic type of film. My other films are quite dark and compulsive, and being dark is easy — for me, anyway.”

Since his dark and compulsive streak first materialised in his superb Ulster thriller Angel (1982), we’ve grown accustomed to Jordan’s range — comedies, thrillers, horror, historical epic, psychological dramas — and prolific output, with a new film appearing roughly every 18 months. But almost three years have passed since the release of The End of the Affair. After completing The Good Thief he found it impossible to move on to feature No 14, despite having Ewan McGregor and Anthony Hopkins lined up last year to star in an epic about the Borgias designed to be “like The Godfather in Renaissance Italy”.

The project folded when he could not raise the $60 million required. “We eventually got to the stage where my script would have had to be gutted to make it work on a really minimal amount of money. So I just had to put the idea away.”

The consolation has been his and Woolley’s commitment to their Dublin-based production outfit, Company of Wolves (named after their Angela Carter adaptation), which is behind two Dublin-set features due for release this year: Conor McPherson’s comedy The Actors, based on a Jordan story and starring Michael Caine, and Intermission, the film debut of theatre director John Crowley.

Jordan has also used the hiatus to return to prose. He was an accomplished short-story writer before turning to cinema. He says he is now about a third of the way through a novel. “I don’t think anybody could rely on film-making alone for a creative life. You are too much at the service of elements that are out of your control. At least there’s something I enjoy doing — rather than begging for money from some tax shelter fund.”

The book may soon be put aside, however, because he hopes to be back in the director’s chair later this year to shoot his Odyssey-based screenplay about Ulysses’s return to Ithaca. He expects to start off feeling rusty. “Before starting the new novel, I’d almost forgotten how to write fiction, but at the moment I’ve almost forgotten how to make movies,” he suggests. “You spend 20 years of your life making films but you only get to direct for maybe 10 consecutive six-week stretches through that entire period, so you never become entirely familiar with it. It’s not like a doctor doing surgery every day. Always, when you step behind a camera it’s like ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do here?’ ”

Source: The Times

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 // 10:26 p.m.


Help Red Nose Day!

If you live in the UK, help Red Nose Day!

Tricky Dicky’s Red Nose date
17 February 2003

Tricky Dicky’s final scenes on Coronation Street could put a crowbar in the works for fundraisers at BBC’s Comic Relief night.

Because one of the biggest soap ratings-winners of recent years - the Richard Hillman saga - will end just as Red Nose night is getting into swing.

Hillman - aka Tricky Dicky - has plotted, bludgeoned, schemed and killed his way into the ratings with his sneering eyes and double deals.

The latest killing spree saw Hillman, played by Brian Capron, smash new mum Maxine Peacock over the head with a crowbar.

Coronation Street producers claim the clash with Comic Relief on the schedules is "just a coincidence" but the event is bound to cause friction.

A BBC spokeswoman told the Daily Star: "It could mean people don’t dig into their pockets because they’re watching Corrie. It’s not very sporting."

Red Nose Day is being held on March 14 this year and has raised more than £250 million for charity since its launch in 1985.

And while the likes of Ruby Wax, Gareth Gates, Lily Savage and Jo Brand will be going all out for charity on BBC1, Richard Hillman will be going all out for murder.

His final antics are being kept closely guarded, and it is rumoured that FOUR endings have been filmed. One will see Dicky try to knock-off his entire family by locking them in a car and driving it into the local canal.

Source: BBC News

Thank you Melly for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 // 10:11 p.m.


Star Wards

Ewan backs hospital cinema bid

February 16, 2003
Mike Merritt Exclusive

Ewan McGregor is fronting a campaign to open Scotland’s first cinema for sick kids.

He hopes to raise £250,000 to open a 50-seat movie theatre in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, Glasgow.

It could treat young patients to previews of blockbuster films before they go on general release. Run by charity MediCinema, it will be only the second facility of its kind in Britain.

Ewan, star of Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge and Star Wars, has voiced an ad appealing for donations which will be seen in cinemas at the end of the month. UGC Glasgow will hold special film preview evenings to raise money for the project.

The first MediCinema was set up in London’s St Thomas’ Hospital in 1999 and has screened Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Die Another Day before general release.

Charity founder Christine Hill said: "We hope to do similar pre-release previews of blockbusters at Glasgow.

"The new cinema will be built in an existing lecture room and we hope it will be open before the end of the year.

"We are very excited about improving the hospital stay of sick children in Scotland."

To make a donation to the project call 0207 955 4900.

Source: Sunday Mail

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 15, 2003 // 07:45 p.m.


Clip of Ewan for Red Nose Day online

The BBC has a Red Nose Day page which has a video clip that includes Ewan advertising the upcoming event.

You can see the clip by clicking here (requires Real Player).

Thank you ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 14, 2003 // 06:58 p.m.


Ewan joins A-List gang

Feb 12 2003
Rick Fulton Exclusive

Ewan McGregor has officially made it on to the Hollywood A-list.

The Star Wars and Moulin Rouge star broke off from filming his latest movie, Big Fish, in Alabama, to fly to New York for a Vanity Fair cover photoshoot with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Ed Norton.

The special Hollywood issue hits news-stands in the US on March 7, in time for the Academy Awards on March 23.

There’s no doubt the Scot won’t be up for an Oscar for Best Actor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack Of The Clones, but the magazine cover shows that he’s fast becoming the hot new male lead of choice.

His latest film, Down By Love, stars Renée Zellweger, who has just been nominated for best actress in Chicago.

The romantic comedy, which pays homage to the Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies of the Sixties, features a soundtrack of songs linked to the era in which the movie is set.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 // 06:49 p.m.


Ewan’s Tube Tales to be shown at the Victoria Film Festival

Thursday, February 06, 2003
Michael D. Reid
Times Colonist

The ninth annual Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival will unspool, showcasing 10 days and nights of animated, documentary, feature, experimental and short films and videos.

Advance tickets for high-profile entries such as David Cronenberg’s Spider, The Quiet American and Pedro Almodovar’s widely-praised Talk to Her had sold-out by press time. What’s more unusual, however, is that tickets were also selling so fast for two locally-made world premieres -- the NFB documentaries From Baghdad to Peace Country and Criminal Acts -- there’s talk of adding extra screenings.

Says Kay: "We always save about 25 tickets at the door for pass holders and last-minute buyers but you have to show up early for those."

One highlight is Tube Tales, which puts actors including Bob Hoskins, Ewan McGregor and Jude Law behind the camera, to create shorts set in London’s Underground, a.k.a. The Tube. It will be shown on Thursday, February 13th, at 7:15pm (view the film schedule).

Source and full article: Victoria Times (British Columbia, Canada)

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 6, 2003 // 09:36 p.m.


’Big Fish’ shoot to close bridge

Feb. 6, 2003
By Nick Lackeos
Montgomery Advertiser

Traffic will detour Friday and Saturday on both sides of the Bibb Graves Bridge over the Coosa River as filming continues on "Big Fish."

"The bridge will be closed from 8 a.m. to dark on Friday and from 6 a.m. to dark on Saturday," Police Chief William Pertree said.

Motorists who normally use the 1930s-vintage downtown bridge to cross the Coosa River, will use the newer bridge, built in the 1980s, on Coosa River Parkway, Alabama 14, northeast of the downtown area, Pertree said.

"I want to ask people to leave a little early because it’s going to take a little longer to get to where they are going," Pertree said. "Traffic, which is normally heavy on the Coosa River Parkway and on U.S. 231, is going to pick up due to the downtown bridge being closed those two days. We are also asking motorists to be extra careful because of the increased traffic flow on Friday and Saturday on Coosa River Parkway and U.S. 231."

Mayor R. Scott Golden said despite the bridge closing, "businesses downtown are going to be open."

"We want people to come downtown, and we want them to shop downtown," Golden said. There also will be designated areas for spectators to watch the movie being filmed, he said.

"It’s going to be an inconvenience for people," said Councilman Barney Thames, who owns Thames Pharmacy on East Bridge Street.

The filming is expected to be canceled in the event of rain.

There is a 40 percent chance of rain Friday morning with the temperature in the 40s, said Brian Peters, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Calera. He said the high will be about 50 degrees on Friday and Saturday. Skies are expected to be partly cloudy on Saturday.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

Thank you Dawn for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 6, 2003 // 09:22 p.m.


Renée ’hand-picked’ Ewan McGregor for new film

Story filed: 14:43 Wednesday 5th February 2003

Renée Zellweger is reported to have hand-picked Ewan McGregor to star alongside her in their new romantic comedy.

According to her manager, she chose the Scottish actor for being "masculine, sexy and charismatic."

In Down With Love McGregor plays a playboy journalist who falls for a feminist agony aunt played by Zellweger.

The movie, which recreates the heyday of Rock Hudson and Doris Day, is released in the UK later this year.

Zellweger’s manager told the London Evening Standard: "She wanted a real masculine man who was sexy and charismatic.

"The film’s producers went through lists of available actors and she turned them all down. Then someone said "What about Ewan?" and she said "Bingo!"

"Renée knows that he’s a married man with two children. She didn’t want to snatch him away. It was simply business. She wanted a sex hunk on legs and she got Ewan.

Source: Ananova

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 // 08:06 p.m.


Marketing Moves

February 3, 2003

Twentieth Century Fox is pushing the DVD envelope. The company has created "MovieBuzz," a full-sized DVD that will be attached to 85 ounce bags of popcorn at Regal, Cinemark, Clearview, Century, Hoyt’s and Famous Players screens in in North America.

The DVD is a marketing tool, through and through, pushing five upcoming Fox features (Daredevil, Down With Love, X-Men 2, Master & Commander and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). The DVD contains brief EPK-style packages as well as added behind-the-scenes footage and trailers.

They have also branded the popcorn bag with, in this case, Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Sean Connery, Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor.

Source: Movie City News

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 // 09:32 p.m.


Ewan and Renée sing in Down With Love

February 4, 2003

Judy Garland singing "Down With Love" and Frank Sinatra on "Fly Me to the Moon" are two of the period tunes to be heard in "Down With Love," starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ("Hairspray") also have written "Here’s to Love" to be sung by the co-stars over the closing credits.

Source: Variety (requires subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 // 07:26 a.m.


Latest Roots Coffee ad online!

Japander has Ewan’s latest ad for Roots Coffee. Click on the link to visit the site and download the ad!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 1, 2003 // 03:26 p.m.


Big Fish is still being filmed at the time of this writing but word comes of a possible release date:

Tentative release date for Big Fish

Jan. 31, 2003
By Martin A. Grove

Columbia’s "Big Fish," which should be in the theatrical swim Dec. 12, is a drama with action and comedy from director Tim Burton and Oscar-winning producers Richard D. Zanuck, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. Its all-star cast includes Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman, Helena Bonham-Carter, Steve Buscemi and Danny De Vito. Its story revolves around a man whose father is dying of cancer and whose complicated past he now seeks to learn about.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Thank you Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 1, 2003 // 09:33 a.m.


Rain forces cast, crew inside

Jan. 30, 2003
By Blu Gilliand
Montgomery Advertiser

Actor Ewan McGregor gets ready for the filming of a bank robbery scene for the movie "Big Fish," which was on location Wednesday in Wetumpka.
-- Photos by David Bundy, Advertiser

WETUMPKA -- When a company like Columbia Pictures puts its weight behind a project, it can expect to get just about anything done. Despite all the planning, time and money spent on a film, one thing can’t be controlled -- the weather.

Overcast skies and periodic rain forced the cast and crew of "Big Fish" indoors for the day Wednesday, canceling a planned shoot depicting the characters of Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) and Norther Winslow (Steve Buscemi) making their getaway from a bank robbery. The day was far from a complete loss, however, as shooting continued throughout the morning inside a converted store that is doubling as "Southern City Savings and Loan."

Producer Bruce Cohen, who won an Academy Award for his work on the film "American Beauty," was on hand for the day’s filming. He said dealing with unpredictable weather conditions was just part of the job.

"It’s actually part of the fun and excitement of this," he said. "You have to sit and weigh all your options. Part of the problem today is that the paint wasn’t dry on the street (Bridge Street) we wanted to use for the exterior shot, and, of course, we wanted to try to get that shot in while we had some sun. We’ve got one eye on drying paint, and one eye on the weather."

For Cohen, having the two nearby locations that serve as the interior and exterior is a good thing. A Court Street building serves as the bank’s interior, while a building on Bridge Street serves as the bank’s exterior.

Cohen said having the two locations so close together illustrates one of the reasons why Wetumpka was chosen by the production company.

"It’s hard to find this variety in one place," Cohen said. "Usually you have to compromise. We got lucky."

As filming progressed inside, groups of extras clad in the best fashion the 1970s had to offer -- lots of brown, plenty of unbuttoned shirts and an abundance of sideburns -- milled about outside. At various times, production assistants would go into the crowd and bring out two or three people, directing them to walk along the sidewalk in front of the mock bank.

"OK, this time you’ll hear two gunshots," one of the assistants told an extra. "Don’t react to it. Just keep walking."

Lynn Carter and Mary Peck were two who answered an early call to come down and be extras in the scene. They spent part of the morning portraying patrons inside the bank before moving outside to sidewalk duty. They said it wasn’t hard to concentrate on what they were supposed to do, even with director Tim Burton, McGregor and Buscemi working among them.

"They told us this is not our debut," Peck laughed.

"They said we’re an important part of the scene, but we also know we’re background," Carter said.

Robert Rose, who owns Rose’s Discount Store next door to the set for Wednesday’s filming, said he initially had some concerns about losing business, but was enjoying the activity around his shop.

"We’re closed right now, but it’s worth it," Rose said. "This is exciting."

Rose said the production has done a lot for Wetumpka in the short time the movie crews have been there.

"It improved the look of the town," Rose said of the paint, awnings and signs the production company has added throughout the downtown area. "It’s brought all kinds of people downtown. Hopefully this movie will help people see we can all do things together."

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 30, 2003 // 07:45 a.m.


McGregor mimics Finney for ’Big Fish’

Army Archerd

GOOD MORNING: "I do my scenes first, so Ewan (McGregor) has to match my accent," Albert Finney says while laughing, explaining how he and McGregor play the same role -- as a younger and older character. They are in Montgomery, Ala., in Columbia’s all-star "Big Fish" for Oscar-wining producers Dick Zanuck ("Driving Miss Daisy" and the Thalberg award) and Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen ("American Beauty") with Tim Burton directing. When I spoke to Finney, he’d just completed a scene in sick bed. "This is the only time I’ve been in bed -- without a woman," he laughed. Be forewarned, his death scene "is pretty spectacular." Shortly after I spoke with Finney, McGregor arrived from N.Y., having done a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair with thesps including Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. McGregor allows "I have worked with many legendary actors, but no one more humble than Albert Finney." They play a Southerner in "Fish" and have no trouble adjusting their own accents. McGregor was Scottish in the recently completed "Young Adam" and very American in "Down With Love" co-starring with Renée Zellweger, the pic an homage to Doris Day–Rock Hudson movies. He says he wants to work with Renée again -- and often. He next heads to Australia for the next "Star Wars" and then for his hairy circus character in "Flora Plum" for director Jodie Foster, also saying "I’ve always wanted to work for her."

Source: Variety (requires subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 30, 2003 // 07:40 a.m.


Hot stuff from Ewan as stuntman gets the elbow

Jan 22 2003

EWAN McGregor refused a stunt double during the shooting of a dangerous fire scene on his new movie Big Fish.

In the scene, Ewan’s character is passing a house when he spots the fire. When the owners tell him their six- month-old St Bernard is still inside, McGregor dashes into the burning house to rescue the dog.

The scene sees Ewan, 31, emerge from the house carrying the dog and handing him over while a small crowd of neighbours watch in admiration.

But director Tim Burton of Batman fame was worried the scene would be too dangerous and suggested a stuntman.

The Scots star disagreed and insisted on doing the scene himself, risking serious injury.

Stunt co-ordinator Charlie Croughell praised McGregor and revealed he has been doing all his own stunts on the movie.

He said: "The problem with a fire is it’s hot and animals don’t like that. Everyone gets a little wound up around it.

"If the dog panics it could bite him, he could slip and break his back. A lot can go wrong.

"We spent three weeks getting ready for this scene and it’s going to last about five seconds."

Source: Daily Record

Thank you Mrs. EGM for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 23, 2003 // 11:28 a.m.


’Big Fish’ scene draws crowd

By Blu Gilliand
Montgomery Advertiser

Ewan McGregor carries Riva, a St. Bernard, during a burning house scene for "Big Fish," filmed Friday in Tallassee.
-- Photos by David Bundy, Advertiser

TALLASSEE -- Hollywood’s spotlight shone brightly in Tallassee on Friday afternoon as the Columbia Pictures production crew for "Big Fish" arrived for shooting.

Actors in 1950s-era firefighter uniforms stood within feet of present-day members of the Tallassee Volunteer Fire Department as production assistants from Columbia Pictures, along with members of the Tallassee Police Department, struggled to keep growing crowds of spectators behind barricades. White vans with tinted windows carted people in and out of the area, prompting speculation from the crowd as to who was riding in them.

Yes, Hollywood came to Tallassee as the cast and crew of "Big Fish" arrived to wrap up their first week of filming in the tri-county area.

James Street, the site of the filming, was overrun with large production trucks, vintage automobiles, lights, cameras and people with walkie-talkies. All of this trouble surely must mean the scene is a big one, right?

Think again.

The "Big Fish" location set on James Street in Tallassee, Jan. 17, 2003.

"We’ve spent three weeks getting ready for this scene," stunt coordinator Charlie Croughwell said. "It’s going to amount to about five seconds."

Croughwell, who worked with "Big Fish" director Tim Burton before on "Planet of the Apes" and "Batman Returns," explained that the scene, which depicts the character of Edward Bloom rescuing a puppy from a burning house, will be part of a montage sequence in which the Bloom character recalls some of his adventures as a young man. Albert Finney portrays the character in modern-day sequences, while flashback scenes such as the one shot Friday night feature Ewan McGregor as a young Bloom.

It was the opportunity to see McGregor in action that brought many of the spectators out in the cold Friday night.
Trainer Samantha Fog plays with "Riva," a 7-month-old St. Bernard in between shots for "Big Fish" in Tallassee Friday.

Brenda Pruitt drove to Tallassee from Atlanta, Ga., to watch the filming take place.

"I got here at noon today," Pruitt said. "I drove down for the day to see Ewan McGregor. Plus, I’m real fond of pyrotechnics, so when you burn stuff -- yeah!"

Pam Graham and her son, Caleb, live in Tallassee, and have been following the "Big Fish" production all week.

"We’ve been to Wetumpka every day they’ve been filming," Graham said as her son videotaped the activity down the street. "And anytime they’re filming there, we’re going to go back."

Lenora Stanfield had one of the best views of the night. She lives almost directly across the street from the house being used in the scene.

"I wish they’d just burn it down," Stanfield said. "It looks better now than it has in a while."

Stanfield said she wasn’t concerned about the fiery scene taking place so close to her home. The production crew met with her and other residents to let them know all of the safety factors being employed while the work was going on.

A 1952 fire truck and era clad firefighters wait for "Big Fish" filming to begin in the alte afternoon, Friday, on location in Tallassee.

Croughwell explained that while parts of the house actually were set on fire, much of the flame that would be seen would originate from natural gas pipes set up inside and around the house. The pipes shot out jets of gas, which were then ignited. The size of the flames easily could be controlled and shut off when needed.

And yes, it will be McGregor you see emerging from the house, carrying a Saint Bernard in his arms.

"Ewan is doing most of his own stunts," Croughwell said. "He’s great with the dog, and it likes him."

Source: Montgomery Adviser

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, January 18, 2003 // 09:27 a.m.


Lucky fan meets Ewan in Alabama!

by Lelia
January 16, 2003

It started out with me and my boyfriend going down from Tennessee to Georgia on Monday afternoon (With an hour delay from having to deal with a flat tire! arrrghh!).

The next morning we traveled to Wetumpka, Alabama where you all know they are filming Big Fish. We didn’t see Ewan that day.

Wednesday… Several cars started pulling into the area and the crew said here come some stars. They pulled on by us and into the top of the driveway of the house. The guy who’d been talking to us whispered there’s Tim Burton. We could barely see him though for the sun was coming from directly behind this house and it was quite blinding. Then Jessica Lange and Albert Finney drove in riding in big Cadillacs. Someone else drove them in and pulled both cars all the way into the set, effectively avoiding the people standing outside (Umm excuse me??? What people? My boyfriend and I and the two teenage girls and then an 1 or 2 other people that had now shown up???? This was a huge mob they were avoiding? I found it fairly ridiculous of them to avoid us like that.) Well, I can’t tell you how much time went by after these guys went up and into the house. It was a long time. We heard them yelling action just shortly after they had gone into the house. I was in misery by this time because I had had nothing to eat for breakfast and a huge cup of hot chocolate and I desperately needed a bathroom break. It didn’t look at all like Ewan was ever going to show up like these guys said he was so I slowly started edging back up the street towards the café again but stopped when I saw a guy far off at the end of the street heading our way… I sighed and decided I would only make a run for it when the street was clear and stood still to wait for this man to reach us and pass us by.. I thank God I never took that bathroom break.

Since I was suppose to be searching for Ewan and not worrying about my crazy stomach or my bladder, I took another look at the guy. He was really far off but I could tell he had on a dark shirt and jeans. He was also wearing some kind of cap and drinking what I assumed to be coffee. I was like…..he’s sure skinny enough to be Ewan but he’s not walking like Ewan. (you guys will kill me for that later I’m sure ;-) )

My boyfriend said. “Hey, I think that’s him.” I replied that I didn’t think so that the guy wasn’t “walking” like Ewan. (You will love this, my boyfriend later said that he knew it was Ewan because he was walking bowlegged! aka with his knees out! LOL) I told my boyfriend that wasn’t Ewan and I looked quickly away… but something drew my eyes back again. The next time I glanced back I noticed that the guy was smoking and it seemed everything in my world stopped.

This guy was skinny like Ewan, He was walking from the area of the trailers like the crew said Ewan would be, and he was smoking. I knew then. I knew it was Ewan!

I immediately looked away again so as not to be caught staring or run him off. I waited until he got right upon me to look back again.

Now how to describe this so you all get the comedic aspect of the first few seconds of my encounter? 8-)

What I did not know until after the fact was that my boyfriend behind me never stopped looking at Ewan as he was coming toward us. In fact he was staring outright with a crazy grin plastered on his face so when Ewan finally walked up to where we were and I finally looked up at him, Ewan already had a huge smile on his face and was grinning at both of us and he had come to a complete halt!!! Of course when I looked up at him you know how big my smile got! (I do believe that we were possibly the first people he met there that actually recognized him. Why do I say that? just because of his reaction to us.)

What was so funny was that we were all standing there for seconds or so just grinning at each other. Ewan knew he had been recognized and I was transfixed as I know some of you other ladies have been by that magnificent gaze of his. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have Ewan staring directly at you.

I finally managed to cry out delightedly


Photo (c) Lelia. Do not post elsewhere. Used with permission.He said hello and then it was another few seconds before I got my mouth to work to say the words “Will you please sign my shirt?” I had brought along my sisterhood shirt for him to sign.

He smiled and placed the coffee mug he was carrying under his arm and replied “Sure.” And stepped up beside me. OMG Ewan beside me?? I couldn’t believe how calm I was. I was calm???? My boyfriend told him that he had driven me 8 hours just to see him and Ewan asked me where I was from.

I told him Tennessee as I quickly dug out my marker and handed him my shirt. He then said “Where would you like me to sign it?” I told him anywhere was fine. It was then that he looked at the shirt and pointed to the “Doing it for the Sisters” and he asked me “Yeah, what is that sisters? A website?”

He still didn’t know what the Sisters where??? I was happy to tell him :-D I said it’s what we call ourselves because of you know… what you said. “Doing it for the sisters.”

I actually saw the understanding in his eyes when what I was saying hit him and he laughed. If I thought it were possible I would almost say he seemed a tad embarrassed!!

I then told him that those were the shirts that were made for Rachel House and that we had gotten permission from his mother to make them. I can’t remember exactly what he said here but it was something like that’s just great.

He began to sign my shirt and I asked him if he really got a tattoo. He seemed a bit surprised and replied that yes, he had. For those of you that were not sure ladies we got it from the horses’ mouth. The tattoo is real. He finished signing my shirt and handed it and my marker (which is now in bubble tape LOL) back to me.

As he did so he noticed the pin I was wearing on my jacket (my friend Sam had brought me a CHAS pin back from her trip to Scotland!) He pointed at it and said delightedly “CHAS! Brilliant!”

Then, I don’t know who grabbed who first :-) (I think he grabbed me!) but it was picture time and the next thing I knew I was in Ewan’s arms and my arm was around his hips.

Photo (c) Lelia. Do not post elsewhere. Used with permission.Because of our heights (I’m 4’ 9") I seemed to fit perfectly into the crook of his arm. I even leaned the back of my head on his shoulder!! I immediately noticed how soft his sweater was and ladies OMG this how can I tell you that this man smelled sooooo good!!!

I didn’t recognize the cologne he had on but it was a very very nice spicy kind of scent. I thought I was going to die right there… and believe me I wouldn’t have minded!!!

I would like to point out that I didn’t even ask Ewan if I could have a picture of him and me together he just really sort of grabbed me and posed for it!

Anyway my boyfriend started snapping away with the camera and all to soon it was over and done with. My boyfriend’s hands had shaken so badly that I feared the pictures would not come out well at all but as you will soon see it all worked out just fine!

I shook hands with him and was once again dazzled by that beautiful face and his eyes. He grabbed my boyfriend’s hand and shook it even though my boyfriend hadn’t really said more than two words to him other than how far we had driven and asked him if it was okay if he took a lot of pictures.

Then Ewan was moving away from us and the two goofy teenage girls who didn’t even know who he was were having their picture taken with him! They got my boyfriend to take the pic. I realized as this was going on that I had completely forgotten to give him the card with my website addy on it. I waited until he had finished with those girls until he started walking around the rail to go up into the house. I quickly yelled Ewan! And he turned back around and grinned at me and I was once again paralyzed by that hypnotic gaze.

Photo (c) Lelia. Do not post elsewhere. Used with permission.I leaned through everyone and handed him the card and said “I’m sorry, I forgot this is my website.” (I forgot to say This is my website for you!!! Argghhh!!)

He smiled at me and said thanks. I watched him glance at it quickly. I had given it to him with the sites addy and name that side up but he turned it over to the side that had that hotel’s name on it and I saw a puzzled look on his face. I sure hope he didn’t think I wanted him to come back to my hotel room LOL!! He put it in his pocket and I don’t know if he ever looked at it again but hopefully he will and see the side with the site’s name on it before he throws it away.

I don’t think I have to tell you that I didn’t get to sleep until 3am last night after all that!

© Lelia. Do not post elsewhere.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, January 17, 2003 // 07:51 a.m.


Down With Love trailer online!

You can view the trailer here.

Update: Darth Annaud has made the trailer available for download on her site. Thank you Darth Annaud!

Thanks to Platelet for the heads up!

According to the trailer, the official web site will be at www.down-with-love.com (but it is not available at the time of this writing).

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 16, 2003 // 10:16 p.m.


Sandals Galore


What is it about ancient Greeks these days, eh? Nary a hint of a leather sandal for years and now suddenly we can’t move for hunky Hellenic heros pouring onto our cinema screens. With Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom strapping on the armour for Wolfgang Peterson in Troy and Baz Lurhman and Oliver Stone having their own personal battle to get their Alexander the Great epics in the can first, it’s now the turn of director Neil Jordan to plunder the classics library.

And it’s the big boy himself – namely Greek poet Homer – that the director of The Crying Game and The End of Affair has so wisely chosen in the shape of the scribe’s second major work, the Odyssey, which details Greek hero Odysseus’ tortuous ten-year journey home after the fall of Troy. Entitled Odysseus’ Return, the epic will combine a stonking good historical sweep with the more personal, human drama of one man’s return home. In the humble opinion of Empire Online, it’s also just one of the best stories ever told.

All signs look good for Jordan’s second attempt at an ambitious European epic after the stalling of his previous project, Borgia, the story of the infamous Renaissance family. Although Ewan McGregor was committed to starring as the head of the clan that make the Osbornes look distinctly normal, the star had to pull out due to delays caused by financial wranglings. Odysseus’ Return meanwhile – provided the money behind the project comes through – is ready to shoot this year to furnish us with yet another sword and sandals epic to quicken our modern souls.

Source: Empire Online

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 // 07:37 a.m.


If you like bad, Zellweger’s got the goods

Fri Jan 10, 8:26 AM ET

You would never know by the way she effortlessly glides and vocally caresses a tune in Chicago. But Renée Zellweger has never seriously danced or sung professionally before.

So what was harder? Learning these new showbiz tricks, gaining weight and picking up an English accent for Bridget Jones’s Diary or dilly-dallying with the raunchy humor in Me, Myself & Irene? "That’s funny," she exclaims with the natural pep that remains from her Texas cheerleader days. "Those are good questions, actually."

Questions that go unanswered, mind you. "I really don’t think about things in terms of daunting. This was a different challenge. I had moments on the film when I was so joyful about having gotten to the end of something and everything went right. Personally, though, I can’t look at it as an overall experience and say ’hurrah.’ I have impostor syndrome in a severe way on diseased levels."

Well, she looks like the real thing up there with her Harlow waves and Monroe moves. Had us fooled.

It helped that Zellweger, 33, was something of a superjock in high school, doing gymnastics, track and swimming. "There were dance elements in what I did growing up. So ’one and two and…’ wasn’t foreign to me. Can I tell you, though, that when you put on the high-heel shoes, it’s a whole ’nother sport entirely?"

Perhaps a more surprising revelation to her fans is how very good this sweet-natured actress with the baby cheeks and bee-stung lips is at being very bad.

After shooting a louse of a lover, her vaudeville wannabe Roxie Hart is a lost lamb on Death Row amid the hardened she-wolves.

But Roxie’s a quick study, and soon she is plotting with the best of them, spurred on by Richard Gere’s oily lawyer, Billy Flynn. She shamelessly exploits the tabloid press, whips up fake alibis as if they were meringue and, most cruelly, deceives her lunkish husband (John C. Reilly), who loyally stands by her.

"I understand where she is coming from," Zellweger says. "I understand that this is a person who probably is self-loathing, definitely has very little self-worth and is looking to be validated through fame. Yet she is charming."

Charming, yes, and darn sexy. That’s an area Zellweger hasn’t really exploited fully on film yet, although shoving her Bridget curves into a Playboy bunny suit was a beginning.

"That is currency to Roxie. She needs that. She knows how to work that because it’s the one thing she has got." She flaunts it while draped in a showgirl costume dripping with stones that weighs about 50 pounds, worn during the narcissistic ode Roxie. "It was a sparkly little number that took some skin with it every time it moved."

Not that Zellweger has much skin to spare these days. Swizzle-stick slim and sleekly attired in black, she has lost all her Bridget pudge and then some. But she looks healthy, glowing even, with a sky-high energy level that has been stoked by the Starbucks cup in her hands. She has even bobbed her hair for the first time.

Chicago is just one of several exciting Zellweger projects. She’s just back from Romania, where she finished shooting Cold Mountain, a Christmas 2003 release about a wounded Confederate soldier finding his way home, with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman.

In April, she makes like Doris Day to Ewan McGregor’s Rock Hudson in the ’60s-style sex farce Down With Love, the very thought of which makes her bubble over with enthusiasm.

"That Ewan McGregor is so cute in his suits you are just going to die. Just going to die. I would come to work every day and I would say, ’You are going to have to go away!’"

And the actress would relish the opportunity to revisit Bridget Jones in a sequel, if the script is any good. "I’m sure she has more stories to tell. I had such a great time living in her skin for that year."

As for Zellweger, she is a proud singleton herself after publicized liaisons with Jim Carrey and George Clooney.

"A man in my life? No, not a one. Not even a dinner date. I don’t have time. Besides, I’ve got Rob Marshall, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor and Richard Gere. It’s all good. Life is good."

Source: USA Today/Yahoo News

Thank you ewanfan101 for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, January 11, 2003 // 10:25 a.m.


Rock star Ewan

Jan 10 2003
Rick Fulton

Showbiz exclusive Scot does a Hudson to Renée’s Doris Day

Ewan McGregor’s dreams of being a matinee idol finally come true in his latest movie.

The actor was reared on the sex comedies of golden era stars Rock Hudson and Doris Day while growing up in Crieff, Perthshire.

And now he and Chicago star Renée Zellweger have paid homage to their heroes in the spoof Down With Love.

Ewan, 31, said: "I know all three of Rock and Doris’s movies and I love romance and being in love - it goes straight back to those films I watched as a kid.

"My fantasies have always been about that Hollywood era of being attached to a studio."

He dived straight in, dyeing his hair black to look like a 60s idol.

He even bought a copy of 1950s heartthrob James Dean’s car to use while filming in LA. He said: "My family were there and we’d get up, have orange juice then I’d zip to the studio in my sports car.

"I’d then get into wardrobe with these great suits, step on to these great 60s sets and then zip back home in time for dinner. Fantastic. It was like being back then."

Hudson and Day movies set a winning formula with their opposites-attract tension in the hit comedies Pillow Talk in 1959, Lover Come Back in 1962, and 1964’s Don’t Send Me Flowers.

And Down With Love, set in New York in 1963, is in that vein.

It follows the budding romance between Ewan’s character Catcher Block, a playboy journalist described as a "man’s man, ladies’ man, man about town", and feminist advice columnist Barbara Novak, played by Renée.

The film even has the brightly coloured look of the Hudson-Day movies, with in-car scenes shot with fake backgrounds rather than modern on-location takes.

Yet, despite his glee at the role, Ewan found it hard adjusting to working on an LA comedy. He said: "I’d just done a very dark, erotic film in Scotland called Young Adam and then I was immediately playing this idol character.

"Also, we all found it difficult to begin with doing that type of 60s comedy, which is ’performed’."

After his chart hit from the musical Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman, fans will see Ewan sing yet another duet with one of Hollywood’s leading ladies when the film is released in the spring.

He and Renée are also expected to release one of the songs they perform in the movie as a single.

The romantic family man role also seems to be closer to the real Ewan than the racy characters which made his name in films like Trainspotting and Shallow Grave.

Ewan, who has daughters Clara, six, and baby Esther with French wife Ève, said: "Everything I ever wanted is back at my house."

Source: Daily Record

Thank you MRS EGM for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, January 10, 2003 // 07:32 a.m.


Big Fish actors here already

Jan. 9, 2003
By Rick Harmon
Montgomery Advertiser

In Montgomery on Wednesday afternoon, Albert Finney and Jessica Lange held hands and smiled for the cameras. They were followed by Ewan McGregor, who posed with a young boy.

The stills, taken in front of the closed Cloverdale Junior High School that is now the film company’s headquarters, were merely the preamble to a much larger shoot. Director Tim Burton’s "Big Fish" begins shooting Monday in Wetumpka and will continue filming in and around Montgomery through the end of April.

While Finney, Lange and McGregor posed for shots that will be used as photographs in the film, they are far from the only stars who are already in Montgomery preparing for the beginning of the shoot.

Billy Crudup and Helena Bonham Carter, two of the movie’s previously announced stars, are here, as well as former "Benson" star Robert Guillaume and French actress Marion Cotillard, who have just joined the cast.

Guillaume and Carter are here temporarily for wardrobe fittings, but will fly back later for filming, as will other stars, such as Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi and Alison Lohman, who starred in "White Oleander."

Not only were new stars mentioned Wednesday, but so were new locations.

Eileen Peterson, production publicist for the film, said that while most of the film will be shot in the Montgomery and Wetumpka areas, the company will spend several days shooting in Tallassee and at Auburn University.

"The entire film will be shot within about a 40-minute radius of Montgomery," Peterson said.

And she means the entire film. When it was announced in August that the movie would be shot here, it was believed that Burton would do location shooting and then finish many of the inside scenes at a Hollywood sound stage. But Peterson said the entire production will be shot in Alabama.

Shooting for "Big Fish" will begin in Wetumpka and continue there throughout the week, and then will move on to Tallassee, Peterson said.

Alabama Film Office Director Brian Kurlander has called the Columbia Pictures film a redefining event for the film industry in Alabama. And financially, he said the film would have an estimated $25 million economic impact on central Alabama.

Burton, the 43-year-old who has directed such films as "Edward Scissorhands," "Batman," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow," "Mars Attacks" and "Planet of the Apes," is adapting the movie from former Alabamian Daniel Wallace’s novel "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions."

The story concerns a son (Crudup) who returns to a small Southern town to get to know his dying father (played by both Finney and by McGregor in flashbacks). It is through his father’s tall tales that the son begins to understand the elusive man.

Source: Montgomery Adviser

Thank you melzora for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 9, 2003 // 05:28 p.m.



Jan 9 2003
Exclusive By Allison Martin

Star Ewan’s DLR drinks ad shoot… but it’ll never be shown on Brit TV

EWAN McGregor indulged in a bit of trainspotting at the Wharf - but instead of climbing into grotty toilets he was chased around by a gaggle of 75 women.

The Scottish Star Wars star spent Hogmanay day at Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway station filming an advert for a Japanese energy drink.

A crew of 45 worked the central platform of the DLR for the day-long filming on January 31.

One onlooker was clearly bowled-over by the 31-year-old Moulin Rouge star.

They told The Wharf: "He’s a really friendly down-to-earth guy and he’s as gorgeous in the flesh as he is in the movies."

The advert, for Japanese soft drink Roots, will never be shown in the UK.

Ewan is following in the footsteps of many high-profile Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt, Madonna and Harrison Ford who have cashed in on their profile in foreign countries for commercials - without damaging their profile in Western markets.

The commercial begins with Ewan sitting alone on the platform sipping from a can of Roots - a Japanese energy drink which, it would seem, renders you irresistible to the opposite sex.

Film crews had to bring their own train station seats for Ewan, as the DLR’s marble benches were deemed too classy for the advert.

As the drink starts to take effect Ewan is suddenly spotted and chased along the platform by a crowd of screaming young ladies.

"I don’t think the reaction would be too different if he sat there for real - drink or no drink," said the onlooker.

Despite being happily married to French wife Ève Mavrakis, Ewan has never been one to hide his light-sabre under a bushel - delighting his league of fans by kitting off in several films, including a full frontal in rock star flick Velvet Goldmine. For him, a visit to the futuristic landscape will have been familiar territory - he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in two Star Wars prequels - The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones. And it’s not the first time Ewan has been to the area - he filmed a Millennium short film at London City Airport in August 1999.

The actor also played disgraced banker Nick Leeson in Rogue Trader in 1999, so mingling with the Wharf’s (resolutely more honest) financial community would have proved no problem.

Celebrity endorsements are huge in Japanese ads - particularly for drinks, where over 80 per cent are associated with a big-named star.

Source: ic theWarf.co.uk

Thank you Specs for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 9, 2003 // 07:23 a.m.



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