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News Archive

January - June 2005

Ewan Off This Week

According to a message posted in the What’s On Stage forums, Ewan will be off this week and should return next week. Norman Bowman is performing the role of ’Sky’ in Guys and Dolls.

Let’s hope that everything is okay!

Thanks to Jett and Sanne for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 30, 2005 // 03:04 p.m.


Exclusive Online Clip from The Island

The official The Island site has an exclusive online clip of an exciting action sequence. Check it out!

Thanks to Georginita for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 // 08:34 p.m.


N.Y. rolling out its red carpets

Tue., Jun. 28, 2005

The film business might not be based in New York, but this summer the premiere business is.

The majority of major preems (premieres) have already, or will, take place in Gotham this summer: "Madagascar" in May; "Bewitched," "War of the Worlds," "Howl’s Moving Castle," and "Dark Water" in June; "Fantastic Four," "The Island" and "Wedding Crashers" in July.

"This is the biggest year I’ve ever seen for premieres in New York," said L.A.-based event planner Jeffrey Best. "But at least we’ve still got the award-season events out here."

A few mega-films have a slew of openings ("The Lord of the Rings" had more premieres than it had elves). But studio belt-tightening means that usually the premiere is either in L.A. or New York -- not both.

If a New York-preeming film has another red carpet event in Los Angeles, as there was Monday for "War of the Worlds" this is usually labeled a "special screening," which doesn’t trigger the premiere contract clause whereby talent and family have to be flown in.

"Everything is cyclical," said Universal special projects senior V.P. Hollace David. "And this year it just made sense to premiere a lot of movies in New York."

Publicists at various studios say there are usually three reasons for premiering in Gotham.

  • The talent either lives or works in Manhattan. "Bewitched" director Nora Ephron lives there and star Nicole Kidman is on location with "Fur."
  • It’s where the film is set, which is essentially the case with "War of the Worlds" and "Fantastic Four," which will be the first preem ever held on Liberty Island.
  • If European-based actors are available for a short window, New York is logistically easier than L.A. "The Island" is set on the West Coast, but that factor is trumped by the fact that stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are both working in the U.K. The shorter flight to New York was better for their scheduling.

Event organizers say each coast has its advantages: L.A. has more large theaters while New York has more large, party-suitable venues. Hold a premiere in L.A. and travel costs are reduced, since most talent and execs are there; launch in New York and it’s easier getting stars around the morning talkshow circuit.

Easier street closure

On the upside for L.A., it’s easier to arrange the red-carpet setup, which usually involves a street closure. In New York, "It’s World War III if you want to close a lane," one planner said.

At the Tribeca Film Festival’s opening-night of "The Interpreter" in April, the combined power of everyone from Robert De Niro on down couldn’t close 54th Street facing the Ziegfeld Theater. Organizers settled for one lane.

And the 1,162-seat Ziegfeld is pretty much the only location for a single-screen house in Manhattan. (The single-screen Beekman, with only 510 seats, closed last Sunday.) The alternatives are multiplexes (which studios avoid because of cross traffic from other auditoriums); or setting up your own screen, which is what Sony did when it premiered "Hitch" on Ellis Island in February.

Studio planners say there might be more use soon of the Skirball Center’s 850-seat theater at NYU, and the Museum of Natural History’s 926-seat LeFrak Theater, which Fox used last summer for "The Day After Tomorrow."

One studio exec pointed out one advantage of a New York preem: "There can be sameness to doing premieres in L.A. You see the same 500 people over and over."

Gotham’s fresh faces

However, those familiar L.A. faces are at least famous. In New York, there's a paucity of big-name celebrity guests: "Today" show weatherman Al Roker is greeted by the press as though he's Leonardo DiCaprioLeonardo DiCaprio.

On the other hand, instead of having the usual agents and managers who populate L.A. preems, in New York there's a chance to invite the editors of weekly magazines (and their corporate bosses), which keeps relationships warm and -- some publicists think -- results in additional photo coverage.

On the all-important subject of costs, it's agreed that New York prices are higher, but that doesn't necessarily mean the premiere tab is more.

"You just spend the money differently," one studio planner said. "I don't have a bigger budget. I spend more on food and drink in New York, but I don't have as big a decor and entertainment package. And I'm usually going into an existing venue rather than creating something from scratch in a parking lot."

Consider party costs at two museums on opposite coasts: NYC's MoMA rents for $50,000; L.A.'s Hammer goes for $25,000. Arts lovers may say you get what you pay for, but these costs are just for space, not the quality of art inside.

Gotham's turn on the premiere cycle won't end with the summer, either: "King Kong" -- likely to be a gargantuan bowbow -- will preem this December in Manhattan.

Source: Variety

Thanks to Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 // 08:21 p.m.


Actor picked to play Alex Rider

Wednesday June 29 2005

Alex Pettyfer is about to break into the big-time after he was picked to play teenage super-spy Alex Rider.

Alex will play the lead role in a film based on Stormbreaker, the first of Anthony Horowitz’s best-selling books.

The 15-year-old was chosen ahead of 500 other young actors for the part in the £25m film, alongside Ewan McGregor.

Alex said: "This is going to be such a great experience for me. Alex is an amazing character leading this incredible life as a spy."

Alex admitted that he was looking forward to acting with Ewan, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars films and their accompanying games.

"I’m not nervous at all but it will be a bit strange that one minute I’m playing a PlayStation game with Ewan McGregor in it and the next minute I’m standing next to him."

Loads of big Hollywood stars will be performing with him as well, including Mickey Rourke, Alicia Silverstone and Oscar-nominated Sophie Okonedo.

The role is thought to be one of the toughest ever for a child actor, but Alex is ready for it.

He said: "I’ve already started ju-jitsu training and I plan to do as many of my own stunts as I can. The training is hectic but it’s good fun."

Source: BBC News

Thanks to Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 // 07:55 p.m.


Alex Pettyfer lands new role

Wednesday, 29th June 2005

The search for a young actor to play Alex Rider, the hero of Anthony Horowitz’s books about a teenage superspy, is over. Movie bosses today unveiled 15-year-old Alex Pettyfer as the star of their £25 million blockbuster.

Pettyfer has appeared on screen only once before, in the ITV1 adaptation of Tom Brown’s Schooldays, shown on New Year’s Day.

He beat 500 other hopefuls to land the lead in the Hollywood version of Stormbreaker, the first story in the series and the most sought-after role since Harry Potter.

Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, Bill Nighy, Alicia Silverstone, Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo will also appear in the film.

The US rights have been snapped up by movie moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and if Stormbreaker is a hit there are plans to turn all six of Horowitz’s books into a James Bond-style franchise.

The books have sold eight million copies worldwide and been translated into 28 languages.

Alex becomes a schoolboy special agent after his uncle and guardian, Ian Rider, is killed in a mysterious car crash.

He discovers his uncle was working undercover for MI6, and the teenager is drawn into the employ of the secret service.

The all-action role will be the most physically demanding ever undertaken by a child actor.

Alex climbs mountains, scuba dives, wields an array of high-tech gadgets and is an expert in martial arts.

Pettyfer was at Pinewood Studios in Hertfordshire today, where part of the film will be made.

He said: "This is going to be such a great experience for me. Alex is an amazing character leading this incredible life as a spy.

"I’ve already started ju-jitsu training and I plan to do as many of my own stunts as I can. The training is hectic but it’s good fun."

Ewan McGregor will play Alex’s uncle, while Mickey Rourke is the villain, megalomaniac businessman Herod Sayle.

Bill Nighy will play MI6 spymaster Mr Blunt, with Oscar-nominee Sophie Okonedo as his colleague Mrs Jones.

Alex’s friend and housekeeper Jack Starbright will be played by Clueless actress Alicia Silverstone, while Damian Lewis will be the Russian assassin Yassen Gregorovich. So Solid Crew’s Ashley Walters will appear as SAS soldier Wolf.

Pettyfer’s only previous interaction with McGregor has been through his Star Wars computer game, in which the Scot appears as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The teenager said: "It will be fantastic to be acting with all these big name guys. I’m not nervous at all but it will be a bit strange that one minute I’m playing a Playstation game with Ewan McGregor in it and the next minute I’m standing next to him."

A former child model, Pettyfer was picked up by an agent who sent him for the audition in Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Horowitz spotted him in the drama and suggested his name to the Stormbreaker producers.

After he starred in the drama opposite Stephen Fry, fan websites began springing up devoted to Pettyfer’s blond, blue-eyed good looks.

The schoolboy, who does not have a girlfriend and is a fan of Paris Hilton, is set for international heart-throb status when Stormbreaker is released next summer, but is taking the female attention firmly in his stride.

"I have seen one of the websites because my friend showed me it, and I’m not sure how I feel about it," he admitted.

"But this role isn’t about whether or not I’m good looking, it’s about making an exciting film for kids who have read the Alex Rider books and are expecting the character to come alive."

Pettyfer will leave Shiplake, his boarding school in Henley-on-Thames, and be taught by a private tutor for the duration of filming - something he is over the moon about.

"I hope I don’t have to go back at all," he said. "I’ve always been one of those kids who sit in class day-dreaming."

He is not the only star in the family - his 12-year-old brother James is tipped as a future British tennis champion and is moving to Florida to join the Evert Tennis Academy.

Horowitz said he was delighted with his new star.

"I saw Alex in Tom Brown’s Schooldays and was so impressed by his performance that I emailed the film’s producers and said ’You have to see this boy’," he said.

"I’ve always been aware the film stands or falls by the casting of Alex. I feel enormous relief that we have found him. This Alex looks the part, he definitely has the talent and he is also a really nice boy.

"We have a stunning cast - to have the likes of Mickey Rourke as the villain is just delightful. It’s more than exciting, it’s thrilling for me. It’s a dream come true - I know that’s a ghastly cliche, but I really did dream of this happening one day."

Source: Manchester Online

Thanks to Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 // 07:54 p.m.


Photos of Ewan at Goodwood

Thanks to Georginita, here are a few photos of Ewan at Goodwood (news story below):

Thank you Georginita for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, June 27, 2005 // 10:24 p.m.


Ewan McGregor reunited with bike and best mate at Goodwood

Ewan McGregor came to the Festival of Speed today to be reunited with the bike on which he rode around the world, and the pal who was with him all the way.

McGregor’s BMW R1150 GS was auctioned for charity after the round-the-world trip, and McGregor and actor and director Charlie Boorman haven’t found time to ride together since.

Their trip, which ended a year ago, became a book and TV series ’The Long Way Round’.

"I can’t compete with these other bikers," says McGregor, "so I just rode up and gave a wee wave as I went."

"I didn’t have to ride on the same bit of tarmac twice," said Boorman, "so it’s odd to go back up the hill again."

Source: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Thanks to Patty for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, June 27, 2005 // 07:42 a.m.


Australian Release Dates

Valiant will be released in Australia on January 12, 2006, while Stay will open on Mar 16, 2006.

Thanks to Noah’s Dove for the information!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, June 25, 2005 // 11:26 a.m.


Young Vic Rebuild

23rd June 2005 - What’s on Stage News

Actors Jude Law and Helen McCrory joined Young Vic artistic director David Lan at the venue in Waterloo yesterday (22 June 2005) to celebrate the half-way mark in the two-year redevelopment of the building and a grant from the London Development agency of £500,000.

The grant was announced at the topping out ceremony, which was led by chief patron of the fundraising initiative Jude Law and which marked the completion of the Young Vic’s new auditorium. Other grants have been awarded by Arts Council England, the National Lottery, Waterloo Project Boards, and various trusts, foundations and individual supporters.

One fundraising scheme allows supporters to buy a seat, which will have their name on it, for the new auditorium at a cost of £1,000. So far, 138 seats have been sold, many to actors, including Patrick Stewart, Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis and Clive Owen, as well as Law and McCrory.

There is now only £600,000 left to raise for the £12.5 million rebuild, designed by architects Haworth Tompkins and built by Verry Construction Ltd. The South Bank venue, which was originally erected 34 years ago to last a maximum of five years, plans to reopen in September 2006 following completion of the building by March next year.

Speaking at yesterday’s event, Lan said: “It’s a thrilling moment for us and for British theatre. It means that the world renowned Young Vic auditorium and company are not just of the past and of the present but also of the future.”

Though the Young Vic’s semi-in-the-round main auditorium will remain, it will be made more technically sound and versatile, with an increased capacity of up 600 (as opposed to 350-450 in previous configurations). The plans also include the creation of two new studios, a workshop, terrace spaces and expanded offices, dressing rooms and public foyers.

Helen McCrory, who is currently starring in Lan’s West End production of As You Like It with Law’s fiancée Sienna Miller, said yesterday: “It is important that theatres are new and interesting spaces… I expect great things.”

Source: What’s On Stage

Thanks to Ellie for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 23, 2005 // 07:48 a.m.


The Island advanced screening in Boston


Synopsis: Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) is a resident of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island," reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. But Lincoln soon discovers that everything about his existence is a lie. He and all of the other inhabitants of the facility are actually human clones whose only purpose is to provide "spare parts" for their original human counterparts. Realizing it is only a matter of time before he is "harvested," Lincoln makes a daring escape with a fellow resident named Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson). Pursued by the forces of the institute that once housed them, Lincoln and Jordan engage in a race for their lives to literally meet their makers.

Genres: Action/Adventure and Thriller
Running Time: 2 hrs. 5 min
Release Date: July 22nd, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributor: Dreamworks SKG

Write us and let us know you’d like to be entered in the drawing for The Island Advance Screening in Boston. Selectees must respond to our notification email within 72 hours of our sending it, or forfeit their passes. Pass recipients will be randomly selected from valid email addresses received before 7/18/05.

Source: Wild About Movies

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 23, 2005 // 07:37 a.m.


New poster for The Island

Source: Cinema em Cena

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 // 07:50 p.m.


Special performance of Guys and Dolls for UNICEF - 17 November 2005

A new production of the classic musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ has just hit the West End, with Ewan McGregor starring as Sky Masterson.

UNICEF is delighted to announce that Ewan, a UNICEF UK Goodwill Ambassador, has reserved the evening performance of Thursday 17 November for UNICEF. After the performance Ewan will say a few words about his work with UNICEF - and there will also be a prize draw!

In addition there is the opportunity to buy tickets to an exclusive pre-show cocktail party on 17 November (venue to be confirmed – but close to the theatre). This ticket will include a champagne reception, canapés and an exclusive goody bag!

The money raised from the UNICEF show will support UNICEF’s work with children affected by Aids in Malawi - work which Ewan is planning to see on a trip to Malawi after his role as Sky has ended.

If you would like to book tickets, an application form can be downloaded here or contact Emma Raven on emmar@unicef.org.uk or 0207 312 7680.

We look forward to seeing you at the Piccadilly Theatre on 17 November!

Source: UNICEF

Thanks to Viv for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 // 06:35 p.m.


PHOTO CALL: Ewan McGregor Rolls the Dice in New West End Guys and Dolls

By Morgan Allen
16 Jun 2005

Ewan McGregor – currently on the silver screen across the world in the final “Star Wars” installment – can also be seen nightly in London’s West End as he leads the cast of a new production of Frank Loesser’s classic musical Guys and Dolls.

The musical has also been seen in a popular 1955 film version that starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, as well as a major Broadway revival starring Nathan Lane and Faith Prince that took home four 1992 Tony Awards. In this incarnation, McGregor plays smooth-talking Sky Masterson, while Broadway favorite Jane Krakowski takes on the highly comic role of Miss Adelaide.

Guys and Dolls is directed by Michael Grandage and plays at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.

Source: Playbill

Thanks to Georginita for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, June 18, 2005 // 10:42 p.m.


A Coul Duel for Biker Ewan

Jun 17 2005

SCOTS stars Ewan McGregor and David Coulthard are to do battle on the race track to find out who is the real tartan speed king.

McGregor has agreed to race his motorbike against Coulthard’s Formula 1 car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next week.

McGregor will take part in the hill climb competition, staged throughout the festival weekend on a 1.16-mile course on parkland roads in the grounds of Goodwood House in Sussex.

It will see him ride his BMW GS1150 Adventure bike (most likely another since that bike was sold at an auction last year) against Coulthard’s Red Bull F1 car.

The cream of the motor racing world, including former world champion Damon Hill, Jenson Button and current F1 world championship leader Fernando Alonso, will also take part.

McGregor, currently appearing in the West End musical Guys And Dolls, was invited by Lord March, owner of the sprawling Goodwood estate.

A spokesman for the Festival of Speed said: ’Ewan is going to be there all day on the Sunday.

’He is taking part in the race just for fun, so he doesn’t want a big thing made out of it.

’It’s his day off from performing on stage in London, so he decided to come along. He used to ride his motorbike in races in a team, so he really is an old pro.’

McGregor made an epic round-the-world motorcycle trip with actor pal Charley Boorman.

The pair travelled more than 20,000 miles through central Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Alaska and Canada.

Source: Daily Record

Thanks to Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 17, 2005 // 07:32 a.m.


Robots DVD release date

According to dvdpricesearch.com, Robots will be released on DVD on September 20, 2005.

Thanks to Elyse for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 16, 2005 // 08:20 p.m.


Watch Ewan’s Make Poverty History pitch

Visit makepovertyhistory.org and scroll down to "Orange" and then select your Internet connection speed, dialup or broadband.

Thanks to Baby Jefer and Patty for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 // 09:45 p.m.


Film Star to Host Youth ’G8 Summit’

Tue 14 Jun 2005
By Jude Sheerin, Scottish Press Association

Movie star Ewan McGregor is to host the first children’s version of the G8 summit, it was confirmed today.

The 34-year-old Unicef ambassador will be joined by violin prodigy Nicola Benedetti at the launch of C8 in Dunblane, Stirlingshire.

Youngsters from eight of the world’s poorest countries will be flown in by the charity to join children from some of the richest nations at the forum on July 3.

The 16 youngsters will produce a manifesto to be presented to world leaders when they arrive for the G8 summit at nearby Gleneagles in Perthshire.

Young people aged from 11 to 18 have been chosen on the basis of their anti-poverty work in schools and communities.

Children from the developing nations of Bhutan, Moldova, Yemen, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Lesotho and Bolivia will attend.

They will discuss issues such as poverty, HIV/Aids and education with youngsters from the UK, France, Germany and Italy for three days at the Hilton Hydro.

McGregor, from Crieff in Perthshire, said: “Whenever I meet children as Unicef ambassador, I am amazed at their eloquent, articulate and passionate views.

“They really have a unique perspective on the world. Many living in other countries have had direct experience of issues such as poverty, education, HIV and Aids and deserve to have their voices heard.”

Unicef said Star Wars actor McGregor and Benedetti, 17, from West Kilbride in Ayrshire, were perfect to represent the voice of youth.

A spokeswoman for the international children’s charity added: “The decisions made by the G8 leaders will directly affect children’s lives all over the world.

“The C8 offers an opportunity for young people to have their opinions and voices heard by G8 leaders and the rest of the world.”

After meeting, the children will attend the anti-poverty concert at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield on July 6, as the G8 summit gets under way.

The five C8 youngsters from the UK are Jamie Brown, 17, from Dennistoun, Glasgow; Rachel Parker, 15, from Annan, Dumfries-shire; Laura Calvert, 17, from Bangor, Co Down; Saranda Hajdari, 15, from Liverpool; and Jon Hudson, 18, from Birmingham.

Source: The Scotsman

Thanks to Marie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 // 01:02 p.m.


Mini Ewan interview on GMTV

GMTV has a report on Guys and Dolls’ opening night and features a short interview with Ewan and Jane Krakowski. Click on the link to check it out!

Thanks to Elyse for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, June 13, 2005 // 07:52 a.m.


Ewan lends support to 21st-century leaders

09 June 2005

Ozzy Osbourne’s launched a charity by inviting people to do something rude for peace.

George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Naomi Campbell and hundreds more A-listers have leant their support to 21st Century Leaders by drawing pictures of themselves and coming up with their own slogan.

Artwork by Ewan Ewan’s self-portrait

Proceeds from selling the pictures go to the stars’ chosen charities.

Ozzy decided he’d try something a little different:

"So many slogans have been used so I just wrote ’**** for peace’."

"I’m not trying to become the heavy metal version of Bob Geldof."

"If you can make people laugh. It’s just a stupid thing that I wrote, it’s not a call for a national **** day, it’s humour."

Ewan wrote three messages (click to see bigger versions):

You will be able to buy plates, mugs, wristbands, and t-shirts from whateverittakes.org.

Source: BBC News

Thanks to Barbara, Fuumin and Elyse for the finds!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 10, 2005 // 06:55 p.m.


Lap him up

Julian Clary
Monday 13th June 2005

There’s something for everyone in the West End these days. A selection of musicals can induce the euphoria of your choice, be it a show featuring rioting miners, comedy Nazis, Lloyd Webber pastiches or the more traditional all-singin’-all-dancin’ fodder. Guys and Dolls, directed by Michael Grandage, falls into the last category - of the easy listening and watching variety - but it is compulsive viewing none the less, if that’s your bag.

The plot is no more demanding than an episode of Sergeant Bilko, but that does not matter. We swallow the boy-meets-girl nonsense because we want to escape to that simple, nostalgic, make-believe world - but most of all because we want to swallow Ewan McGregor.

His performance is mesmerising - at once brash and sensitive, intelligent and instinctive. In a way, it seems unfair to pitch a movie star’s charisma against run-of-the-mill musical theatre types. We don’t care what his character, Sky Masterson, does or doesn’t do; we just long for him to come back on stage. There are no weak links surrounding him - Jane Krakowski as Miss Adelaide and Jenna Russell as the Salvation Army lady Sarah Brown are outstanding - but McGregor is poetry in motion. He goes a bit "Heather Small" when he sings, which is curious, but maybe he’s an M People fan.

In the second half, we make do with a brilliant rendition of "Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat" led by the charming Martyn Ellis as Nicely Nicely Johnson, but we are only being polite. McGregor proves his real star quality when he reappears, still looking desirable in a Salvation Army uniform. No mean feat. I know because I’ve tried.

The joy of his performance, and the quality that endears him most to the audience, is his (seemingly) total unawareness of his own "otherness". He’s busy acting. We are busy drooling and lapping up the sex appeal. But he is a modest star. He appears to have no idea what we see in him. The stains on the upholstery will be a mystery to him. The woman behind me whimpered and gasped with ecstasy every time he took to the stage. If that’s not worth the price of a ticket, I don’t know what is.

The teenage boy and girl in front of me, on the other hand, wriggled and scratched a lot, and I wondered, aghast, if the next generation was particularly interested in this quaint Guys and Dolls world, where real emotions were a distant relative and where a dance routine (albeit brilliantly choreographed in this case by Rob Ashford) was invariably the solution. The saucy line "You mustn’t squeeze the melon ’til you get the melon home" will mean nothing to chavs heavy-petting at the nearest bus shelter.

That is their loss, I concluded. Culture will evolve as it sees fit, but this particular musical may just have the combination of wit and snappy songs that guarantees longevity. Then I wondered if the ground-breaking Billy Elliot will also seem quaint in a few decades’ time. Seeing these two shows within a few days of each other made me appraise my theatrical post-coital feelings. Guys and Dolls loved me and left me, and it was great while it lasted. Billy Elliot stayed with me, left me stirred and shaken.

Yet Guys and Dolls is a stylish, classy production, whatever anyone says. If you are after an evening’s entertainment, a no-strings fun time, this is the show for you. It’s a pleasure provider. All the acting is admirable, but when McGregor is able to give us even a perfectly timed twinkle of the eye, we spontaneously applaud the miracle of creativity in the hands of an attractive master.

In this show, you have a top-of-the-range cast, set, costumes (apart from the fur stoles in "Take Back Your Mink", which look like somebody has taken a Stanley knife to a Jasper Conran bedspread) and lighting - garnished, what is more, with a film star stretching himself before your very eyes. A night out doesn’t get much better than this.

London’s West End has so much to offer at the moment. A few years ago, the most you could hope for was a glimpse of Mrs Robinson’s minge. Now you can see huge stars glowing with real sweat from their exertions. Don’t deny yourself.

Booking on 0870 060 0123

Source: New Stateman

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 9, 2005 // 09:33 p.m.


New pictures from The Island

Movies Online has some terrific pictures from The Island like this one:

Thanks to Roxanne for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 9, 2005 // 07:50 a.m.


Sky’s the limit for versatile Ewan McGregor

June 7, 2005
Bill Zwecker/AP

Luck is a lady for the cast of a West End revival of the classic Broadway musical ’’Guys and Dolls,’’ as critics have heaped praise on the production that marks film actor Ewan McGregor’s first stage musical.

Light years away from his current big screen role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in ’’Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith,’’ McGregor heads the cast of Michael Grandage’ London production as Sky Masterson, the gambling playboy who wins the heart of a missionary.

His next role sounds like an interesting casting choice -- playing four characters, all in the same film. The as-yet-untitled British comedy will be a period film within a period film.

McGregor will play a 1930s Hollywood star, his film stand-in and both of the 18th century characters they play in the movie they are shooting.

Got that? Reminds us of something Alec Guinness did in ’’Kind Hearts and Coronets’’ back in the late 1940s. Maybe McGregor thought about his ’’Star Wars’’ ’’co-star’’ when he agreed to this new project.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, June 7, 2005 // 07:37 a.m.


Lady luck turns up a winner

By Paul Taylor
Published : 03 June 2005

The West End is alive with the sound of musicals. One really does feel like performing a Julie Andrews-like whirl of joy, because these musicals are, for once, the genuine article. Hard on the heels of Billy Elliot and The Big Life, we now have Michael Grandage’s utterly elating revival of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly.

This gifted director has hitherto shown a relish for selecting pieces (Merrily We Roll Along and Grand Hotel) that are perceived as flawed and then making them work triumphantly. So Frank Loesser’s well-nigh-perfect 1950 classic might seem an ironic choice for him.

But with this co-production between the Donmar Warehouse (of which he’s the artistic director) and the Ambassador Theatre Group, Grandage demonstrates that his touch is just as sure with proven hit material, and that the methods that have paid dividends for him in the small space of the Donmar (casting for character more than for singing prowess; uncluttered design that’s in the service of drama rather than decoration, etc) continue to work on the larger canvas of the West End stage.

Guys and Dolls is a "fairy tale of New York", peopled with sidewalk gamblers who, in their hilarious stilted diction and their elaborate etiquette, could rival in formality the courtiers at Versailles. Grandage’s production pitches perfectly the show’s delicious mix of urban knowingness and pastoral innocence.

Unlike Jerry Zaks’s 1992 Broadway revival, he does not patronise the characters by reducing them to garishly garbed cartoons. His fluent staging of the piece, with witty, concise sets by Christopher Oram, is wonderfully fresh and unencumbered by flashy false values. He understands, too, that while Guys and Dolls is the least mushy of all Broadway musicals, it also has more genuine heart. So he’s chosen actors who make us truly care about the two intertwined love stories.

Jane Krakowski (of Ally McBeal fame) is an adenoidal delight as Miss Adelaide, radiating the incorrigible romantic hopefulness, the touchingly vague aspirations to refinement, and the gabby, exasperated realism of the Hot Box stripper who has been kept dangling for all of 14 years by Douglas Hodge’s winningly hapless and virtually cross-eyed-with-anxiety Nathan Detroit.

Ewan McGregor plays Sky Masterson, the smoothie who takes on Nathan’s bet that he won’t be able to lure Sarah (an excellent Jenna Russell), the strait-laced Salvation Army girl, on a trip to Havana. McGregor makes up in boyish charm and smiling glamour what he lacks in natural singing skills, though he sounds a lot better than Marlon Brando did in the movie, and he lets rip with a perfectly placed final high note in the knockout "Luck Be a Lady" number.

It’s an evening rich in show-stoppers. In the Havana nightclub sequence, Rob Ashford’s terrific choreography embroils Sky and the squiffy Sarah in a fiercely funny and sexy feud of erotic jealousy danced out by two hot-blooded locals.

Martyn Ellis as Nicely Nicely whips the audience into ecstasy and the Salvation Army mission into a crazily anarchic version of hand-waggling revivalist delirium with his electrifying rendition of "Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat".

Like those wondrously convenient dice possessed by the gangster Big Jule ("I had the numbers taken off for luck, but I remember where the spots formerly were"), this production of Guys and Dolls looks set to be a sure-fire winner.

Booking until 31 March 2006 (0870 060 0123).

Source: The Independent

Thanks to Ellie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, June 4, 2005 // 09:51 p.m.


Expanded Long Way Round on TV

The Long Way Round headquarters have announced that the series will air in an expanded format starting July 5 on Sky One in the UK.

No word yet on whether this version will air elsewhere or whether an expanded version on DVD will be released.

Thanks to Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, June 4, 2005 // 12:17 p.m.


The Herald’s review of Guys and Dolls

June 03 2005

Ewan McGregor strode on to the stage of the Piccadilly Theatre last night in Michael Grandage’s slick and stylish production of Guys And Dolls and confounded expectations. Raw of appearance, bonny of voice, this was no film star surviving on his screen credentials. Maybe McGregor’s Sky Masterson is a shade too bland, too much the boy next door and lacking in the gangster chic Damian Runyon so admired, but it was still a stunning performance.

This great musical, Frank Loesser’s masterpiece, is in fine fettle half a century on. It boasts a score to die for, every song is a classic of its kind – and one of the wittiest books by Abe Burrows in musical history. But the evening does not survive on the quality of the show itself or on the presence of McGregor.

There is a blisteringly funny Nathan Detroit, the crap-game king of New York from the potato-faced Douglas Hodge and a steely and tough performance from Jenna Russell who plays Sarah Brown. Maybe Jane Krakowski is a shade too much a 21st-century broad to be an authentic Runyan figure – she is fashionably skinny – but she delivers Miss Adelade’s famous numbers with assured aplomb. As for Martyn Ellis, he gives his all. As Johnson, Nathan’s sidekick, he delivers the show’s best number, Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat.

The toughness of Runyan’s world is arguably missing but that is to quibble. Christopher Oram has created a wonderful New York, all gleaming lightbulbs, and Rob Ashford’s choreography is inventive, athletic and breathtaking. The trip to Havana when Sky takes Sarah there on a bet sees McGregor dance a glorious tango with a leggy lovely called Summer Strallen, who should go places. As for the male dancers, their rendering of Luck Be A Lady, the celebrated crap game in the sewer, is another highlight.

Maybe memories of Richard Eyer’s National Theatre production are not obliterated. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime events which, coincidentally, had another Scot as Sky, Ian Charlton. But Grandage has done a wonderful job with his first West End musical. He has staged several at the tiny Dunmar, but this is a different world. And if he hasn’t obliterated memories of the past he has certainly created a production which deserves to run and run.

McGregor, backed by a superb cast, has come to town, the audience rose to its feet until the end and he and the rest may never be allowed to leave again.

Perhaps what marked the evening out as something totally out of the ordinary was that for once the sound system was beautifully controlled. Nothing was over-amplified and it sounded all the time as if they really were singing the songs. Perry Jardine and Chris Full have done a truly wonderful job.

This is a five-star musical with a four-star production and cast, one to enjoy.

Source: The Herald

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 3, 2005 // 12:55 p.m.


Variety reviews Guys and Dolls

June 3, 2005

The odds are that everyone will have his own favorite moment in Michael Grandage’s loving London revival of "Guys and Dolls," which looks to resuscitate a Broadway mainstay for today’s generation just as Richard Eyre’s legendary National Theater staging did in 1982 (and again in 1996). But the evening’s most unexpected kick is the dynamic dance musical wrought from a show known principally for its book and score. Auds will go in humming any of a half-dozen cherished Frank Loesser songs and come out knocked sideways by the footwork: The first-act "Havana" number comes close to heaven.

The question isn’t whether "Moulin Rouge" crooner Ewan McGregor, playing the sexiest, sweetest Sky Masterson imaginable, can cut it singing live --- though he does quite capably, complete with the occasional head voice that holds the note. Just as crucial is the realization that the boy can move. Whether sweeping up a Cuban native (the impossibly leggy Summer Strallen) during that Havana jaunt or joining his fellow gamblers for an impulsive terpsichorean outpouring on "Luck Be a Lady," he does his bit to sustain the momentum. And when the steps get too fancy? McGregor’s smart enough to get out of the way.

Grandage has somewhat tilted the axis of "Guys and Dolls," with the invaluable assist of Tony winner Rob Ashford, here originating a West End production for the first time. There hasn’t been a book musical either side of the Atlantic in recent years this richly danced. The narrative, and Grandage’s handling of it, gently draws affectionate tears, only to be replaced by the ecstasy of witnessing a company so imaginatively drilled that the show’s fabled Runyonland seems perpetually ready to take flight.

In "Havana," Ashford sets the company on a steamy yet hilarious collision course that brings out the feisty good-time gal in Sister Sarah (Jenna Russell), the missionary who melts under the attention of Sky, a gambler for whom love emerges as the greatest crap shoot of all. "Take Back Your Mink" is reinvented as a bawdy, good-hearted striptease --- even if the abundance of flesh begs the question of whether Miss Adelaide (Jane Krakowski) owes her longtime cold less to prenuptial woes than to on-the-job overexposure.

Below Times Square’s thickly accented streets (some, as might be expected in London, are a bit overeager), the crapshooters set the pulse racing not once but twice in act two. They do the same above-ground during a "Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat" that turns a prayer meeting of supposed penitents into a swirl of giddy, reckless motion. Even "Marry the Man Today" ends with a burst of dance for sudden soulmates Adelaide and Sarah, providing the perfect button to a song leading directly to the altar --- the very arc traveled by many of the Shakespeare comedies that "Guys and Dolls" in its way resembles.

Classical theater has long understood the power of the hard-won double wedding, which may be why this musical holds such enduring appeal for British directors known principally for plays. What has Grandage carried across from his artistic home, the Donmar, to his first musical helming gig in the commercial sphere? The answer is evident from an initial glimpse of Christopher Oram’s witty set, which offers not the bright, brashly colored New York of Jerry Zaks’ 1992 Broadway revival but a glistening vertical cityscape that pays specific visual homage to the Donmar’s famous (and monochromatic) back wall.

The effect might be thought to dampen a musical of nearly ceaseless exuberance, but not with a gleaming, milky-colored moon on hand to make its own scenic leap from Cuba to Manhattan, shepherding Sky and Sarah toward the romantic destiny due every guy and doll.

Grandage is first and foremost a director of actors, which explains why, for all McGregor’s charisma, the show has a wholly observed feel borne out in a curtain call bereft of solo bows. The smaller roles are all unusually well taken, from Sevan Stephan’s short, squat, very funny Big Jule (of the "no-spot" dice) to Niall Buggy’s Arvide Abernathy, who scores with a delicate "More I Cannot Wish You." Martyn Ellis and Cory English make a supremely mirthful double act as Nicely Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet, with Ellis drawing roars for a "Rockin’ the Boat" that, true to the spirit of the production, doesn’t stop the flow to sell repeated encores.

Among the leads, the one oddity is the wide-eyed Nathan Detroit of legit veteran Douglas Hodge, a Donmar alum whose reluctant (if well-sung) groom is out of a cartoon, the facial mugging with it.

Krakowski, by contrast, doesn’t overdo Adelaide’s nasality or reach for ready shtick. Though she may not have quite the chops that set Faith Prince apart, the Broadway visitor brings definite heat to the Hot Box, along with an unyielding ardor that is, finally, very touching.

All McGregor has to do, it seems, is grin, and the entire house swoons, which makes Russell’s clarion-voiced, sensitively acted Sarah doubly commendable. (After "I’ll Know," it’s poignantly clear from her expression that Sarah isn’t at all sure about the ways of Eros.) McGregor’s tenor, in turn, may have its metallic moments, but thesp delivers where it counts, Sky’s emerging heart at one with a production that traffics not in glitz but truth. And then, when it starts dancing, whisks you away with it.

Source: Variety (site requires a subscription)

Thanks to ParisRouge and neemers for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 3, 2005 // 07:54 a.m.


Ewan’s a great guy and Nat’s a divine doll

02 June 2005

It was the press night yesterday (Wednesday) and critics called it "sensual", "funny" and "exhilarating".

Ewan showed off his singing and dancing skills and also snogged a lot - much to the delight of the women in the audience.

At one point his co-star Jane Krakowski - who’s best known as Elaine in ’Ally McBeal’ - pranced around in just her pants.

She told us that although it was quite nerve-wracking to do, it was quite liberating once she got used to it and she enjoyed shocking the UK audience by going a little bit further than people probably expected.

It went down well though as she got a massive round of applause for her portrayal of Miss Adelaide - a cheeky showgirl desperate to settle down.

Barbara Windsor was in the audience cackling away and other celebs who were spotted were Joan Collins, Lulu and Graham Norton.

Shaven-headed Natalie Portman was there with a young man - they were sitting in the front row and were spotted with their hands on each other’s legs.

She was very dressed down in jeans and a jumper, and was nattering in away in what seemed like Hebrew.

She was the first person to jump up and give her ’Star Wars’ co-star Ewan a standing ovation.

When we asked Ewan how he felt his performance went, we told him Natalie was in the audience - he was clearly chuffed:

"I didn’t know she was in the audience - she’s divine, I hope to see her soon."

"It was wonderful tonight, it was great. Press nights can often make you really nervous, but we’ve been running the play for a couple of weeks and have got a fantastic response from the previews."

"We’ve got it to a point now where it’s running really nicely."

"Funnily enough, when there was half an hour to go I was really dying to get on - I was really up for it."

Source: BBC Radio 1

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, June 3, 2005 // 07:28 a.m.


Win West End tickets to see Guys and Dolls starring Ewan McGregor - exclusively here at GM.TV

Broadway star Jane Krakowski makes her West End debut as ’Miss Adelaide’ alongside Douglas Hodge as ’Nathan Detroit’ and Jenna Russell as ’Sarah Brown’ in Guys and Dolls.

They join Ewan McGregor playing ’Sky Masterson’ in Michael Grandage’s new Donmar Warehouse production which has just opened at the Piccadilly Theatre.

With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys and Dolls is designed by Christopher Oram, with choreography by Rob Ashford, musical supervision by Jae Alexander, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Terry Jardine and Chris Full.

The production is directed by the Donmar’s Artistic Director Michael Grandage and presented by Howard Panter for the Ambassador Theatre Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment, in association with the Donmar’s own production team.

Performance times are Mondays-Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets, priced from £20.00-£55.00, are available from the Box Office on 0870 060 0123 and Guys and Dolls is sponsored by American Airlines.

To celebrate the launch of the new Guys and Dolls West End production, we have a pair of tickets to watch the first available performance in August to give away!

For a chance to win, visit the site (link below) and answer a simple question… Competition ends July 2. Be sure to read the terms and conditions.

Source: GMTV

Thanks to Georginita for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, June 2, 2005 // 06:06 a.m.


McGregor ready for musical debut

Wednesday, 1 June, 2005

Watch clips of Ewan McGregor in Guys and Dolls
Actor Ewan McGregor is preparing to make his debut in West End show Guys and Dolls, his first stage musical.

McGregor, 34, will play gambler Sky Masterson in the revival of the 1950s musical at London’s Piccadilly Theatre.

It marks his return to theatre after a six-year absence, having last appeared in Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs in the capital.

He will appear on Wednesday alongside Ally McBeal star Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell.

’Never considered musical’

McGregor previously sang and danced alongside Nicole Kidman in the film Moulin Rouge and glam rock movie Velvet Goldmine.

Nevertheless he has taken singing lessons for his latest role and said he had lost almost 28 lb (13 kg) rehearsing the musical’s demanding dance routines.

McGregor said he was offered the part "out of the blue" by director Michael Grandage after returning from his 20,000-mile round-the-world motorcycle trip last year.

"I had never imagined doing a musical on stage, it had never really crossed my mind, but I am so glad that it has come up because I have never had a better time, it’s fantastic," he said.

McGregor said performing in a musical was "entirely different" from starring a movie.

"The actual process of making films is extraordinarily tedious," he said. "It is very difficult to keep your energy and focus. Whereas in this, what is wonderful about this is we have to create it together."

He said he would not compare his Guys and Dolls performance to that of Marlon Brando, who starred in the big-screen version of the musical.

"I can assure you that I don’t start thinking: ’That’s a bit like Brando, I mustn’t do that.’ You just try to find the character and see how it fits in your shoes."

Source: BBC News

Thanks to Sanne and Marion for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 // 06:00 p.m.


McGregor to Play Four Roles in One Film

June 1, 2005

Variety reports that Ewan McGregor has committed to his next four movie roles, all in a single film - an untitled British comedy written and to be directed by fellow Scot Peter Capaldi (Strictly Sinatra).

In the period film within a period film, McGregor will play a 1930s Hollywood star, his stand-in and both of the 18th-century characters they play in the movie they’re shooting.

Capaldi’s multi-layered script deals with an epic film being shot in the 1930s about the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, in which Scottish forces loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie tried to overthrow their English rulers. When the star goes missing, the producers trick an unassuming extra into filling his shoes, with surprising results.

The film is scheduled to shoot in the U.K. early next year. McGregor can next be seen in Michael Bay’s The Island.

Source: Comingsoon.net

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 // 06:09 a.m.


Bay Admits Island Issues

Michael Bay, director of the upcoming SF action movie The Island, told SCI FI Wire that there were days he would come to the set and not know what to shoot because the sets weren’t complete. "Construction was way behind," Bay told reporters at a special preview screening of 45 minutes of the as-yet-uncompleted film in Beverly Hills, Calif., on May 24. "I would get to the sets and have to shoot inserts because the set was not built. I would talk to the designer, who said, ’We ran out of money.’ Sometimes you’d just have to pull it out of your ass and wing it."

Bay and his stars Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou and Michael Clarke Duncan attended the preview of The Island for press, DreamWorks officials and guests at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences theater.

Afterwards, producer Walter F. Parkes said that it was a good thing Bay was a "director who has the chops to change his plans at the last minute," given the odd unexpected budget overrun or delay due to construction snafus. He added that the movie’s production, which took place on an accelerated schedule to meet a July 22 release date, almost seemed to be going too well to be true, at least at first. "We went out at Christmas going, ’God, we can pull this off. We’re under budget and ahead of schedule.’"

Bay interrupted: "And then there was this substantial hole. … "

"Well, not that substantial," Parks corrected.

The film came to fruition quickly, and Bay said it’s the fastest he’s worked on a film since he did The Rock. "I’m not yet finished with it," Bay said, feigning a protest before the screening. "I checked with the DGA [Directors Guild of America] rules to see if there was a way I could prevent this."

Parks said he originally planned screening the science fiction film 10 days ago, before this week’s headline in the Los Angeles Times about a breakthrough in cloning suddenly rendered the film a "fact-based contemporary thriller." When the film hits theaters in July, Parkes added, "The prints will be coming out of the lab dripping wet."

In the preview, viewers were introduced to the world of The Island, a futuristic habitat of concrete corridors in monstrous towers in which characters played by McGregor, Johansson and Duncan dwell, thinking they are the last survivors of a global contamination. They live for the moment they win a lottery guaranteeing them transport to a tropical island, the last contamination-free spot on Earth. But McGregor’s character, Lincoln Six-Echo, makes a series of startling discoveries that call into question the existence of the island and the very purpose of their lives.

Bay also screened a high-energy action sequence involving a freeway chase, crashing cars and trucks and flying motorcycles, or "wasps," to an appreciative packed theater.

Johansson Beefed Up In Island

Scarlett Johansson, who co-stars with Ewan McGregor in the futuristic action thriller The Island, told SCI FI Wire and other reporters that director Michael Bay beefed up her character and transformed her from a helpless, pregnant asthmatic into a strong female character. "In the science-fiction genre they always portray women as the damsel in distress, and my character was completely different," Johansson told a news conference on May 25. "I mean, first of all, my name was Esther. There you go, right there. I was pregnant. I was a womb. I had horrible asthma and had to stop constantly, and Ewan had to take care of me, and I almost died."

Instead, Johansson plays a healthy, resourceful young woman named Jordan Two-Delta opposite McGregor’s Lincoln Six-Echo, both of whom discover that they are clones and wind up on the run from a top-secret underground compound.

Johansson said that McGregor’s part was originally written by Caspian Tredwell-Owen as a "big macho man, and I was the helpless young girl." But in a rewrite just before shooting, the female character’s name was changed and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (TV’s Alias) changed her role dramatically at Bay’s urging. "We were about to start the shoot, and Michael and I [were] thinking of ways to give some integrity to my character," Johansson said. "He was very proactive to make me kick-ass, not make me some weakling. … We were both saving each other’s lives. Michael was very respectful of that, making me create a strong female character, which was great."

For his part, Bay said that he enjoyed working with Johansson, who turned 20 during filming, but seems much older and wiser. In separate comments, Bay said that he has dealt with many divas before and told a story about Johansson’s pitching a rare fit before her sexy scene with McGregor. He said he was told by the assistant director that the actress wanted to see him before she came to the set.

"We were ready to do the love scene with Ewan, and I knocked on her door," Bay recalled. "I said, ’Scarlett?’ ’Yes?’ ’Can I come in?’ ’Yes. I’m not f--king wearing this bra, this cheap-ass bra, OK? I’m going naked, OK?’" Bay had to explain to her that he needed it to shoot for a PG-13 rating.

Johansson smiled when her director recounted the incident. In her defense, she said: "Nobody wears a bra when they go to sleep." The Island opens July 22.

Getting Physical

Scarlett Johansson, star of Michael Bay’s upcoming SF action film The Island, told SCI FI Wire that she got pretty banged up while taking on the highly physical role in the film. "I was so sore after my first day of work," Johansson told reporters at a news conference on May 25. "I think my muscles were atrophied or something, but I couldn’t run any longer, and that was the first day of a five-month shoot! I was running so much I thought I was going to die."

Johansson said that her co-star Ewan McGregor wound up black and blue with bruises after the first day and had "deep gashes" in his legs. "I didn’t feel so bad, because he was in agony," she recalled.

Johansson and McGregor play clones, or "agnates," who are pursued by security forces after they escape from a top-secret underground facility in the near future.

The film also stars Michael Clarke Duncan, who said: "Michael Bay owes me bigtime for doing this movie." Duncan was only on the set for two days for a small role, but did it because he said Bay discovered him and cast him in Armageddon. "I am running a lot, too, and they shoot these things into my legs, and they were attached to my calves, and they shrunk my calves down so badly, and I was sweating," Duncan said.

Bay explained that he intentionally begins his productions with a strenuous scene to set the pace for the rest of the shoot. "If you start off with a slow scene, that sets the pace for the entire film, so I like to start off with a high energy level," Bay said.

Djimon Hounsou, who plays an implacable security agent in The Island, said that he took the physical activity required for the movie all in stride. "We were running, running, running, and it occurred to me, ’Did anyone read the script?’" he said. The Island opens July 22.

Source: scifi.com

Thanks to Barbara for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 // 10:17 p.m.


Pictures from Guys and Dolls

British actor Ewan McGregor (R), playing Sky Masterson, rehearses with Jenna Russell (L), playing Sarah Brown, for the forthcoming production of the musical Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, in London, May 31, 2005.

Actor Ewan McGregor and Zoe Hardman perform during a photocall for the musical Guys and Dolls, at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, Tuesday May 31, 2005.

Thanks to Roxanne for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 // 09:26 p.m.


New Valiant trailer available online

Thanks to Fuumin for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, May 30, 2005 // 08:31 p.m.


New The Island trailer online

Sorry about the delay in reporting this, as I am not home and have to rely on Internet Cafés between sight-seeing in the UK.

Thanks to Paris Rouge and nutbar for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 // 09:35 p.m.


Guys and Dolls original cast recording on CD

My friend Marion, who runs A Man Less Ordinary, had the chance to sit right in front of Michael Grandage (Guys and Dolls director) at the Saturday night show. She asked him if there would be a CD released and he said there would be.

Another friend overheard it might be as early as June 1st, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Thanks to Marion for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 // 09:16 p.m.


Ewan narrated Troy’s Story

Troy’s Story - The Irresistible Rise Of Troy Bayliss (779916)

Order by request - Ships in 7-14 days
$AU32.95 (inc GST)

Stock of this item is ordered from the distributor by request. Click here for more information.

This DVD is formatted for playback on PAL enabled systems (Australian Standard).

This DVD is an inspirational documentary about Australian motorcycle sensation Troy Bayliss; the charismatic, laconic family man who risked it all in his quest to become World Champion.

Narrated by internationally acclaimed actor and self-confessed Troy Bayliss fan Ewan McGregor. Troy’s Story remains the definitive expose about a genuine Australian hero!

Source: ezydvd.com.au

Thanks to Noah’s Dove for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 22, 2005 // 12:54 p.m.


Personal Guys and Dolls mini-review

I had the pleasure of attending Friday night’s Guys and Dolls show at London’s Piccadilly Theatre with several other Ewan fans. Meeting people who share a love of Ewan’s work was fantastic!

Ewan is clearly in his element on stage. His singing and dancing are fantastic, even better than in Moulin Rouge, and his acting is top-notch. The same can be said for the rest of the cast. Ewan will no doubt continue doing plays in the future.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 22, 2005 // 12:10 p.m.


Ewan puts the Force behind charity raffle

Mon 16 May 2005

STAR Wars star Ewan McGregor has donated signed goodies to a raffle in aid of Children 1st. Tickets on sale at the Vue Cinema at Greenside Place from Thursday.

Source: The Scotsman

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 // 08:35 a.m.


Revenge of the Sith London Premiere

British actor Ewan McGregor signs autographs as he arrives for the UK premiere of the Star Wars film Revenge of the Sith in London’s Leicester Square May 16, 2005. Fans waited for hours in pouring rain to catch a glimpse of the stars arriving for the UK premiere of the final Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith.
U.S. director George Lucas (R) gestures as British actor Ewan McGregor looks on during the U.K. premiere of ’Star Wars - Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

Source: Yahoo News

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, May 16, 2005 // 04:49 p.m.


Faster available on DVD in Australia

ezydvd.com.au is selling Faster, a motorbike film narrated by Ewan, on DVD for $AU29.95 (inc GST).

Thanks to Noah’s Dove for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, May 16, 2005 // 11:59 a.m.


Red Carpet Night for Star Wars

Mon 16 May 2005
By Sherna Noah, PA Showbusiness Correspondent

The premiere of the final Star Wars instalment Revenge of the Sith was taking place tonight.

Director George Lucas and Ewan McGregor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi, are expected to attend what will be the biggest premiere of the year.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the eagerly awaited last part of Lucas’s Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Christopher Lee (Count Dooku), Anthony Daniels (C3-PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine) are also expected at tonight’s event in London’s Leicester Square.

There will be a whole day of Star Wars celebrations – beginning at 6am with a dawn parade of the 501st UK Garrison of Storm Troopers.

They will open the doors to the world’s first showing of the entire six-film Star Wars saga.

Fans snapped up tickets for the event within five minutes of them going on sale.

At 1pm, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the first of two special public performances of the Star Wars score in Leicester Square gardens.

In the afternoon, Lee and Daniels will take part in public interviews on the stage.

Revenge Of The Sith sees the fall from grace of Anakin Skywalker, an idealist young Jedi knight who is seduced by the Dark Side.

The action kicks off during a space battle as Anakin and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi race across a galactic battlefield to rescue Senator Palpatine from the evil Count Dooku.

This month also marks the 28th anniversary of the original Star Wars film.

Source: The Scotsman

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, May 16, 2005 // 09:18 a.m.


Additional Guys and Dolls information

Two additional performances added

Box office: 0870 060 0123
Website: www.theambassadors.com/piccadilly

Ewan’s run as Sky Masterson

According to Seetickets.com, Ewan will only be appearing in performances until 3 December 2005.

Thanks to Kate, Elyse and Ellie for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 15, 2005 // 03:43 p.m.


Stay release date

We finally have a North American release date for Stay: October 14, 2005, according to comingsoon.net. In addition, it has received an R rating, for language and some disturbing images.

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 15, 2005 // 08:54 a.m.


The Island official site updated

Wallpapers, AIM-only icons, screensaver… fabulous pictures of Ewan, oh my!

Visit the official The Island site for the goodies!

Thanks to Patty for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, May 14, 2005 // 09:58 a.m.


An interview with Ewan McGregor

by Prairie Miller

Note: This is not a recent interview, but it’s still interesting!

Ewan McGregor is one sexy Scot with a mind of his own. His refusal to be typecast has seen him play everything from the drug-addled hero of Trainspotting to the all-singing, all-dancing star of Moulin Rouge.

Now Ewan takes on the role of the young Edward Bloom, an adventurer and storyteller, in Tim Burton’s fantasy film Big Fish.

Do you have an adventurous spirit like your character in Big Fish?

Yeah. Yes, I do. And more so, I think. I’ve done a couple of trips in the past that I found were quite adventurous, in the lower Arctic and in the jungle. I’ve done stuff like that, and I really like it. And I realised that I’d like to do more of it, you know?

You seem to play a lot of heroes in movies. What do you make of that and who are your heroes?

Yes, even in Trainspotting I was supposedly a ’hero of our time’. I suppose there are all kinds of heroes, aren’t there? My hero growing up was Billy Connolly, the Scottish comedian. I didn’t really have an acting hero particularly, but Billy would be my hero.

Did he influence your hero roles?

No, he just made me laugh a lot. But who knows, maybe my sense of humour has come from him, I don’t really know. It’s difficult to tell.

Did playing a hero in Big Fish make you feel like aspiring to hero stature in your own life?

Uh… no!

Did you have any memorable experiences, filming Big Fish in Alabama?

Well, I met this great old farmer, this cattleman down there. A real cowboy this guy was. His name was Bubba, and he was maybe in his seventies. He threw this party for us, and my family. And he was lovely, he was really flirtatious with my mother-in-law, which was hilarious, I remember.

Is Bubba in the movie?

No, but he was just a real old cowboy, he was fantastic. He was just a rancher from down there, a nice old bloke.

How come you’re in so many family-friendly movies lately?

Well, I didn’t wake up and think, I’ve got to be in more family-friendly movies! I’m only interested in telling stories - I’m not wise enough to have a kind of career overview. I simply read scripts, and want to do them or don’t. And it’s as simple as that with me, I’m afraid. So no, it doesn’t surprise me. And it wasn’t a plan.

So is it a gut thing when you read a script?

Yeah, just that. I just go on the sense of it, as I’m reading it. It’s like a good book. If you don’t want it to end, that’s a good sign. And the only time I’ve deviated from that and kind of made a career choice was a long time ago on a film called Emma, which was a fine movie, but I’m terrible in it! And I decided to do it right after Trainspotting. It was like, oh I seem to be doing this, you know? And I learned, that’s not good enough for me - you know, to seem to be doing something. It has to be something that I need to do, or don’t want anyone else to do. It’s like, if I don’t have a passionate response to it, I won’t do it. And that has stood me well, you know?

It has to be freeing to go back and forth between big pictures and small independent films.

That is the idea, isn’t it? The idea is to pretend to be someone else and do it from stories so they would all be different stories. I don’t see them as big or small pictures, they are all just films. I think it would be limiting otherwise.

How much could you relate to the parenting theme of Big Fish?

I responded more as a son as opposed to as a father, I think. I think it’s about a father-and-son relationship. And so therefore I thought a lot about my dad while we were doing it. My father isn’t dissimilar to Edward Bloom in that he’s very gregarious - and he loves telling stories, my dad. He doesn’t tell huge stories about his life like Albert Finney’s Edward Bloom does, but he loves telling stories. If you were to go back to my hometown with him he wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without [telling old stories]. He used to frustrate us in our childhood because it would take us so long to get anywhere. He’d always be stopping to speak to someone, so it would take hours to get anywhere.

Would you be worried if your children came up to you and told you they were going to be actors?

I would be worried about it, but it is difficult to say if that would happen. But I would be less worried than him, because I know what it is about, and my father was a sports teacher.

Is it true that you made a movie with your wife, and she ended up telling you that she really wanted Johnny Depp for the part?

No, no! That’s such nonsense. It was a funny story. My wife adapted a Spanish novel, she wrote a script and said that she wanted Johnny Depp to star in it. But it was such a small joke between me and my wife. I don’t know how it ended up in a magazine!

Was there ever any doubt in your mind that you would be an actor?

No. No.

And how was it that you were so secure and positive about that?

I don’t know.

When was it that you first got recognised in public?

Hmm… I don’t remember. I can’t recall. It must have been when I did my first television job. It was called Lipstick On Your Collar. It was a six-part Dennis Potter series; he was one of the finest television drama writers that we had in Britain. And I would have been recognised for that, I would imagine, because it was quite a big TV number, so it must have been for that. But I can’t recall, though it was probably a huge thrill at the time. It was probably great, yeah.

Are you surprised that you have done so well?

Yes, because I am a terrible actor. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I fooled you all this time! No, I am amazed.

Source: handbag.com

Thanks to Patti for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 13, 2005 // 10:24 p.m.


Ewan not going to Cannes


I’m sure she (Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives) would have liked to meet Ewan McGregor, who plays the younger Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he can’t make it because he’s right in the middle of complex technical rehearsals for Guys And Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.

Ewan told me: "It happens that Star Wars is opening in Cannes when we’re in the middle of tech week at the theatre but the musical doesn’t stop for Star Wars so I just can’t schlep off. I’ll fit in what I can around about it."

He added: "It’s always the same with me. My focus is always on what I’m doing now, not what I did two years ago. My focus was on it then and I gave it 110 per cent, but now it’s on Guys And Dolls."

Ewan’s joined in Guys And Dolls by Jane Krakowski, Jenna Russell, Douglas Hodge and a crack company.

Michael Grandage, the Donmar Theatre boss who is directing the show at the Piccadilly, told me that his actors have been a solid unit.

"It’s an ensemble. Ewan’s a big star, and he could have come in and behaved like a big star, but he hasn’t. He’s part of the ensemble, which is why it’s working."

Source: Daily Mail

Thanks to Patty for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 13, 2005 // 09:30 p.m.


The Island poster

[Click for larger version]

Thanks to Patty for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 12, 2005 // 11:08 p.m.


McGregor Fit for Stage Comeback

08/05/2005 14:36

Hollywood star Ewan McGregor has lost nearly 13 kilograms (28 pounds) during grueling dance rehearsals for the forthcoming London production of Guys And Dolls.

The Scottish - who plays gangster playboy Sky Masterson in the classic 1950s musical - is getting fitter than ever for his theatrical comeback.

He says, "I can eat like a horse but they have to keep taking the suits in. It’s great."

McGregor stars alongside Ally McBeal actress Jane Krakowski in the production which opens in the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre on 1 June (05).

Source: Contact Music

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 8, 2005 // 11:53 a.m.


Spotted in London

This flyer was picked up in a London restaurant:

Thanks to Viv and Lindsey for the scan!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 8, 2005 // 11:27 a.m.


A Doll? This girl’s an absolute Krakowski

by BAZ BAMIGBOYE, Daily Mail
6th May 2005

Has it ever been this hot in Holloway? Miss Adelaide, in the shapely form of Jane Krakowski, was leading her six Hot Box Revue Girls in a gloriously suggestive version of A Bushel And A Peck from Guys And Dolls.<.p>

As choreographed by Rob Ashford, Miss Adelaide and her showgirls swung galvanised milk pails and shook their derrieres. I can’t recall ever having observed this number quite so closely before.

"Well, I think it had been done rather coyly before," said Donmar Theatre artistic director Michael Grandage, who is directing the West Endbound production, with Ewan McGregor, Jenna Russell, Douglas Hodge and Ms Krakowski leading the ensemble.

The company were in the fifth week of rehearsals in North London and next week they move into the Piccadilly Theatre to begin full costume and technical runs.

It’s a great season that can boast Death Of A Salesman, Guys And Dolls and Billy Elliot, treasures all.

New Jersey-born Ms Krakowski, best known for her role as busybody secretary Eliane in TV’s Ally McBeal, has won awards for stage work on Broadway (most of which I have seen) but Miss Adelaide marks her British stage debut.

She said she’d never clearly understood what kind of dancer Miss Adelaide was - or what kind of club she worked at, for that matter - before now.

"Well," she sighed huskily, "I think you get a clear picture what kind of broad she is in this production and I love it, because she’s one of the great optimists in musical theatre."

Clearly, I must have had a sheltered upbringing because it took Mr Grandage to really spell it out. He explained that, over the years, Guys And Dolls had been ever-so-slightly sanitised. "But this is Damon Runyon’s Broadway and these girls were stripteasers… with the emphasis on teasing,’ he laughed, as Ashford gathered his dancers around and ordered them to ’milk it some more".

If you ask people for their favourite Broadway musical, most will name Guys And Dolls. As McGregor, who plays sleek roller Sky Masterson, commented: "It’s the songs. They’re great! And it’s a surprise that there are so many of them in one musical."

The numbers Frank Loesser wrote include The Oldest Established Crap Game In New York, I’ll Know (When My Love Comes Along), Adelaide’s Lament (A Person Can Develop A Cold), If I Were A Bell, My Time Of Day, I’ve Never Been In Love Before - and that’s just Act One!

McGregor knows how to carry a tune and he has danced a bit in the past but even so, he hooked up with a vocal coach when he was filming The Island in Los Angeles and has since teamed with noted singing expert Mary King, who encouraged him to sing the Guys And Dolls songs every day.

"Just singing them all the time gets them in your body and somehow, every time you start to sing them they come naturally."

He and his family often breakfast together with a voice tape running. "Yes, there’s a lot of bing-a-bing and a-bong-a-bong-bing at the table. We have a right laugh."

In the show’s romance stakes, McGregor partners Jenna Russell, an actress who successfully switches between television (she’s in Born And Bred among other things) and dramatic and musical theatre, as Sergeant Sarah Brown, the Salvation Army sergeant who resists Sky Masterson’s charms.

Grandage got his cast to go back to the source material, Runyon’s The Idyll Of Sarah Brown, which showed how the Sally Army girl helped alcoholics and down-andouts at the mission.

"But her brother and father are gamblers, so she has an understanding of this and is determined not to go out with one."

Douglas Hodge plays Nathan Detroit, the louse who’s too afraid to marry Miss Adelaide and has kept her waiting for 14 years.

"He thinks if she says Yes, he’ll stop loving her," said Hodge, who was one of the best things about the recent movie version of Vanity Fair.

Though we all knew of his acting talents, not many people suspected that he could sing, too.

"It had been my secret till now," he admitted. "For two years I had been singing at folk and jazz clubs, with no fuss."

Check out the gamblers when they roll the dice at the Piccadilly Theatre, with previews from May 19 and an opening night on June 1.

Source: Daily Mail

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, May 6, 2005 // 07:52 a.m.


Obi-Wan Kenobi: Jedi sex symbol

This hot, young Jedi gave the ‘Star Wars’ saga a dose of sanity

By Mary Beth Ellis
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 12:55 p.m. ET May 5, 2005

Sexy Obi
What woman can resist Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. "Yes, Master" indeed.
We have been waiting for you, Obi-Wan.

We’ve watched you twirl, we’ve watched you die, we’ve watched you sit in a gigantic soup ladle and maintain a pleasant expression while learning of colossal, badly-aiming clone armies.

Now we anticipate “Life Lessons With Obi-Wan, Episode III Edition.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi — mentor, mentee, master of all things wonderfully dour — stands at the dawn of his day in the Tatooine suns.

Sex symbol

The “Star Wars” prequels plunge into several aspects of character development, among them the deeply vital information that Obi-Wan Kenobi was, in his youth, fully hot. If the ladies are lovin’ us some Obi-Wan, it is perhaps because we have no one else’s brown robes to cling to, here in this galaxy where behemoth spaceships have hyperdrives but, apparently, no bathrooms.

There simply aren’t a lot of men to lust after in the “Star Wars” universe. Han Solo is taken. Luke Skywalker is a sister-kissing feeb until the last 15 seconds of “Return of the Jedi.” Everybody else is consumed by evil, quick to be exploded or a curious shade of green.

Yes, we have much to treasure in this chrysalis form of young, hot Obi-Wan Kenobi, who, as portrayed in “Episode I,” has been waved aside as a tight-braided, lightsaber-up-his-butt sort, devoting a disproportionate percentage of his life to standing very still and occasionally declaring “Yes, Master.” It is an intergalactic tour de force of Sideshow Bobism.

It is also a grand-slam exploration of the vast emotional range lying within “Yes, Master.” Anger, thoughtfulness, disapproval, slight nausea: Obi-Wan has a “Yes, Master” for all seasons. For the bulk of the film, Kenobi barely cracks a smile, instead allowing his occasionally furrowed brow and his cha-cha lightsaber twirls to do the talking. And when he does break down, when the pain of losing a loved one overwhelms his careful training as his mentor dies in his arms, it is with one… final… sobbing… “Yes, Master.” The man has consistency, if not a thesaurus.

He speaks for all of us

A beacon of skepticism and frowning, the Obi-Wan of “Episode I” glided through the film as the hushed conscience of the now clearly deranged George Lucas. Within his nicely muscled bod, Obi-Wan carried purely flanneled Original George — the George of real live midgets in real live robot costumes. Every time Obi-Wan scowled at a Gungan, an echoey, primordial form of George Lucas cried from deep within: “What hath I wrought?”

Kenobi seemed to realize, for instance, that things were not going to go well when young Anakin and his L.L. Bean backpack first skipped into the Jedi Temple. “That boy is dangerous,” he snapped. He knew — he knew — that the child would grow up to be the type of person who used “Sand is rough” as a pickup line, a person who Kenobi actually had to remind that use of one’s Jedi powers to feed fruit to one’s girlfriend qualifies as an outrageous case of Force abuse.

And when presented with Jar Jar Binks, Obi-Wan seconded the reaction of the Earth section of the universe. We recoiled into our jumbo-sized boxes of Junior Mints: What is this … thing?

Only one man knew, and he immediately attempted to usher it from our lives. That was no comic relief … that was a ragingly misguided attempt to flog officially licensed party hats.

“Why do I get the feeling we’ve just picked up another useless life form?” Kenobi asked on behalf of all mankind. He was so right that I wanted to hug him, to throw myself against his haughtily crossed arms with a sobbing, “You tried, young, hot Obi-Wan. You tried.”

“Episode II” Obi-Wan is a study in hard-edged maturity, a measured and stately Jedi Master intensely at one with the Force. We knew this because he had a beard.

Kenobi knows best?

What we did not know is where Kenobi went so horribly awry in the training of young Skywalker, which is a fairly major facet of the films’ narrative arc in the sense that the entire saga pretty much wouldn’t exist without a Vader to stomp about, billowing his cape and lethally pointing at bureaucrats.

It is indeed mysterious, as Obi-Wan offered himself as a highly responsible role model in “Episode II.” He didn’t like reckless driving; he disapproved of being chained to a big pillar as large animals with pincers approached; he just said no to deathsticks.

Where did he go wrong? Did he not give Anakin enough "Super Job!" reward stickers on his seatwork? Was he too strict? Too soft? Was it the way he shoved his apprentice into a flaming lava pit and left him for dead? What happened?

All we are sure of is that just as Kenobi reached an age when he was on the brink of going AARP-raving mad, his former student whacked him in half, at which point Obi-Wan completely vanished, leaving nothing behind but his faboo robe, his lightsaber and a damp sense of “Well, that can’t have been fun.” Obi-Wan Kenobi was, if nothing else, a man who cleaned up after himself.

“This will be a day long remembered,” intoned Darth Vader in “A New Hope.” “It has seen the end of Kenobi; it will soon see the end of the rebellion.”

Boy, did Darth enjoy a good intoning. He also loved to intone with a great degree of inaccuracy. Rather than accepting a forced-by-death retirement with dignity and a mobile home in Tampa, Kenobi then took to popping up every now and then in a translucent manner to issue incidental asides to Luke, gently revealing, for instance, the fact that the lad recently stuck his tongue down the throat of his own twin sister.

But in “Episode III,” we will indeed see the end of Kenobi. The next time we behold Obi-Wan, he will stride out of a sand dune in order to pinch Luke in the face. There are worse ways to pass one’s golden years.

All hail Kenobi and his massive, near-galaxy-ending screw up! For there is no “Star Wars” without him. Fare thee well, sweet, sweet Obi-Wan. Whenever we needed a shot of sanity and a good strong brow-furrow, you really were our only hope.

Source: MSNBC News

Thanks to Sessan for the heads up!

Sadly, the author of this article has forgotten that Obi-Wan is not to blame for Anakin’s fall. Palpatine has been manipulating Anakin for many years. -Ed.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 5, 2005 // 09:04 p.m.


Boorman’s BMW stolen

May 5 2005

Long Way Round star Charley Boorman has fallen foul of theives for the second times in two weeks, and hopes you can help him recover his bike.

His BMW R1150GS Adventure was stolen sometime last night (Wednesday, May 4) from the car park of the Hunting Lodge Hotel in Cottington, Northants (near Rockingham race circuit).

It’s a standard bike, but it does have some distinguishing features. It’s been fitted with a GPS unit mount holder, there’s some damage to the plastic cover on the right hand piston cover, and the right hand rear indicator cover is missing. The registration number is RO 04 FLP.

"I’ve had the GS for four months to prepare for the Dakar next year. Two weeks agao someone stole the fairings from my Ducati, and now the BMW has gone. I parked it up next to some other BMWs in a well-lit car park, but it had gone when i woke up. Apparently a number of bikes have gone missing in that area," said Boorman.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the bike, call Dan Thornton from MCN on 01733 468013, or email daniel.thornton@emap.com as soon as possible, and we’ll pass the info onto Charley and the police.

Source: Motorcycle News

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 5, 2005 // 08:07 a.m.


Note: This article contains spoilers about Revenge of the Sith. If you wish to remain unspoiled it’s best not to read it, but be mindful of the warning if you plan to bring children to the theater to see it.

Last ’Star Wars’ movie said not for kids

By David Germain
AP Movie Writer

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- The Force lands in theaters a bit more forcefully in the final installment of George Lucas "Star Wars" tale.

"Episode III Revenge of the Sith" is the first "Star Wars" tale to receive a PG-13 rating. The movie was screened for reporters Tuesday night at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, and the PG-13 rating "for sci-fi violence and some intense images" is well-deserved.

The action is relentless and includes sequences more dark and disturbing than anything previously seen in the tragic Skywalker soap opera.

Young Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) completes his transformation into blackhearted villain Darth Vader with a bloodbath against old allies, the body count including a corridor of "youngling" corpses Jedi children cut down by his light saber.

Anakin is left gruesomely mutilated in a death duel with former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). His surgical reclamation as the part-flesh, part-machine Vader is chillingly juxtaposed against the bleak childbirth scene of his wife, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), whose twins grow up to be heroes of the original "Star Wars" trilogy, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

Even cute and cuddly Jedi master Yoda takes his lumps, torched by the electroshock treatment dished out by the saga’s puppetmaster, the evil emperor (Ian McDiarmid).

The previous five "Star Wars" flicks all were rated PG, which carry the mild warning "parental guidance suggested," and that some scenes might be unsuitable for children. The PG-13 rating carries the alert "parents strongly cautioned" that some material could be inappropriate for those younger than 13.

"We’re getting a lot of flak from parents, a lot of people saying how can you do this? My children love these movies. Why can you not let them go see it?" Lucas told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "But I have to tell a story. I’m not making these, oddly enough, to be giant, successful blockbusters. I’m making them because I’m telling a story, and I have to tell the story I intended."

Of course, the PG-13 rating does not prohibit children under 13 from seeing the film without an adult tagging along. And while it’s not likely to make much of a dent in the movie’s certain blockbuster status, the rating could give some parents pause.

"These are pretty intense. Who should be allowed to see them should be left up to the parents, but at least they’re warned that it’s pretty intense," Lucas said. "And obviously, that’s not a good business move."

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, May 5, 2005 // 07:48 a.m.


Bonnie Wan Kenobi

Sunday, May 1, 2005
Exclusive By Toby Mcdonald

Star Wars hunk Ewan McGregor is about to become a proper Charlie… but it’s all for the sake of his art.

Ewan - Obi-Wan Kenobi in the sci-fi movie series - will don a kilt to play Bonnie Prince Charlie in his latest film role.

His character is loosely based on fellow Scot David Niven and his unique portrayal of the Young Pretender in the 1948 movie Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The film was a huge flop - with Niven taking pelters for his plummy accent.

Ewan’s new film - as yet untitled - will reveal the chaos behind the scenes of the Niven shoot.

The 34-year-old star said: ’It’s a fantastic script. It’s about the making of a movie about Bonnie Prince Charlie, starring a huge Hollywood star who’s British and a terrible drunkard and who disappears in the middle of filming.’

A film source added: ’It will be played very much for laughs.

’We’re not sure yet whether Ewan will be playing David Niven or whether the names will be changed but it promises to be very colourful and everyone is delighted to have Ewan on board.’

Niven, who loved to party during Hollywood’s golden era despite his staid image, donned a naff blond wig for his role opposite Margaret Leighton in Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The film bombed at the box office after being savaged by the critics.

But it still held fond memories for Niven, who met his second wife Hjordis on the set.

Meanwhile Ewan, who is rehearsing for the musical Guys and Dolls, is ’terrified’ about his West End debut.

He will be on stage eight performances a week during the six--month run of the show, which co-stars American actress Jane Krakowski from Ally McBeal, at London’s Piccadilly Theatre.

Ewan, who sang in Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman, said he was a ’bag of nerves’ in the run-up to the June 1 opening night I t will be his first stage role since Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs six years ago.

He said: ’I hadn’t thought about a musical. It’s alright doing Moulin Rouge but I hadn’t wanted to do a musical on stage until it was suggested.

’I suddenly realised it was everything I wanted. I’m longing to work in front of an audience but terrified at the same time.

’I’m longing to sing on stage - and yet I’m terrified too.’

He added: ’If there’s one person I strive to be like it is my uncle Denis Lawson.

’He’s always been my inspiration. I wanted to be an actor and he was one. So he represented what I aspired to be and there is a lot of my uncle in my work.

Source: Sunday Mail

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, May 1, 2005 // 11:12 a.m.


UK fans: win tickets to the Episode III premiere!

Orange has a competition where you can win one of 500 pairs of opening-night tickets for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith at a cinema near you.

Click on the link above, enter the site and then click on "Competition".

Thanks to Rachel for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 29, 2005 // 06:40 p.m.


Ewan as Sky Masterson!

The Piccadilly Theatre has released the first picture of Ewan as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls:

I don’t know how we’ll survive…

Thanks to Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 29, 2005 // 07:38 a.m.


Pictures from The Island

Dark Horizons has some really good pictures from Ewan’s upcoming film, The Island. Click on the link to check them out!

Thanks to Erica for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 // 09:46 p.m.


Stay release

According to comingsoon.net, "20th Century Fox will release Forster’s next film, Stay starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling, this fall."

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 // 07:51 a.m.


Jane Krakowski on tonight’s Jonathan Ross

Jane Krakowski will be on tonight’s Jonathan Ross (22 April) at 10:45pm (check at 10:35pm, sometimes the programme starts early) on BBC1. Jane will be discussing Guys And Dolls and will probably talk about Ewan.

Thanks to birthday girl Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 22, 2005 // 03:16 p.m.


Ewan at the British Book Awards

Ewan was looking his usual fabulous self again last night at the British Book Awards!

Unfortunately, his and Charley’s book, Long Way Round, did not win. Details here.

Thanks to Wendy, Elyse and Patty for the pictures! and ParisRouge for the article!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, April 21, 2005 // 08:05 a.m.


Cannes Premiere for Final Star Wars Film

Tue 19 Apr 2005
By Anita Singh, PA Showbusiness Editor

The final Star Wars film will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, it was announced today.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is expected to be the year’s biggest blockbuster.

Stars Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman will be in the South of France for the long-awaited screening of George Lucas’s sixth and final instalment.

The 58th Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 11-22.

Revenge of the Sith is one of the major films being shown out of competition.

Another is Woody Allen’s eagerly-anticipated London film, Match Point, starring Scarlett Johansson.

In the official competition line-up, 20 films will vie for the Palme d’Or – but none are British.

Instead there are a host of well-known cult directors such as David Cronenberg, Jim Jarmusch, Gus Van Sant, Lars Von Trier and Wim Wenders.

They ensure a more arthouse selection of films than last year, when the line-up featured animated hit Shrek 2 and The Ladykillers.

Von Trier’s entry is Manderlay, starring Lauren Bacall and Danny Glover, a tale of slavery in America’s Deep South and the second in his US trilogy which began with Dogville.

Wenders’ Don’t Come Knockin’ features Sam Shephard and Jessica Lange in the story of an ageing cowboy on a journey of self-discovery.

Last Days by Gus Van Sant is loosely based on the life of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

Actor William Hurt stars in Cronenberg’s A History of Violence as a family man who commits a murder.

And in Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers, Bill Murray plays a man who sets off to find the son he never knew he had.

Men In Black star Tommy Lee Jones is a surprise entry in the Palme d’Or competition with his directorial debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

Dark comic book adaptation Sin City is also in competition.

British films are being shown out of competition – the festival will end with Chromophobia, directed by Martha Fiennes and starring her brother Ralph alongside Penelope Cruz, Damien Lewis and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Acclaimed BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares is also to be screened as a feature-length film.

Last year the Palme d’Or went to Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Source: The Scotsman

Thanks to ParisRouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 // 05:44 p.m.


New pictures from The Island


Comingsoon.net has two new pictures from The Island. Click on the link to check them out!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 15, 2005 // 11:10 p.m.


McGregor Bans Star Wars Fans From Stage Door


Actor Ewan McGregor has a warning for fans hoping to meet him at the stage door of his new London play - don’t bring any Star Wars memorabilia.

The Scots heart-throb is starring in the West End production of 1950s musical Guys And Dolls starting in June, which opens only 12 days after Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith hits cinemas worldwide on May 19.

And while McGregor is prepared for the Star Wars frenzy over the next few weeks, he is banning the sci-fi film from the back door of the Piccadilly Theatre.

McGregor explains, "I made a decision a while back, I’m not going to be available to sign Star Wars stuff at the stage door.

"I’ll be available to sign people’s programmes and things. But if I start that it will be a nightmare.

"What will happen, people come to Guys and Dolls and want their programme signed, but get monstered by the professional autograph hunters.

"I don’t like to play that game so I won’t be signing any Star Wars stuff."

Source: Contact Music

Thanks to Elyse for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 15, 2005 // 07:39 a.m.


New video at Scotland Today

There’s a great video of Ewan being interviewed at yesterday’s Guys And Dolls photocall. Go and check it out by clicking on the link below!

Source: Scotland Today

Huge thanks to John Kilbride of Scotland Today for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, April 14, 2005 // 09:48 p.m.


Going back to the theatre

April 14, 2005

Ewan McGregor has signed a six-month contract to play gangster playboy Sky Masterson in the classic 1950s musical Guys And Dolls which will open at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre on June 1. The 34-year-old says, "I do find it daunting going back to live theatre after movies. I can’t wait but I’ll really have to work hard to master the stage fright." McGregor’s talent for singing first came to international attention following his starring role in Moulin Rouge, and his current co-stars are impressed by his instinctive ability to master complex choreography during rehearsals. Artistic director Michael Grandage says, "The big shock, or rather surprise, is that we truthfully didn’t know what Ewan’s dancing skills were. Sky Masterson can easily be played without too much dancing about. But we discovered he’s a completely natural dancer so we’re really going to be using it. And he has a glorious voice." McGregor last appeared on stage in the London Comedy Theatre’s production of Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs in 1999. Grandage’s Guys And Dolls production, which also stars Ally McBeal beauty Jane Krakowski in her West End debut, will see Damon Runyon’s musical return to the London stage after a 23-year hiatus.

Source: Internet Movie Database

Thanks to xcbug for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, April 14, 2005 // 07:45 p.m.


McGregor prepares for stage role

Wednesday April 13, 01:49 PM

Hollywood star Ewan McGregor is preparing his voice for his new role in the musical theatre production of Guys And Dolls.

The star of films such as Star Wars, Moulin Rouge and Trainspotting plays the lead role of Sky Masterson in the forthcoming West End production.

McGregor, 34, said he had been taking singing lessons for his part in the revival of the 1950s show.

The Scottish actor will be making his West End musical debut as the chronic gambler who falls in love with a missionary.

McGregor danced and sang in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman, but this will be his first stage singing role.

The actor’s last stage appearance was in 1999, when he starred at the Comedy Theatre in Little Malcolm and his struggle against the Eunuchs.

Although initially worried about the singing aspect of the role, it was the physical aspect which left him slightly nervous on his first day.

McGregor said: "It’s quite full-on.

"But maybe it was the element of the musical that I considered the least beforehand.

"I was worried about singing and going back on stage and then suddenly I saw the choreography!"

McGregor said he loved returning to the theatre. He said he was excited about returning to the theatre.

"I love it. We’ve rehearsed for two weeks and I feel full up on it. I think it’s really important to work on stuff like this," he said.

"These two weeks have been more fulfilling than any of my movies which can be very draining. I needed my fix."

McGregor stars with Alfie actress Jane Krakowski as Miss Adelaide, Douglas Hodge as Nathan Detroit and Jenna Russell as Sarah Brown.

The show opens at the Piccadilly Theatre on June 1.

The site includes a video interview of Ewan. Click on the link below to see it!

Source: Yahoo News

Thanks to Fuumin for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 // 12:58 p.m.



McGregor & Co-stars Get Match Fit for Dolls

By Terri Paddock
13th April 2005 - What’s on Stage News

Ewan McGregor and other stars of the Donmar Warehouse’s much-anticipated West End revival of Frank Loesser’s 1950 Broadway classic Guys and Dolls - Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell – joined director Michael Grandage to launch the show to the media today.

The production opens on 1 June 2005 (previews from 19 May) at the Piccadilly Theatre, where booking has today been extended by six months until March 2006. The new dates will feature a new cast as the limited contracts for McGregor and the other principals will end in December 2005.

At today’s press event, held at the Century Club in Shaftesbury Avenue, McGregor, now best known for his film appearances in the likes of Star Wars, explained how much he was relishing a return to the stage. “I did Little Malcolm (at Hampstead Theatre and in the West End) five years ago. Up until that point, it had been seven years (since I’d been on stage). I promised I’d never let it be that long again because I love it too much.”

Later, the Scottish screen star reiterated his “love” of theatre. “I think it’s really important for actors to work on the stage.” The two weeks of rehearsal to date for Guys and Dolls has, he said, “been more fulfilling than any movie. Movies are so draining. They pull away from the actor, but theatre just fills you up. I needed my fix.”

McGregor Gets Match Fit

Although McGregor has sung on screen before, in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, Guys and Dolls marks his musical stage debut. He admitted that, when Grandage approached him about the job prior to his recent round-the-world motorcycle trip, the idea seemed “out of left field”, but after initial hesitation, he phoned the director that same night to accept. “It’s great to do things you haven’t done before, it’s good to test yourself.”

Asked whether he was worried about whether he may face the same struggle as Martine McCutcheon in terms of meeting the demands of a major musical production, McGregor said, “I could sense this kind of panic around me” - when telling others about the job, their reaction was, “Eight shows a week… how’s the voice?”

In preparation, the actor has been taking private lessons with a singing teacher and been getting “match fit” during the rehearsal period. “Your voice gets stronger and stronger in rehearsals, and you become increasingly aware of not damaging your vocal chords. You’re taking care of it (your voice).” McGregor has been avoiding loud, smoky places and straining his voice outside of rehearsals – “it’s become second nature to me now”, he said.

The Donmar Approach

McGregor also pointed out that, in returning to the stage, he didn’t want to be seen as another movie star giving his version of Hamlet or some other title role. “I was much more interested in being in a company. That feeling is incredible, of being on stage with a company and knowing that you can rely on them and, hopefully, they can rely on you. It’s very powerful.”

The cast, and particularly the “chemistry” between the four principals, was also a key factor for director Grandage in maintaining the Donmar aesthetic. “The starting point is to hire the right actors who can sing rather than just hiring singers and dancers who go into the roles.”

Jane Krakowski, a Broadway stalwart and well known to TV fans from Ally McBeal, said today that the Donmar approach was one of the main attractions for her doing the production. “It’s being treated as a play with music. As an actor, that’s so much more fun than just doing what’s expected from musical theatre.”

She and her co-stars were in agreement about not being intimidated by their Guys and Dolls role predecessors, either on screen or stage. “The memory of someone’s performance is going to be so much better than I could ever do it and maybe better than it even was,” said Krakowski, so actors and directors needed to “come at it in a different way”.

Grandage’s production, she thought, would be “a very fresh take” on “one of the great American musicals”. The director added that he aimed to “mint it (Guys and Dolls) fresh for a new generation of theatregoers”. As part of that, the creative team are re-examining the original Damon Runyon short stories on which the musical is based with the aim of creating a “wonderfully authentic period feel”.

As for why he chose to tackle Guys and Dolls now, when Richard Eyre’s landmark National Theatre production remains fresh in the memories of many, Grandage said, “It’s a great musical and, if you’re going to do a musical, you might as well do one of the great ones.” He added, “We think it’s time it was seen again.”

Ewan McGregor plays gambling chancer Sky Masterson, Jenna Russell is his Salvation Army love interest Sarah Brown, and Douglas Hodge and Jane Krakowski are, respectively, fellow gambler Nathan Detroit and his long-suffering girlfriend Miss Adelaide.

Guys and Dolls has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and a book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerlin, based on the short stories by Damon Runyon about New York low-life in the 1940s. Loesser’s score includes classics such as “Adelaide’s Lament”, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, “Sue Me”, “Luck Be a Lady”, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and the title song.

The “musical fable of Broadway” first reached London in 1953 when it ran for 555 performances at the Coliseum. It was made into a 1953 Hollywood film starring Marlon Brandon, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. In 1982, Richard Eyre mounted a multi award-winning production at the National, which was revived in 1996. This will be the first new London production in 23 years.

Directed by Grandage, the Donmar Warehouse’s artistic director, Guys and Dolls will be the first Donmar musical originated outside of its own 250-seat auditorium. It’s designed by Christopher Oram, with choreography by Rob Ashford, musical supervision by Jae Alexander, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Terry Jardine and Chris Full. It’s produced in the West End by the Ambassadors Theatre Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment, in association with the Donmar’s own in-house production team.

Source: Whatsonstage.com

Thanks to Patty for the third picture and to Barbara for the heads up on the updated article!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 // 07:34 a.m.


McGregor, Krakowski, Shields… Photocall-tastic!???

11th April 2005

On Wednesday morning (April 13), the four principals of Michael Grandage’s upcoming West End revival of Guys and Dolls – Ewan McGregor, Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell – will be meeting and greeting the press.

Source: Whatsonstage.com

Thanks to Ellie for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 // 06:12 p.m.


Two Revenge of the Sith TV commercials online

Le Matinet (site in French), has links to two TV commercials for Revenge of the Sith titled "Tragedy" and "Dark Side Unleashed". Click on the link to check them out!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, April 4, 2005 // 09:58 p.m.


Ewan’s journey

By Stephanie Bunbury
April 3, 2005

When he was little, so the story goes, Ewan McGregor wanted to be Clark Gable. When other kids watched children’s television, he found he preferred black and white movies, his favorite being It Happened One Night with Gable and Claudette Colbert. He even knew how to get there, because his mother’s brother, his Uncle Denis, was an actor.

Uncle Denis, who would make flying visits from London to their home in the Scottish town of Crieff, was an inspiration; he would arrive in their little town wearing no shoes, a sheepskin coat and a Viva Zapata moustache, a picture of hirsute glamour. "He was just so different," McGregor said once. "So easy. Just easy. Free. Money didn’t matter, you know. Not like anybody else." All young Ewan had to do was endure the tedium of school and the smallness of Crieff and he would soon be there too, free and easy and fabulous in Gableworld.

A few years ago, it seemed his Gable mission was all but accomplished. Trainspotting, Danny Boyle’s landmark 1996 film about the Edinburgh drug scene, put director Boyle, Cool Britannia and Ewan McGregor on the map all at the same time. We forget, now, how hot McGregor was at that moment: a one-man revival of the matinee idol, he was a prime object of yearning for women and inspiration for men who suddenly saw that even a pasty junkie with mousy hair could wow the ladies if he smiled enough.

He was also everywhere. Journalists marvelled that McGregor was too nice to say no to anybody, so that his voice kept popping up in unlikely commercials and in short films that paid nothing as well as the feature films he kept churning out, rushing from one set to the next with barely a night’s break between them. He finished Little Voice at nine in the evening and was on his way to the set of Rogue Trader at six the next morning.

A couple of these films were dreadful duds - The Serpent’s Kiss, Stephen Elliott’s Eye of the Beholder - but it didn’t matter, given that there was always another film about to be wheeled out of the factory. Some made their mark: the Ewan magic charmed audiences the world over in Brassed Off, a sweet romantic comedy about a colliery band in North Yorkshire, while the Ewan cool brought an edge to Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes’ pastiche of glam rock.

There were big blockbusters, too - Moulin Rouge, Black Hawk Down and the second-generation Star Wars films - that showed he had some industry muscle as well as indie integrity. More than anything, of course, he was Ewan, in the same way that Brad is Brad and George is George. Critics could pour cold water over his films if they liked, but he would still be hot in a blatantly sexy way. He even seemed to revel in being seen naked. Major stardom, Gable-style, always seemed to be just around the corner.

Nine years on from Trainspotting, however, Ewan McGregor is not quite the household name we expected him to be, not a Brad or a George. Partly this is because, as an actor, he has gone for some hard choices along with Star Wars. He says himself that he has never had much idea about managing his career. "I’ve always thought as an actor, I’m not very clever about that, not very clear on it. My choices aren’t about ’OK, if I choose this film, that will let me carry on,’ you know." He says he goes on instinct which, inevitably, sometimes fails him. "Whether it is a big budget movie or a small budget movie, that isn’t part of my decision."

The unplanned diversity of the McGregor career so far is well represented by two films opening this month: Robots, an animated film in which McGregor voices Rodney Copperbottom, a robot that agitates against an evil capitalist who wants to get rid of spare parts so that Rodney and his kind would be doomed to obsolescence, and Young Adam, a drama set on a working barge in Glasgow’s Clyde canal in the ’50s.

Robots is hugely enjoyable, yet another state-of-the-art triumph in this golden age of animation, but putting a voice to a computer graphic is only a sideshow to stardom. McGregor’s performance in Young Adam, by contrast, has been described as the best of his career so far, but the film is far too bleakly pessimistic to please the masses.

Young Adam is adapted by first-time director David Mackenzie from a novel by Alexander Trocchi, Scotland’s answer to the Beat novelists. McGregor plays Joe, a barge hand whom we meet at the point where he sets his cap at the captain’s drab, sour wife, played with a subtle sympathy by Tilda Swinton. Gradually we see what has led up to this risky, seemingly random choice: another woman, a tormented relationship, a messy split, a death for which an innocent man is blamed and put on trial.

This is certainly not Gable material. Even as junkie Renton or the slippery currency trader Nick Leeson, McGregor has always been likeable; cheeky, cheery Ewan never plays villains. Joe in Young Adam is different. There is not much good in him. Again, we see McGregor in all his naked glory; there is plenty of sex in this story, but most of it is cold or humiliating. "In a sort of arrogant, nihilistic way," McGregor says, "he just gives up on f---ing everything … on any sense of responsibility to anybody or anything. I don’t think that there’s any question that there’s any hope for him."

Young Adam is the first film McGregor has done where he left his family at home in London while he worked, even though he was only up in Glasgow. He married young, at 23, to Ève, a French production designer, and his wife and children have travelled with him to locations ever since, including to Australia for Moulin Rouge. He has always thought it was more important that they be together than that his elder daughter go to the same school all the time.

But not this time. "It would have been very difficult to be around them. Because I was very solitary making this. I didn’t go out - hardly at all. I went to work, I played the scenes, went home, watched movies or just went to sleep. But I spent an awful lot of time on my own. And it was good. For the first time I think I couldn’t have gone home at night. I was a little weird, having to be that black-minded character all day."

He had wanted to return to a small film, he says. "Film-making is like a series of problems that need to be solved," he says. "And the excitement, the adrenaline that you get from making a small film is that you all have to pull together. You finish and you feel like you’re walking away from your family. I love that." Within two days, however, he was back in Hollywood for Down with Love, a spoof version of a Doris Day and Rock Hudson romantic comedy with Renée Zellweger. Fortunately, he is famous for his lack of preparation; he read no Jane Austen before making Emma, no James Joyce before auditioning for Nora, and reputedly warmed up for his laser fights in Phantom Menace with a few beers. He just walks in and starts work in front of the camera.

But he does have a version of preparation, he has come to realise, that takes the form of a rising sense of panic in the week or so before he makes a film that, this time, he will not pull it off. "More and more, I realise that this is part of what happens to me. When I got to LA and started rehearsing Down with Love, I thought this was the one I wasn’t going to be able to do. Coming out of playing this introspective, hopeless figure in Scotland to suddenly being in Hollywood doing a Cary Grant part - it’s a big leap. But it’s more obvious to me that that’s part, now, of my deal, because it was the same when I started Young Adam. I’ve accepted that is the way it is and almost enjoy it in a sick sort of way."

No one has ever got to the bottom of what drives Ewan McGregor so hard: he certainly seems a happy man. Only his dreams show signs of an inevitable exhaustion. They are typical actors’ dreams, he says, drawn from a common pool of fears and stresses. "When I’ve been involved in really hard shoots - six days a week and full-on hours," he said a few years ago, "then very often there’s a kind of half-awake, half-asleep thing where the crew are all in your bedroom, standing around, filming you in the bed, asking you to move around. I’ve experienced this, where I’ve been moving over in my bed to be in the right position. And you’re like, `Wait a minute, I’m in bed, you should all … this is my time, surely? You shouldn’t be filming me in my f---ing bed!’ And then they all disappear."

The Star Wars series has been especially gruelling. McGregor decided to do Star Wars because he had grown up loving those films, but he has never made any secret of how little he has enjoyed playing his best-known character, the young Obi-Wan Kenobi. "I find the process very difficult," he says. "The challenge there is to be believable at all when you are surrounded by nothing." Just before he shot his third, Revenge of the Sith, he was wondering how he could make it bearable now that he knew exactly what to expect. "I will try to make it more fun for myself. There has got to be a way for it not to be as tedious as it is. Or maybe there’s not."

If there is one truly remarkable thing about Ewan McGregor as a star, it is this frankness. Nobody in Hollywood talks like this, especially about large and remunerative franchises such as Star Wars. But McGregor, as many journalists over the years have noted gratefully, does not seem to understand discretion; he could always be relied upon for some juicy soundbites. He is also frightened of being interviewed and, for the first few years after Trainspotting, would contrive to turn interviews into convivial drinking sessions that could go on for most of the afternoon. Drunk, he would start dishing the dirt on almost anyone.

Not that he has been inclined to mince words when sober, either. Journalists soon felt the rough side of genial Ewan’s tongue when they asked about the rumours of an on-set affair with Nicole Kidman during the making of Moulin Rouge. "I haven’t f---ed Nicole," he told a Cannes press conference in a fury. "I am a married man. I haven’t been personally involved with all my leading ladies. It would maybe be somewhat glamorous if I had been, but I have not."

At 34, he is generally calmer than he once was, more inclined to read a book after a day’s shooting than go off carousing into the night. He shows no signs of being afraid of reporters now either, although he still says he never reads the resulting articles and even hates doing the "behind-the-scenes" interviews for DVD extras. "It’s strange to explain off camera what you have done in this or that scene. How redundant, like an artist explaining his painting. As much as I like watching movies I’ve been in, I can’t watch myself in interviews." Or any other actor, for that matter. "People shouldn’t know how we do it."

But the quieter Ewan still sings like a bird.

It was, of course, no secret that he was deeply wounded when Danny Boyle cast Leonardo di Caprio in The Beach, an adaptation of Alex Garland’s hit novel shot, with much fanfare and at great expense, in Thailand. McGregor had starred in all three of Boyle’s films - Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary - and had always been a linchpin in The Beach project. Just before they announced that Leonardo di Caprio would be playing the lead, sunny-souled Ewan was telling everyone how much he was looking forward to going to Thailand and working with Boyle again.

Just last week, says a journalist after the first screening of Young Adam in Cannes, Boyle was saying that he and Ewan were back on friendly terms. "Yeah, well, I haven’t seen him," says McGregor sharply. "I bumped into him in a restaurant. I have no relationship with him at all. I don’t know whether that is friendly terms. I’ve never heard from him, I don’t speak to him on the telephone or see him, so …" he drifts off and starts his infectious chuckle. "There’s nothing very friendly about that, is there?"

It was the personal rejection that hurt, of course, but being dropped from The Beach was also a tilt at McGregor’s professional identity. He has always championed a British film industry and stressed his role within it. When Young Adam’s initial backers pulled out just before production began, leaving the film in the lurch, McGregor took it upon himself to approach studio heads in Hollywood for help.

The money eventually came from Europe, but he was angry that there was so little support within Britain for a serious Scottish film with some strong names - himself, Tilda Swinton and Peter Mullan - attached to it. He and his old mates had opened the door to a new kind of British filmmaking with Trainspotting, he says, but it seemed to have closed gently behind them. "And I was personally upset by that, because I’ve only ever considered myself a British actor and I’ve always brought it home and still live here and I still want to work here."

The fact is, however, that McGregor has not been out of a job since before he left drama school, when he was cast as the second lead in Dennis Potter’s television play Lipstick on Your Collar. By his own lights he is successful, even if he is something short of Clark Gable. "If you are satisfying yourself, that is as good as it gets," he says. "That sounds like some kind of wanker’s statement, doesn’t it?" But it isn’t a competition: you can never be the best, but you can find yourself in a position where you can make choices without compromising yourself and still put away a large wad in the bank. "I’m all good, you know," he says, grinning his Ewan grin. And you know, because it’s Ewan McGregor, that he means it.

Source: The Age

Thanks to Baby Jefer and Georginita for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, April 3, 2005 // 09:29 p.m.


Heroic pigeons to fill Trafalgar plinth

31 March 2005

Britain’s feathered flying heroes of World War II are to be permanently remembered in Trafalgar Square by filling the much-debated empty plinth.

A fifteen-foot iron-cast of a pigeon will be erected in memory of thirty-two birds, who in 1945 were awarded the coveted Dicken Medal, the animal ’VC’, after defying German falcons to deliver messages to the French Resistance.

The Pigeon on the Plinth project is a result of a campaign by the Pigeon Action Group (PAG), which has relentlessly campaigned to have the role of the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, honoured in the capital.

Major Legge-Puller, PAG chairman, said: "It’s wonderful news that these fine fighting heroes will stand wing-to-shoulder in Trafalgar Square with the great Lord Nelson."

The statue, which will cost the taxpayer an estimated £240,00, received the full support of London MPs at a late night sitting in the House of Commons on Thursday. It finally brings to an end the debate over what should fill the square’s north-west plinth, which has already seen designs submitted of a car covered with bird droppings and a pigeon hotel.

Actor Ewan McGregor, star of animated film Valiant, which celebrates the winged heroes, has been asked to unveil the statue once it is completed, but Mayor Ken Livingstone is not expected to attend. Mr Livingstone outraged PAG two years ago, when he hired a Harris hawk at a cost of £106,000 to cull Trafalgar Square’s 5,000 pigeons after branding them a health hazard.

The London-based designers of the artwork have assured Mr Livingstone that the statue does not come complete with giant pigeon droppings.

Source: This is London

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, April 1, 2005 // 07:51 a.m.


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 31, 2005 // 12:00 a.m.


Ewan Valiant interview online

Scotland Today has a video interview with Ewan about his role in Valiant. Click on the link to see it!

Huge thanks to John Kilbride of Scotland Today for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 24, 2005 // 12:51 p.m.


Ewan Gets Robotic

Last Updated: 10:40 UK, Wednesday March 23, 2005

Ewan McGregor has been a busy boy. The Scottish actor’s voice is in cinemas at the moment in two animated flicks. In Valiant he provides the vocals for a pigeon, an unlikely hero who brings secret messages to Britain from France during World War II.

Halle Berry, Robin Williams and Jim Broadbent join Ewan in the cast of Robots. It’s also a children’s movie, set in a universe populated by mechanical beings. McGregor is the voice of an idealistic android, Rodney Copperbottom, a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place.

Q: Did you choose to do these animations in order to have an easier time of it for a bit and be of-screen?

A: It was appealing to make an animation for my kids. I’ve got two girls and it was nice to do a film for them. Then, the stories were also very good. Thirdly, with Valiant it was a British animation and I wanted to be a part of it.

Q: Was part of the appeal that you could just roll out of bed and go to work?

A: There was that, too! It’s actually easier to portray a character and tell their story when you’re in costume, on location and being shot. When you’re just doing the voice, it’s very difficult.

Q: Ricky Gervais, who provides the voice for Bugsy in Valiant, said he felt utterly awkward but that you were a natural.

A: I just started before he did. I think I’d been in for a couple of hours and then Ricky arrived for us to do the scene together. You normally don’t meet the other actors when you do animation at all. I’d already got in to the swing of things. I’m sure he was putting himself down.

Q: So have your kids seen the films? What did they think?

A: They’ve seen Robots and liked it a lot. My eldest is nine; my little one is three. I don’t think my little one really had any idea. I kept going, "That’s me, that’s my voice," and she was all "Shut up!" My eldest, after 10 minutes, stopped even thinking about it and, I think, got sucked into the film.

Q: There’s a lot of humour in Robots - did that jump out of the page when you first read the script?

A: Probably not as much as when you’re watching the film. That’s mainly because of Robin Williams, who ad libs like a dynamo. You just stand him in front of a microphone and he’s off. I think most of his dialogue in the movie is stuff he came up with off the top of his head.

Q: Isn’t that strange for you, when you come to see the final cut and loads of it is different?

A: Yeah, you just have to concentrate on your part. I would read all my scenes with the director, Chris, so I wasn’t just doing lines at a time. It goes together seamlessly, somehow. It’s kind of like magic - I don’t really know how it works.

Q: The films you’ve done over the years have been so diverse, from Trainspotting to Moulin Rouge! to Star Wars, and now animation. Do you purposefully look for change?

A: It’s not by accident that they are all different. I’m looking for stuff I haven’t done before. I just keep a really open mind about it. Sometimes you can make a good movie from a mediocre script. I don’t have a game plan, other than doing stuff that makes me happy.

Q: So what’s next, then?

A: I’m going into theatre, doing Guys And Dolls. We open in June and I’m in that for the rest of the year.

Q: Does it daunt you, going back into live theatre after doing movies?

A: Yes, it’s terrifying but it’s so healthy for actors to be in theatre - it’s really good for us. The process is very difficult. On stage, you have to tell the whole story and I think it’s good for us to work together far more. There’s something incredibly thrilling about that. It’s brilliant and I miss it a lot. I miss the rehearsal room a lot too, so the idea of being in a rehearsal with a bunch of actors is fantastic. I can’t wait, really.

Source: Sky

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 // 08:01 a.m.


The Island international trailer online

The internation trailer for The Island is available at apple.com. There are enough new shots to make it worth checking out.

You can only view the full size version of the trailer if you have iTunes. Fortunately, the large version is pretty good. :)

Thanks to shadowfax for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 // 07:40 a.m.


You help raise £200K

March 14 2005

Long Way Round star Charley Boorman attended both days of the MCN Scottish Motorcycle Show on March 12-13, and took time out to thank thousands of riders across the UK for your help in raising £200,000 for UNICEF.

Download the video clip "Charley says thanks" on the MCN site (link below) for his message to you.

Sales of the book and dvd of the Long Way Round series have contributed to the fund. Charley was mobbed on the BMW stand with requests to sign copies.

He also helped raise even more for UNICEF at the show by taking part in charity minimoto races.

Take a look at the other video clips you’ll find on the site to see how he got on.

Source: MCN

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 // 07:45 a.m.


Valiant UK premiere

Once again, Ewan looked fab at the London premiere of his second animated film, Valiant, about a pigeon during World War II. Ewan, we love your new haircut!

Thanks to Rose for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, March 20, 2005 // 06:18 p.m.


Ewan on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

ewanmcgregor.net has the clip of Ewan being interviewed by two young boys. It’s quite funny!

Thanks to Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, March 20, 2005 // 06:15 p.m.


The Island Official Website

Check out the official site for The Island at www.theisland-themovie.com. It includes several nice photos of Ewan.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, March 19, 2005 // 02:34 p.m.


The Island trailer online

Apple has the trailer for Ewan’s upcoming film, The Island. Click on the link to check it out!

Thanks to Mary for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, March 18, 2005 // 05:42 p.m.


The Island trailer on Access Hollywood

Last night’s Access Hollywood aired the trailer for The Island. comingsoon.net has a version recorded off the television screen available for download.

Thanks to Georginita and Fuumin for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, March 18, 2005 // 07:54 a.m.


Ewan radio interview & Robots review online

Ewan was interviewed today on Richard Allisons show. It can be listened to again on the BBC Radio 2 website (Ewan is on 2 1/2 hours into the 3-hour show).

BBC Radio 4 had a review of Robots. It can be listened to again on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Thanks to Viv for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 // 01:08 p.m.


Ewan on Blue Peter

Ewan was on the British children’s show Blue Peter today.

The hosts asked Ewan if he’d ever won a Blue Peter badge before and he said he’d had. When he was younger he was watching the show when they were about to make birdcake for winter. When they said ’now go and get a pen and paper’, he did but when he came back they’d already made it! Ewan said he didn’t know whether it was because they made it too fast or he was too slow getting the pen and paper. He made his own bird cake then sent them the recipe and they gave him a badge!

Thanks to Poopjo for the report and Fuumin for the pictures!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 14, 2005 // 09:37 p.m.


Ewan at the London Robots premiere

Photos taken at Vue in Leicester Square on March 14:

Thanks to Patty for the pictures!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 14, 2005 // 08:49 p.m.


’Robot’ McGregor marches to premiere

14/03/2005 - 22:14:51

It was a case of robots to real life tonight as actors Ewan McGregor and co-star Jim Broadbent went to the premiere of their new film Robots.

The animated childrens’ movie, set in a universe populated by mechanical beings, features the voices of the 34-year-old Star Wars actor, with Jim Broadbent, Robin Williams and other stars.

McGregor is the voice of an idealistic android, Rodney Copperbottom, a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place.

The comedy, from the makers of the hit movie Ice Age, also stars Halle Berry, as the voice of Cappy, the love interest of McGregor’s character.

Tonight McGregor, who arrived at the London premiere in a blue tartan jacket with a Blue Peter badge pinned to it, said: “I like animated movies but I find them quite hard to do.

“I remember doing radio and I always found it very difficult for some reason, much harder than anything else.

“It’s the same with animation. You have to be larger than life or it doesn’t work.

“You have to go overboard and that’s against the grain for me.”

The Trainspotting star, who is also in two other animated movies, Valiant and Gnomeo and Juliet, said Robots appealed to him because it had an anti-corporate message.

The actor, wearing the Blue Peter badge from an earlier appearance on the programme, said the badge was “an honour” for him.

“I got a gold one today for being a Unicef ambassador but didn’t wear it in case I lost it.

Broadbent, who provides the voice of an evil mother Madame Gasket in the film, joked that he took his inspiration from Margaret Thatcher, saying: “The Prime Minister we had once had something to do with it.”

He said of the recording process: “You just have to leave your own embarrassment at the door and shout and scream and hope it looks alright on screen.

“I think the kids are going to like it. It certainly works for me.”

Funny man Robin Williams, Mel Brooks – creator of smash hit musical The Producers – and Bullets Over Broadway Dianne Wiest – also provided the voices.

The animated movie has just opened at the top of the US box office chart, taking .5m (€27.3m) on its first weekend.

Other stars at the premiere tonight included ex-Big Brother housemate Lisa I’Anson, singer Melanie Blatt and DJ Jono Coleman.

Source: Ireland Online

Thanks to ParisRouge for the article!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 14, 2005 // 08:48 p.m.


Star Wars: Regenge of the Sith trailer online

The official Star Wars site has the full trailer for the upcoming last episode of the Star Wars saga. Click on the link to see it!

Source: theforce.net

Thanks to Barb and Philip for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 14, 2005 // 08:47 p.m.


Burger King Robots toys

Burger King restaurants in the U.S., Canada and a few other countries are offering Robots figurines that light up once they are matched up with their corresponding cards.

Check their site (link above) for the details!

Thanks to Liz for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 14, 2005 // 08:46 p.m.


Millions prepare for Red Nose Day

Friday, 11 March, 2005

Millions of people around the country are expected to join in Red Nose Day, the climax to this year’s fund-raising activity by Comic Relief.

Hundreds of fundraising events are taking place across the UK, and BBC TV and radio will broadcast special shows.

Comic Relief, held every two years, was launched 20 years ago with a live BBC broadcast from a refugee camp in Sudan.

Since then, it has raised well over £300m for some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Africa and the UK.

Cast of thousands

More than 2,000 comedians and celebrities have been involved since the beginning.

Organisers of this year’s show - called Big Hair and Beyond - are hoping to beat the 2003 total of £61m.

This year, in addition to the sale of Red Noses, more than £1m has already been raised from sales of a Little Britain DVD.

A further £1m has been raised from phone votes to Fame Academy, which reaches its climax on Friday evening.

Viewers will be able to vote for Radio 1’s Edith Bowman, comedian Adrian Edmondson or EastEnders actress Kim Medcalf.

Meanwhile, Stephen Fry will make a guest appearance on Radio 4 soap The Archers.

Station listeners chose the comedian to feature in a special episode penned by Victoria Wood.

Fry beat Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen and Liza Tarbuck for a part in Victoria Goes to Ambridge, to be aired at 1530 GMT on Friday.

It will also be repeated at the end of Home Truths on Saturday. The stunt has raised £13,448 for the appeal.

Other Comic Relief highlights include Sir Elton John and singer Robbie Williams making a cameo appearance in a special edition of Little Britain.

Comedian Rowan Atkinson will take to the rooftops of London landmarks with singer Rachel Stevens.

And there will also be a special edition of the Vicar of Dibley, as well as contributions by comedians Peter Kay and Ricky Gervais.

Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles and his team have so far raised £419,000 during a week-long road trip from John O’Groats to Lands End.

Elsewhere, The Charity Commission has warned that bogus collectors saying they are raising funds for Comic Relief have been trying to operate in supermarkets.

Safeway’s staff in Worcestershire were contacted by fraudsters who said they wanted to raise money for the appeal.

But they discovered that the charity name was fake and its Comic Relief registration number did not exist.

The Red Nose Day fun starts on BBC One at 1900 GMT.

Source: BBC News

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, March 11, 2005 // 07:23 a.m.


Ewan on The Tonight Show

Hysterical show, Ewan gorgeous as always!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, March 11, 2005 // 12:07 a.m.


Valiant official site and trailers

UK’s official Valiant site is up!

Official Valiant UK website

AlloCine.com has 2 trailers (one in French, the other (the same) in English with French subtitles) and 1 teaser (in French). Check them out!

Thanks to Ewan rocks webmistress for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 10, 2005 // 10:08 p.m.


Ewan video interview online

The One Network has a nice interview with Ewan. Sorry about the huge banner ad. Don’t click on it or any of the links -- wait it out. It lasts about 10 seconds.

Thanks to Trevor Meyers for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 10, 2005 // 07:42 p.m.


Robots screen buddies

The official Swedish Robots site has some silly screen buddies for your PC (Windows 98 and up). Click on the link to download them (follow the instructions on the site, they are in English).

Thanks to Monika for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 10, 2005 // 07:50 a.m.


Great Robots clips online

Napoleonvsfender.com has some wonderful clips from Robots.

There are currently 4 fun clips to watch: "It’s all ball bearings", "Chips & Salsa", "Got screwed" and "Cross town express" along with the trailer and exclusive images.

You can also watch a cool contest of sorts between Fender and this guy, Napoleon Dynamite by going to the site’s main page.

Thanks to Velours Rouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 // 07:18 p.m.


Vote for Ewan to appear in a special celebrity episode of the Archers: Victoria goes to Ambridge

Victoria Wood, a devoted Archers fan, has written a series of mini-episodes ending with a starring role for a celebrity - and you get the chance to vote for who gets that role.

The four famous Archers fans taking part are: Ewan MacGregor, Stephen Fry, Liza Tarbuck and Sir Ian McKellen. They have all put themselves up for the public vote in a bid to perform the starring role (the rest will have to be content with a line or two). Over the week listeners will hear the celebs argue their cases on the Today programme.

You can listen to Ewan plead for a chance to appear in the episode and find out how to vote for him by going to The Archer’s Red Nose Day page.

Thanks to Viv and Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 // 06:29 p.m.


Blue Peter Badge for Beckam

Mar 8 2005
By Tom Parry

David Beckham will add another medal to his trophy collection next week - a Gold Blue Peter badge.

The England captain will be awarded it by the long-running BBC children’s programme for his achievements in football.

He joins actor Ewan McGregor for Blue Peter’s 4,000th anniversary show. The Real Madrid star will collect his badge at the launch of a London football academy on Monday.

Beckham’s spokesman said: "David is delighted to be taking part in Blue Peter’s 4,000th programme. It’s a show he used to watch as a boy."

McGregor, 33, has also been a fan of Blue Peter since childhood and will be getting a badge, too.

The actor will roar into the studio on a motorbike before helping presenters make something from household objects in true Blue Peter style.

His spokesman said: "Ewan didn’t have to think twice about taking part."

Viewers will be asked to vote for their favourite moment from the show which first aired in 1958.

Source: The Mirror

Thanks to Holly for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 // 06:20 p.m.


Long Way Round nominated ’TV & Film Book of the Year’

Long Way Round has been shortlisted for ’TV & Film Book of the Year’ for the British book awards.

There are four others in the category altogether, so Long Way Round is up against You Are What You Eat, by Gillian McKeith; Himalaya, by Michael Palin and Grumpy Old Men, by Stuart Prebble.

Source: Publishing News

Thanks to Holly for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 // 06:14 p.m.


Ewan McGregor Robots Premiere

08 March 2005 13:39

Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor has been turned into a robot for his latest big screen role. He is the voice of Rodney Copperbottom in the animated adventure Robots. The superstar Scot graced the red carpet with fellow superstars Halle Berry and Robin Williams at the movie’s premiere in California.

Robots tells the story of Rodney Copperbottom voiced of course by Ewan McGregor, a genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place and meeting his idol, master inventor Big Weld played by Mel Brooks. On his journey to find Weld, Copperbottom is seduced by a character played by Halle Berry, a beautiful business robot.

Rodney also has run-ins with a group of misfit robots called the Rusties led by Fender - brought to life by Robin Williams.

Robin Williams said: "He’s just basically a skid robot- a man who lives hand to foot, working his way through trying to make ends meet. Living on the street - a rusty. Oh girl, she’s going, we tried that voice too."

While Williams is an old pro at voicing animated characters, Robots marks the first time McGregor has voiced an animated film.

Ewan McGregor said: "It’s a really nice script. It’s a really nice story. It really is a cracking film. I went to see it two weeks ago with my kids and my wife and I forgot very quickly that it was me doing the voice and I got really into the film. When you record it, you record lots of different versions of the scenes. I didn’t know which way the story was going to go. There was three different endings that we recorded. It was a big as surprise to me as anyone else."

McGregor’s co-star, Halle Berry, says she had a great time working on the film even though she did not work directly with her co-stars.

She said: "I was always alone with a mic and a picture of my character. I’ve never worked that way before. Hats off to Robin who do this effortlessly and brilliantly. It really is a craft and a talent," Berry said.

The movie has already won rave reviews from critics in America but you can judge the film for yourself when it is released in the UK on March 18.

Source: Scotland Today (video on the site)

There is also an article (including video) about a new series of half-hour films commissioned by Scottish TV and Scottish Screen that’s co-produced by Ewan’s mum, Carol McGregor, who is also involved in audio description of films for the visually impaired.

The article can be read here.

Thanks to John Kilbride of Scotland Today for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 // 12:51 p.m.


Becoming Obi-Wan video documentary

With the prequel trilogy, Ewan McGregor stepped in to fill the role of a younger Kenobi. In Episodes I through III, audiences have watched Obi-Wan mature from a fresh-faced Padawan learner to a seasoned General in the Clone Wars. With Revenge of the Sith, McGregor comes closest to the Kenobi that Guinness portrayed. In doing, McGregor -- a life-long Star Wars fan -- completes his journey as the greatest Jedi Knight of the saga.

Check out the video over at the official Star Wars website!

Thanks to Jenny for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 7, 2005 // 07:53 p.m.


Video interviews from The Island

Yahoo movies has a 7-minute-long video called "Self Discovery" where director Michael Bay and actors Sean Bean and Ewan McGregor discuss the morality of cloning as well as some dangerous scenes they filmed.

Click on the link above to watch it!

Thanks to ewanmcgregor.net and Roxanne for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, March 7, 2005 // 07:32 a.m.


Ewan at the Robots premiere

Ewan was again looking fab at the premiere of Robots at Mann’s Village Theatre in Los Angeles.

Thanks to Georginita for the find!

Robots opens in North America on March 11.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, March 6, 2005 // 11:15 p.m.


Free ’Robots’ CD Rom inside the Mail on Sunday

14:28pm 4th March 2005

Inside this week’s Mail on Sunday we have an amazing CDROM packed full of goodies from this year’s most anticipated animated feature, "Robots". On the disc, you’ll find a trailer, a featurette and three Robots Games for your PC. You’ll also find six featurettes from the smash hit movie "Ice Age".

Twentieth Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios and Academy Award winning director Chris Wedge have created the visually spectacular world of Robots, a world filled entirely with whimsical robots. Like Ice Age, the movie is packed with comedy, incredible visuals and a lot of heart.

Rodney Copperbottom, voiced by Ewan McGregor, is a small town robot who has a gift for inventing things and a hope of moving beyond his quaint surroundings but he has dreams of something greater. Armed with his unique talent for inventing, Rodney embarks on a journey to Robot City to meet his idol, the majestic inventor Bigweld, voiced by Mel Brooks. An iconic figure in all of Robot City, Bigweld has spent a lifetime creating things to make the lives of robots better.

Once in Robot City, Rodney finds that things are not quite as he expected, and as he tries to navigate his way around this new city, Rodney befriends the Rusties, a ragtag group of street-smart bots who know the ropes. One of the Rusties, Fender (voiced by Robin Williams), immediately becomes Rodney’s best friend and even lets his spunky kid sister Piper (voiced by Amanda Bynes) tag along.

Rodney also meets Cappy (voiced by Halle Berry), an executive at Big Weld Industries who takes an instant liking to Rodney. Along their adventures, Rodney and his new friends encounter unsavoury characters who try to derail Rodney’s plans to find Bigweld and save Robot City. The result is a timeless, comedic tale that pushes the boundaries of animation while introducing characters rich with humour and soul, and a heart-warming story that proves that a robot can shine no matter what he is made of.

To see the flash game, CLICK HERE.

To view the trailer, click on whichever bandwidth you require.

Low Bandwidth
High Bandwidth

ROBOTS IS RELEASED ON MARCH 18TH For more information visit www.robotsmovie.co.uk and www.robotsmovie.com

BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO SEE ROBOTS - AT THE UK PREMIERE - exclusive to www.mailonsunday.co.uk users.

We have 4 tickets to give away to a lucky winner who will go to the London Premiere of Robots with Mel Blatt who features on the movie’s soundtrack - you’ll also be able to go to the star-studded After-Show party!

For your chance to win, simply visit the site (link at the bottom of this article) and find the link in the article in this spot!


To play your CDROM, simply place it in your PC and it will start automatically. You can choose to watch the trailers and featurettes or play games. For more information, please open the README file on the CDROM. If you have any queries regarding the installation of the games, you can call our special hotline on 0800 000000 - calls are free, and the lines are open from 9am to 5pm. Or CLICK HERE for instant online help.

CDROM Information

This CD-ROM will run on Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, and XP with a screen resolution of 800 x 600 or higher. Internet Explorer 5 or greater with an active internet connection is needed if you want to use the weblinks. Apple Quicktime is needed and is supplied with this CD-ROM.

Please visit the site (link at the end of this article) for full details about minimum requirements and other pertinent information.

Terms and Conditions

Open to registered users of www.mailonsunday.co.uk. No purchase necessary, entries may be sent by email to the address above. The draw closes at 6pm 7 March 2005. Winners will be notified by email. Open to UK residents aged 16 or over, although children under 16 may attend the premiere. Travel, accommodation and all other out of pocket expenses are the responsibility of the winner. The winner’s details will be published on www.mailonsunday.co.uk after the draw closes. Robots TM & (c) 2005 Twentieth Century Fox. All rights reserved.

Source: Daily Mail

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, March 6, 2005 // 09:14 a.m.


From Zero to Hero music video features scenes from Robot

Singer Sarah Connor has a video from her song From Zero to Hero on her official website. It features the singer seamlessly integrated in numerous scenes from Robots. Oddly, that song is not featured on the soundtrack to the film.

Go to the Sarah Connor official website, click on "English", then "Multimedia" and then "Video". Turn off the background music by clicking on "Stop Music" (on the lower right) and finally, click on the link to watch the video.

Thanks to Ester for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, March 6, 2005 // 08:59 a.m.


Robots: The IMAX Experience Gears Up to Open March 11th!

Thursday March 3, 7:00 am ET

New CGI Film From the Makers of Ice Age is Riveting in IMAXTickets are on Sale Now in Select IMAX(R) Theatres

LOS ANGELES, March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 20th Century Fox will release Robots: The IMAX Experience in select IMAX theatres around the world beginning Friday, March 11th. From the makers of the box office hit Ice Age, Robots has been digitally re-mastered (IMAX DMR®) into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®. Audiences will be ’Riveted in IMAX’ as they watch Robots presented on a screen up to eight stories tall with 12,000 watts of digital surround sound.

Robots is directed by Academy Award® winner Chris Wedge, and boasts an all-star cast of contributing voices, including Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear, Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes and Robin Williams. Moviegoers will accompany Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor) on his journey to Robot City to meet his idol, the majestic inventor Bigweld (Brooks). Once there, Rodney finds that things are not quite as he expected, and his quest may be a lot harder than he imagined.

Julian Levin, Executive Vice President of Twentieth Century Fox added, "We are delighted to be working with IMAX on this project. The release of Robots in IMAX theaters will mark Fox’s first picture to be released day and date on IMAX and conventional 35mm screens utilizing IMAX’s unique DMR process. Each of the amazing and heartwarming characters in Robots will become ’larger than life’ on the big screen and deliver audiences a truly remarkable movie going experience."

Robots: The IMAX Experience is the first IMAX DMR film to be released during the Spring film season, and it is the second IMAX DMR film Fox has distributed to IMAX theatres. With The IMAX Experience, moviegoers will experience this animated adventure in a whole new way. In fact, once the IMAX DMR process is complete, the Robots: The IMAX Experience film format will be 10 times larger than its original, enhancing audiences peripheral view. The sheer size, combined with the IMAX projection technology and remarkable sound system, will provide IMAX moviegoers with an immersive, extraordinary cinematic experience.

Robots: The IMAX Experience will be playing at the following IMAX theatres:

Cathedral City - Desert IMAX Theatre
Dublin -- Regal Hacienda Crossings IMAX
Irvine -- Edwards Irvine Spectrum IMAX
Los Angeles -- IMAX Theatre at The Bridge: cinema de lux
Los Angeles -- Universal CityWalk IMAX Theatre
Ontario -- Edwards Ontario Palace IMAX
San Francisco -- Loews IMAX Theatre at Metreon
San Jose - Hackworth IMAX DOME Theater, The Tech Museum of Innovation
Santa Clarita -- Edwards Valencia IMAX
Colorado Springs - Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Cinemark Carefree Circle
Denver -- UA Colorado Center IMAX Theatre
Hartford - IMAX Theatre at Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills
Tampa -- Regal Channelside Cinemas IMAX
Atlanta -- Regal Mall of Georgia IMAX
Boise -- Edwards Boise Stadium IMAX
Cedar Rapids - McLeod/Busse IMAX Dome Theatre
Chicago -- Navy Pier IMAX Theatre
Lincolnshire -- Regal Lincolnshire IMAX
Woodridge -- Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Seven Bridges
Evansville -- Showplace Cinemas IMAX Theatre
Louisville - IMAX Theatre at Showcase Cinemas Stonybrook
Reading - Comcast IMAX 3D Theater at Jordan’s Furniture
Natick -- Comcast IMAX 3D Theater at Jordan’s Furniture
Dearborn - The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre
Grand Rapids -- IMAX Theatre at Celebration! Cinema
Lansing -- IMAX Theatre Celebration! Cinema
Apple Valley -- Imation IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo
Las Vegas -- Brenden IMAX Theatre at the Palms Casino Resort
New Jersey
Atlantic City -- IMAX Theatre at Tropicana
New York
Buffalo -- Regal Transit Center IMAX
New Rochelle -- Regal New Roc City IMAX
New York -- Loews IMAX Theatre, Lincoln Square
Rochester -- Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Tinseltown USA
West Nyack -- IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center
White Plains - IMAX Theatre at City Center: Cinema de lux
North Carolina
Raleigh -- IMAX Theatre at Exploris
Cincinnati - IMAX Theatre at Showcase Cinemas Springdale
Tulsa -- Cinemark IMAX Theatre at The Tulsa
King of Prussia -- UA King of Prussia Stadium IMAX
Pittsburgh -- Rangos OMNIMAX Theater at Carnegie Science Center
South Carolina
Charleston -- The Charleston IMAX Theatre at Aquarium Wharf
Nashville -- Regal Opry Mills IMAX
Dallas -- Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Cinemark 17
Houston -- Edwards Houston Marq*e IMAX
San Antonio -- IMAX Theatre San Antonio Rivercenter
Hampton -- Riverside 3D IMAX Theater at the Virginia Air & Space Center
Seattle -- Pacific Science Center’s Boeing IMAX Theater
Spokane - Riverfront Park IMAX Theatre
Calgary -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Paramount Chinook
Edmonton -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, SilverCity West Edmonton Mall
British Columbia
Langley -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Colossus Langley
Richmond -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, SilverCity Riverport
Nova Scotia
Halifax -- Empire IMAX Theatre
Brampton - Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Silver City
Mississauga -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Coliseum Mississauga
Toronto -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Paramount Toronto
Woodbridge -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Colossus Woodbridge
Montreal -- Famous Players IMAX Theatre, Paramount Montreal

Melbourne - IMAX Melbourne
Sydney - LG IMAX Theatre
Hyderabad - Prasads IMAX Theatre
Mumbai -- IMAX Adlabs Theatre
Kuala Lumpur - IMAX Theatre, Berjaya Times Square
Bangkok -- Panasonic IMAX Theatre
Taipei - Warner Village Miramar IMAX Theatre
Paris - Europalaces IMAX Theatre
Moscow -- Nescafe IMAX Theatre
Amsterdam - Pathe Arena
Oviedo - IMAX Yelmo Cineplex, Los Prados
Bratislava - Orange IMAX Bratislava
United Kingdom
Bristol -- IMAX Theatre At-Bristol
London - bfi London IMAX Cinema
London - Science Museum IMAX Cinema
Manchester - Manchester IMAX The Printworks
Mexico City - Cinepolis IMAX Theatre
Monterrey - Cinepolis IMAX Theatre

Check local listings or IMAX.com for opening dates and showtimes.

About IMAX Corporation

Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world’s leading entertainment technology companies. IMAX’s businesses include the creation and delivery of the world’s best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX and IMAX® 3D technology, and the development of the highest quality digital production and presentation. IMAX has developed revolutionary technology called IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) that makes it possible for virtually any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive family entertainment experiences. As of September 30, 2004, there were more than 235 IMAX theatres operating in 35 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR® and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information can be found at http://www.imax.com.

About Twentieth Century Fox

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

Source: Canada NewsWire

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, March 3, 2005 // 07:48 a.m.


Guys & Dolls official website

Visit the official Guys & Dolls website to read all about Ewan’s upcoming play: www.guysanddollsthemusical.com.

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 // 08:58 p.m.


Robots set to steel the show

Tue 1 Mar 2005

TICKETS for the star-studded Edinburgh premiere of Ewan McGregor’s latest film are on sale.

Robots will be premiered this Sunday at the Vue Cinema in the Omni Leisure building on Greenside Place, and 300 tickets are up for grabs.

As well as McGregor, the animated film features the voices of Halle Berry and Robin Williams.

City-based crime author Ian Rankin, TV presenter Carol Smillie and former Miss Scotland Nicola Jolly are due to attend.

The tickets are being sold for £5 each in aid of the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

There will also be a charity auction in aid of CHAS on the night.

Source: The Scotsman

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, March 1, 2005 // 12:31 p.m.


Episode III Trailer: Online, On Screens and On TV

February 28, 2005

The much anticipated full release trailer for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith is on its way. Consisting of over two minutes of new footage from the movie, the full trailer will soon appear on television, on starwars.com and in theaters.

First, on Thursday, March 10th at 9 p.m., be sure to tune in to FOX to catch an all new episode of The O.C. During the broadcast, FOX will air the Episode III trailer.

The trailer will debut online for members of starwars.com Hyperspace after the broadcast (around 9:00 p.m. Pacific time). Lucas Online is pleased to have partnered with AOL and Moviefone.com to provide starwars.com readers with fast and reliable access to Episode III video content. Subscribers to AOL will be able to see the trailer at this time as well.

To see the Episode III trailer on the big screen, head out to movie theaters starting March 11th, with the debut of the new animated comedy, Robots. Featuring the voices of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks and Robin Williams, Robots is an animated family film from the people who brought you Ice Age, the film that debuted the Episode II trailer in theaters.

Regular visitors to starwars.com will be able to see the trailer online starting on March 14th. A large size version of the trailer will soon be made available only to Hyperspace members after that date.

So make a date to watch The O.C., make sure you’re subscribed to starwars.com Hyperspace, and head on out to see Robots at a theater near you to make sure you catch as much of the Episode III trailer as you can.

Source: starwars.com

Thanks to Kimberly for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, February 28, 2005 // 10:39 p.m.


Full Casting Confirmed for McGregor’s Guys & Dolls

28th February 2005 - What’s on Stage News
By Terri Paddock

Full casting has now been confirmed for Michael Grandage’s much-anticipated West End revival of Frank Loesser’s 1950 Broadway classic Guys and Dolls, which opens at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre on 1 June 2005 (previews from 19 May).

As previously announced (See News, 8 Nov 2004), Ewan McGregor makes his West End musical debut as gambling chancer Sky Masterson, while the other principals are Jenna Russell as his Salvation Army love interest Sarah Brown (See News, 19 Jan 2005), and Douglas Hodge and Ally McBeal’s Jane Krakowski as fellow gambler Nathan Detroit and his long-suffering girlfriend Miss Adelaide (See News, 11 Jan 2005).

The cast also features Martyn Ellis (as Nicely Nicely Johnson), Niall Buggy (Arvide), Gaye Brown (General Cartwright) and Sevan Stephan (Big Jule). Also in the cast are Norman Bowman, Patrick Brennan, Lyndsey Britton, Darren Carnell, Ben Clare, Matthew Cole, Cory English, Liz Cooper Gee, Charlotte Gorton, Zoe Hardman, Madeleine Harland, Nicola Keen, Graham MacDuff, Andrew Playfoot, Kelly Price, Jo Servi, Spencer Soloman, Summer Strallen, Suzanne Toase and Sebastian Torkia.

Guys and Dolls has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and a book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerlin, based on the short stories by Damon Runyon about New York low-life in the 1940s. Loesser’s score includes classics such as “Adelaide’s Lament”, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, “Sue Me”, “Luck Be a Lady”, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and the title song.

The “musical fable of Broadway” first reached London in 1953 when it ran for 555 performances at the Coliseum. It was made into a 1953 Hollywood film starring Marlon Brandon, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. In 1982, Richard Eyre mounted a multi award-winning production at the National, which was revived in 1996. This will be the first new London production in 23 years.

Directed by Grandage, the Donmar Warehouse’s artistic director, Guys and Dolls will be the first Donmar musical originated outside of its own 250-seat auditorium (See News, 17 Jun 2004). It’s designed by Christopher Oram, with choreography by Rob Ashford, musical supervision by Jae Alexander, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Terry Jardine and Chris Full. It’s produced in the West End by the Ambassador Theatre Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment, in association with the Donmar’s own in-house production team.

Source: What’s on stage

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, February 28, 2005 // 12:54 p.m.


Foster’s Flora Plum is Dead, Again

Source: Mary
February 28, 2005

Fox411 reports that Jodie Foster’s directing project, Flora Plum, is dead for the second time.

The first time was because Russell Crowe hurt his shoulder. Now the circus movie has been cancelled, Foster said, "because we lost the cast. But think when it is made: I’ll be able to tell the story of how it took ten years."

The film would have starred Ewan McGregor as a circus freak and Claire Danes as Flora Plum, a penniless girl who joins the circus. Meryl Streep was also set to star.

Based on a Steven Rogers script, Plum has been at least seven years in the works, with Barry Mendel first committing to produce back in 1997.

Foster next stars in Touchstone thriller Flightplan.

Source: Coming Soon

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, February 28, 2005 // 07:42 a.m.


Ewan on The Archers on BBC1

WHAT project are Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor and Liza Tarbuck all working on?

Don’t know? Well, they’re taking part in a secret recording of The Archers, for Comic Relief, that’s what!

Their efforts will be captured by TV cameras, for the delight of viewers tuning in to the BBC1 charity spectacular on March 11.

The four Archers fans will join forces with regulars from the Radio 4 soap - including Jill, Ruth and David Archer, along with Alan Franks, the Ambridge vicar.

They are recording their parts of the special - penned by none other than Victoria Wood - separately.

Then, in time-honoured fashion, fans of the radio soap can vote for which star they most want to hear taking part in tales of everyday farming folk.

The winner will duly be broadcast over the, erm, wireless, after a regular instalment of the soap.

The BBC is trying to keep details of the stunt under wraps. On The Archers’ website, bosses have revealed only scant details.

But we have discovered that Stephen, Sir Ian and Liza recorded their bits yesterday and that Ewan will be doing his from a studio over in Santa Monica next month.

Source: The Mirror and BBC

Thanks to Viv for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 26, 2005 // 12:54 p.m.


Ewan on The Tonight Show!

Ewan will be appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 10!

Source: The Late Night TV Page

Thanks to Patty for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 26, 2005 // 11:36 a.m.


Win a family four-pack to see the movie ’Robots’!

Posted on Thu, Feb. 24, 2005

Set on a world populated entirely by robots, this is the story of a young genius, Rodney (Ewan McGregor), who wants to make robots capable of making the world a better place, but he finds his dream challenged by a corporate tyrant and a master inventor, Big Weld (Mel Brooks), while also being seduced by a sexy corporate robot, Cappy (Halle Berry).

Featured cast:
Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear

Saturday, March 5th at 10 a.m.

Please arrive early! Theatre is overbooked to ensure a full house. Seats are not guaranteed, are limited to theatre capacity and are first-come, first-served. Everyone entering the theatre must have a ticket. Please be advised that all bags and/or purses are subject to search. Absolutely no cameras or recording device of any kind will be allowed in the theater. Theater will be subject to security surveillance.

PG for some brief language and suggestive humor.

Opens nationwide:
March 11th

Register at the site!

Source: KansasCity.com

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 25, 2005 // 08:04 a.m.


Robots Pictures & Ice Age 2 Teaser News!

Source: 20th Century Fox
February 25, 2005

20th Century Fox is bringing director Chris Wedge’s animated Robots to theaters on March 11th, and ComingSoon.net has your first look at new images from the anticipated film as well as news on the first teaser trailer for the studio’s Ice Age 2: The Meltdown.

In Robots you’ll meet memorable ’bots Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place; Cappy (Halle Berry), a beautiful executive ’bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten; the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) who locks horns with Rodney; Bigweld (Mel Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way; and a group of misfit ‘bots known as the Rusties, led by Fender (Robin Williams) and Piper Pinwheeler (Amanda Bynes).

To view the pictures, just click on the image below:

In related news, USA Today has revealed that audiences will get to see Scrat wreak prehistoric havoc once more in the Ice Age 2: The Meltdown teaser trailer which will debut in theaters with Robots.

The twitchy rodent, again voiced by Wedge, will face more natural disasters in the 1½-minute preview. "We call it a short short," says Wedge, director of the original Ice Age. "It’s hard to run out of material for that guy. He is just loose, loose, loose all the way."

The voices of Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, and Ray Romano return for the sequel coming on March 31, 2006.

Source: Coming Soon!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 25, 2005 // 08:01 a.m.


Boorman on tour again

February 24 2005

Charley ’Long Way Round’ Boorman is on tour again - this time it’s a whistle-stop promo trip around UK BMW dealerships, taking in the MCN Scottish Motorcycle Show. And the tour starts on Friday - Feb 25.

Boorman will be talking about his experiences on the round-the-world trip he made with fellow actor Ewan McGregor. They each rode an R1150GS.

Their travels - broadcast as a SKY TV series - have since been made into a book, CD and best-selling DVD (which has recently gone platinum).

The promotion starts at the new BMW Bristol Motorrad dealership on Friday 25 February.

Each BMW Motorrad dealership evening event will include a special screening of edited highlights of Long Way Round footage; a question and answer session, and an autograph opportunity with Charley Boorman.

Charley will also appear on the BMW stand at the Dublin Motorcycle and Scooter Show, and the MCN Scottish Motorcycle Show at the beginning of March for DVD and book signings, photograph opportunities, and much more.

To secure tickets, please contact the following venues.

Friday 25 February
An evening with Charley Boorman at Bristol Motorrad (from 18.00)
BMW Bristol Motorrad, 379-385 Bath Road, Brislington, Avon, BSA 3EU
Tel: 07968 306027

Saturday 26 February
Open Day with personal appearance by Charley Boorman at 10:00-15:00

Friday 4 – Sunday 6 March
Open days with personal appearances by Charley Boorman at the Dublin Motorcycle and Scooter Show at: 16:30-18:00, Saturday: 16:00-17:30, Sunday: 15:30-17:00
Dublin Motorcycle and Scooter Show, Royal Dublin Society (RDS), Ballsbridge, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Monday 7 March
An evening with Charley Boorman at Joe Duffy Motorrad (from 19:00)
Joe Duffy Motorrad, Exit 5, M50, North Road, Dublin 11
Tel: 00353 87249 4652

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March
Open day with personal appearance from Charley Boorman (time to be announced)
Scottish Motorcycle Show
Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Newbridge, Edinburgh, EH28 8NF
Tel: 08700 133 020

Wednesday 16 March
An evening with Charley Boorman at Mill Garage (time to be announced)
Mill Garages, Off Tescos Roundabout, Boldon Business Park, West Boldon, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, NE36 0BQ
Tel: 0191 519 4455

Monday 21 March
An evening with Charley Boorman at Wollaston BMW (time to be announced)
Wollaston BMW, Bedford Road, Northampton, NN1 5SZ
Tel: 01604 232000

Tuesday 22 March
An evening with Charley Boorman at Vines of Guildford (time to be announced)
Vines of Guildford, Slyfield Green Estate, off Woking Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1RD
Tel: 01483 207000

Thursday 24 March
An evening with Charley Boorman at Blue Bell (time to be announced)
Blue Bell, Fourth Avenue, Weston Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 6XH
Tel: 01270 212 525

Friday 15 April
An evening with Charley Boorman at Ocean BMW (time to be announced)
Ocean BMW, St Modwen House, Longbridge Road, Marsh Mills, Plymouth, PL6 8LD
Tel: 01752 202828

Source: MCN

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 24, 2005 // 10:40 p.m.


Island Set Visit #2

Feb. 24, 2005

Part II of II (Part I posted on Monday, February 21, 2005)

Our visit to the set of this summer’s would be blockbuster THE ISLAND continues. Last time we toured the massive set of Centerville as it was being readied for shooting. Now, the small band of journalists, myself included, were taken over to where director Michael Bay was filming a scene with Ewan McGregor. If you’ve never been on a movie set, imagine a human hive of activity. Now imagine the sound of money being spent, as the precious seconds tick away. But, it didn’t feel like we were walking into a pressure cooker. The crew was moving like a well oiled machine, with no time to stop laying the tracks in front of the train.

The scene was fairly straightforward. Ewan and some of his fellow workers are riding an elevator, when they are given an update about the latest lottery winner, that lucky clone that will get to go the “The Island.” Ewan’s character, Lincoln Six-Echo will discover soon enough that “The Island”, is not a place you want to go.

The video playback in the elevator features an excited Michael Clarke Duncan jumping for joy over his chance to leave their underground habitat. During a break from filming, Michael Bay came over to discuss the film, the script, and the involvement of Steven Spielberg in the project. He was in good spirits, not only because shooting was moving along, it was his birthday as well.

What’s the challenge of this film?

Shooting it in 84 days! (LAUGHS). It’s a big mama to shoot, developing the world to shoot, being judicious with the effects, and trying to shoot a lot of different stuff practically.

What initially appealed to you about the script?

A lot of sci-fi is about a bunch of mumbo jumbo sometimes… sometimes. But this has a real human core to it. Originally the script was written 80 years in the future, that was just too far out. And then Spielberg was talking to me about how MINORITY REPORT was a little too far out, you bring it a little closer, it makes it a lot scarier.

What do you think of the news that’s going on with cloning right now?

This movie kinda deals with it in a way… it’s like we all eat meat, but we don’t want to think about what goes on at the slaughterhouse. We show you the positives of what could be done with cloning. They doctor who created this feels that he’s created the Holy Grail of science. He’s doing good things, in 2 years he’s gonna have this facility up for children. He could cure leukemia; he can cure a lot of things. So it makes you think, if you could have a clone, would you?

Would you want to clone yourself?

No, that would be a disaster!

Are there any sci-fi films that inspired you for this?

I like sci-fi movies, I love things like ALIEN.


Well, THX you wanna go home and shoot yourself! We don’t wanna make it as oppressive as that.

Does the movie deal with what it means to be a human being, what that definition is?

It deals in the fact that we all wanna live longer, we all wanna find the Holy Grail of life… as you see nowadays with all this, what is it, human growth hormones, and what not. I was up at the Microsoft thinktank when we were working on this film, coming up with some concepts. They were talking about how they feel… this is Microsoft saying this… they figure in 10, 15 years we might be able to extend our lives 20 years. That’s exciting.

Were you actively looking to work with Spielberg?

No, he just called me up one night and said, read this, because it’s a spec script, that’s coming out tomorrow, read it, I wanna buy it for you, if you like it. (Note: The film is a production of Steven Spielberg’s company Dreamworks)

Does the faster schedule make it more expensive?

Yeah it does, but as you know… studios are shutting down movies when the budgets are just too high. I think there were six movies that shut down right before this one was fully greenlit. There was the Fincher movie "Benjamin Button", there was the Antoine Fuqua movie where they spent 30 million bucks, shut it down. You gotta really play ball with the studios…

You always fight about the budget. But now more than ever, because studios are owned by these corporate giants. The movie industry, they feel, is not a profitable industry. When you talk about GE, what they own Universal? The movie industry is a blip on their radar. It’s not worth it to them to make a 5% profit, when they can make 15-20 somewhere else.

Do you think you’ve grown as a director on this project?

Yeah, I’m really enjoying the cast. You grow every time you work, you know what I mean?

How are you guys going to stand out from the other summer films?

I think ours is a lot sexier. It’s surely original; thank God it’s not a redo of something! I think it’s a cool concept. I think it’s got some gritty action.

What’s next for you as a director?

(LAUGHS) Dude! I haven’t even finished yet!

Does the hectic schedule make you wish you could do a small "Dogme" movie?

Yeah, yeah. I swear to God, I really, really, really wanna do something small. I got this great thing… it’s really fun and dark, dark comedy.

Do you think you’ll try that next?

I really want to. I always get suckered into these things! (LAUGHS)

Is there fear for you involved in trying to do a huge movie like this?

There always is… every movie… if you’re cocky, you’re gonna fail miserably.

How do you deal with that?

You think every movie you’re gonna do is gonna be a flop. You just gotta go in, and you just gotta do the best you can. Keep that fear, because that fear, I think makes you do a better job.

At this point we had to wrap up the interview. But, we were ushered over to the video village to meet Ewan McGregor and view a PROMO REEL of scenes from the movie. The first scene was the one that Eric Brevig discussed (in our first set report), where Ewan meets his clone. Even at this early stage, the effect was convincing. The interaction between them was spot on.

Then we were treated to scenes of some clones being birthed, which is downright nasty looking. Just think about… oh, I can’t even use the example, it’s too gross. This was followed by a montage of action scenes. A good chunk of them were clips with no sound, just an intense drum beat running over them, which was fantastic. It would be the perfect teaser trailer. With that, our set visit came to end, but work on THE ISLAND carried on.

You know, I like Michael Bay’s movies, but for whatever reason, he’s one of those directors that people love to bash. I’m surprised that people aren’t burning him in effigy outside the movie theatres. But I figure that he must be doing something right, to have movies that consistently draw in audiences, and to be able to pull together some of the top talents in Hollywood to make massively expensive movies on a tight schedule. Directing these kinds of movies is simply not something that anybody can do. Of course, anybody can lob an insult.

Hey, I would love to direct movies. But could I do what he does? Could I handle the pressure, and then have the time to have a nice, relaxed chat with some visiting journalists? There’s a lesson to be learned here, especially what he said about fear.

The Island is scheduled for release this July 22nd.

Source: JoBlo

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 24, 2005 // 07:17 a.m.


Set Report: "The Island"

Posted: Friday February 18th, 2005 11:17pm
Location: Downey, CA
Author: Brad Miska

Warning: Spoilers

Good friend ’Brad Miska’ went to Downey yesterday and sent in this report from the next Michael Bay action spectacular currently in production:

"The biggest set I’ve ever experienced and I even got to leave having seen the entire movie! You wonder how now.

Day 78 of an 86 day shoot. Michael Bay and his insanely large crew are back in the comfort of California after venturing through Death Valley, Nevada, Detroit, Michigan and various other places shooting his next action-drama The Island for Dreamworks Pictures. The buzz is that Michael Bay’s story for The Island might be guilty by association- but the only thing the movie is truly guilty of is… it’s a Michael Bay movie - you know, cool cars, big chase scenes, shoot-outs and lots of explosions.

The Island takes place 20-25 years in the future as we follow Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) as he tries to unravel the mystery of who he is and what he is meant for. The movie opens in a self-contained facility with 3,000 humans who live their daily lives there. They believe that their world is devastated and that they are the sole survivors being protected so they can repopulate the world. Every so often a lottery is held and a lucky individual will get to leave the facility for "The Island" where they will live a happy life reproducing.

Lincoln, along with the others, think one of their fellow members Starkweather (Michael Clarke Duncan) had won the lottery and is on his way to "The Island," only Lincoln stumbles onto the truth as Starkweather wakes up during some sort of "operation" and is screaming through the halls begging for help. What the hell is going on? Lincoln finds out that he is a clone - or as Michael Bay calls them "Agnates" - and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) and him attempt to escape to reveal to the world what is really going on in the middle of the desert.

Why do I know so much about the movie? You’ll never believe just how much I know. After our interview with Michael Bay, he’s like, "I’ve got some clips to show you," so I’m ecstatic and yell, "Cool!" In a typical ’80s montage fashion, the clip was actually the ENTIRE movie from start to finish! After the clip I’m exclaimed, "Thanks Michael, now I don’t have to see it!" He’s replies, "NO NO NO this is the movie without any of the COOL sh-t!" True story.

The clip (or short movie) was loaded with sweet car chases, stand-offs, gun fights, explosions and one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time - an homage to the great John Woo. During one shot we see pigeons fluttering all over during a big shoot out, a la doves in a Woo film- hilarious stuff! In addition there is the classic "who’s the real Lincoln?" scene. "I’m the real one, No I am…." It’s ridiculous and cliché as hell, but we don’t watch Michael Bay movies for the drama do we? Hell no, we watch them for the explosions!

Enough about the clips, you want to know how the set looked don’t you? When you start doing set visits on a regular basis the excitement fades a little, especially after your last visit was to Spielberg’s War of the Worlds set. But rest assured this was the absolute most insane set I’ve ever been on. All War had was millions of people standing around, a rain machine (and Tom Cruise) - The Island on the other hand had room after room after room of giant eccentric sets.

Flashback to my entrance, the Downey Studios (30 miles South of Hollywood) caught me by surprise. The lot was the size of five - maybe six Super Wal-Marts, one could get lost walking around and never make it out alive. When we finally headed inside the first thing we got to see was where Lincoln works. It was a small all white laboratory with 8-10 desks set up all equipped with (you guessed it) Apple computers. Across the desks are giant tubes or wires that look eerily similar to DNA strands. What Lincoln and his co-workers think they’re doing is making nutrients and vitamins, but what they’re actually doing is pumping everything into the incubated Agnate bodies. To the right of the work area are small rooms with dozens of test tubes and flasks all illuminated by blacklights. Purple lights are cool in the future, I swear!

Build right next to the work area is a long grey cement hallway to the different corridors of the giant complex, which is supposed to look as if it’s 60 stories tall. While walking through the hallway to the next section of the set I ran my fingers across the wall to feel the cool cement only to discover that the walls were made of wood! It was unbelievable how real these walls looked; a kung fu expert wouldn’t try and punch a hole through these walls!

Then we arrived to the most illustriously portion of our tour, "Centerville," which is the center atrium designed in the middle of three other atriums (they’ll be CG’d in later). We stood right in the middle (the core greeting area) of three "practical" levels of the 60 story complex. We were told that ILM would be enhancing various portions of this giant chamber. Third floor and center is a room behind glass that is probably an operations center of some kind. We were told there will be all sorts of holographic images projects around there, specifically on the glass.

Back on our floor, which is designed orbicular, there are various places for the Agnates to relax. There’s an exercising room with dozens of bicycles, a room for aerobics that was very ’70’s looking, a bar for getting plastered, a pool and places around the area were various elevators. This entire complex was made of the same wood that was painted to look like cement, which still to this moment blows my friggin mind. On the lower level were more rooms and a set up for the Agnates to get their lunch cafeteria style. There’s nothing like feeling like you’re back in school.

While checking out the various levels of the atrium, we were told that a large portion of the film takes place in LA where there will be monorails and check this- a flying jet pack chase sequence! Forget Superman. The Agnates are stored very similar to The Matrix humans. They are in an egg shell chamber with purple goo all around them, their skin is white, they’re bald and have hundreds of wires plugged into their bodies. Too bad we didn’t get to see this, but I got to check out a sweet image from the film. There was also a shot of Lincoln with his eye pried open and little nano bugs are going to be CG’d to crawl in.

After all the fun and excitement we headed to the stage were Michael Bay was hard at work shooting a scene on an elevator where Michael Clarke Duncan’s character is telling everyone how lucky he was to be a winner of the lottery in a projection on the wall. Knowing it’s all a farce the propaganda is sickening to the viewer, but damn funny at the same time.

Michael screams, "Woo! I’m going to the island!!!" The group of slaves on the elevator are all wearing white jumpsuits with a black stripe on the back that resembles a exclamation point. Behind the shooting area for the elevator sequence, where we were sitting, was the operation table where the Agnates parts are removed to their donors. It was a circular table hanging by a large arm from the ceilings with wires everywhere. Another very Matrixstique display.

There was just so much, almost too much. My brain hurts just trying to remember all this and digest it all at the same time. But just how big was this experience? On our way out my buddy Joe touched a Cadillac that was used in the movie, which we were told cost $7 million to make. He exclaimed, "I always wanted to touch $7 million dollars."

Source: Dark Horizons

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 // 07:20 a.m.


Set Visit to Michael Bay’s The Island!

Andrew Weil
February 22, 2005

"Come on!" Michael Bay barks at his crew. His attempt at humoring the hard-working crew may not go over well considering his new film, a futuristic riff on cloning dubbed The Island, is running a scant shooting schedule of 84 days and the film is to be released on July 22.

"I think the hardest part is the movie has been chasing itself, because the sets are so big and it’s just like you’re on one big set and boom, you go to another set," said Bay on his birthday.

ComingSoon.net received a chance to look at one of the aforementioned big sets for the upcoming film that stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. The Island is set in the distant future (roughly twenty years) and starts following McGregor’s character, Lincoln. Lincoln lives in Centerville and, like the rest of the inhabitants living in Centerville, he hopes to win the daily lottery for the chance to be shipped to the last uncontaminated place on Earth, the island. He soon discovers that his world is a sham and Centerville houses clones to help rich benefactors remain healthy. Lincoln and Jordan (Johansson) break out of Centerville and make a desperate escape to find out the truth about who they are.

The central set on display at Downey Studios was the main plaza of Centerville. The gargantuan set featured four glass elevators, an actual pool, huge walkways, exercise bikes, a "stim" bar, and giant casing that were soon to feature blue screens.

"As you’ll notice, the set is very wide but not very tall. In the movie, it’s supposed to be 70-100 stories tall," explains ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Brevin. "Every place you look that doesn’t look like part of the set will be extending it and outside of it is a synthetic world that the inhabits of this place see whenever they look outside the windows."

Brevin also discussed the use of digital doubles in the film. For The Island, Brevin took Ewan’s digital double model from "Star Wars" and took off his beard and gave him a new wardrobe. He also mentioned that Johansson took the process well. "I think it’s fun for her. Basically you stand there and a laser scans you and you look over, and there’s a wire frame of your character on the screen. I think she enjoyed it," said Brevin.

When asked about the number of effects shots for the film, Brevin said "3-400. That’s the total, since we’re still shooting and we’re getting into the biggest deal right now, it’s hard to tell. We’re basically doing pre-production and post-production at the same time."

Next door to the concrete monstrosity of a set, Bay and his crew were shooting a scene in the interior of an elevator.

"Today is a slow day here," explains Bay. "This starts like three minutes into the movie, they’re going down an elevator, and it’s kind of, it’s a lottery recast of the past winner. Mike Clarke Duncan is the one who just won a spot on the island. So they’re just getting a recap of it as they’re going down this elevator. We do this big pull out and reveal the whole place where they are."

The set is a small, cramped elevator that features a giant screen with Ewan’s Lincoln character staring straight forward.

Bay explained that his reason for choosing to do a sci-fi film is that The Island features a human core. "At the core of this movie, there’s a human story here and it really deals with the human issue. That’s where I felt like relieved I didn’t have to redevelop the whole sci-fi genre."

The Island also happens to be the first movie that Bay directs without his usual producing partner, Jerry Bruckheimer. "I didn’t lose (Bruckheimer). I gained a guy named Spielberg and Walter Parks," brags Bay. Bay reports that he does still enjoy working with Bruckheimer.

Ewan McGregor was on set, but we didn’t have a chance to speak to him about his work on the film, but Bay explains that he chose McGregor because of his "childlike quality" and he plays him harder in this film than most before.

Bay also feels like his film will stand out among the summer behemoths because it’s sexier, original, and just an all-around cool concept.

Bay, after mock yelling at his crew again, says of the balloons on set because of his birthday, "I demand that they get me balloons everyday… They’re bringing a male stripper for me," jokes Bay.

Source: Comingsoon.net

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 // 07:19 a.m.


Robots special on Fox

Fox Special: Assembling ’robots’: The Magic, The Music And The Comedy will air on March 4 on FOX, from 8pm to 8:30pm (Eastern).

"Assembling ’Robots’: the magic, the music and the comedy" offers an exclusive first look at this year’s biggest animated theatrical event.

From the creators of ICE AGE comes a behind-the-scenes special on this year’s biggest animated theatrical event, ROBOTS. Meet the cast of the movie: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey and Robin Williams. Travel to Blue Sky Studios to see how all the magic was created. Catch the world premiere of the ROBOTS music video and get an exclusive first look at an extended scene from the movie on ASSEMBLING “ROBOTS”: THE MAGIC, THE MUSIC AND THE COMEDY airing Friday, March 4 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Source: The Futon Critic

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, February 21, 2005 // 09:55 p.m.


Island Set Visit #1

Feb. 21, 2005

Part I of II (part II coming soon)

Cloning is a hot topic these days. Right about now, I bet there’s a lot of people wishing that someone had been able to clone Hunter S. Thompson, sadly no longer with us. Whenever a hot button issue is in the air, you can bet Hollywood is right on the heels of the subject.

This summer, in addition to some hot clone action in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the local multiplexes will be unspooling another take on those pesky clones. It’s the latest from the master of sturm und drang himself, director Michael Bay . The film is The Island. JoBlo.com was recently invited to come check out the set in Downey, California.

The film boasts an all star cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean, and Michael Clarke Duncan. I got a chance to tour some of the sets, and speak to key members of the crew, including Michael Bay. But first… a little intro.

The Island is set some 25 years in the future. It is the story of a man named Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor), who is part of a small underground utopia. The surface of the earth has been ravaged by various catastrophes. Everyone has their place, fulfilling their various roles for the good of the society. The most exciting thing for the residents is to win a lottery to go to “The Island”, which is supposed to be the last safe environment on Earth. But Lincoln soon discovers that he has been lied to, he and his fellow workers are actually clones of real people. Their purpose is to be raised as spare parts for their owners. When your number comes up to go The Island, that’s when you get harvested.

Lincoln breaks out and makes a run for it, along with another worker, Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson). The film follows them as they are pursued by agents of their former masters. Obviously, some heady sci-fi, but with Bay at the helm, you can expect it won’t be your run of the mill summer demo derby.

I arrived at the Downey studios, and saw a gathering of smashed up futuristic cars in the parking lot. Hmm… somebody had fun. Then the tour began.

It’s funny to walk on any film set, let alone the set of a film that will be a major contender for your summer dollars. The main difference being that this was larger than any film set that I had ever been on. Various workstations and hallways were revealed, but the real icing on the cake was the main set, where all of the clones congregate. It looked like the Apple store crossed with IKEA, with a nice steel finish, kinda like what you would imagine the inside of an iPod to feel like. Come to think of it, it looked like my college, which was right next to Wright Patterson Airforce Base, we used a lot of old underground tunnels that they had built.

The set was MASSIVE. It functions as a gathering place, includes a yoga center and exercise room, along with a water bar. While being a spectacular set, it will be made even more astounding through the magic of digital technology. The wizards at ILM will be handling the chores on that one. Which brings us to the Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Brevig.

He was kind enough to take time out of his hectic schedule and speak to us about the challenges of THE ISLAND, and how they go about creating what producer Ian Bryce calls “Michael Bay Mayhem.” First he discussed what will surely be one of the highlights of the film. It’s a major sequence where Lincoln and Jordan try to escape the baddies on a WASP, a futuristic military jetbike. It begins as a massive freeway chase, that continues up into the sky.

ERIC BREVIG (EB): We’re using all techniques. We dragged the stunt people behind a truck at 70 mph on a real freeway, we shot the real actors in a safer condition, also outside. We’re gonna shoot some bluescreen and we have digital doubles for the sequences that no one can survive.

What was your reaction to the script?

EB: Knowing that it was a Michael Bay movie, and I did PEARL HARBOR with Michael, well… this is really going to be tough! But it’s a good script and he’s a lot of fun to work with, so I was eager to get on board.

How many shots do you have to do?

EB: 300-400

Total? Or that’s just what’s left to go?

EB: In total. Since we’re still shooting and we’re getting into some of the biggest deal right now… it’s hard to tell. We’re basically doing pre-production and post production at the same time.

Are you sleeping at night?

EB: Not as much as I would like to! (LAUGHS) And it’ll only get worse.

What kind of energy does Michael Bay bring to the post production process?

EB: A significant urgency. The guy is sort of at 100% all of the time. He communicates the need to really do your best.

Is there a lot of pressure for you to top other futuristic movies, in addition to the hectic schedule?

EB: Personally, I don’t like to do something that’s already been done before, so I’ll try to come up with a shot or a technique that hasn’t been done. The needs of the movie dictate what we have to do. But I like to do something different each time.

Next, he spoke about working with Ewan McGregor, who is pretty used to CGI and bluescreen thanks to a certain trilogy.

EB: Ewan has been great. He knows how to deal with effects and I go out of my way to give him cues on the set as to stuff that isn’t there, what’s going on, so he’s not just standing in a blue void with a C-stand. He’s really a joy to work with. I think he likes the fact that he can actually play with all of the actors, and we’ve got big sets like this. Most of the Star Wars movies… it’s a minimalistic set.

What do you look for in an actor, when it comes to doing the work?

EB: Cooperation. So many of the things that I ask them to do are ridiculous, petty things, that don’t come natural. (NOTE: He’s referring to the actors doing scenes in front of a bluescreen with nothing to react to, and potentially feeling silly. I’d hate for anyone to think the “ridiculous, petty things” involved Eric making Ewan do his laundry or get him an iced coffee)

For example, he plays himself and he plays a clone, and we had a long scene where he is talking to himself, all done in one long dollying shot. He had to hit a lot of marks. And he was just great. Very technical stuff, a lot of performers don’t like to deal with that, but he was right there.

At that point we had to wrap up, as Eric was needed back on the set. Given the fact that the film is due to come out in July, you can imagine the pressure that Eric and the rest of the crew are facing.

In the next part, we’ll go on the set as Ewan McGregor films a scene, and visit with director Michael Bay, who was cool enough to show us an breathtaking reel of scenes from the film. Until then… ask yourself this: how would you know if you are a clone?

The Island is scheduled for release this July 22nd.

Source: JoBlo

Thanks to ParisRouge and Barb for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, February 21, 2005 // 07:20 a.m.


Down With Love lecture in Michigan

Cultural Historian Susan Douglas with "Down With Love"
Thursday Feb 24, 7pm, Kimball Theatre

Starring Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, Down with Love (2003) tells the story of a spark-filled collision between a woman who has sworn off love and a ladies man who thinks he doesn’t need love. It is 1962, and small-town girl Barbara Novak hits New York City with her new book, “Down with Love,” a pre-feminist manifesto on saying “no” to love and “yes” to career, empowerment—and sex. As Barbara’s revolutionary tome rockets to the top of the best seller charts, she becomes the target of ace journalist Catcher Block, a notorious womanizer, who is determined to make her rethink her philosophy. Down with Love revisits the Rock Hudson-Doris Day romantic comedies of the late fifties and early sixties—films like Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back. Susan Douglas will briefly introduce Down with Love, and after the screening she will explore why and how popular movies of the early 21st century—the era of Renee and Ewan—might want to revisit the era of Doris and Rock.

Professor Douglas chairs the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. In 1999 she was awarded the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship for her outstanding contribution to undergraduate education. She has written many books including The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it has Undermined Women (with Meredith Michaels), Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media; Inventing American Broadcasting; and Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination, which won the 2000 Sally Hacker Popular Book Prize from the Society for the History of Technology. Her column “Back Talk” appears in In These Times every month.

Source: The Charles Center

Thanks to mrlzbth for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 19, 2005 // 01:43 p.m.


Valiant release date

Yahoo Movies says that Ewan’s second animated feature, Valiant, will be released on April 15th, 2005, throughout North America.

The film is an animated feature comedy about a heroic pigeon during World War Two.

Thanks to Velours Rouge for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 19, 2005 // 01:30 p.m.


Fun video and audio clips of Ewan online

There is a fun audio clip (MP3) and a series of video clips (Windows Media or Real Player).

The audio clip starts with an interview of John Mahoney (from Fraiser) and Ewan comes up during the middle of it. The video contains different soundbites of Ewan talking about Big Fish.

Thanks to Georginita for the finds!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 19, 2005 // 10:28 a.m.


Watch 6 minutes from Robots

Thanks to John Angelo, who sent this Moviefone link to a 6-minute clip from Robots. Click on the link to check it out!

Thank you, John!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 18, 2005 // 08:01 a.m.


Star Wars III to open Cannes

By Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail
18 February 2005

The Cannes Film Festival is going to the dark side. After months of negotiations between George Lucas and festival officials, Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge Of The Sith will open the festival in the South of France in May.

It’s hoped that Ewan McGregor, who plays the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, will attend, although he’ll be about to open in Michael Grandage’s new London stage version of Guys And Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre.

It could be a star-packed Cannes this year. Russell Crowe and Renée Zellweger are planning to attend with an out-of-competition screening of their latest picture, Cinderella Man, plus there’s talk of them handing out the main prize at the closing ceremony.

Another major movie rumoured to be at the festival is Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. It’s based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx.

Source: This is London

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, February 18, 2005 // 07:32 a.m.


Robots official site & images

Carol Cundiff, Publicist, Online Publicity & Promotions at Twentieth Century Fox wrote in to tell us all about the Robots.

She wrote:

I wanted to make sure you had all the info on the upcoming film called "ROBOTS" - which will be in theaters starting March 11th. Feel free to post this information to your fan site that EWAN MCGREGOR fans can check it out! http://www.robotsmovie.com

Release: March 11
Director: Chris Wedge
Co-Director: Carlos Saldanha

Cast: voice talents of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes, Jennifer Coolidge, and Robin Williams

Academy Award® winning director Chris Wedge (“Bunny,” “Ice Age”) brings his innovative filmmaking magic to ROBOTS, taking the animated feature film genre to a new, exciting level. For the first time ever, an animated feature presents a unique, totally imagined world – a wondrously clanky universe populated solely by mechanical beings. And never has a cast of this caliber -- encompassing no less than five Oscar winners, as well as Emmy® and Tony® honorees -- been brought together for an animated feature. In the film you’ll meet memorable ‘bots Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place; Cappy (Halle Berry), a beautiful executive ‘bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten; the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) who locks horns with Rodney; Bigweld (Mel Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way; and a group of misfit ‘bots known as the Rusties, led by Fender (Robin Williams) and Piper Pinwheeler (Amanda Bynes).

She also included two huge images. Click on the images below to see the *larger* ones:

Thank you, Ms. Cundiff!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 17, 2005 // 11:20 p.m.


Wonderful Robots featurette online

Movies.com has a wonderful featurette on the making of Robots. Ewan is featured several times, he is shown doing the voice of Rodney Copperbottom and he is interviewed. Click on the link and then look under "02/16/05" for the link to watch the featurette. There are also links to clips and trailers on the page.

Thanks to Holly for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 17, 2005 // 11:06 p.m.


Robots clips and trailer at Yahoo Movies

Yahoo Movie’s Robots page has links to three clips: Map to the Stars’ Homes and Did I Miss the Butt-Whoopin’? along with the theatrical trailer. Click on the link to check them out!

Thanks to Elyse for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 // 07:29 a.m.


Set report from The Island

Ain’t It Cool News has a wonderful set report from "Mr Beaks". It’s spoiler-filled, so be cautious if you want to remain spoiler-free, but there are a few delicious Ewan moments (including a butt-cheek viewing) and there are a couple of pictures (sadly, neither shows the above-mentioned butt-cheek). ;-)

Click on the link to check it out!

Thanks to Kimberly for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, February 13, 2005 // 10:34 p.m.


Stay release date … year

Stay’s director, Marc Forster, was interviewed on the BAFTA red carpet and said Stay will be released next year.

Thanks to Barbara for the info!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, February 13, 2005 // 10:30 p.m.


Ewan a presenter at The Independent Spirit Awards

Ewan will be a presenter at The Independent Spirit Awards on February 26th. It will be shown on Bravo at 10:00pm (9pm Central), Red Carpet pre-show will be at 9:00pm (8pm Central). A red-carpet show precedes the award presentation an hour earlier.

IFC will also air The Independent Spirit Awards live, at 2pm.

Thanks to Mary for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 10, 2005 // 05:26 p.m.


ER - It wasn’t ’stat,’ but the 3rd season is finally announced!

Posted by David Lambert

Combining the extraordinary talents of multiple award-winning producer John Wells, best-selling author Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg, ER follows the lives of the emergency room staff and doctors at Chicago’s County General Hospital, where the difference between life and death rests on split-second decisions - and the pressure, joy and guilt are often overwhelming. This critically acclaimed series, which won three Emmys during its third season, including Oustanding Drama Series, is soon to be available in a 22 episode, 6 disc collector’s set.

The main cast during the third season consisted of Laura Innes, Julianna Margulies, Gloria Reuben, Anthony Edwards, Eriq La Salle, George Clooney, Noah Wyle, and Sherry Stringfield. Recurring characters and guest stars during this season included (but weren’t limited to) Lisa Nicole Carson, Khandi Alexander, Ving Rhames, Deezer D., Eileen Brennan, William H. Macy, Jorja Fox, Lawrence Tierney, Glenne Headly, Kirsten Dunst, CCH Pounder, Kevin Tighe, Veronica Cartwright, Jami Gertz, Julie Hagerty, Harry Shearer, Amy Aquino, Mary McDonough, and Ewan McGregor.

Now they all come together on ER - The Complete 3rd Season. It was originally supposed to come out last December, but - as we told you - Warner changed it to arrive on April 26th. The cost on this will be $49.98 for 993 minutes of one of the best dramas to ever grace television. The disc count this time around is 6 DVDs…which seems to indicate that, like the recent announcement of West Wing’s 4th Season, Warner is switching from double-sided discs to the single-sided variety. Good news for people with "jukebox" style DVD players.

It will be presented in 16x9 anamorphic widescreen video, as originally shown on T.V. Sound is English Stereo, with subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. Closed Captioning for the Hearing Impaired is also there. Extras include Audio Commentaries, Documentaries, Easter Eggs, Featurettes, a Gag Reel, and Outtakes.

Source: TV Shows on DVD

Thanks to Elyse for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 10, 2005 // 07:38 a.m.


New pictures added to Long Way Round site

Three new photos were added in the official Long Way Round site’s image gallery! Click on the link to check them out!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 // 10:44 p.m.


Robots Superbowl trailer

Comingsoon.net has a link to the Robots trailer that aired during last night’s Superbowl game. Click on the link and scroll down to check it out!

Thanks to Fuumin for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, February 7, 2005 // 08:00 a.m.


Guys & Dolls on BBC Radio 2 this Sunday

Update: The BBC decided to air the show at a later date, to correspond more closely with the opening of Guys & Dolls in London. Stay tuned for details!

13:00 Elaine Paige on Sunday
Elaine Paige celebrates the best of Broadway, Hollywood and the West End.

Elaine continues the search for the nation’s top ten Essential Musicals, (listeners can vote via the Radio 2 website), and this week’s choice is Frank Loesser’s "Guys and Dolls", a classic movie and a triumphant stage show. "Guys and Dolls" is synonymous with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando and is soon to be revived in London starring Ewan McGregor.

As with all BBC radio programmes, it can be listened to for up to a week after airing.

Source: BBC Radio 2

Thanks to Viv for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, February 5, 2005 // 10:02 a.m.


Imagine Entertainment, HBO Documentary Films and the Creative Coalition Host a Special Screening of New Documentary ’Inside Deep Throat,’ February 3

Thursday February 3, 3:06 pm ET

Overwhelming Popular Response Pushes ’INSIDE Deep Throat’ Into Hollywood Institution, the Cinerama Dome

Special Screening of New Documentary
to be Followed By Moderated Panel Discussion
* R E V I S E D   M E D I A   A L E R T *

A special evening of "INSIDE Deep Throat," starting with a screening of the new hit documentary that was the talk of Sundance from Academy Award(R)-winning producer Brian Grazer and acclaimed writers/producers/directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato ("The Eyes of Tammy Faye," "Monica in Black and White"), followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Peter Bart with panelists Arianna Huffington, Lawrence O’Donnell, Dennis Prager and Richard Schickel.

     WHO: "INSIDE Deep Throat" filmmakers-producer Grazer and writers/producers/directors Bailey and Barbato-will be joined by opinion-makers and figures from the worlds of entertainment, pop culture and current affairs, including Pamela Anderson, John Avildsen, B Real, Jason Bateman, Thora Birch, Bill Condon, Martha Coolidge, Joe Dante, Eamon, Jimmy Fallon, Troy Garity, Taylor Hackford, Amy Heckerling, Howard Hesseman, Arthur Hiller, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gale Ann Hurd, Eric Idle, Christine Lahti, Michele Lee, Samantha Mathis, Ewan McGregor, Joe Pantoliano (Co-President, Creative Coalition), Brett Ratner, Mimi Rogers, Richard Schiff, Ben Shenkman, Charles Shyer, Julia Stiles, Oliver Stone, Betty Thomas, Mario Van Peebles, Kerry Washington, Chris Weitz, Grace Zabriskie, Steven Zaillian, Rob Zombie and many others.

     WHERE:  The ArcLight Cinemas
6360 Sunset Boulevard

     WHEN: Thursday, February 3, 2005
5:30 PM Press Call Time
6:30 PM Celebrity Arrivals
7:30 PM Screening Begins

"INSIDE Deep Throat" opens in select theaters around the country on Friday, February 11, 2005.

Source: Yahoo Financial News

Thanks to Baby Jefer for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, February 3, 2005 // 07:36 p.m.


Behind the scenes on The Island

This Dreamworks SKG fan site has posted a Quicktime "B-Roll" clip on their site that shows Ewan quite a few times. Click on the link to check it out -- you will need to find the entry "First Look: ’The Island’ B-Roll" dated 01/02/05, 11:24pm EST and click on the link to see the B-Roll.

Thanks to Rose for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 2, 2005 // 06:47 p.m.


’Robots’ Soundtrack Album Set for March Release On Virgin

Wednesday February 2, 12:21 pm ET

Eclectic and Up-To-The Minute Soundtrack Music Spans Genres With Musical Legends and Hot New Names

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin Records will release the Robots film soundtrack on March 1, the company announced. Robots is a major new animated film created by the Academy Award-winning director that brought the Oscar-nominated Ice Age to the screen. The film opens nationally March 11, and will be released by 20th Century Fox in both IMAX and standard versions. Among the stars cast as the film voices of Robots are: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear, Drew Carey and Jamie Kennedy.

Leading off the soundtrack album of Robots is Virgin soul star Ricky Fante, who recorded his new song "Shine," especially for the film. Pop- rockers Fountains of Wayne also appear with a newly-recorded song, "Tell Me What You Already Did." Film score composer John Powell is joined by theatrical innovators Blue Man Group for "Robot City."

Several recent hit tunes will be familiar in the soundtrack: "Right Thurr," the hip-hop smash by Chingy; the top 20 single "I Like That" by Houston, featuring Chingy and Nate Dogg; and the recent single by Virgin artist Stacie Orrico, "(There’s Gotta Be) More to Life."

New Zealand pop-punkers Steriogram also highlight the soundtrack with the manic "Walkie Talkie Man," nominated for Breakthrough Video in last fall’s MTV Video Music Awards, alongside Fatboy Slim’s "Wonderful Night," the latest single from his album Palookaville, featuring a rap by Lateef the Truth Speaker. Mercury Music Prize winners Gomez, currently touring the U.S., contribute the song "Silence."

Pop music’s legends are also represented in the track list, with War’s west coast Latin-funk classic "Low Rider," while James Brown’s late-Seventies "Get Up Offa That Thing" appears in a new club remix. R&B supergroup Earth, Wind and Fire contributes a brand-new track, "Love’s Dance," a collaboration with superstar producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, from a forthcoming new EWF album.

Source: Yahoo News

Thanks to Elyse for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, February 2, 2005 // 06:46 p.m.


Guys & Dolls on U.S. television

Turner Classic Movies is airing Guys & Dolls on Tuesday, February 15 at 8:00 PM (Eastern). This is the 1955 version with Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra. It should be fun to watch the movie based on the play that Ewan will be doing over the summer!

Be sure to click on the above link that takes you to the Internet Movie Database’s page for Guys & Dolls. There’s lots of trivia and information that’s interesting to know.

Source: TV-Now

Thanks to Barbara for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, February 1, 2005 // 07:07 a.m.


Ewan’s tuxedo raises $3200!

Congratulations to skidoo213 who placed the winning bid of US$3200.

Bidding started slowly but picked up during the last 15 minutes of the auction. Liam Neeson’s sold for US$1800.

The winning bid tied for 13th place among all items sold, but raised the most money among all the men’s tuxedos.

Source: Golden Globes Celebrity Clothing Auction Bid History

Thanks to Rose for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, January 31, 2005 // 07:08 a.m.


Long Way Down

Long Way Down is apparently the title of Ewan and Charley’s next motorbike project, according to Charley, who appeared at the London motorbike show. The project will have Ewan and Charley travel to Cape Town, South Africa, and will be filmed like Long Way Round.

Thanks to Patty for the information!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, January 30, 2005 // 02:43 p.m.


First Kellogg’s "Robots" Promos Materialize

posted by Robair (Webmaster) 5:16 PM [Friday, Jan 7]

Kellogg’s cereals have received an upgrade of "Robots" as the first boxes with Kellogg’s promo items from the movies have hit store shelves.

Kellogg’s 25-ounce boxes will feature free inside a "Robots" Racer, a friction-type racer. The six characters available are Rodney, Fender, Piper, Crank, Madame Gasket, and Aunt Fanny. Additionally, you can send away for a set of six by mailing in proofs on specially marked packs of Keebler cookies. Smaller boxes of Kellogg’s cereals feature a mail-in offer for one of three "Robots" remote control motorized racers (Rodney, Fender, Piper). Our local market just got in the first lot of Frosted Flakes boxes with Robots toys, in fact, and there is one sitting on the desk right now…which "Robot" is in there? You’ll soon know.

Kellogg’s Pop Tarts larger size boxes (16 count) will feature free inside a "Build Your Own Robots" CD-ROM game. Kellogg’s will also issue a new limited-time Pop Tarts flavor, Robo Berry Blast.

Eggo waffles will feature a mail-in offer for a set of three "Robots" forks. Fender is one, the others are most probably Rodney and Piper.

And of course, the big "Robots" daddy of them all is coming very soon to your local Piggly Wiggly: "Robots" Cereal.

Remember, we are nine weeks from the U.S. opening day for "Robots".

Source: Amanda Bynes NOW!.com

Lots of food products to look out for!

You can go to the official Kellogg’s website to see their Robots promotional page. There’s even more stuff…fruit snacks, etc.

Thanks to Elyse for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, January 28, 2005 // 07:34 a.m.


High-resolution stills from Robots

Monsters and Critics has many high-resolution images from the upcoming Robots. Many of the images feature Ewan’s character, Rodney. Click on the link to check them out!

Thanks to Elyse for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, January 28, 2005 // 07:28 a.m.


Interview with Ewan in Velocity magazine

January 2005

It’s not unusual for the successful professional to feel restless, but when actor Ewan McGregor heard the call of the open road he went further than most. Pierre de Villiers speaks to the family man about the pain of leaving home, and why he’d do it all again.

Ewan McGregor hates spending too much time away from his family. When the actor talks about the pain of being parted from his wife Eve and their two daughters Clara and Esther with no way of seeing them or giving them a hug, his voice fills with emotion. But despite this aversion to leaving his loved ones, McGregor left his home last year to spend three and half months on the road with an increasingly demanding mistress. When the 33-year-old strides into the room he is wearing an item of clothing that hints at the passionate affair: a black biker jacket. As much as he is a devoted husband and loving father, McGregor is also a man who finds a Zen-like peace and happiness in hitting the open road on a motorcycle.

"I didn’t have a care in the world," sighs the actor as he recalls riding his beloved BMW through a remote stretch of Kazakhstan as part of the 20,000 mile odyssey from London to New York that he recently undertook with friend Charley Boorman. "I felt completely that I was where I was supposed to be. I never felt quite so right."

McGregor first fell for motorbikes when he was six years old. His father, Jim, was the chairman of the Round Table in Crieff, Scotland and organised a charity event for disadvantaged children. As a wide-eyed McGregor watched, a shiny red 50cc Honda was taken down to a field so a youngster’s dream of riding a bike could be realised. Then McGregor was asked if he wanted to have a go. Racing across the field with the high-pitched whine of the engine in his ears, the kid who would one day be a movie star realised he had found the object of his desire. McGregor’s love for bikes stayed with him through school -where he was desperate to get a 50cc to win back a girlfriend -into drama school and eventually onto the sets of the blockbuster films that turned him into a global star.

While shooting Moulin Rouge in Australia, McGregor demanded that he be allowed to travel into the outback, despite the fears of studio insurers. Calling concerned director Baz Luhrmann to one side, he told him: "I act. I am with my wife and kids. And I ride motorbikes. That’s all I do." His speech finished, the actor rode off into the wilderness to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Such is McGregor’s obsession with riding bikes that an epic, no-frills road-trip was always somewhere around the corner. And in friend and fellow thespian Boorman, whom McGregor met while filming The Serpent’s Kiss eight years ago, he found a willing and able partner in grime.

"We started out thinking about a shorter trip from London to the south of Spain with our wives," McGregor remembers. "Then we thought about riding through China but I soon realised that wouldn’t be very exciting either. I thought, ’what if we go from London and just keep on going towards America, ending in New York?’"

The itinerary McGregor and Boorman decided on was gruelling, even for experienced riders. In three and a half months, the pair travelled 20,000 miles, taking in 14 countries on a route through western Europe, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska and through Canada and America, ending in New York.

To help organise and fund the trip they called in the help of a production company, which would turn their travels into a documentary series. After a few lessons in Russian and going on a training course designed for journalists about to enter war zones, McGregor and Boorman set off from London on 14 April last year. They were accompanied by a cameraman on a motorbike and, some way behind, two support vehicles.

For McGregor, leaving his family behind was extremely tough to deal with. "I had a very sad time leading up to us leaving because we were all aware that it was creeping up," he explains. "I found the first week the most difficult because you are looking down the barrel of three-anda-half months away. My eldest daughter Clara is eight years old and we went to her school to start a live geography project.

We would send stuff back to them and the class could track where we were. By doing that there was a real sense that she was with us. On the other hand, my little one Esther is only three; she was only two when I left, and she was the one I couldn’t really make understand what we were doing. But, you know, it was strange how being apart from her had an effect on me. I started to see Esther whenever I spotted baby animals. For instance, whenever I saw a camel with a baby camel I just saw a wee Esther."

To ease the longing, McGregor was in touch with his family via satellite phone almost every night.

"It was difficult because I realised I couldn’t carry this lump in my throat all around the world. It’s too heavy," he smiles. "It got easier when I heard them on the phone. I couldn’t have done it without those phone calls. As soon as I heard they were alright, that they had slipped back into routine, it became much easier."

As being separated from his family became easier, so the trip itself became that much harder. Roads with potholes the size of bomb craters, insect bites that left McGregor with a swollen face, and the occasional gun-toting local conspired to leave the actor searching for motivation. But doubts as to why he left behind the comforts of home and a celebrity lifestyle were dispelled by the kindness of strangers.

"We were given food by an enormous amount of people," McGregor remembers. "Especially in nomadic countries like Kazakhstan. It was lovely."

Having people shove food in his face as opposed to Star Wars merchandise for him to sign is a break from the norm that McGregor welcomed with open arms. And although he was harassed in a few countries by journalists thrilled to write about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s latest adventure, the star could, for large parts of the trip, experience what it felt like to be just another weary traveller passing through town. It was a new-found anonymity that allowed McGregor to explore the importance of human interaction stripped of hidden agendas.

"We were at this checkpoint in the Ukraine, sitting beside the road when this little old lady came up to me," he remembers. "She shuffled over and started talking. I didn’t understand and it didn’t matter. It sounded really lovely what she was saying. I talked to her telling her what we were doing and she said she would pray for us. Those moments you will never, ever forget. You realise that language is not the most important thing. The most important thing is the effort you make to listen."

McGregor certainly made a point of listening when Unicef invited him and Boorman to visit some of its projects to help underprivileged kids in Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the Ukraine. The pair were left speechless after being introduced to 40 children at a government centre in the city of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

"I didn’t realise the children would be so young," says McGregor. "There were kids as young as two who had been living on the street. I was shocked and just didn’t know what to say."

The thought that children the same age as his "wee Esther" were suffering because the government could not afford medical bills still haunts McGregor, and has clearly strengthened his resolve to highlight the incredible work done by Unicef.

"The Unicef projects became the heart and soul of the trip," says McGregor, who is now an ambassador for the organisation. "We learnt that because Unicef build fantastic facilities it might encourage people to abandon their children, thinking they might be better off at the centre. That’s why Unicef are helping governments look at why children are abandoned in the first place. It was gobsmacking what they do."

After almost four months apart, McGregor and his wife were finally reunited in New York. As they sat down for breakfast together the actor became restless, thinking about plans to get his bike back to London.

In Long Way Round, the book that chronicles the journey, McGregor recalls Eve joking: "Alright, go and be with your bike instead of me."

And it looks like she might have to face up to being a motorcycle widow again sooner rather than later, since the actor, when attending The Times/Foyles Writers and Readers Forum to talk about the book and the work of Unicef, mentioned plans to travel through Africa next.

With his wife allowing him to go on these dream trips, would he, in turn, be happy for Eve to go off on a girls-only trip for couple of months?

"Yes, of course," comes the answer, after a long pause, as McGregor contemplates having to spend more time away from his wife. "At least I like to believe that I would be okay with it."

Source: velocity

Thanks to Baby Jefer for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 27, 2005 // 06:56 p.m.


Long Way Round Promotional Tour

  • 29th & 30th January 2005 - Alexandra Palace Motorcycle Show

    The MCN London Motorcycle Show runs from January 29-February 6 2005 at the Alexandra Palace, London. It brings manufacturers, traders, racers, celebrities, girls and entertainment under one roof, to get you closer to the new bikes, the best deals, and the most exciting action. Charley will be appearing at the show on the 29th and 30th of January and the 5th and 6th February.

  • 3rd-6th February 2005 - The Daily Telegraph Destinations Holiday and Travel Show - Earls Court

    Feeling the winter blues? Fancy broadening your horizons in 2005? Then why not make a date for Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show? If you want a unique chance to meet travel experts, celebrities and writers as well as over 300 tour operators representing thousands of destinations across the world, then you can’t afford to miss the travel event of the year.

    Destinations 2005 takes place at: Earls Court: 3rd-6th February 2005

    Charley will be at the show on Thursday the 3rd of February. He will be giving a talk on the trip at 16:00 and signing books at the Borders stand after.

    Tickets cost: £8 in advance / £10 on the door and are available from the Destinations Hotline on 08701 21 21 81 or log onto www.DestinationsShow.com.

  • 5th & 6th February 2005 - Alexandra Palace Motorcycle Show

    The MCN London Motorcycle Show runs from January 29-February 6 2005 at the Alexandra Palace, London. It brings manufacturers, traders, racers, celebrities, girls and entertainment under one roof, to get you closer to the new bikes, the best deals, and the most exciting action. Charley will be appearing at the show on the 29th and 30th of January and the 5th and 6th February.

Source: Official Long Way Round site

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 27, 2005 // 12:56 p.m.


Robots CD-ROM in Pop-Tarts

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts include one of three Robots CD-ROMs. "Rodney and the Rusties" contains a behind-the-scenes clip and a few games for young children.

Thanks to Liz for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 27, 2005 // 07:41 a.m.


New picture from The Island

Source: Latino Review

Thanks to Barbara for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 27, 2005 // 07:28 a.m.


UK fans: Win a DVD player and ER season 3 boxset

GMTV is having a draw where you could win a DVD player and the 3rd season of the drama ER on DVD in which Ewan appears in the episode Long Way Around.

Click on the link to read the details and enter!

Thanks to Mary for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 // 06:30 p.m.


’Revenge of the Sith’ Reshoots

Posted By Britany on January 22, 2005

An anonymous source sends in info on the reshoots George Lucas will be doing in the UK:

The reshoots were originally booked for Shepperton, but as leaked in the recent Vanity Fair article, they are infact being filmed at Elstree. However Big Brother is currently occupying that stage and it finishes on Sunday.

Filming will only be for half a day and will include Nick Gillard, Hayden Christen, and Ewan McGregor, so this looks like the vital final moments of Anakin Skywalker and birth of Vader.

Source: The Force.Net

Thanks to Barb for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, January 22, 2005 // 11:05 a.m.


City Year to screen ’Star Wars’

By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan, Globe Staff January 21, 2005

CITY YEAR GETS ’REVENGE’ Boston-based City Year has been chosen as one of 10 nationwide charities to host -- and benefit from -- a charity screening of ’’Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" on May 12, one week before the movie hits theaters. City Year folks are still working out which Boston theater will host the screening and details such as ticket prices. ’’These charitable organizations are the leaders in direct services and advocacy for children and families," George Lucas, the films series’ creator, said in a release. ’’I’m delighted that the screenings can help these amazing organizations, which do such important work." Founded in Boston in 1988, City Year is now in 15 cities nationwide and is launching this year in South Africa. This ’’Star Wars" -- the final installment in the six-film saga -- stars Ewan McGregor and Harvard alum Natalie Portman. For more information about tickets, e-mail StarWars@cityyear.org.

Source: boston.com

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, January 21, 2005 // 07:22 a.m.


Ewan’s Golden Globe tux being auctioned off for Asian tsunami relief

The Dior tuxedo that Ewan wore at last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards is being auctioned off to help the victims of the Asian tsunami. Liam Neeson’s Armani tuxedo is also up for auction.

The bidding for Ewan’s tux is currently at US$500. (January 26 update: the bidding is now up to US$1400!)

Thanks to Kai for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 // 06:25 p.m.


Clothing for Golden Globes Auction at The Hollywood Museum on Wednesday

Jane Kaczmarek and Bradley Whitford unveil gowns, tuxedoes and accessories worn by celebrities at the Golden Globes to be auctioned off at the Clothes Off Our Back auction January 17 through 30 at www.clothesoffourback.org This viewing reception is being sponsored by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and In Style.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 19, 2005
6:30 -- Set-Up and Arrivals
7:00 p.m. -- Event

WHERE: The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor
Building 1660 N. Highland Avenue (at Hollywood Blvd.)

NOTES: Proceeds raised from the auction will benefit the UNICEF Tsunami Relief Fund. The auction clothing will be on view to the public at The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building January 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29 and 30.



Please fax your requests to The Michael Russell Group at (310) 939-9034 or email to slocascio@michaelrussellgroup.com.


The Michael Russell Group
John Mich and Stephen LoCascio, 310-939-9024
Business Wire

Thanks to ParisRouge for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 // 06:24 p.m.


Ewan looking fabulous at tonight’s Golden Globes

Source: Yahoo

Thanks to Melinda and Georginita for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, January 16, 2005 // 08:59 p.m.


Charley Boorman to open The Daily Telegraph Adventure Travel & Sports Show 2005

Don’t miss your chance to meet and chat with Charley Boorman who will be opening The Daily Telegraph Adventure Travel & Sports Show, Olympia London at 10am on Friday 14 January. The show, which runs from 14-16 January 2005, will give visitors and members of the press alike the opportunity to hear tales of Charley and Ewan’s epic 20,000 mile journey from London to New York, across the Pacific to Alaska and other far-flung parts and to ask questions. Charley will also be signing copies of the ’Long Way Round’ book at the show on the Friday (times TBC) and will be at the show on Saturday 15 January between 2-4pm.

If you want to follow in Ewan and Charley’s footsteps, over 250 exhibitors and 100 free talks will whet your appetite and show you how! Whether you’re looking for independent travel, small group expeditions, adventure sports, ideas or simply inspiration, our exhibitors can open your eyes to a world of adventure. From the challenge of classic walks and treks, conquering the summits of the world, doing something that little bit different as a volunteer on a social project, or simply moving quietly among different people in new places, to the thrill of action sports such as white-water rafting and mountain biking, plus all the latest equipment and travel advice, from better photography to “keeping safe on your travels” with Charlie McGrath MBE who assisted Ewan and Charley on their round the world motorbike trip.

For the latest show news visit www.adventureshow.co.uk.

Save £2 on entry

The Daily Telegraph Adventure Travel & Sports Show will be held at Olympia London
14 - 16 January 2005
10am – 6pm daily

Adults: £8 in advance (£10 on the door)
Child*: £6 in advance (£7 on the door)
Family**: £28 in advance (£34 on the door)

Please add £1.50 postage and packing per order.

* Child 5-16 (under 5s free), ** Family tickets allow entry for 2 adults and up to 3 children.

Call the ticket hotline on 0870 060 0199 or visit www.adventureshow.co.uk and quote “Long Way Round”.

Source: Official Long Way Round site

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 // 07:33 a.m.


Ewan a presenter at the Golden Globes

Ewan will be a presenter at the Golden Globe Awards, which will air on January 16 on NBC.

Source: NBC

Thanks to Elyse for the info!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, January 8, 2005 // 08:22 p.m.


Long Way Round soundtrack at amazon.com

amazon.com has the soundtrack for Long Way Round. However, because it’s an import, it costs a whopping US$31.99.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, January 8, 2005 // 10:25 a.m.


New picture from The Island

The January edition of the French magazine Première contains this great picture of Ewan in action:

Thanks to Siriala for the scan!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, January 6, 2005 // 10:25 p.m.


Kavanagh QC available on DVD in North America

Update: Deep Discount DVD sells a DVD containing only the episode "Nothing But the Truth" for US$10.76. Thanks to Rose for the heads up!

Amazon.com is offering the first four episodes of Kavanagh QC (Ewan appears in its first episode) for US$35.98 (CDN$ 33.98 (US$27.73) at amazon.ca).

The four episodes included on the two discs are Nothing but the Truth, Heartland, A Family Affair, and The Sweetest Thing. Among the extras are a cast profiles, a tribute to John Thaw, Kavanagh QC: The Birth of a Series and trivia.

Thanks to Roberta for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, January 5, 2005 // 12:48 p.m.


Long Way Round t-shirts

There are more Long Way Round t-shirts available for sale at the official Long Way Round website. Don’t wait too long before ordering yours if you’d like one, the previous batch sold out in about a week.

The t-shirts cost £20, plus postage and handling. Payment can be made through Paypal only.

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, January 5, 2005 // 08:06 a.m.


So who stole Ewan McGregor?

Roslyn Neely, of CHAS, accepts the Galleries cheque from Hamish.

GLASGOW’S BUCHANAN Galleries has built on its fantastic fund-raising efforts to hand over another cheque for our Hospice Appeal.

The total for the shopping centre’s Buy a Brick campaign is in — they’ve raised a whopping £8400 for CHAS.

Since the scheme was launched in early 2003, shoppers were asked to donate £1 to buy a “virtual brick” for Robin House. And they responded to the challenge, with around 400 bricks bought each month.


Scots actor and CHAS supporter Ewan McGregor also did his part to draw attention to the scheme, even though his presence was rather two-dimensional.

Buchanan Galleries Manager Hamish Millar explained, “We placed a life-sized cut-out of Ewan in the centre to promote the campaign and even got a phone call from a female fan keen to buy Ewan when we were finished with him.

“But we never quite got that far.”

That’s because the cardboard celebrity disappeared before a CHAS donation could be negotiated.

Hamish said, “We checked the CCTV footage and we couldn’t believe it. We saw a girl walking out of the centre with Ewan under her arm!”

Despite the loss of Ewan, Hamish is happy to help the appeal.

“This cause is so important to all of us,” he said. “I’d like to thank our retailers and shoppers for getting behind the campaign. It’s fantastic to see Robin House approaching completion.”

Source: The Sunday Post

Thanks to Georginita for the find!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, January 4, 2005 // 10:51 p.m.


Vanity Fair Cover

Update: E! Online has a clip of the cover shoot. Click on "The Star Wars cast strikes a pose". Thanks to Georginita for the heads up!

The next issue of Vanity Fair, hitting newsstands on January 11, will have a Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith cover article. Usually the pictures are fabulous.

Tonight’s Entertainment Tonight will give a sneak peek at the unprecedented, four-panel cover of Vanity Fair magazine, on newsstands Jan. 11, that brings together some of the biggest stars of all six films, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson and George Lucas (and, of course, Yoda, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Chewbacca)!

Source: Entertainment Tonight

Thanks to Barb for the heads up!

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, January 4, 2005 // 12:41 p.m.


Ewan and Sunday Mail appeal for £16M

By Russell Findlay

THE Sunday Mail today joins Ewan McGregor and UNICEF in a plea to save the young survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunamis.

Children made up about a third of the victims of the disaster, and starvation and disease could claim more.

And Star Wars actor Ewan, who is an ambassador for the UN’s children’s fund, UNICEF, points out that even the smallest donations can save lives.

Our appeal comes as the amount of money donated by the British public for relief efforts reached £60 million, with an astonishing £8.4 million from Scotland.

The figure, reached in just four days, was boosted by collections at Hogmanay events.

But father-of-two Ewan last night stressed still more was needed. He said: ’Like people the world over, I am glued to the television, helplessly watching the misery and devastation of this disaster unfold.

’But it is the faces of children - weeping and injured, lost and traumatised - that I find the most difficult to witness and I know that others feel the same.’

As little as 70 pence will buy a blanket to keep a homeless child warm. Just £5 would buy a basic first aid kit.

A donation of 35 pence will pay for five oral rehydration sachets to save a child’s life.

And £10 would buy purification tablets to make 100 litres of clean drinking water.

Ewan said: ’UNICEF need $25 million (£15.6 million) to support the immediate needs of children and families affected by this crisis. This sounds like a lot but every penny will go towards keeping children alive.

’Your money will help to curb the spread of disease, provide safe water, give shelter and reunite lost children with their families.

’The loss of loved ones and the memories of this event will haunt the lives of children for years to come and the rebuilding of homes and lives will take time.

’UNICEF’s task is huge and the work is only just beginning.’

Experts say the biggest problem now facing survivors is disease.

Oliver Morgan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine believes cholera could claim many lives.

He said: ’There is a big problem because the population does not have access to clean drinking water.

’The result is likely to be an increase in the number of cases of diarrhoea, especially dangerous for the young and the elderly.

’The additional concern is that an epidemic disease such as cholera can break out.’

Even a lack of basic shelter could lead to more deaths in the biggest natural disaster of modern times.

Morgan said: ’Although they have a tropical climate, it can get very cold at night and people don’t have very many clothes. A lot of people will get chest infections, eye infections and possibly even hypothermia.’

UNICEF has long-established offices in every affected country.

Scottish organiser Denise McNiven said: ’I would ask Sunday Mail readers to help UNICEF UK save lives.

’We are particularly concerned about the children, who are always the most vulnerable. Most already live below the poverty line.’

- TO donate money, use our coupon when sending cheques, postal order or debit or credit card payments. They should be sent to: UNICEF UK, SUNDAY MAIL APPEAL, PO Box 2006, Aberfeldy, Perthshire. PH15 2YJ. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to UNICEF.

Alternatively phone 08457 312 312 and quote 55642020 to make a donation.

Source: Sunday Mail

Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, January 1, 2005 // 10:20 p.m.



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