Ewan McGregor was appointed an OBE for services to drama and charity.
Ewan McGregor, 42, first found fame after playing heroin-addict Mark “Rent Boy” Renton in director Danny Boyle’s 1996 hit Trainspotting - a role he said he would consider returning to should the sequel, due to be filmed in 2016, go ahead.
Since Trainspotting his star has risen, landing roles such as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels as well as continuing with smaller, independent, movies and working with children’s charities Unicef and Go Campaign.
Wearing a kilt, the Scot said it had never been in doubt that he would come to the Palace in traditional clothing.
He said: “I didn’t have to think about it, that was always what I was going to wear.
“If you don’t wear your kilt here, I don’t know where you are going to wear it.”
McGregor, who was accompanied by two of his four daughters and his wife, praised the volunteers at the children’s charities he supports.
He said: “The volunteers live and work in really difficult places, they are the people who should be awarded.”
After the ceremony he spoke with 2012 Olympian Farah and congratulated him for being an inspiration to so many people, before the pair posed for photographers.
A hairstyle less ordinary: Ewan McGregor sports punky auburn locks as rumours grown about Porno film
26 June 2013
Actor Ewan McGregor’s hair seems to have taken on a life of its own recently, going from jet black and cropped to red and wild.
And his latest look has generated more rumours about a possible role in Trainspotting sequel Porno.
McGregor was pictured heading out for dinner at London’s trendy Sake no Hana restaurant looking casual in jeans and a tailored jacket – and clean shaven, with his hair a bright red colour.
It’s already a change of look for the actor since Saturday, when he was pictured arriving at Heathrow airport with a moustache.
McGregor has expressed an interest in reprising his role for a Trainspotting sequel based on the novel Porno. The sequel is about the friends first seen in Trainspotting trying to make money via the pornography business.
However his Twitter feed makes no mention of the film, and he is not listed to reprise his role as Renton on film website IMDb.
Talks of the Trainspotting sequel are definitely in the works, with the film projected to be released some time in 2016, which would mark the original movie’s 20th anniversary.
However the only people who are confirmed are writer Irvine Welsh and director Danny Boyle.
Ew- an! McGregor returns to red hair as he arrives back in London... but still has prominent moustache and soul patch
22 June 2013 By Fay Strang
He left fans scratching their chins when he stepped out last month with jet black hair and some rather impressive facial hair.
And while the look may not have grown on many it seems Ewan McGregor is pretty happy with one aspect of his new appearance – his moustache and soul patch.
The 42-year-old was spotted arriving in the UK on Saturday still sporting his new additions but with a twist as the dark dye was gone and his natural red was back in its rightful place.
Despite the facial hair, which is bound to divide fans, the Trainspotting actor still looked his usual handsome self.
He wore a pair of blue jeans with a grey shirt and jacket, while he opted for sturdy looking boots.
The star had left film fans wondering whether his appearance is for a film role since he first stepped out with the then dark do’.
The look came after he expressed interest in reprising his role for a Trainspotting sequel based on the novel Porno.
Though it seemed fitting for the sequel about friends trying to make money via the pornography business, the look was for a film he just completed filming in Mexico - Jane Got a Gun.
Ahead of returning to the UK the actor took to Twitter to discuss shooting. He wrote: “Last night shooting on #janegotagun Thanks New Mexico for the landscape, sunsets and heat. Also going home with a new O’Farrell’s hat ;)”
Ewan stepped into the role after Bradley Cooper dropped out of the film which also stars Natalie Portman as Jane Hammond.
This comes after a string of bad luck for the indie western, as Bradley was a replacement for Jude Law, who had earlier replaced Michael Fassbender, according to OK!.
Of his exiting the film, Bradley told The Huffington Post:
“Everything worked out for the best because they got Ewan McGregor. If they could have gotten him at the outset, I would have never gotten offered the role, I’ll tell you that.”
According to IMDb the plot is as follows: After her outlaw husband returns home shot with eight bullets and barely alive, Jane reluctantly reaches out to an ex-lover who she hasn’t seen in over ten years to help her defend her farm when the time comes that her husband’s gang eventually tracks him down to finish the job.
The film, which also stars Joel Edgerton and Rodrigo Santoro is set for release in 2014.
August: Osage County tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Letts’ play made its Broadway debut in December 2007 after premiering at Chicago’s legendary Steppenwolf Theatre earlier that year. It continued with a successful international run.
Star Wars reunion: Ewan McGregor saddles up for Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman
May 6, 2013 By Kevin Jagernauth
Well, despite whatever upheaval is going on casting wise, perhaps Joel Edgerton wasn’t kidding when he said everything was “wonderful” on the set of Jane Got a Gun. Thus far, the villain role has been toughest to slot with Michael Fassbender, Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper all coming and going as the movie has been rocked by director changes and cast defections; but perhaps this one will stick? At any rate, it will give Star Wars fans the reunion between Obi Wan-Kenobi and Queen Amidala they’ve been waiting for.
That’s right, Ewan McGregor is busting out the spurs to take on the bad guy role in the Natalie Portman starring and produced western. It’s a reteam of the Star Wars prequel stars and my God they were once so young... Here’s a refresher: The film will follow Jane Hammond (Portman), a good girl married to one of the worst baddies in town. When her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) turns against his own gang, the vicious Bishop Boys, and returns home barely alive with eight bullets in his back, Jane decides to grab a gun and take matters into her own hands. As the relentless leader John Bishop (McGregor) gears up for revenge, Jane’s best hope for her family’s survival rests with her old love Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) – a gunslinger whose hatred for Bill is only slightly overshadowed by his love for Jane.
We have to say, it’s a pretty great casting replacement and stepping back for a second — a western starring Portman, McGregor and Edgerton? Hard to argue with that. Yes, we can always dream about what Lynne Ramsay could’ve done with the material, but Gavin O’Connor is no slouch so perhaps everyone involved can make some good lemonade out of the last couple months of lemons. And with Ramsay headed to Cannes as part of Steven Spielberg’s jury, we presume we’ll hear her side of the saga soon enough.
Production is underway in New Mexico and barring any other disruptions, this is the final shape the movie will be in. Knock wood. [Deadline]
The Weinstein Company has set loose this first teaser poster for August: Osage County, the upcoming screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by Tracy Letts. Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson and Misty Upham, the film is slated to be released on November 8th. John Wells directs from Letts’ screen adaptation. Expect a teaser trailer for August: Osage County shortly.
August: Osage County tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Letts’ play made its Broadway debut in December 2007 after premiering at Chicago’s legendary Steppenwolf Theatre earlier that year. It continued with a successful international run.
Ewan McGregor LG Interview: Not-Quite-30-Seconds-Of-Tech
May 1, 2013
At LG Australia's launch of its 2013 Home Entertainment range, the company unveiled Ewan McGregor as the face of the campaign... and thanks to my choice of seat (determined normally by my poor eyesight) I ended up sitting right in front of him. So, here's Ewan McGregor on acting, the effect of technology change in film-making, why he likes LG (hey, he is there to spruik LG after all) and a whole lot of use of a certain four letter word starting with f...
He learnt a few things about being in front of the camera from Ewan McGregor, so Soa “The Hulk” Palelei has returned the favour by showing the Trainspotting star a few moves in the boxing ring.
The WA mixed martial arts champion landed a part acting opposite McGregor in the predominantly WA-shot film Son of a Gun recently.
Before McGregor left WA this week to finish the film in Melbourne, the pair caught up for some sparring on a break from filming in Kalgoorlie.
“Here I am kicking his ass. @soathehulk #yehright #thatllberight #inyerdreams,” McGregor tweeted of the pair boxing each other, while Palelei tweeted: “Great workout sparring with my buddy @mcgregor_ewan #EwanKnockedDownDaHulk.”
Palelei, who has been cast opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the coming blockbuster Hercules: The Thracian Wars, told AAA Weekend recently how thrilled he was by having the chance to act opposite McGregor
“He (Ewan) is an absolutely nice guy. A true professional. It was a great opportunity to work with him,” he said.
Ewan McGregor and David Beckham have welcomed children’s charity Unicef becoming an official partner of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Today will see the official announcement of the partnership between the charity, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Glasgow 2014.
It is hoped the partnership will inspire and enable children “to be the best they can be”, as well as raising funds and awareness of the charity.
Unicef ambassadors McGregor and Beckham said they were delighted that “a better future for children around the world” was being put at the centre of the Glasgow 2014 legacy.
McGregor said: “I couldn’t be more pleased that Glasgow has been selected to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and partner with Unicef.
“There are so many aspects of the Games that I’m in no doubt will leave a significant legacy. The Unicef partnership will benefit disadvantaged children around the world.”
Beckham added: “I am delighted to hear that Unicef and Glasgow 2014 are to put children at the heart of the Commonwealth Games legacy.
“This partnership is an amazing opportunity for children around the world. Through the power of sport you can achieve so much, and this great partnership will be no different.”
The partnership with the CGF and Glasgow 2014 aims to raise funds for Unicef’s work in Commonwealth countries around the world.
The announcement of the partnership will take place at Swinton Primary School in Glasgow. The event will be led by children from the school, alongside Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg, CGF vice-president Bruce Robertson and Unicef UK executive director David Bull.
They will joined by Nicola Adams, who became the first female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal in London.
Ewan McGregor working out in Bicton. Picture: Mind Body & Soul Fitness/Facebook
When movie star Ewan McGregor flashes his biceps in the upcoming movie Son of a Gun, admirers can thank Bicton personal trainer Brett Smith.
Mr Smith, owner of Mind, Body & Soul fitness studio, worked with McGregor twice a week for five weeks to help maintain and develop his bad-guy physique for the movie, which has been mostly filmed in WA.
Mr Smith, who describes McGregor as “really normal”, said his star client was a disciplined fitness fanatic. “He had three months of training in LA before coming to me, so he had good core strength,” Mr Smith said.
“Certainly for his role playing a criminal he wanted the guns - the big arms - so he had to put on a bit of muscle and strength.”
Mr Smith said McGregor’s personal assistant came into the studio weeks before he arrived to ask questions on his behalf.
He believes his proximity to the star’s temporary home in East Fremantle, and the fact his studio is a personal training centre and not a public gym, added to his appeal.
The personal trainer also revealed he managed to turn the Scottish star into a Dockers fan during his stay, taking the actor to Patersons Stadium for the round one derby win against West Coast.
Ewan McGregor, passionate ambassador of Moto Guzzi California 1400
April 4, 2013
Ewan McGregor is the ambassador for the Moto Guzzi 1400 California. It is the first time that a Hollywood star of this caliber lends his face for a motorcycle advertising campaign.
The relationship between Moto Guzzi and the Scottish star is authentic and comes spontaneously to McGregor’s passion for motorcycles and in particular to the “mark of the eagle”.
A few months after visiting the Moto Guzzi factory during Long Way Down in 2007, Ewan went to Mandello del Lario for World Youth Day (Moto Guzzi World Days), returning to London in the saddle of his white California Vintage.
Today, the relationship with the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 narrows into a unique professional collaboration: Ewan McGregor is the ambassador for the new 2013 advertising campaign, a decision made after seeing and then trying the two versions: Custom Touring the new big Italian cruiser. To make it even more exclusive, the campaign, entitled “My Bike, My Pride” was shot in the exotic scenery of Western Australia. For an entire weekend, on March 9 and 10, Ewan McGregor left the shooting of his next film, “Son of Gun” directed by Julius Avery, to meet the camera lens of Italian photographer Paolo Zambaldi.
Ewan McGregor is a Guzzi collector. His garage contains 10 motorbikes such as the 1971 V7 Ambassador, the 1972 V7 Sport, the Eldorado V7, 1974, V11 2000, V11 Tenni of 2001 and the California Vintage 2009 with California sidecar over the 1400 Custom.
The advertising campaign “My Bike, My Pride” will start tomorrow April 5 in Europe and will be conveyed in the press and on the web.
Teaser For Commercial Directed By James Gray Featuring Ewan McGregor & Vinessa Shaw
March 8, 2013 By Kevin Jagernauth
Well, here’s a little bit of a surprise to cap off your week. Just like that, a teaser has dropped online for a commercial helmed by director James Gray and starring Ewan McGregor and Vinessa Shaw.
The brief one minute teaser finds McGregor playing a character named Mats Anderson, while Shaw takes the role of Special Agent Carter. It’s all being done for Citroën, the French auto company. Earlier this year, Gray dropped a commercial for Martell, and these are just little exercises between his feature gigs.
Ewan McGregor Uses “Every Piece of Technology” to Keep in Touch With Family
4 March 2013
Ewan McGregor uses “every piece of technology available” to keep in touch with his family while he is working.
The 41-year-old actor hates being separated from his wife Ève Mavrakis and four daughters, Clara, 17, Esther Rose, 11, and adopted Jamiyan, 11, and two-year-old Anouk, but says inventions such as Skype and iChat help him to see what they are getting up to on a daily basis without him.
He said: “You use every piece of technology available Skype, iChat, your computer, the iPad. There are easy ways to stay connected.”
Ewan previously admitted he has been following his parents example when it comes to raising them.
The actor keeps his rules and morals for his kids simple and just wants them to know the difference between right and wrong.
He said: “When it comes to my kids, there are few simple values I cherish, the same as my parents. What’s wrong, what’s right, kindness, a solid culture and good manners.”
The actor, who has been married to production designer Ève, 46, since 1995, isn’t sure what the secret to a happy relationship is, but mused: “There are no rules when it comes to marriage. Still being in love after all the years helps.”
Jack The Giant Slayer Follicular Face-Off: Ewan McGregor Vs. Stanley Tucci
Feb 28 2013 By Amy Wilkinson
Nicholas Hoult (and a rabble of performance-captured behemoths) may get top billing in Bryan Singer’s upcoming fairy-tale epic Jack the Giant Slayer, but we’d like to single out one of the film’s unsung hero for a little recognition. It’s hair. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? More specifically, we’re talking about the coifs atop stars Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci.
When MTV News caught up with the affable duo recently inside England’s historic Hampton Court Palace, we just had to ask which possesses the best on-screen tresses.
“He does ’cause it’s real,” Tucci declared, gesturing to McGregor.
“I had a great haircut in this film,” McGregor agreed.
“Great beard, too. This little thing,” Tucci continued, twirling a faux mustache.
“I didn’t have the teeth you had,” McGregor conceded. “You had the whole looking going on.”
It’s true. In fact, Tucci has a history of teeth acting, having donned fake grins for both The Lovely Bones and The Hunger Games. So what’s his secret?
“Just get them. Just get them,” he said. “Stick them in and everyone says, ‘Oh, you’re a chameleon.’ And you think, ‘No, I just have different teeth.’”
“But they were classy,” McGregor said. “They were so perfect for him.”
In the end, Tucci agreed that it’s the hair, teeth and clothes that make the man. “It’s all of it,” he said. “You’ve gotta figure out what’s right for you. And sometimes it really is just looking in the mirror and doing this [gestures] with your mustache or doing this with your eyebrows. And the thing with the wig, and you go, ‘Well, that’s it. That’s the guy.’”
Even if the guy’s hair isn’t quite as spectacular as Ewan McGregor’s.
Ewan McGregor a knight to remember in Giant Slayer
February 27, 2013 By Bob Thompson
LONDON — Ensconced in a Hampton Court Palace sitting room, the Scottish-born Ewan McGregor is surrounded by historic English trappings.
But he’s OK with hanging out at the massive estate where King Henry VIII once frolicked at his 16th century pleasure retreat south of London.
The fact that McGregor’s being treated royally might have something to do with his calm Celtic exterior amid the Tudor glory from the past when English armies regularly clashed with tartan clans.
Indeed, the 41-year-old has no malice in the palace because he’s here to promote Jack the Giant Slayer, the converged film version of the Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer fables.
Opening on March 1, the 3D action film features McGregor as the brave knight Elmont who joins Jack (Nicholas Hoult) and the conniving Roderick (Stanley Tucci) on a mission to save Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson). She’s being held captive in the giant land of Gantua, newly connected to the Cloister kingdom by the growth of a magical beanstalk.
The subsequent brutal battles between the giants and the mortals might have some wondering about the source material, but director Bryan Singer says that the movie mostly references the darker yarn Jack the Giant Killer rather than the more familiar kids’ bedtime story Jack and the Beanstalk.
Whatever the case, the director requested that McGregor adopt a proper English accent for his knight.
“I saw in the stage directions of the script that Elmont is introduced as a cocky Errol Flynn type,” says McGregor, relaxing in a room with a view of the main Hampton Palace courtyard where some of the film’s scenes were shot.
So the stage direction made sense. Flynn, although born in Australia, was considered the swashbuckling movie star who made the gallant English bandit Robin Hood famous.
“But I first read Cockney Errol Flynn type,” suggests the actor with smile. “For a week or so I was reading the lines in a Cockney accent, wondering why it didn’t work very well, and then I realized my mistake.”
A little later Singer is told the story, but he gives the cheeky tale a shrug as though it may or may not be accurate. He does confirm that McGregor was key to making the Elmont character work.
“To play realism, I think, sometimes is easier than to play heightened performance,” Singer says. “You really need actors like Ewan McGregor, who can play heightened characters, but play them 100 per cent convincing.”
In the end, McGregor went for a high-style British inclination as his “received pronunciation” (RP).
“Yes, my RP,” he says. “But it was quite a difficult accent because it’s proper and unemotional. And I’ve often found that as soon as you become angry or shouting, the accent can go out the window.”
By most assessments, he stays on course and even manages a few glib asides for some much needed comic relief.
For Singer is committed to the action genre, and despite the PG 13 rating, there are some scary moments when the performance-capture digital giants become aggressive.
“The eating of people isn’t very graphic, but that’s what we’re supposed to believe giants do,” McGregor says. “That’s why they’re so scary, because they eat people, although we never see it because the thought of it is frightening enough.”
Apparently, so was the emoting in front of green screens and empty spaces despite filming in and around the English countryside, including Hampton Court Palace.
Certainly, McGregor had experience acting in special effects films with his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. But Jack the Giant Slayer was even more demanding.
“I had to imagine what that character may or may not do, as opposed to reacting to something that you’re seeing being done,” McGregor says. “That was different, but I suppose it’s a skill you sort of become attuned to.”
He has been attuned and flexible throughout his career, starring in independent features Shallow Grave and Trainspotting before making the transition to big studio films like the Star Wars series.
Born in Perth, Scotland, McGregor wanted to be an actor at an early age, inspired by his uncle Dennis Lawson who was the lead in Bill Forsythe’s Local Hero, and played a recurring part in the first Star Wars series from 1977 to 1983.
“I was very influenced by him,” acknowledges McGregor of Lawson. “I would see him on stage, and when I was growing up, there were one-hour plays written for television on BBC that were called ‘armchair theatre’ that he would do.”
More than 60 films later, McGregor’s considered a rare actor who can do both comedy and drama, and can seem at home in big special-effects blockbusters as well as low budget art films.
He also manages to take things in stride whether it’s missing out on a role or being snubbed at the recent Oscars for his acclaimed portrayal of the frantic father in the tsunami drama The Impossible.
“Awards are really lovely when you get one or if you’re nominated for one,” McGregor says. “But it would be a shame to be upset. It’s not why I do what I do.”
Ewan McGregor talks ‘classic’ family flick Jack the Giant Slayer
February 21, 2013 By Ned Ehrbar, Metro World News
Ewan McGregor gets his daring-do on for director Bryan Singer in Jack the Giant Slayer, playing a knight who’s forthright and heroic — to a fault — as he and Jack (Nicholas Hoult) try to rescue a princess from the aforementioned giants. But McGregor’s inspiration for the character may surprise you.
You look fantastic in this movie. It seems like you haven’t aged in the last 10 years. What gives?
(Laughs) I don’t have a secret to that, I’m afraid.
When you’re presented with a forthright knight type of character, how do you approach that?
I don’t know, it’s a pretty understandable character. It’s a sort of classic role. It’s not something new, really. I just played what was on the page, really.
It’s very well and clearly written in the script. And I liked the humour. I thought the humour that was in the writing was very good. I like the fact that he’s sort of very gung-ho but very often doesn’t quite get things right, and then Jack has to come along behind him and tidy things up. Sort of like a Hong Kong Phooey type style. That cartoon was one of my main sources of research, Hong Kong Phooey.
The film very carefully walks that line of appealing to both kids and adults.
I think that’s right. It lies in exactly the right place for a film that’s being made for a family to watch. Very often these days you take your kids to films and there’s inappropriate language or sexual jokes that are very clearly aimed for the parents. You don’t want your kids seeing that, or at least I don’t. But this is absolutely something that you could take your family to see and you wouldn’t find yourself in any awkward moments with your kids, you know? It’s a classic sort of family movie.
I was never tempted to work with watches: McGregor
Fri, Feb 22 2013 By Sidin Vadukut
Mint Indulge spoke to Ewan McGregor on the sidelines of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair in Geneva earlier this year. McGregor talked about his partnership with watch brand IWC, the watchmaking heritage that runs in his family, and the roles that have satisfied him the most. Edited excerpts:
I’ve worn a lot of watches over the years. I am not a collector or anything. But I do appreciate good watches. And some watches have stayed in mind. I remember that as soon as I started getting work and making some money, I bought a serious watch for myself for the first time.
That was a big deal for me. It was a special thing. My grandfather was a watchmaker. So when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in his workshop. I remember sitting and watching him fixing watches. I don’t think he enjoyed it very much. He always dreamed of doing something else.
Also, watches are the only…jewellery that men can wear. I used to wear earrings once upon a time. But I don’t do that anymore (laughs).
On managing time
I am very strict when it comes to time. I like to be on time for meetings and for work. This is something that my parents have instilled in me. My mom is really, really…she likes to be everywhere an hour early. I’ve tried to break that habit a little bit.
But it is important. Especially at work. Making movies is such a complicated process. There are so many elements. And everything just has to work. It has to run like clockwork, you know? And if it doesn’t, then everything crashes to a stop…and it costs a great deal of money.
I really feel how precious the time between films is…between jobs. When I am at home with my family. Usually I keep for myself a certain amount of time before my next assignment. So that sort of hangs above your head a little bit. I am aware of time ticking away before I have to go away again. I have young kids at home. It used to be that we could all travel around the world together. But we can’t do that anymore. So when I go away now, I often go alone. That is lonely.
I’ve always enjoyed working with IWC as a friend of the brand…or an ambassador of the brand, if you will. Mainly because I just love the watches they make. It would have been an awkward situation if I didn’t like their watches. If I was doing this for the money or something! (Laughs)
But I really do like their watches. So that is easy for me.
I have a couple of them. And I wear them all the time. Right now, I am wearing this Pilot’s watch with the silver face. And my wife has another one… IWC made this set called the Father and Son… this is the Father watch and my wife wears the other one.
On his association with IWC
I am not familiar with all of IWC’s watches. But I know the Pilot’s collection well. Last year, when I came here, I was really impressed with the whole stand at the fair. That was incredible. And I love their Pilot’s range. I fly a little bit now and then. So I like to be in my little plane with my Pilot’s watch. Quite cool.
The new ones this year I only saw very recently. And I have my eyes on that black ceramic one. It just looks so nice. Did you know we are all going to get one for free after the interview? (Laughs)
So you know. It is easy for me. Also I like the people associated with the brand. It is an interesting, eclectic mix of people.
I was never tempted to work with watches like my grandfather. No. I just never got the impression that he enjoyed it himself. He always wanted to be a vet when he was a child. And his father wouldn’t let him, because the training was too long—it was seven years in university. His father wanted him to start work soon, so he became an apprentice to a watchmaker. And then he became a jeweller and watchmaker.
For a boy, his workshop was just so…amazing. He would always be hunched over his desk with a magnifying glass and a cigarette and an ashtray.
Back in the day, there was a clock in the town hall and he was in charge of taking care of that clock. And in addition to repairing people’s watches, he also did the rounds…a part of his job was to go around fixing and setting all those carriage clocks people used to have on their mantlepieces.
There is something so romantic about all this that I can see…that maybe he didn’t.
He had a box of old broken watches that he would let us play with. So my brother and I…we’d take a screwdriver…and springs would fly through the room…those watches were never going together again.
He did leave us a couple of watches. He left me a pocketwatch that he had repaired. From the 1800s, I think. We all have a watch he worked on over the years and he left us. He was truly a man of his generation…quiet…and a little scary.
My family always supported me when I wanted to become an actor. My uncle was already an actor. So I suppose he had paved the way for me. I didn’t have a Plan B when I started. Acting is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
There are some movies I’ve acted in that I like more than others. But, as a whole, I am very proud of my body of work. I like that it is very varied and different. The thing I am proudest of is my work with the Unicef. Working with them makes feel that it is a…very valid thing to do with your success.
And I do something very simple for them. I go and visit their projects and then come back and talk about them. And try and get people to raise money for them.
Sometimes the problems Unicef deals with are so impossibly large that you feel like throwing up your hands and saying: What can you do? How can you possibly help? That is what I would do sometimes… I wouldn’t know where to begin.
Working with them is perhaps the thing I am most, most proud about.
A large throng of female journalists were crestfallen at a press conference when they discovered Hollywood superstar Ewan McGregor was a mere few metres away but beyond their reach.
The Perth press conference was touted as ‘a significant announcement in support of the arts’ and the rumour soon spread the 41-year-old Scottish charmer would appear for the media.
Instead, two politicians and the producer of the new crime thriller being shot in Perth and starring McGregor, Son of a Gun, were trotted out.
Speaking at one of the sets, the now dilapidated Sunset Hospital in Nedlands, producer Tim Whyte said McGregor, who had been in Perth for about five days, was trying to adjust to days of near-40°C (104°F) summer heat.
“You can imagine coming out of the northern hemisphere...,” Whyte said.
Shooting in Perth is scheduled for six weeks, followed by two weeks in the historic gold mining town of Kalgoorlie and finishing with a few days in Melbourne.
“So far the process has been running smoothly,” Whyte said.
“Things might change in a couple of weeks,” he then joked.
McGregor plays a criminal who has a complex relationship with his protege (Brenton Thwaites) and returns to the underworld for one last score.
The announcement by arts minister John Day was for a $2 million grant to ScreenWest over four years to foster filmmaking in the state.
Recent films shot in WA include Red Dog, Mad Bastards, Satellite Boy and the upcoming Drift, starring Sam Worthington.
There's a wit in the writing, he often charges into things saying "Let's go!" and then screws it up. And Nick (Jack) comes along and saves the day. And this made me laugh when I read the script. Like Errol Flynn meets Hong Kong Fuey.
Ewan McGregor and Sir David Attenborough, along with some of the world’s top wildlife cameramen, put the focus on Scotland’s stunning scenery and wild animals in a new special season of programming from BBC Scotland.
Due to transmit over the spring and summer, the season, entitled Wild Scotland, will provide intimate but also inspiring images of Scottish wildlife and landscape.
One of the programmes is:
Hebrides – Islands On The Edge
This landmark series, three years in the making, has been created by some of the key talent behind award-winning series like Big Cat Diary and Frozen Planet. It has been made by Glasgow-based Maramedia, in association with Otter Films, and produced and filmed by acclaimed wildlife filmmakers Nigel Pope, John Aitchison and Doug Anderson and is narrated by Ewan McGregor.
Against a backdrop of dramatic Atlantic weather – the series paints an intimate portrait of the lives of an unforgettable cast of wild Hebridean animals, from red deer stags battling to win their mates, to seals struggling to protect their newborn pups, from mighty basking sharks to charismatic white-tailed eagles, from the unique flowering meadows of North Uist to the swallows that have set up home in an Islay whisky distillery.
Three of the programmes chart the course of a wild year in the Hebrides. High winds, drought and the most dramatic storm in living memory are all thrown at the animal cast of the Islands on the Edge. Using the most recent technology and a unique range of cameras never used in this part of the world before, Hebrides – Islands on the Edge gives a privileged view into their lives. The fourth programme introduces some of the people from the Islands on the Edge and finds out why animals and people in the Hebrides need each other so very much.
Jack the Giant Slayer: Ewan McGregor talks pastries, princesses and pre-vis
Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 By Katie Hasty
The retelling of a classic fairytale – one as famous and re-trod as Jack and the Beanstalk – is that it can get an update or a flourish with each redux. Or in the case of “Jack the Giant Slayer,” a stylistic twist. Ewan McGregor is a representative sample of the notion, in part, because: just look at that hair-do.
It’s not that the physical evolution of the star from “Trainspotting,” “Moulin Rouge” and “The Impossible” into Top Dog in the King’s guard in the “Giant” movie is all that revolutionary. McGregor’s character Elmont’s cowlick is a mile-high and his battle armor is form-fitting and slick, a dandy by all standards. Even as slipped from the idyllic set of “Jack the Giant Slayer” to discuss his role with a group of us journalists, he strode into the room with a swagger.
From where did a fashionable, horse-riding pretty boy military presence grow from the original “Beanstalk” story? The answer is from director Bryan Singer’s want for style, as evident from his “X-Men” movies, and his esteemed filmmaking army spinning humor out of this yarn (because what’s a dimple-chinned macho man without his funny faults?).
McGregor, lead Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane and other able-bodied vets round out this reimagining, with the “imagining” playing a central role to their performances: as CGI creations with the help of motion-capture, the unseen, malevolent forces, were built-out in post-production, thus the actors worked their wares without them in place.
Below, McGregor talks about that process, and what it takes to become a pastry, and exactly what he thinks of pre-vis (hint: not a fan).
What first attracted you to the role?
Ewan McGregor: I liked the script. I was sent the script and I was probably a little dubious about it, to be honest. I didn’t know quite what I thought about trying to retell a classic fairytale. I kind of approached the script feeling a bit like, “Well, I’m not going to like this.” But I did! I really liked the script. I liked the humor in the script. The characters in it were strong. In a film that’s this technologically based, I think that’s really important that you have clear and well-identifiable characters. I felt that that was the case.
And then it reminded me a bit of that film "How to Train Your Dragon." I love the feeling of that film and the humor in it. This felt somewhat similar to that. I’m not sure that it’s become that, I’m not sure how much of that humor we’ve captured or not, because it’s impossible on a film that takes this long to shoot…we’ve been shooting for five months, really.
It’s like a jigsaw film. There’s the work that we do and then there’s many, many other elements, where in other films, you shoot the scenes and that’s what ends up being the film. Of course that can change with editing and music, but on a film like this, there are so many other elements, like the giants and the motion capture capturing the giant’s movements, turning the giants into real giants…our interaction is all the unknown, really. They’ve certainly got enough footage to cut it any which way. But until I see it, I don’t know how much of that humor’s survived.
What’s your character like? Is he the comic relief of the crew? What does he do?
I don’t think he’s the comic relief. I liked him because he’s very gung-ho. He’s always the one that’s saying, “Come on, let’s go!” But very often not succeeding very well in what he’s trying to do and then Jack steps in and saves the day. I like that, kind of comic element of him, if you like.
At the same time, he is the leader of the Guardians. He’s in charge of them, and that was fun to play. I haven’t done that before, playing the top military guy. I have done a military film before, but it was fun to be in charge.
What’s his relationship with Jack? Does he welcome him with open arms?
No, he’s a bit dubious about Jack to begin with, I think. My character’s main job is to look after the princess, during peacetime, that’s my main lookout. It strikes me, and I’ve never discussed it with anyone, but the Guardians are the kind of royal soldiers, the top knights. But during the peacetime at the beginning of the film they’re in charge of the security and safety of the royal family, so myself and Eddie Marsan’s character, it seems that we are in charge of looking after Isabelle [Eleanor Tomlinson], the princess. She’s a very reluctant princess and she’s always trying to slip off into the kingdom and have a life and not feel like she’s…she wants her freedom, in a way. She’s a bit of a reluctant princess. So she’s quite difficult to look after.
And so my first encounter with Jack is when she’s given us the slip. We find her at this…at the beginning of the film, there’s a pantomime going on about this fable of the giants who live in the sky. And it was really nicely put together by Warwick (Davis) who has an agency of small and very big people, so he used all his actors and he directed this pantomime that we shot in this lovely, old circus tent. So we find Isabelle there, she’s watching the show. At that point, when we come into the tent, everyone bows down because we represent the king, except for Jack, who doesn’t bow down because he’s taken by surprise.
So my first introduction to him is that he’s somebody who’s not very respectful to us and I’m a bit dubious about what he’s after with the princess, as well. But as the story unfolds and as Jack…once the beanstalk has appeared and the princess has disappeared, he comes along with us, with the Guardians, the kind of search party for her. Slowly, he keeps proving himself over and over.
What specific things did you have to do to train for this film?
Mainly we did horse riding. Stanley Tucci and myself have a fight in the film, so we would ride for an hour or two and then we’d work on the fight. For three weeks, that was our rehearsal block. We never got allowed to ride a horse in the film; we just got to sit on them. So it was just kind of a waste of everybody’s time.
Do you sing in this?
Do you want to?
Yeah! I think it would be a big improvement. I could sing now, but it doesn’t feel quite right in here. But it would be nice to have a little song somewhere along the line, maybe climbing the beanstalk. He’s the kinda guy who might break into song at any moment, Elmont. You should suggest it to the director if you speak to him. When we come back for the re-shoots in October, I’ll do it then.
Talk a little bit about working with the 3D cameras and, as an actor, what is that like? I know it slows things down a little.
I don’t think it’s as slow as people think. This film has been very slow, but I couldn’t blame the 3D for it. Early on maybe there was more problems with it. Though sometimes there are problems because each camera is, in fact, two cameras and sometimes the 3D, like one eye will go out. I don’t pretend to understand it all completely, but each camera represents our eyes so it’s a slightly different angle on the scene. They have to play with the perspective of that, so there’s the focus but also the convergence, I think it’s called. Occasionally, one of the eyes will go out, but really not that much. I haven’t found it to be that slow. In actual fact, that seems to be the nature of it.
Again, I’ve never discussed this with anyone, but it seems to me that we do less coverage on a scene. The 3D has more of a sense of everybody in the scene, so if there’s a shot with 4 or 5 people in it, you’re already sort of in your own shot because of the 3D feel. It seems to me that we’ve had less close-ups and less coverage. So if this 3D is slower, which I don’t think it is really, then we save time with the lack of coverage.
How is it working with the CGI, with the giants that aren’t actually there?
I’ve done a lot of it in the past, so it’s not something that is new to me, really. It’s a skill like any other. You know what the scene is about and you know where your character is and what he’s thinking and feeling, so it’s not really a problem. I think when you get into those scenes, from what I’ve seen of the little bit that’s been put together, what they’re grabbing from our takes is just a little tiny snatch here and the giant there. It’s an editing job, really. There haven’t been any moments that have been really difficult.
There are only a very few moments when we actually are physically interacting with each other. There are a couple of moments when I’m picked up and I’m carried upside down by the giant and then laid down on the floor. So the picking up and the laying down we did with the harness and cables. There’s another moment where a giant rolls me in pastry to put me in the oven. The actual rolling in pastry was a technical challenge for the special effects team. They made a body mold of me and then made the back mold that I could lie in and then the front mold clamped over me, Velcroed over me, so I was held in place on an arm. Then, that was lowered onto the pastry. As the giant rolls me over like this, the rig rolled over and then the pastry wrapped around me. So that was more for the special effects people who did a really good job.
In this film, we have the technical ability to match the motion capture stuff that they’ve done of the giants before. They can overlay them onto the same frame that they’re seeing live from the camera. They can actually frame up on the giant. So if there’s a shot of the giant over my shoulder, they can literally put the camera looking over my shoulder and they can see where the best place is because they can see where the giant’s going to be. That’s quite new, I think.
There’s a lot of pre-vis in this movie, if not the whole movie’s been pre-vis. Can you talk about, as an actor, doing your own performance while still having to hit the pre-vis or working with those two kinds of environments?
Yeah. It’s very rare that we have to match to the pre-vis, but it does happen now and again. It usually just ends with me getting really pissed off and telling him to f*ck off. For instance, there was a moment when I had to stab a giant in the leg and I was stabbing the giant in the leg in the way that I wanted to stab the giant in the leg. Then I was directed to do it with two hands because the guy in the pre-vis does it with two hands. And I said, “Well, you should have paid the guy in the pre-vis to play Elmont and not me, then.” Because a guy in L.A., I guess, an animator…it should just be a kind of template for what’s to happen.
But it’s very rare you get directed to match the very wobbly animation from the pre-vis. I can give them that performance if they want. But I don’t think they’d be happy.
Yesterday and the day before, Ewan narrated a 4-part BBC series about the Scottish Hebrides, which, according to him, should air in May. Ewan added that it was “one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen” and that it was “majestic”.
Ewan McGregor suits up for the IWC Gala on Tuesday night (January 22) in Genève, Switzerland. The actor was among the famous faces who came out to the event hosted by Kevin Spacey to launch the brand’s new Ingenieur watch collection.
Ewan McGregor Joins Snowtown Director Justin Kurzel’s John Le Carré Adaptation Our Kind Of Traitor
January 17, 2013 By Kevin Jagernauth
First announced last spring, The Snowtown Murders director Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of John Le Carré’s Our Kind Of Traitor has been moving slowly. There was a brief flick of life in November when it was reported that Mads Mikkelsen, Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain were rumored for roles. But now it seems the first actor has come aboard, and it’s none of those names.
According to the usually plugged-in Baz Bamigboye, Ewan McGregor has joined the picture in an unspecified lead role. The film, penned by Hossein Amini (Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman), follows an English couple who get mixed up with a Russian businessman who turns out to be an oligarch, and one of the world’s biggest money launderers. They get caught up in his plans to defect and are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust. We presume McGregor is one half of the English couple.
There’s no start date just yet for that one, but now worry is the actor will be shooting Son Of A Gun first. That’s the movie he signed on for in the fall where he plays a bank robber who busts out of jail and takes on a protege (or something like that details are scarce, but there’s also said to be a heist element). Shooting on that picture begins next month with Julius Avery at the helm. So as always, plenty of interesting stuff on the horizon for McGregor and we’re anxious to see who joins him in Traitor.
Jack the Giant Slayer comes to theaters March 1st, 2013 and stars Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane, Ewen Bremner, Eddie Marsan. The film is directed by Bryan Singer.
Ewan McGregor admits he tries to impress women by “show-cooking”.
However, the actor also confessed he isn’t actually at all skilled in the kitchen.
The 41-year-old revealed that when he first started dating his wife, French production designer Ève Mavrakis, he would pretend to be a dab hand at whipping up a gourmet meal in order to seduce her.
“My wife’s a brilliant cook. When we met I used to ‘show-cook’ to impress her...” Ewan confessed to the British edition of Elle magazine. “[I didn’t have a speciality] I was terrible. It’s a wooing technique for men, a way to impress a woman. I did that with my wife and when I felt I’d done enough to impress her - and assumed I was ‘in’ - I stopped.”
The actor has had much success in his 20-year career, including starring roles in movies such as Trainspotting and Star Wars. As a result of his status as one of Hollywood’s leading men, the California-based actor admitted he does sometimes receive unwanted attention. Ewan recalled one incident where he was filmed while dining in a restaurant.
“That’s the attitude I hate,” Ewan confessed. “I’m not a celebrity, I hate the word. I’m a f***ing actor. Some people go to university to train to be a doctor and I went to drama school to learn how to be an actor: The word celebrity demeans all of that. But I would never allow it to exclude me from everyday society.”
What Do You Know Now: Ewan McGregor on staying healthy and how to stay fit
December 31, 2012 By: Cindy Pearlman
What do you know now that you didn’t know in your 20s?
“I know that it’s important to remain active no matter what. I think we take that for granted when we’re younger, but when we get a little older you have to make plans to move.
“I’m quite an active person, but sometimes I’m in towns where you don’t have a place to move, so it’s easy to think, ‘Forget it.’ I know you can never do that. You can walk miles around any city. You can walk hundreds of miles, and it keeps you healthy and feeling great.
“So, get out of your car. You don’t have to make a big gym plan. Just focus on the natural burning of calories through walking. I also like to cycle because I love the subculture of bikes. I run.
“I’m pretty much a stranger to the gym. I don’t like working out in a gym. It’s not my thing.
“But I do like the feeling I have from moving, so I take any little bit of time. Let’s say I just have 20 extra minutes. That’s the perfect time for a bike ride or a walk. It becomes an adventure if you do this outdoors. Who knows what you’ll see or who you will meet.
“I don’t like to walk or cycle in my house watching TV. I tell other people to get out there.