Ewan McGregor was “very reluctant” to play Obi Wan-Kenobi in “Star Wars,” he admitted.
“It wasn’t a done deal for me. I didn’t think it was at all who I was. I believed, at that point, I was a Danny Boyle actor. ‘The Beach’ was more important and I meant it, it wasn’t flippant. I did ask a lot of people for advice.”
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“I am happy that I am this character for a lot of people, but when these films came out, they were so disliked. That was hard. The first one was panned and we still had to make another two! It was weird to be in a film that was hammered.”
He enjoyed making ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi,” though.
“I would love to do the second season, but there’s no talk of it yet. There is a lot going on at Disney.”
In Goteborg, he also discussed a certain beloved classic: “Trainspotting.”
“It’s such a special film to a lot of people. Very, very special to me. I find it very moving. I am proud of it and everything about it. When we did ‘Shallow Grave’ it was our first movie, when it came out it left a mark on British cinema, and there was a certain expectation of what we could do next. Your first director, it’s like your first love or something.”
He was given the script at Sundance.
“They made a big deal out of saying they are not offering it to me. I went: ‘Fucking hell you have to let me play that role! John, the writer, didn’t think I was quite right so I went away and stopped eating. Next time I saw them, I was super skinny.”
“I am looking forward to T:3 when we are all in our 70s, in a retirement home for smackheads, stealing nurse’s drugs,” he said. Also remembering “unsung hero,” late cinematographer Brian Tufano.
“We were both asked to leave the Danny Boyle camp on his fourth movie,” he laughed.
“But the first time I saw ‘Trainspotting’ in London with my uncle, I remember crossing the street, getting a drink and feeling a bit numb. Sent me off the rails for years and years. Not really. I am joking!”
McGregor got his acting bug from watching his uncle Denis Lawson, actually.
“I got to see him in the theatre first, a huge experience for a child, and then on TV. Then a film called ‘Star Wars’ he was in. It blew our tiny minds.”
Despite the rumors, that was not the moment when he decided to become an actor.
“They are called unauthorized biographies. My uncle is still baffled that ‘Star Wars’ had such an impact. I wanted to be like him, but I also really profoundly got moved by it. I was in it and it was the same with movies. I told him when I was 9 and he said: ‘Come back to me when you are older.’ Which I did.”
After leaving school at 16, he nabbed a role in mini-series “Lipstick on Your Collar.”
“I was incredibly nonchalant because I was obsessed with another script. The last recall for both was on the same day, I had to get across town. I just did and said: ‘I have to go.’ They went: ‘Who is this guy?’ And they cast me. The other film collapsed and it was never made. I just thank my lucky stars. This was my start,” he said.
“I had a perm and black hair for it. Just saying.”
He also talked about being Scottish.
“Being Scottish is deeply who I am, but it means different things for different people. Leaving Scotland was hard, but I aimed for London. I knew that’s where I would start. And I was right! I am Scottish wherever I am.”
“The whole independence thing is not even worth getting into – it’s complicated. I was in Cannes once and I used to drink back then. I was doing a press conference there and I made some terrible remark involving Sean Connery and ‘tax dodge.’ The next day, I was opening a butterfly farm for a children hospice association, I know, and on one tabloid’s front page there was a picture of me and Connery, and a question: ‘Who do you agree with?’ Suddenly, I was this non-independence guy, but I just had too many beers!”
“Then I see my mum, with phone in her hand, saying: ‘It’s Sean Connery.’ I hoped it was one of my friends. He was not happy.”
“Luckily, not everything I did was in the headlines. I feel so lucky to be the last generation free of it all. I have loved working hard and that saved me.”
McGregor also opened up about his show “Long Way Round”: “We dreamt it and made it happen. I felt like I belonged in the landscape because I have ridden there. You smell everything, taste the air, you are susceptible to cold and heat.”
As well as working with daughter Clara McGregor in “Bleeding Love.”
“We went through a period of time when we weren’t close and the show took this turmoil and started to write about it. It’s not entirely our story, but there is a lot of truth in it. I was nervous about it, and then enormously moved. It’s a kind, understanding movie. It was a massive amount of healing for her and me.”
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