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News Archive

July - December 2002

 

Ewan's new Roots Coffee commercial online!




Japander.com has made available a second Roots Coffee commercial that stars Ewan.


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, December 27, 2002 // 10:28 p.m.


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RENÉE: I'M SO TUNED IN TO EWAN

22 December 2002

EWAN McGREGOR is teaming up with Renée Zellweger in a movie musical tribute to Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

The Scots star is making a habit of hitting the high notes with Hollywood's sexiest stars after starring with Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

Renée is no stranger to song-and-dance routines either. She's starring in the film version of the hit stage musical Chicago.

Their pairing in 1960s-style romantic comedy Down With Love sounds like a match made in heaven - and there's even talk of Ewan and Renée releasing a single.

In New York yesterday for the launch of Chicago, which opens at Scottish cinemas on January 17, Renée admitted she's a big fan of Ewan's musical talents.

She said: "It was natural that Ewan McGregor should go and do a movie musical because he has it in him.

"When we were making Down With Love, Ewan was on his guitar the whole time.

"You could hear him playing and singing down the hall every day.

"Everything he does has rhythm to it. He's also very suave but he is not conscious of it. Even when he is joking around, he has this tremendous presence."

Renée - who flew to New York from Transylvania where she is filming the American Civil War drama Cold Mountain with Nicole Kidman and Jude Law - also revealed that Ewan is pretty nimble on the dance floor. She said: "He dances far better than I do. He is such a dancer you can't believe it.

"We have dance numbers in this movie and we sing a little bit.

"We are talking about a duet right now - that'll be as soon as my voice heals from screaming on Cold Mountain. I don't know if there will be a single, they are talking about it. We'll see what happens."

Chicago and now Down With Love have shown an unexpected side to Renée.

The star, who got her big break starring opposite Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, never imagined she could sing and dance in public.

She said: "I was not going to open my mouth to sing for anybody besides my dogs outside the shower. That was it."

But Chicago director Rob Marshall gave her the confidence to sing and dance alongside Catherine Zeta Jones.

Now her performance is being tipped to earn her another Oscar nomination to match the one she got for Bridget Jones's Diary.

Source: Sunday Mail

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, December 21, 2002 // 06:56 p.m.


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TATTROO LOVE

Dec 17 2002
Kevin Turner

FAMILY man Ewan McGregor showed he doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve yesterday - he wears it on his skin.

The devoted father displayed a stunning heart and dagger tattoo featuring the names of daughters Clara and Esther and wife Ève.

McGregor looked far from the movie superstar he is as he took a well- earned break from the pressures of filming on holiday on Mauritius.

The Star Wars hero looked delighted to be spending some quality time with his family as the trio relaxed by the sea.

One onlooker said: "It's no surprise that Ewan has a tattoo featuring his wife and kids' names because he obviously dotes on his family.

"They all seem incredibly close and appeared to be enjoying the sunshine."

McGregor's tattoo was unveiled just days after David Beckham revealed he's had baby Romeo's name inked on his back.

The footballer already had his eldest son Brooklyn's moniker tattooed across his spine.

He went under the needle shortly after Brooklyn was born three years ago.

But the Manchester United star has not revealed exactly where on his back the name Romeo is tattooed.

And Beckham dropped a broad hint he and Posh planned more kids by revealing there was room for more names.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up.


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, December 16, 2002 // 07:57 p.m.


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Go-ahead for children's hospice

Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 17:58 GMT

Campaigners for a new children's hospice near Loch Lomond say they are "overjoyed" that planners have given the project the green light.

The hospice will be built at Balloch within the boundaries of the new Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Members of the new National Park Authority had been considering a recommendation to refuse the proposal.

However, after a concerted campaign by the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (Chas), which received huge public support, the authority's planning committee backed the development.

Up to 300 supporters cheered as the committee made its decision by seven votes to three.

Chas chief executive Agnes Malone said everyone involved in the campaign was thrilled.

She said: "We spent more than a year looking for a suitable place to build the new hospice, during which time we scoured Scotland inspecting nearly 50 different locations.

"Of all the prospective sites we saw, Ledrishbeg Farm was by far the most appropriate when judged against our wish list."

Ms Malone added: "It's great news that we are now a step closer to gaining planning consent for this site."

Planning permission

The campaigners won the support of leading public figures, including film star Ewan McGregor.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted that the planning permission has gone through.

"It is the most fantastic news for all the families and children who need this essential care.

"Scotland will now be able to boast two wonderful centres for the care of its children and I look forward to my first visit to the new hospice at Balloch."


The decision was also welcomed by Gilbert and Sylvia Watterson, from Knightswood, Glasgow, whose six-year-old daughter Robyn suffers from a degenerative disease called Hurler Syndrome.

She has received care from Rachel House in Kinross, Scotland's first hospice, for more than four years.

Mr Watterson, 35, said: "I feel very patriotic and emotional today. Thank you Scotland."

The committee heard acting planning director Richard Hickman argue that the hospice did not meet the key criteria of "specific locational need".

He said there were better sites on which to build the hospice which would not mean an infringement of planning policies.

But Alan Farningham, a planning consultant for Chas, said: "Although it represents a departure from the development plan, the site unashamedly ranked best, in Chas's opinion.

"Rejection would set realisation of the children's hospice back by at least two years."

Committee chairman Ronnie McColl was one of a number of park officials who visited Rachel House at the weekend as part of their deliberations.

He moved approval for the new hospice on Tuesday, describing it as a "vote for Scotland's children".

Difficult decisions

"I would say to any member, to vote against application would make our national park a national disgrace."

In supporting the motion, the committee indicated that they felt an exceptional case could be made.

However, members were cautioned that it may lead to difficult decisions in the future because of the precedent that has been set.

On Tuesday morning, committee members visited the proposed site in Balloch.

Construction of the new facility should start in the new year.

The charity said the hospice would cost £10m to establish and maintain, for which a fundraising appeal had been launched.

Source: BBC News


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 // 03:57 p.m.


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Help us to help them

Ewan McGregor writes exclusively for the Sunday Post
I WAS in Rachel House on Tuesday with a film crew making an advert for CHAS when its chief executive Agnes Malone told me there had been an objection to the site of the new hospice.
It was terrible news and so hard to believe anyone could deny the building of something so vital to so many children.
However I am still very optimistic that we will get the go-ahead on Tuesday. The suggestion of rejecting permission is only a recommendation to the committee and I am confident they won’t take that route.


Ewan during a visit to Rachel House.

On Tuesday CHAS will get 15 minutes to put their case why planning permission should be granted and it is a very strong case indeed. Never mind 15 minutes, just five minutes inside Rachel House would be enough to convince them.
It is hard to imagine any reasons for not allowing the building of a second hospice at Loch Lomond. In fact I can’t think of a single one.
Yes it is a national park and I understand their environmental concerns, but only a road-width of the six-acre site will be edging into the park.
The children of Scotland desperately need this service. It would be absolutely criminal if they do not get it.
Some of the objections seems to be based on the noise that one bureaucrat thinks will be generated by the hospice, he says it would be like building a supermarket there.
Nonsense

That’s nonsense. At Rachel House there is no noise, instead it is very peaceful and calm. It’s certainly no supermarket!
The people of Balloch have been very supportive of the new hospice and have made it clear they want it to be built there. Locals in Kinross love Rachel House and are very proud to have it in their town. I’ve no doubt the population of Balloch will feel exactly the same.
The planning director of the park authority has said another site could be found. But CHAS has looked at 47 sites and this one gives everything they need.
The building has been designed specifically to sit here and it would literally be a case of going back to the drawing board if planning permission was rejected. That would take time that we don’t have.
Rachel House is a great, fun environment that is perfect for the kids who need to go there. No-one has to be turned away but it is quickly nearing saturation point and a second facility is vital.
It would mean that instead of having eight beds for the 1300 families that need respite care, there would be twice that number. That would ease the pressure on Rachel House considerably.
I’ve been to the hospice many times but I am always struck by how it isn’t remotely grim. I am always amazed at the strength and resilience of the kids. Rachel House really is an incredible place and no-one should stand in the way of another hospice.
The film crew and I had a great time up there for two days last week. I defy anyone to go there and not be impressed by the place and the people.
It is only common sense that the planning permission for Balloch goes through and I remain optimistic that it will. Looking after our children is so important and a necessary part of our humanity.
I know that Sunday Post readers have already raised more than £1.5 million towards the new hospice. That’s an amazing amount and they can be reassured none of it will go to waste.
Surely common sense will prevail.

You can e-mail us at: hospice@sundaypost.com

Source: The Sunday Post

Thanks to MRS EGM for the heads up!


Rachel House update

Dec 9, 2002: Hope Amid Tears (Daily Record)
Dec 9, 2002: Hope for Hospice on D-Day (Daily Record)


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, December 8, 2002 // 10:10 a.m.


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First Photos from Down With Love

By Edward Havens
Date: December 5, 2002

When a rookie director scores an expected hit, as Peyton Reed did with "Bring It On," studios will fall over each other trying to get them to come to their lot and make a film for them. Even if the main reason "Bring It On" was a hit was due to the dozen or so hot young chicks in cheerleader outfits or washing cars in their bikinis. For his second film, Reed is shooting craps with forty plus million of Fox's dollars, hoping the dice don't come up snake eyes on his revisionist romcom "Down With Love." Awash with psuedo-Technicolor colors, process shots and split screens, Reed wants to have fun in the final part of that age of innocence that would end with the assassination of President Kennedy, mimicing the halcyon days of Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger star as two jaded writers (he a womanizing sportswriter, she a feminist author) who try their best not to fall in love with each other.

 

The film, produced by the team behind "American Beauty," lands on American shores this April before opening worldwide during the summer months.

Source: FilmJerk.com

Thank you Mary for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, December 5, 2002 // 08:59 p.m.


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GIVE KIDS A CHANCE

Dec 5 2002
Keith Mcleod

Readers back our hospice campaign

THE plans for Scotland's second children's hospice have received a massive vote of approval from the public.

The hospice, planned for Loch Lomondside, would provide much-needed respite care for terminally ill youngsters and their families in the West of Scotland.

It would relieve some of the pressure on Scotland's existing children's hospice, Rachel House, in Kinross, which was set up with the help of money raised by Record readers.

However, as we revealed yesterday, pen-pusher Richard Hickman has recommended the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park planning committee refuse permission to build the hospice in Balloch.

The committee is due to vote on Tuesday and the result is balanced on a knife edge.

The Record can reveal that the 10-strong committee is split down the middle - five for, five against. That would leave the nightmare scenario of chairman Ronnie McColl deciding the fate of the hospice with a casting vote.

The committee was only set up in July but soon split into two factions - McColl has already had to use his casting vote twice.

Like Hickman, the national park's acting planning director, conservationists on the committee are worried the hospice will spoil the area's natural beauty.

The other members put dying children ahead of a nice view.

Some committee members were elected by local residents, some nominated by local authorities and some appointed by the Scottish Executive.

Stand-off

One source close to the 25-member National Park Board said: "It looks like another stand-off in the planning committee.

"The chairman has already had to use his casting vote twice on much less important issues. There is no sign of the split being healed."

Last night, support from the public flooded in to the Record.

Scots actor Ewan McGregor, a long-time supporter of the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, which runs Rachel House and is behind the new hospice plan, also added his backing.

He fears the project could now be delayed by two years.

The Star Wars actor said: "The children and families I know from Rachel House desperately need this new hospice.

"I'd be extremely upset for them if anything stood in the way of the plans going ahead. I can see no reasons for any objections."


Local Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said: "We have to use the time between now and the vote to convince committee members to do what is right.

"If this application is rejected some of the children in need will never see a hospice because time is not on their side."

Former Health Minister Susan Deacon also backed the hospice.

She said: "I am angry and outraged. Quite simply, it would be a disgrace if, at this stage, this project could not go ahead."

McColl, who is also an SNP councillor on West Dunbartonshire Council, declined to comment as rules prevent committee members expressing a view ahead of the vote.

The hospice has the backing of West Dunbartonshire Council and most local people, many of whom have helped raised cash for CHAS.

The Rev Robert Watt, of Riverside Parish Church in Dumbarton, said: "People here are astounded by the recommendation to refuse permission.

"It seems like legalistic beaurocracy being put in the way of compassion and care."

Only a few have opposed the hospice plan, such as pensioner Robert Findlay.

He lives half a mile from the site and was exposed by the Record in February for his NIMBY attitude.

HEARTFELT PLEA

THE parents of a terminally ill six-year-old said the loss of the Balloch hospice would be "devastating". Gilbert and Sylvia Watterson's only child Robyn has rare metabolic illness, Hurler Disease. Gilbert, 35, of Knightswood, Glasgow, said: "For the sake of one field, to help so many dying children, what does it take to bend a few rules?"

KIDS' FATE IN THEIR HANDS

THESE 10 people will decide on the site of the new children's hospice but the National Park Authority would not supply pictures of two of them

Ronald McColl
LOCAL authority nominee and an SNP councillor on West Dunbartonshire Council. His term is for two years.

Mike Luti
DIRECTLY elected by local people and a partner in his family's catering business. His term is for four years.

Alistair McKenzie
DIRECTLY elected. Resident of Balloch for 30 years and served 26 years as a retained firefighter. Four-year term.

Catherine Organ
LOCAL authority nominee. Former chair of Stirling Council's Industry Committee. Her term is for two years.

William Petrie
LOCAL authority nominee is Convener of Argyll and Bute Council. Rhu postmaster is serving two-year term.

Kate Sankey
EXECUTIVE nominee. Wildlife expert at Stirling University and runs a conservation farm. Her term is for four years.

Colin Crabbe
LOCAL authority nominee. A farmer who is also on Perth and Kinross Council. His term runs for two years.

Owen McKee
DIRECTLY elected. Specialist in finance and former member of Forth Valley Health Council. Four-year term.

Lady Glasgow
APPOINTED by the Executive. Chair of the Scottish Council for National Parks. Her term runs for four years.

Terry Levinthal
EXECUTIVE nominee. Technical Director of Scottish Civic Trust and National Transport Forum member. Four-year term.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!

 

Ewan McGregor steps into row over new children's hospice.

Thursday December 5th 2002, 21:05

The film star Ewan McGregor has stepped into a growing row over plans to build a children's hospice on Loch Lomondside.

Planning officials of the new National Park authority are recommending that the proposal, from the Children's Hospice Association, should be rejected.

The news comes as a devastating blow to the campaigners who have been fund-raising for years for the project, with the support of the Hollywood actor.

Ewan McGregor said: "It's devastating news. People are on the whole optimistic about it and I cannot accept that it will not go ahead. It is desperately needed this second hospice."

Workmen have today been marking out the outline for the new hospice in Balloch, but there is now a real chance it could be a wasted effort.

Hollywood star Ewan McGregor is a long-time supporter of the Children's Hospice Association, raising funds for Scotland's first - Rachel House in Kinross. Parents from across the country use it but there is a desperate need for another.

Ewan McGregor added: "I think it is essential that we have these places. I think it is some of the most important work that's done in the world, looking after sick children. The idea of trying to stop that is beyond me. I don't understand it."

"I would say to the people who are objecting to come up here and spend the day, meet someof the families and some of the children. I'm sure their minds would be changed. It is not a threat to the countryside. It is a lovely thing to have in a national pary, a hospice."

The decision now rests with the National Park Authority. It took over responsibility in July from West Dunbartonshire Council who had already approved the plans

Ronnie McColl from the National Park's Planning Committee said: "Planning law is difficult, but the overall consideration has to be the national importance of this development."

The National Park Authority's Planning Committee will visit the site next Tuesday before making their final decision at a public meeting later that day. But the recommendation to reject the aplication has cast a dark shadow over the hopes of the charity and the families of terminally ill children.

Source: Scotland Today

There is a video of Ewan being interviewed on Scotland Today's site.

Thank you MarGwan for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 // 11:32 p.m.


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RACHEL HOUSE UPDATE

For those of you concerned about Rachel House, there is a new article at the Daily Record that states that the planning committee will be visiting Rachel House on Sunday. The article was not reproduced here as it does not contain news about Ewan.

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, December 6, 2002 // 09:50 p.m.


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Actor's fears for hospice plan

Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 12:19 GMT

Film star Ewan McGregor has described as "very damaging" the prospect of planning permission being refused for Scotland's second children's hospice.

McGregor, who has been involved with the hospice charity Children's Hospice Association Scotland (Chas) for more than six years, said the move could delay the whole project by two years.

Planning permission for the hospice at Balloch is set to be rejected because the site falls within the newly-created Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

The Star Wars actor said a visit to Scotland's first hospice, Rachel House in Perthshire, would convince planners that the project had to go ahead.

"There is nothing I can see that should stop it being built anywhere, national park or not," he told BBC Scotland.

The hospice was backed by West Dunbartonshire Council prior to the responsibility for planning being taken over by the new park authority, which says it does not comply with new rules on land use.

The park's acting planning director, Richard Hickman, said the proposal would be a "significant departure from the development plan".

Robyn Watterson, 6, needs hospice care'Best in world'

He has recommended that the application is refused at next Tuesday's meeting of the authority's planning committee.

Perthshire-born actor McGregor has campaigned for the charity since the mid-nineties.

He said the effort of staff at Rachel House in Kinross, near Perth was the "best work done in the world".

"It is just very damaging for us. If we were to lose the planning permission at this stage, the whole project would possibly be knocked back for two years," he said.

"The children that are going to be using the hospice do not have that time."

McGregor, whose mother was a deputy headmistress at a special needs school, said the present hospice only had eight beds.

'Come and see'

In the whole of Scotland, 600 families could use terminal care if it was on offer, he said.

"There is a demand for another hospice. Eight beds in the whole of Scotland is not enough for children who have a life-shortening disease," McGregor said.

"It just strikes me as one of the very important things in life.

"If the people who are objecting were to come up and spend the day at Rachel House I'm sure they would change their minds."

Source: BBC News

Thank you Gail and Mary for the heads up!

 

Angry reaction to hospice move

Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 13:51 GMT

A decision to recommend the refusal of a planning application for Scotland's second children's hospice has been condemned by campaigners and local councillors.

Plans for the hospice at Balloch, near Loch Lomond, look set to be rejected because the site falls within the new national park.

West Dunbartonshire Council, whose area includes Balloch, had recommended the plans for approval.

Cllr Iain Robertson, convener of the council's planning committee, said he was "extremely disappointed" to hear of the report from the national park authority acting planning director Richard Hickman.

Mr Robertson said the hospice was "a development of major local and national importance".

"The people of West Dunbartonshire have been actively involved in fundraising for Chas (Children's Hospice Association Scotland) and will be greatly concerned if the committee approves this report."

The chief executive of Chas, Agnes Malone, said she was "devastated" by the recommendation.

She said the search for the Balloch site had taken 18 months and planning the development a similar length of time.

Natural beauty

"I will fight to the end to get this. I hope we will be able to convince the committee next week that this is a good and proper thing to do for the people of Scotland."

One fundraiser, who is currently organising a world record charity golf event specifically to raise money for the new hospice, contacted BBC News Online to voice his disbelief at the move.

Paul Coffey said: "It's bad enough that families have to put up with the trauma of losing a child but now being told by a penpusher that a facility which helps to care for both the child and their family shouldn't be in an area of natural beauty because it doesn't quite fit with their idea of what the park is all about is outrageous.

"Doesn't this guy understand that all right thinking people would prefer that one of Scotland's natural treasures (Loch Lomond) should be shared by another of Scotland's treasures, its children.

"If it's the case that this decision is based on what the land is for, I wonder if he could tell us where he would rather these children and their families were cared for.

"After all, his own guidelines state specifically 'to promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public' - not if you're a child that's dying, apparently."

Source: BBC News


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 // 12:36 p.m.


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Clock painted by Ewan on eBay

Ewan designed and hand painted a Royal Daulton plate which was made into a clock by Rotary Watches and is being auctioned off to raise funds for the Princes Trust.

You can follow the auction here (bid currently at £500).

Thank you Jane for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, December 3, 2002 // 03:07 p.m.


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EWAN'S REAR PASSENGER

Nov 30 2002

ACTOR Ewan McGregor revealed his secret passion at a roadside rendezvous yesterday.

But despite the Scottish star of Star Wars and Trainspotting cuddling up to TV presenter Suzi Perry, his real love is far more high-powered.

Ewan and Suzi, who presents the Superbikes championships for Grandstand and is soon to star in a revival of the series Treasure Hunt, were bonding over their shared love for high-powered motorbikes.

The leather-clad duo met at London's Ace Biker cafe to eye up the machines and film an interview for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Source: Daily Record


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, November 29, 2002 // 10:29 p.m.


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EWAN AND A FAST LADY

Nov 30 2002
Donna Watson

WHAT was fast lady Suzi Perry doing at a country rendezvous with Scots movie heart- throb Ewan McGregor?

The Beeb's motorbike expert, who will soon appear in a new series of the vintage TV show Treasure Hunt, looked very cosy with the Star Wars and Trainspotting star when they met.

The pair were both clad in leathers and seen deep in intense conversation.

So just what is the secret passion that they share? Find out inside the Daily Record.

Source: Daily Record


The BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Awards is scheduled to be shown on BBC1 on Sunday 8 December 2002. Thank you Jane for this information!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, November 29, 2002 // 10:28 p.m.


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Ewan's Japanese Roots Coffee commercial available online



Japander.com has six commercials that Ewan made for Japanese companies. The first five are for Aeon, a Japanese English-language school and the sixth is for Roots Coffee. Head on over to Japander.com to see the commercials!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, November 29, 2002 // 07:23 a.m.


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I'll Be Your Actor Tonight

Dec. 02, 2002/Vol. 160 No. 23
BY JAMES INVERNE/LONDON

For a pair of London plays, surprise pays: mystery guest stars keep audiences coming back for more

When Kylie Minogue took the stage last week in The Play Wot I Wrote at Wyndham's Theatre in London, the crowd went crazy, with cheers and whoops of "We love you!" The audience didn't know the Australian songbird would appear until she danced out from the wings. Playing herself in the hit comedy — a homage to the legendary British funnymen Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise — Minogue was a typically good sport, letting the regular cast members make fun of her name (they kept calling her Kevin) and her career (they played off her Aussie TV past by introducing her as the star of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo). At one point, she even dressed up as a fat, balding French friar. Truth be told, she's not much of an actress. But the audience had paid to be surprised by a mystery guest star, and it got its money's worth.

The secret ingredient in the success of The Play Wot I Wrote is, well, secrecy. Audiences have been entertained by a succession of surprise guests — from Ralph Fiennes on the opening night a year ago, to Jude Law, Minnie Driver, Roger Moore and Ewan McGregor. Even Kenneth Branagh, who directs the play, has taken a turn. The role is simple: a celebrity auditioning for a part in a play-within-the play goes unrecognized by the lead actors, who proceed to tease and taunt him (or her) mercilessly. In Kylie's big prison scene, her speech was interrupted by a fellow inmate asking, "What are you in for, bad acting?"

The conceit works precisely because the role has no fixed actor: the revolving-door casting constantly refreshes the part, and by extension the play. The element of surprise also helps keep the play in the news. Says producer David Pugh, "It's the show's greatest marketing tool. The chance to see a celebrity brings in new audiences."

Pugh's guest-star innovation has launched a wave of London theater hits. He first employed the trick six years ago for Art, the Yasmina Reza play now on its final run in London. After opening with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay in the main roles, Pugh rang the changes every 12 weeks, bringing in British stars including TV comedians Frank Skinner and Jack Dee and actor Nigel Havers. (In New York, he opened Art with Alan Alda, Victor Garber and Alfred Molina, and later brought in George Wendt and Stacey Keach.) The technique helped make Art a worldwide hit: it has played in over 50 cities and grossed $125 million.

Director Laurence Boswell borrowed the idea for This Is Our Youth, now playing at London's Garrick Theatre. "Pugh", he says, "smashed open that snobby system where the first cast of a play would be great, and then each new cast would go down a notch." Last week, Boswell blooded his third cast in Kenneth Lonergan's sharp and funny three-hander: Colin (son of Tom) Hanks, Kieran (brother of Macaulay) Culkin and Alison Lohman. Previous line-ups have included Matt Damon and Anna Paquin, and producer Anna Waterhouse is courting practically all of young Hollywood, from Christina Ricci and Natalie Portman to Orlando Bloom and Josh Hartnett. There have even been rumors about a dream cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, who met for a secret reading in America.

Pugh is lining up stars for the Broadway run of The Play Wot I Wrote, which starts March 30. Fiennes and McGregor will reprise their appearances, and "everyone from Brad Pitt to Meryl Streep has shown interest," he says. But while the big names are great at the box office, Pugh insists he doesn't want just any A-list player. "The star-rotation system is an enormous help commercially," he says, "but they have to be good, and the balance has to be right." In Play, the celebrity spot only works dramatically if the stars can play stiff and pompous, the better to have their ego balloons punctured by the other actors. The aristocratic Fiennes was perfect for the part. Minogue, on the other hand, was too good-humored to be properly sent up.

No matter: the crowd loved her, and the buzz generated by her appearance will keep audiences coming back for more.

Source: Time magazine

Thank you Darth Mystique for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, November 25, 2002 // 05:40 p.m.


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Celebrities help out in appeal bid

Sat 23 Nov 2002

THE annual Help a Child Appeal Charity Auction, featuring signed merchandise from Robbie Williams, Darius and Ewan McGregor, will be launched this Sunday.

The auctions will run daily on Edinburgh radio stations Forth One and Forth 2 until Friday, November 29.

The appeal has been fundraising across east central Scotland for almost 25 years and all the money raised is spent in the local area.

From computers and specialised equipment for disabled children through to holiday homes and toys, the goods the appeal provides help families and other children’s charities and schools in the region.

Items up for auction include signed merchandise from dozens of celebrities, including a limited edition framed Star Wars Episode II poster signed by Ewan McGregor, the Forth One studio sign recently autographed by Westlife, Darius, Danni Minogue, Liberty X and many more pop artists.

In addition to music and film memorabilia, hundreds of local businesses have donated auction items, such as health club memberships, hotel breaks, mountain bikes and gift vouchers.

A spokesman for the auction said: "The base prices for items start from just a few pounds and with bidding starting at only one-third of each item’s value, there will be plenty of opportunities to buy some really unique Christmas gifts without spending a fortune."

Source: The Scotsman


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, November 23, 2002 // 10:27 p.m.


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Flora Flowers Again

21/11/2002

After being shelved a full two years ago, Jodie Foster's pet project Flora Plum is happily back on track care of our favourite wee Scot, Ewan McGregor.

Set in the 1930s, Foster's tale revolves around a penniless girl who is taken in by a circus freak and as he falls in love with the scheming lass, she launches a career in the circus herself. It's all career, career, career with some girls, isn't it? With Foster reportedly turning down a reprisal of Clarice Starling for her "All About Eve in a circus," the film was set to go into production in 2000 with Russell Crowe lined up to star opposite Claire Danes taking time out of her study at Yale to play the manipulative young Flora. But then disaster struck in the shape of a shoulder injury to the apparently invulnerable Crowe and Foster's dream lay in tatters.

So who better than the marvellous McGregor to step into the ring to declare the whole shebang back in action? Taking on the role originally set for Crowe, McGregor will also star opposite Danes with production scheduled for either Autumn next year or January 2004. With this being a Foster effort and all, that's far too long to wait.

Source: Empire Online


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, November 21, 2002 // 07:51 a.m.


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Ewan McGregor to play circus freak for Jodie Foster

Story filed: 09:14 Thursday 21st November 2002

Ewan McGregor is to star in a romantic film being directed by Jodie Foster.

He is to star in Flora Plum, a love story set during the Depression about a circus freak.

Russell Crowe had been due to star in the film two years ago, but pulled out when he hurt his shoulder.

Meryl Streep and Claire Danes have also been signed to appear in the film.

In the film McGregor's character will take pity on a penniless waif (Danes), with whom he falls in love while helping her achieve fame.

Filming will begin either late next year or early 2004 according to www.hollywoodreporter.com.

Source: Ananova


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, November 21, 2002 // 07:50 a.m.


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Trio of stars set for 'Plum' roles in Foster feature

Thu Nov 21, 2:22 AM ET
By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- After being shelved two years ago, the Jodie Foster-helmed "Flora Plum" is coming back to life, with Ewan McGregor taking on the role that was once to be played by Russell Crowe. Additionally, Meryl Streep has committed to appear in the circus-set film, while Claire Danes, who was originally attached to star in the project, is back to take on the title role, sources confirmed.

Production will begin in either fall 2003 or January 2004 with original producers Barry Mendel and Meg LeFauve of Foster's Egg Pictures back on board and currently in the process of packaging the project and finding a home for it as either an independent feature or a studio project.

"Plum" was originally set up at USA Films and was to start production in September 2000. During preproduction, however, Crowe suffered a shoulder injury while training for the film in Austin, Texas, and subsequently dropped out of the project (HR 9/7/00). Crowe initially signed on to star in "Plum" shortly after he and Foster engaged in a public display of affection at parties after the Golden Globe Awards (news - web sites) in 2000, where Crowe was nominated for his role in "The Insider" (HR 2/1/00).

"Plum" would have been the first feature film Foster directed since "Home for the Holidays" in 1995. With an available slot in her schedule, the actress ended up taking on the starring role in "Panic Room" when that film's original star, Nicole Kidman, withdrew because of the effects from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Crowe, who at the time of his injury was in Austin recording with his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, went on to star in "A Beautiful Mind," which earned him an Oscar nomination.

"Flora Plum" is a love story set during the Depression about a circus freak (McGregor) who takes pity on a penniless waif (Claire Danes), with whom he falls in love while helping her achieve fame. Stephen Rodgers wrote the screenplay to the film.

Foster is repped by ICM, while Danes is at UTA. McGregor and Streep are repped by CAA.

Source: Yahoo News


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, November 21, 2002 // 07:49 a.m.


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Down with Love trailer news

Ewan fans in North America will have to wait until the premiere of the Renée Zellweger - Catherine Zeta-Jones film, Chicago, to see the trailer for Down With Love. Chicago opens in limited release on December 27th and then opens across North America three weeks later.

Thank you xcbug for the information!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 // 05:48 p.m.


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Ewan denies fall in river

Last April (5th), Zentertainment reported that Ewan had fallen "into the freezing waters off the coast of Scotland at night" while filming Young Adam.

Ewan fans who met his parents at the New York Tartan Day parade the next day told Ewan's dad, Jim, of Ewan's fall in the river. Mr. McGregor didn't know anything about it.

It turns out that the story was untrue.

Last night, there was a behind the scenes program about Young Adam on Film 2002 in the UK (it will be repeated on Saturday). Ewan fan Rebecca only caught the end of it, where Ewan was talking about someone coming up to his parents and telling them that he'd fallen in the river.

Ewan said he hadn't fallen in at that point, although he did later on in the filming when he was supposed to fall in.

Thank you Rebecca for the information!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 // 08:53 a.m.


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Rhona is face of Scots BAFTAS

Nov 15 2002
Graham Martin

RHONA Cameron is to host this year's Scottish BAFTA New Talent Awards.

The Musselburgh comic will hand out prizes to up-and-coming stars of the country's film and TV industry.

The bash at Glasgow's Armadillo recognises young, new or first-time producers, directors and writers.

Organisers are hoping Rhona - one of the stars of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here - will be joined by Scots celebrities such as Ewan McGregor and Dennis Lawson at the event on November 24.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, November 14, 2002 // 09:02 p.m.


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Ewan's boots being auctioned off for charity

Updated November 16, 2002 9:32am

The LEPRA (The Leprosy Relief Association) auction for charity has begun and boots signed by Ewan are now up for grabs (the bidding is already over £250).

To see the shoes currently being auctioned off, visit the LEPRA eBay page (scroll down to see the list of shoes available).


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, November 8, 2002 // 06:47 p.m.


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Big Fish casts wide net for extras

Local News - Nov. 7, 2002
By Rick Harmon
Montgomery Advertiser

When Tim Burton's "Big Fish" has an open casting call from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday at the old Cloverdale Junior High School gym, the film's casting directors will be looking for more than 6,000 extras from the Montgomery area.

As if needing 6,000 extras isn't a big enough indication that "Big Fish" is a big movie, it was announced Wednesday that Jessica Lange, who won an Oscar for "Blue Sky," which was also filmed in Alabama, has been added to a cast that already includes Albert Finney, Ewan McGregor and Billy Crudup.

"Using that many extras, it's staggering," said Brian Kurlander, the director of the Alabama Film Office.

"I knew there were some big scenes in the movie, but I had no idea that it was going to be this extraordinary an opportunity. 'Big Fish' is a redefining event for the film industry in Alabama."

What sort of people do the casting agents want?

"We want all shapes, all sizes, all ages," said Tracy Kilpatrick, who will be coordinating the casting call.

"The movie is going to be shooting from the middle of January through sometime in May, and will involve scenes from the'40s to the present day, so we need a very, very large number of extras."

Kilpatrick, who helped cast movies such as "Forrest Gump," "Dead Man Walking," and "The Hudsucker Proxy," said besides regular extras, she will be casting some featured extras and possibly a few speaking roles.

Kilpatrick said people will fill out information on site, so they don't need to bring resumes.

"All they need to bring is a picture of themselves that they can give to us and some patience," she said.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, November 8, 2002 // 06:32 p.m.


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"Big Fish" Needs Big Cast

November 2, 2002

If you missed out on the movie project with Cuba Gooding Junior and Beyonce Knowles in Columbus, another shot at stardom is coming up.

All ages are invited to a casting call for a feature film in Montgomery November 9. This movie is called "Big Fish," stars Ewan McGregor and Jessica Lange, and is written by a native Alabamian. Shooting will begin in mid January.

The auditions for extras are open to all ages, but you need to take a non-returnable current photo. The tryouts will be from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT November 9 at the old Cloverdale Junior High School gym, 1125 E. Fairview Avenue. Call (334) 420-4801 for more details.

Source: WTVM News

Thank you Katie for the heads up!


For people who cannot attend the open casting call on Saturday November 9th you can mail a current photograph with your name and phone number to the following address:

"Big Fish" Casting
1125 East Fairview Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36106


Crew Positions available for "Big Fish":

Please send resumes to:

Big Fish
Production Office
1125 East Fairview
Montgomery, Al 36106

No calls or walk-ins please


Source: Alabama Film

Thanks to Gayla for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, November 2, 2002 // 09:40 a.m.


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Visit Scotland Today to watch real video footage of Ewan winning UK Personality of the Year at the British Independent Film Awards the other night.

Thanks to John from Scotland Today for the heads up on this.


Posted by ewanspotting.com on Thursday, October 31, 2002 // 10:30 p.m.


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Trainspotting No 2?

31/10/2002

If freaky head-spinning babies, brutal shooting-up sequences and diarrhoea-stained sheets were too much for you the first time round, you might not be exactly over the moon to hear that a sequel to 1996 classic Trainspotting is looking more and more likely. On the other hand if supreme direction, style in bucket loads and fantastic acting is your kind of thing, we think you might be a tad excited.

With director Danny Boyle indicating that he wouldn't balk at the idea of revisiting Sick Boy and friends to Empire Online only last month, Ewan McGregor added more heat to the rumour fire last night at the British Independent Film Awards. He let slip that his attitude towards a reunion with Begbie has significantly shifted. "At first, I was quite sceptical about it. Quite some time ago I was asked if I wanted to play Renton again and I said no – it's a funny thing to go back. I've never done it before – except for the Star Wars character – and I thought it was best left. What if you made a sequel to Trainspotting and it wasn't good? It would be a terrible shame."

But - we're more than slightly thrilled to say - McGregor completed a neat turnaround when he read writer Irvine Welsh's follow-up book, Porno. "But then I read the book and went, "Ah, it's fantastic!" 'Cause it was so nice to find what they're all up to, you know. Sick boy and wee Spud and Begbie – fuckin' hell…so we'll see. The only thing to say is that if the script is good enough you'd go for it. I've lost that immediate negative feeling I won't do it."

McGregor also gave us the inside nod on his next film to be released, Down with Love with Renee Zellweger. "It's set in the 60s and is an absolute homage to the 60s sex comedies – the Doris Day, Rock Hudson movies. It's a brilliant laugh," he commented. What, chaste kissing and separate beds for Ewan, we spluttered. "Well, I might have slipped the tongue in. You've got to ask Renee. Probably!" Ah, yes, that's the Ewan McGregor we know and love.

Source: Empire Online


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, October 31, 2002 // 05:35 p.m.


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SCOTS MOVIE STARS' SWEET NIGHT
Newcomers' gritty drama scoops top awards at bash

Oct 31 2002
Jane Oddy

Photo from Empire Online

SWEET Sixteen led the way as Scots movie makers swept the boards at the fifth annual British Independent Film Awards last night.

The gritty coming-of-age tale - set in Greenock - won Best Independent Film while its young star Martin Compston lifted the Most Promising Newcomer gong.

And it wasn't alone in proving to the London audience that Scotland is the new home of movie talent.

Crieff-born star Ewan McGregor lifted the Variety UK Personality.

While Scots film Morvern Callar lifted two awards - Best Actress for lead Samantha Morton and Best Technical Achievement for director photography Alwin Kuchler.

The night was also used to honour stars who have recently died.

Ex-Beatle George Harrison was honoured with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to making movies.

And Richard Harris, who died last week, was nominated post-humously for Best Actor for his role in the movie My Kingdom.

British Independent Film Awards founder Elliot Grove paid tribute to the Scots after the bash.

He said: "We are delighted with the calibre of films this year, especially the Scottish contingent.

"It's great to see that Scotland has developed a strong film industry. It appears to be the new hot- bed for British film-making".

Moulin Rouge and Star Wars heart-throb McGregor, who arrived with his French wife Ève, admitted he was bemused and thrilled after lifting his prize. Dressed down for the event in jeans, he said: "Sportsmen get awards for being personalities - and I'm no good at sports."

But the real star of the night was teenager Compston, who gave up his football career with Greenock Morton after rave reviews for his first acting job.

He looked overwhelmed after being pounced on by photographers as he arrived in his Celtic-tartan kilt.

The youngster would only admit modestly: "I have put the football on hold and have already done a few bits on TV." But veteran director Ken Loache - who missed out on the Best Director gong - was quick to sing his protege's praises.

He told the Record: "He was fantastic in the film. All the cast were knockout."

Loach used the ceremony to criticise censors who made Sweet Sixteen impossible to be seen by some audiences.

He said : `It's ridiculous that kids can't hear their own language in the cinema.

"It's a scandal and shows the patronising attitude of the middle class censor."

Sweet Sixteen beat Morvern Callar, football flick and widely tipped winner Bend It Like Beckham, Irish drama Bloody Sunday and The Lawless Heart to the best film gong.

But it didn't go all Scotland's way.

Glasgow-born scriptwriter Paul Laverty may have won the Cannes jury prize for Sweet Sixteen but last night he lost out to Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter for The Lawless Heart.

Morvern Callar's Lynne Ramsay also lost out on the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards.

She hid her disappointment, saying: "I like to make movies that are culturally relevant and it was absolutely fantastic working with Samantha.

"But now I'm looking forward to getting on with my next project.

Trainspotting star Shirley Henderson also missed out on a Best Actress gong for Villa des Roses.

The evening was hosted by TV presenter Johnny Vaughan and honoured a wide selection of Independent films, the majority being of British origin.

The British Independent Film Awards were set up to recognise the growing stature of the British Independent Film Industry in the UK and world wide.

...THE WINNER IS

Best British Independent Film SWEET SIXTEEN

Best Actor JAMES NESBITT - BLOODY SUNDAY

Best Actress SAM MORTON - MORVERN CALLAR

Most Promising Newcomer MARTIN COMPSTON - SWEET SIXTEEN

Best Director PAUL GREENGRASS - BLOODY SUNDAY

Best Screenplay TOM HUNSINGER & NEIL HUNTER - THE LAWLESS HEART

Best Achievement in Production 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE

Best Technical Achievement ALWIN KUCHLER - MORVERN CALLAR

Best Foreign Film - Foreign Language MONSOON WEDDING

Outstanding Contribution by an Actor RICHARD HARRIS

Best Foreign Film - English Language LANTANA

The Douglas Hickox Award, for a British director on their debut feature LINDY HEYMANN & CHRISTIAN TAYLOR - SHOWBOY

The Lifetime Achievement Award GEORGE HARRISON

The Variety UK Personality Award EWAN McGREGOR

Special Jury Prize BRIAN TUFANO (Cinematographer)

Most Effective Distribution Campaign WENDY STRIKE & NICK MORAN - from ILC - CHRISTIE MALRY'S OWN DOUBLE ENTRY

Source: Daily Record


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 // 10:42 p.m.


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Where are Britain's leading men?

October 31, 2002
By Tina Brown

THE IMMINENT OPENING of the new Bond movie, starring the serviceable Pierce Brosnan, is a boost for British leading men. They have been relegated to the second tier lately, superseded by the Australians, who can smoulder without the burden of irony.

Tony Blair is the biggest British star in America (after Ozzy Osbourne). I am constantly asked to accept gratitude for the PM’s mystifying wonderfulness towards the US. Even opponents of Bush and his Iraq policy approve of Blair because they see him as a restraining influence. The British ambassador, Sir Christopher Meyer, who goes home in March, has been wildly popular with his affirmative, Kenneth More-like bounce, but he has been the beneficiary of a golden period in Anglo-American relations.

Sir Howard Stringer, the chairman and CEO of Sony, is the hottest after-dinner speaker in New York and Hollywood. He is blessed with patrician height, plus a sense of humour that masks a shrewd avoidance of splashy magazine profiles and a keen ability for monster management (which so much of the entertainment world is about).

Anthony Hopkins is the biggest box-office Brit in Hollywood, but it is dispiriting that his reputation has been made on the doggedly British niche brands of serial killers and butlers.

Hugh Grant is big because he occupies the debonair David Niven slot, though I suspect he could do much more. “If you want depth, get a Fiennes brother,” he murmured to me at one of the Golden Globes thrashes. Perhaps, but Joseph Fiennes vanished after Shakespeare in Love (which is strange unless you agree with Gore Vidal that he played the bard like a Puerto Rican florist) and Ralph hasn’t had the movies he deserves since The English Patient. This could change after Maid in Manhattan, a Pretty Woman-style romp in which Wayne Wang had the sense to cast Ralph’s neurasthenic charms against Jennifer Lopez’s radioactive butt.

The jury is still out on Ewan McGregor. The promising Colin Farrell hit a snake on his ladder last week when his next movie Phone Booth, about a sniper, was pulled indefinitely by Fox on the grounds of excessive topicality.

Jeremy Irons’s prison pallor and pervy mole had fallen out of favour even before we were hit over the head with the new wholesome America. Gay, schmay — Rupert Everett should get big romantic leads. When he bursts into a breakfast diner with his hair jammed under a woollen beanie he has so much upscale sexual charisma that you think he has an entourage even when he’s all by himself at a table for one.

Hearteningly, unlike the men, British women are not held back on the second tier. Americans love all the Kates — Blanchett (who feels British even though she is, natch, Australian), Winslet, Beckinsale, Zeta-Jones and Reddy (the heroine of Allison Pearson’s hit novel I Don’t Know How She Does It).

Plum Sykes, the noodle-slim British journo and playgirl, got a $625,000 advance the other day for her first novel, Bergdorf Blondes, from Miramax books. It was a big lift for Plum, who hit town five years ago with her wilder twin sister Lucy and needed something to freshen her act. A rumour made its way through Manhattan recently that the Sykeses are a) not twins at all and b) not 31, but this was just an index of the town’s need for new angles. The book isn’t written yet but Miramax already plans a movie.

There was a real frisson among British actresses after the Texan Renee Zellweger did her astonishingly flawless crossover as Bridget Jones. Americans usually don’t achieve British class nuance as finely as this, so there was a sigh of relief when the Hollywood chick Kate Hudson bombed last month in The Four Feathers, playing a late-Victorian toff in an out-of-period, ersatz new-London blurt that sounded as if her voice coach was Guy Ritchie.

Mike Nichols is one American director who’s very partial to British actors. “I find them nicely odd,” he told me the other day. “Many British actors travel only when their gardening permits.” As self-protection, he notes, most British actors today can do an acceptable American accent, which was not true of the old-guard Hollywood Brits, who represented generalised piss elegance.

Daniel Day-Lewis displayed a reassuringly British brand of nutty angst when he dropped out for two years and went off to Italy to become a cobbler, but there is no trace of a nervous Nelly in his comeback role next month. He plays the carnivorous anti-immigrant villain Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York, Martin Scorsese’s epic about the mean streets of 19th-century Manhattan. The word is that it’s a performance so intense, physical and immediate that it will haunt our dreams and nightmares. According to the historian Simon Schama, who had a sneak preview the other day, it is also something new: a performance as American as Brando with roots as English as Edmund Kean.

MY CHILDREN WERE born in New York, but I have nourished their ethnic roots by force feeding them the Famous Five and HMS Pinafore. I know I have succeeded when my computer screen pings with an instant message from my 12-year-old daughter: “Yo, Mom! Wassup!?” On Sundays we often go to an obscure English café downtown called Tea and Sympathy, where authentically scruffy Brits are hunched over flowery china tea pots on very small tables, their plates loaded with jam tarts and egg and cucumber finger sandwiches edged with whiskery parsley. Sometimes puzzled American cultural commentators will stumble in and misunderstand it as an exercise in shabby chic. In fact, it’s Narnia, the fantasy of vanished Britain.

Nigella Lawson’s cappuccino London has kissed goodbye to crumpets.

Source: The Times


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 // 10:40 p.m.


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Ewan McGregor: questions from the floor

Monday October 28, 2002

From beginnings in television, Ewan McGregor has gone on to become one of Britain's most versatile and prolific cinema actors. He spoke to Adrian Wooton at the NFT about dramatic method, the difficulties of directing, and the joys of showing off.


Adrian Wooton: I want to go right back to the beginning. In every interview I've read it seems acting is the only thing you've ever wanted to do, ever since you were a little boy. Why?

Ewan MacGregor: There are three things. I was nine years old when I made up my mind that that was what I definitely wanted to do. I can remember that because I was speaking to my uncle, Dennis Lawson, who's an actor, and asking him how to become an actor. He said something like, "Shut up and ask me in 10 years", or something like that. So I was nine years old.

So: three things. Firstly, my uncle Dennis's influence. I come from a town in rural Scotland called Crieff, a beautiful place but very conservative - quite a lot of farmers and a lot of tweed. My uncle would appear back from London, where he lived in the 70s, in sheepskin waistcoats and beads and no shoes. As an actor he had something about him that I liked and wanted to have. So that's one element: to be like my uncle, to be different.

The other two things are... well, I had a huge appetite for old black and white movies on BBC 2. At the weekends they used to run matinees, and the more romantic the better. We've lost touch with that unashamed romance of the films of the 30s and 40s. I was much happier watching old films than children's television.

The third element is just sex, really. As a child I was taken to the pantomime or the theatre and I would always, always fall in love with somebody on the stage. And want to have sex with them. So it was very sexy. It was usually one of the dancers, so no change there, I don't think.

AW: Weren't your mum and dad into film? Didn't they run the local film society?

EMG: They did, yeah. A tiny affair. The Crieff Hydro is a tiny hotel and there was a little theatre in there and they used to help run the film club. I'd forgotten that.

AW: Let's flash forward. You went to drama school and got your first part on telly...

EMG: Can I flash back a wee bit? It's quite interesting... well, maybe it's not. My brother is two years older than me and he was brilliant at everything, it seemed. He was captain of the cricket and rugby teams. We had this rather archaic system of head boys and prefects at my school. I was in my fourth year - in Scotland we finish school in our sixth year - and my brother had become head boy and brilliant at everything: academia, sports. In fact, all the things I wasn't good at. Then he left and I couldn't get my head round anything, so I became depressed and got in trouble a lot. I remember my mother driving me one night through heavy rain, with the windscreen wipers going. It was the first half term of my fifth year and she said that she'd spoken to my dad and that I could leave school if I wanted to. I'd only assumed that I'd have to stick it out until I was 18, but here I was being offered the chance to leave at 16. My whole world opened up. I couldn't believe it. And I was out, as soon as she said those words.

For months I'd been trying to get a job at Perth repertory theatre, something backstage, anything. They kept saying that I had to be trained, so I kept getting knocked back. The week I'd decided to leave school, they needed extras for A Passage to India. So I was in! I donned a turban and blacked up shouted, "Asiskerjay! Asiskerjay!". I can't remember what it means, but it involved running round the audience. I worked there for six months - I'd stayed after that production and had become a member of the stage crew. Occasionally I'd get a few lines to say. That was when I started learning stuff. Which is unfortunate for my school...

AW: You did a number of television things, and one of your big breaks was Lipstick on Your Collar. Could you talk about working with Potter? Was he an important influence on you?

EMG: Suddenly you're required to do something, a skill or something, and you look back on your life and say, "Goodness me!" Well, I wouldn't say, "Goodness me!", but one might. "Goodness me! Isn't it interesting that I learnt to do that back there?"

The work I did on Lipstick on Your Collar stood me in stead for many, many things. The most important thing was lip-synching. I was the musical fantasist in the series and so I got all the numbers. That set me up for lots of things. First of all, post-synching on a movie is quite difficult, but I've never found it that hard because of the work I did then. I had to be absolutely spot-on. Also for Moulin Rouge. We'd recorded the music, but 80% of the time we were lip-synching.

It was also my first job. I was at Guildhall school of music and drama and we had our passing-out show quite early on, earlier than the other schools. At that I got my agent, Lindy. I wouldn't be sitting up here without you, darling. And Lindy put me up for Lipstick and a film her husband was directing. I was terribly arrogant, and still am, and wasn't really interested in doing this television series because I wanted to do the movie. So I went along with that air of arrogance - and they really liked that!

So I had a recall for both and I got down to the last two for both of them. I had to do my final screen test for Lipstick at Twickenham studios and then jump in a car and bomb across London to Clapham to do the final screen test for the movie. So I did the screen test with Dennis, and I was very pleased to meet him, but I just wanted to get in a car to get to this other screen test, because I really wanted to do the film. It transpired that I didn't get the film, but I got the television series. But the film folded a month later, so had I been offered the film I would definitely have taken it over the television series and would have been left with neither. So I was really lucky.

Dennis was just lovely. I've never known anyone ruder in a restaurant. I was a waiter for a long time, and it made my toes curl. He was just terribly impatient. He was crippled by illness for many, many years and it had worn away at his patience, I think.

We were filming in a graveyard and I was sitting there with Dennis Potter and an American producer. Just the three of us. It was fairly near the end of the shoot...

(...it also gave me six months of film training. I'd done a year's theatre training in Scotland, and three year's in London. But it gave me six months experience in front of a camera...)

...so we were sitting there, and he was taking these tablets that basically knocked out his weekends.

[Sound of banging]

It's Dennis! He's probably telling me that it wasn't the weekends.

So he lived a five-day week towards the end, I think. He was very ill for two days a week. It sometimes recurred during the week, and this Wednesday was one of those days. We were sitting in the middle of the graveyard and he was talking to me about what to do when this came out, and warning me about not jumping at the first thing...

[More banging]

You weren't rude in restaurants, Dennis. You were a really patient man!

But then he'd get up and have to run off to be sick behind a gravestone. He was so used to being ill that he'd just sit back down and carry on. I've always remembered that - he took the time to warn me about things to look out for. I'll forever be in his debt.

I watched that interview with him, the Melvyn Bragg one, which was just astounding. I really wanted to be in Cold Lazarus or Karaoke because he'd given me my first job. So I asked to be in it, and I got a little scene walking past Albert Finney and Roy Hudd. It was really nice for me to be able to do that.

AW: You did a number of other things. Then you met Danny Boyle and did Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary. Could you talk about that relationship? Why was it so important at that time?

EMG: He was my first movie director. I'd worked on Scarlet and Black for the BBC, and it was during that that I met them for the first time and got offered Shallow Grave. It was all of our first movies - it was Danny's first as a director, John Hodge's first screenplay, Andy MacDonald's first movie as a producer and it was my first feature film. Whether that binds you together, I don't know. All I can tell you is that it was effortless and it was beautiful to work with Danny. I don't think I've ever been happier working with another director.

I think it showed. I'd do anything for him. It taught me a lesson which was an actor should not say, "I won't do that." Once you've agreed the script, you must be willing to go as far as it needs to go on set. With some directors, you do the scene and they say that it's fine, but you think to yourself, "Is that really enough? Is there not more?" On Shallow Grave we all lived in a flat together for a week in Glasgow, and lived and breathed it to create the relationships between the three of us.

Then on set we'd get a chance to rehearse with just Danny, he'd clear everything else away. That's often neglected, which is awful because I think it's very important. It's an awful thing as an actor to come into a space and be told to start there and go over there. I want to say, "How do you fucking know?" There's no discovery then. So with Danny we'd rehearse then show it to the others, like a play, and then they'd decide how to shoot it.

I remember in Shallow Grave I remember a few times when we'd only have to do one take. But when you did have to do more than one, you'd build on the one you'd done. It disheartens you if a director just gives you another note, because you think, "Well, what were you watching?" Danny would make sure that he built on things and drag the work out of you. I loved working with him. I'd look over and see him and be delighted that he was there. I was very happy to be in his company.

AW: Since that experience, do you think that your attitude to performance has changed? Have you become more demanding towards directors?

EMG: It's not my job to try and alter the director's style - he's in charge, and I'll always give him my trust. I think what happens is that you learn how to deal with it if you're not getting the support you need or if you're not being pushed. Occasionally you're doing two jobs at once: you're fooling the director into thinking you've taken his note while doing what you think is better. It hasn't happened very often, but it's an awful thing when you lose your trust in a director. But it's not for me to say.

The beautiful thing about it is that no two directors or actors work the same way. You also learn not to be afraid of discussion and conflict. I don't mean throwing tantrums, but that it's OK when you might have differences of opinion about a scene - it's part of the process. I don't think it's happened to me when someone has just said, "No."

I do remember once saying to a director, "You know, there are a thousand ways of playing this scene." And he said, "Pick one." And walked off. Which was a good note.

AW: I read an interview when you did Velvet Goldmine and it said that you liked to wind yourself up before a scene.

EMG: Yeah, I love it. You walk out of your trailer thinking you might not be able to do it and then you come back an hour later and you've done it and it's one of the best feelings. You surprise yourself all the time. You shouldn't always know how to do it. I try to resist trying to nail it down before the camera's running because I love the element of risk.

Sometimes it can be little bits that surprise you. It doesn't have to be the huge emotional scenes, it can be walking down the corridor for a linking shot and suddenly you can't do it and they might be the hardest things to crack.

AW: In Moulin Rouge it appears that both you and Nicole Kidman had a good relationship with Baz Luhrmann. Can you talk about that, because the production process seemed endless but turned out to be a marvellous movie.

EMG: Yeah. Well, it's just the way he works, and it infuriates the people who are paying for it. He's quite amazing, Baz, really inspirational. He pushed you and pulled you and stretched you to the limits, which is brilliant as an actor because that's how you want to feel at the end of the day. And he would be constantly re-writing. In the edit he was still changing the storyline. We were pulled into that as actors.

Baz and his team were researching it for nearly four years, I think. We were called along to Australia to workshop a 300 page script, it was enormous, with Australian actors who were hired in for two weeks. We worked on key scenes and some of the big musical numbers. At the end of these two weeks - there were singing lessons and dancing lessons, like being back at drama school - we did a live reading of this huge script for about 90 people.

Then we went away. I made a film called Nora, Nicole went away and made a film. Then we went back four months later to start rehearsing for the shoot. We rehearsed for four months doing singing, dancing and so on. By that time everyone else was cast.

When we'd finished rehearsing a scene, Baz and Craig would go off as writers and re-write the scene. So the work we'd done would be in the script. So we were actively involved in the creative process, which was such a treat because it doesn't happen very often.

AW: What about the singing? Are you a closet Liam Gallagher?

EMG: I was for a while, yeah! I've always loved singing. While my brother was very academical and sporty, I was into art and music. It's because it's performance, I think. At school there was no acting to be had other than school plays which I did now and again. Mainly I was able to perform with music - I played the French horn, I would sing, and I was a drummer in the pipe band. So I think it was a way to show off.

When Baz first came to meet me... I'd worked with Baz for a couple of hours for Romeo and Juliet - he's great like that, he'll go round the world and work with actors, not just meet them. My audition for Romeo and Juliet was probably more important in getting me into Moulin Rouge than anything else, because he'd remembered it. When he said it was a musical it was kind of like a dream coming true. Fantastic. It never worried me or made me nervous at all because I was so gung-ho about it.

I'd walk onto the Moulin Rouge dancehall set and it was just the most beautiful set. It took months to build - there were walkways that could hold a hundred people, two bars (which was handy) and this beautiful paintwork. We loved it and felt very at home there. It was smashed up at the end in one night, which was a shame because it could have been unbolted and used as a club somewhere.

...

What was the question?

AW: Singing. Doing a Bruce Willis...

EMG: Oh. So I'd walk onto the set there... Sorry, I've got so many images of what "doing a Bruce Willis" might be... So I'd walk out there for the big production at the end and there'd be hundreds of people on there. There I was standing in the middle of it all with Nicole Kidman and Baz by the camera. It was the thing of dreams and felt quite extraordinary. It felt fantastic because you'd done the music beforehand and they'd crank it up. It was just brilliant.

AW: You mentioned Nora. That was one of the times you've played a real-life character, James Joyce, the other being Nick Leeson in Rogue Trader. Did you approach either of those roles differently?

EMG: Yes. In Nick Leeson's case it was difficult because he was alive and in prison while we made the film, and people know him. You feel a terrible responsibility. With James Joyce it was slightly different. It was more frightening because I didn't know much about Joyce before I spoke to Pat Murphy, who directed the film, and she was very relieved and wanted to keep it that way. She gave me what she wanted me to know and not the huge differences in opinion in Ireland about Joyce - he was accused by some of being a pornographer. She wanted to keep that away from me so I could portray the James Joyce that she wanted in the movie.

Ultimately, you have to not worry about people thinking you should have played him differently. You're the one playing the part so it has to be yours. I remember really early on with Scarlet and Black, I hadn't read the book and didn't know anything about it, I told people I was doing it and every second person would say, "Oh! It's my favourite book!" So you do feel responsible.

With Nick Leeson there were two video-taped interviews with him. The one with Sir David Frost was while he was trying to be tried in Britain, because if he was tried in Britain he'd be charged with bringing down the bank whereas if he was tried in Singapore he'd really get the book thrown at him. He was desperately trying to fight that and get back to Britain, which he didn't manage to do.

The second interview was after he knew he wouldn't be tried in Britain. The difference was extraordinary. He was quite polite in the first one and was really angry in the second one. That was all I worked on. He had this mannerism with the side of his mouth that I tried to get now and again. It was fascinating because he was there on the TV. Then you have to get to a point where you say, "Ok. I've done that. I trust that." Then you get in front of the camera.

AW: Nora was a production of Natural Nylon, the company you were involved in setting up. Why did you want to set up a production company with your friends?

EMG: We wanted to do a film called The Hellfire Club, and we set it up to try to achieve that, really. With all our arrogance and bravado we wanted to make films our way - we were lucky to be making them at all really. But we wanted to do them our way - we want character driven work, not plot-driven. All good things, and I still agree with them all. Also, it was a bit of a laugh.

It also saved Nora. I'd met Pat Murphy in Dublin and was making a film there called Serpent's Kiss. I thought I was going down to read a few scenes with Susan Lynch who I'd seen in Cracker and thought she was an unbelievable actress. It was a casting, neither of us had got the parts yet. So I got to her house and there were costumes and camera and crew. We dressed up and shot every major scene of the film that afternoon. I hadn't worked on the accent, so I'd love to see it now and see how shockingly bad it was. But that was it. We became Nora and James from then on.

There was this American production company involved, and we were just about to start pre-production when they pulled out. So we couldn't make the film. We were all absolutely convinced that we were going to make that film. Pat Murphy had written the film with her partner, who had died. And for a while she didn't know if she was going to carry on. But it was so important that she did, and there was a closure there that was really important, and I think we all sensed that. So I took her to meet Bradley Adams, our producer at Natural Nylon, and then we started to put it together, again with American money.

I was doing Eye of the Beholder in Canada and I was meant to be coming back to start Nora, but again the American money pulled out. It proved to be a complete nightmare, financially. We funded it with Italian money, German money and Irish money. The German money came through, the Irish money came through and, er, the Italian money didn't. And still hasn't come through. But we did manage to make it, by hook or by crook. And it's beautiful - I love it to bits. It was great to work with Susan Lynch and it was great drama and dialogue. The relationship was so firy and full of sex and violence and love.

It was an incredible shoot. We shot for three weeks in Ireland, did all the interiors in Germany. We shot for four weeks in Trieste. It was beautiful.

AW: Are there more projects with Natural Nylon?

EMG: I don't know. I'm not a member anymore. I didn't have any time to do it and I felt bad about it so I withdrew.

AW: In terms of production, you have dipped your toes in. You did something for the Tube Tales project. Do you want to direct?

EMG: I do, yeah, I really do. Coming at it from being an actor would be brilliant. I don't have any worries about working with actors, which I think is the most important thing. It's terribly frightening, the idea of directing a feature. What stopped me was that I don't have a story to tell, and I don't want to direct for the sake of directing. That is the key. I've found the story now, but I'm still terrified.

You need a year and a half to do it properly, so I'd have to say that I'd only direct for that whole time. I'm not going to give up acting because it's fantastic fun and I love it to death. Also someone else has got the rights to the book, so I've got to sort that out.

The way to direct, I think, is not to be terrified of being the director. You have the idea and the story and you employ all these fantastically talented people to help you make it. To stand around and go, "We're going to do it like this, because I'm the director and I fucking say so" is not the best way. What requires the bottle is to stand in the middle and go, "OK, help me do it."

I have the confidence as an actor. But directing would a brand new thing, and there are areas I don't know much about. Post-production is a minefield. When I did the short, sound design came up and I thought, "OK, who's doing sound design?" You must have an idea about all of it. I look forward to it.

The little short I directed was called Bone, and it was for a series of 10 short films called Tube Tales. People were asked to send their real-life stories of things that had happened to them on the tube. I thought it would be fantastic practice. So I get given a pile of about thirty stories and I picked one about a guy falling in love with a picture on a lost tube pass. He went into graphic details of sexual fantasies, which I didn't go into in the film. Then I got a writer from Scotland and we had a few meetings and I started this process which I'd never done before where anything was possible. We'd meet, talk abut it, then he'd come back with it written down on a piece of paper. So simple. It was, like, "Fucking hell! This is great! That's my idea!"

I didn't want any dialogue because as an actor there's nothing better than a great moody moment to play with nothing to say. It's so much easier to do because you can really get inside your head. I had one guy saying, "Bye" at the beginning.

There was a production office that I went to, and I was the director. And it was great! And my wife was designing it. And that was great! My friend was doing the costumes. It was just like the real thing. I walked on set the first day and I just about had an accident because there were all these people there and it was so thrilling. I appeared in most of the rushes because I'd get so excited that I wouldn't call cut, I'd just run into the actors.

There was one scene where I wanted the guy to walk past a sax player, and I had the scene exactly in my head. We shot it and there it was - exactly how I wanted it - on the monitor. I loved it. The time aspect is a nightmare. You don't want to stop. You spunk all your time on something and then leave nothing for stuff you were supposed to be doing later in the day. The first shot of Bone was Nick's fingers drumming on some sheet music. I had nine takes of it. It was the first thing I'd ever done and I was just saying, "Let's go again." And we had to reverse the tube train up the line nine times. By the third day the inserts were done much more quickly.

AW: I just want to talk about Star Wars a bit. Can you talk about the character a bit? What was it like being immersed in that gigantic production and taking on Alec Guinness's character?

EMG: That was the exciting thing about it. That was my challenge - to be a young Alec Guinness. People would come up and say to me, "You sound a bit like Alec Guinness. Did that just happen?" No! It's my job, you know? The thrilling bit about it was I immersed myself in Alec Guinness movies, and I found this great one called The Card. God, it's a brilliant film. There was no Hollywood leading actor stuff, Guinness was playing a properly complicated, quirky character. I read his three books, which I just adored.

Then I watched the first episode of Star Wars over and over again. I loved it as a kid. It was a bit funny to be paid for it. I'd say to my wife, "I've got to go and watch Star Wars again, Sorry. I just haven't quite got it..." Brilliant.

Doing the second one was interesting, because I'd never had to go back to play a character again. It was three years between the two episodes. It was a bit easier because I was more used to the technical demands. In other films you rehearse, crack the scene and shoot it. In Star Wars, that's not the case. It's a very different process with an enormous amount of blue-screen work. It's very difficult - you play scenes with people who aren't there.

With the digital cameras, you have two on zoom lenses so you don't have the break to natter with the other actors while they change shot positions. You never get to sit down. It's hard work. You stand looking longingly at the chair with your name on it.

Acting to mid-air is odd. There's a perverse pleasure to it when you get it right, but often you don't. Aliens are really hard. On the second one I was doing the scene with those tall ones - actually, I quite fancied the female one - and they've got actors there who will actually be providing the voices for the characters. They wore blue hard hats with cardboard cut-outs of heads taped on top of them. So you've got to remember not to talk to the people but to talk to the hats.

So you do a few takes with the stand-ins, and then they're removed and they stand off-camera, delivering the lines. But you now do it to thin air. It's quite technically demanding.

My uncle came up to the set, and he was in all three of the first ones. We shot the first one near Watford. So my uncle came up and George Lucas was there wearing a plaid shirt, pale jeans and white sneakers and my uncle saw him and said, "You're wearing the same shirt!"

My uncle came over to Australia for a visit, I said to him that he had to come down. We were doing the café scene with the guy with four arms and suddenly one of the reasons for me being an actor, my uncle, was sitting behind the camera. And I was doing this:

[Mimes bad physical acting]

So humiliating.

The end result is phenomenal. I love talking to kids about it, because they have great questions about how things work: "Do you have your lightsabre with you?" When I was doing the publicity I was doing hundreds of interviews a day. You get quite bored and you want to make it more interesting for yourself. This Dutch guy was struggling with his English, and he was asking about Episode Two. So I said, "We're shooting the whole of Episode Two in space..." And I just kept going.

Source: The Guardian


After an interview with Adrian Wooton, Ewan McGregor took questions from members of the audience at the NFT. What follows is a full transcript of his answers:


Q: Will you do any romantic comedies?

EMG: Yes. I've just done Down With Love. I love romance and being in love - it goes straight back to those films I watched as a kid. This film I've just finished in LA, Down With Love, was directed by Peyton Reed, who directed a cheerleader movie called Bring It On. He'd taken a script which wasn't that good and turned it into a really classy, you know, cheerleader movie. No! It was good. I watched it about three times...

I met the producers of it when we were doing the rounds for Moulin Rouge, and they told me that it was written in the style of a Rock Hudson-Doris Day 1960s sex comedy. I don't know why, but I know them all. We had two brilliant writers who were allowed to be on set. It was just brilliant. It was quite hard to begin with. I'd just done a very dark, erotic film in Scotland called Young Adam and then I was immediately playing this Cary Grant character. Also doing that type of 60s comedy, which is quite "performed"... we all found it quite difficult to begin with.

I was acting with David Hyde Pearce, Frasier's brother, who was playing my best friend. He's brilliant. He's quite well practiced in that sort of humour.

I had my family out there and I bought a fibre-glass replica of the car that James Dean died in. So we'd get up in the morning in LA, have orange juice with my family and then I'd zip down to the studio in my sports car. I'd then get into wardrobe with these great suits, step onto these great 60s sets and then zip back home in time for dinner. Fantastic! It was like being back then.

My fantasies have always been about that, maybe earlier, Hollywood era of being attached to a studio. Jimmy Stewart has always been one of my favourite actors.

Q: If Baz Luhrmann decided to do a stage musical of Moulin Rouge, would you do it?

EMG: I don't know. The idea of going back to a part... No, I don't think so. It would make a fantastic stage musical. I took my little girl to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang recently and I thought, "God! That looks like a right laugh. I can sing. I could get away with that!"

My uncle was in loads of musicals in London and I'd see them and be breathtaken. I always like to do lots of things, so I don't see why I shouldn't do that. West End musicals are sometimes a bit cheesy, but I think I'd like to do it one day.

Q: Would you like to do more theatre?

EMG: Yes, I loved doing Malcolm and the Eunuchs. I trained in the theatre and I love the theatre. I get such a thrill seeing anything in the theatre. But it's a time thing again, movies tend to get planned so far in advance. I'm in a lucky position when I can get stacked up, so I don't have any time to do a play.

It's so good for you as an actor because being on stage is where it's at. It's the togetherness, acting with one another - it's what it's all about. In Star Wars you can maybe lose things, you can take me from take three and Liam from take seven and put us in the same frame. What I believe in is what happens between two actors. It can frustrate you when an actor is only concentrating on themselves.

I had a brilliant "dry" one night on stage where we had this one door on stage and for some reason it just wouldn't stay shut. It was becoming obvious that the audience was noticing, so I made some ad-lib like, "That bloody door!" And they laughed. And I thought, "God, I'm good..." And then I went, "Oh God. I can't remember what I say now!" I was too busy being pleased with myself. Nick Tennant just threw me a line from nowhere and then off we went again. That sense of togetherness is just beautiful.

We never went on automatic pilot with it because we just loved doing it. We'd get in there at three even though we weren't on 'til half-past seven. We'd talk about what happened the day before and in the intervals we'd talk about where we wanted the next act to go. The rehearsal room is the best place to be. I miss that. Rehearsal for a film is never like that. I had four or five big monologues and I hadn't acted on stage for seven years, so I was terrified by the thought of being on stage on my own. But the rehearsal is the best.

So that's a very long-winded way of saying yes, I'd like to do more theatre.

Q: Does it help if the director has had acting experience themselves?

EMG: Undoubtedly. I've met directors who haven't been actors but have gone on to do it. There's no real way of knowing what it's about unless you've tried it. It can be very cerebral for the director, but it helps to know what it feels like.

Q: What advice would you give to a theatre student today?

EMG: I don't know. I had someone ask me the other night how you get into the business, and I don't know. I was so driven and I found that through drama school I completely lost all my confidence. You get in to drama school and think that you're the business but then you meet twenty-five other people who also think that they're the business. I lost my confidence. Then at the end of the second year they cast me as the lead in As You Like It and I played Orlando. I think they thought I was lazy. I thought to myself that I had something to begin with to get me in here and I'm just going to rely on that.

Drama school is a funny thing, you've just got to trust that it's going to soak in. I just had a driven passion that was never going to stop. But it takes a long time. It's so hard to begin with. First time you're on a set you're so nervous and you don't want to say, "Excuse me, can I have a few seconds to get my head together?" But it's important that you feel you have the right to do that. Everyone has their own way and your way is just as valid.

Q: What film have you enjoyed acting in the most, and why?

EMG: I've really enjoyed them all. The film I like the best is always the one I'm working on now or next. They've all been essential to me in one way or another - whether they've been box-office hits or flops. In terms of film-making at its best and slickest, it would be Trainspotting. It was such a well-oiled machine with a phenomenal cast, a great script and a fantastic director. It was a joy from start to finish. I was so involved in it. It might be difficult for your family, but there are times when that's all there is. When you get in front of the camera and you're obsessed with it it's great. It was some of the most exciting work I've ever done. It just comes out of you because you're ready.

Q: What do you look for in a script?

EMG: The only thing you're looking for is a story, and that encompasses character. Once or twice I might have made a decision for the wrong reasons, like I should be seen to be doing that sort of film. Sometimes that works, but sometimes you just can't produce the commitment if you don't enjoy the story. I remember reading The Pillow Book and it was breathtaking. I wouldn't be able to tell you what it was about when I finished it, but I wanted to be in it. I could see myself there.

I don't have a checklist or a system - just a gut instinct. I'm lucky to be in that situation. There's a new wave of American scripts that are really annoying, where the writers are always commenting on the script to you, the reader. It really pisses me off: "He stops, closes his eyes, blinks." How do you know? You're not the fucking actor! But if the story is good, then none of that matters.

Q: What was it like to work with Peter Greenaway?

EMG: I met him in a room in Soho... Steady! The clothes stayed on ... It was my third movie. He told me that there was a lot of nudity in it. His films are so vibrant and vivid and yet he was the most upright, dark-suited Englishman. I'd imagined a kind of crazy professor-type guy.

"Are you prepared to be naked?"

"Yes." It's never been a problem before.

"Are you prepared to have any part of your body photographed and shown?"

"Err, yes."

"You'll have to simulate sex with a woman."

"That's not a problem."

"You'll have to simulate sex with a man."

"That's not a problem."

I think I may have been the only actor in Soho who said yes to all of them. I don't know. But I got the part, and I was so glad I did. It remains one of my favourite movies, that I've been in.

I started filming in Hong Kong after they'd been shooting in Japan for a few weeks, and I hadn't met Peter Greenaway since the conversation about the nudity. There was no discussion. He just told me where to go. It was point-to-point. I was terrified because I felt so on my own. But a week in I felt it was brilliant. He didn't get in the way of it. I can't explain it, he's the exception to the rule. He absolutely had my 100% trust and he never dropped it, so I was delighted. The suicide scene at the end was great - to play a five-minute scene with the camera following you around and it's your creation.

I'd love to do something with him again. I've heard him say that an actor is no more important than the vase on the table or a tree hanging past the window. I think that was rather beautiful.

Q: How do you manage to juggle work and fatherhood?

EMG: I didn't manage very well for a while, but I do now. It's become the most important thing for me. I'm blessed because I absolutely love what I do and I've got a brilliantly supportive wife and two beautiful wee girls. Before I spent quite a lot of time in pubs with people I didn't really know or like, and I don't do that anymore. Everything I ever wanted is back at my house.

It's very difficult with schools and stuff. My daughter, Clara, is six and at school. When we went to LA we took her out of school and it was difficult because she missed her friends and you can't do anything about that. I feel it's important to be together, so we do the best we can.

Q: How do you deal with the fanatical science-fiction fan?

EMG: I don't meet them very often, which is a shame because I think they'd be quite entertaining. Whenever you're at an event where your name is on a list you get the professional autograph hunters. It's often Star Wars people, and often people who want you to sign stuff so that they can sell it on the internet. They're pretending that it's not, so I don't like that. That takes away from the real Star Wars guy, who I don't get to see very often.

But there's a couple of guys who put their kids up to get stuff signed to sell, and you know that it's happening. It sours the whole thing a bit. In LA you get off the plane and they're there.

I think Star Wars has had less impact on my life than I thought it would, so that's a relief. One guy came up to me at the stage door of Little Malcolm and said, "Obi Wan!" I don't like that, because I'm Ewan. But he says, "Obi Wan!"

"What?"

"Have you got any advice for a trainee Jedi?"

I gave him some ...

Q: Which actor has inspired you the most, that you've worked with?

EMG: It's really difficult, they all do. No they don't. That's a lie. Anyone who wants to play, really. When you're an actor, you're all actors. I've never worked with someone where I've gone, "Oh my God! It's him!" Sometimes it happens when you meet for the first time. With Nicole Kidman you think, "Mmm. It's Nicole Kidman." But once you start working with someone, the best people are just the ones that let it go. That's the best thing I can say.

Q: Danny Boyle. The Beach. Did they talk to you about it and what do you think of the final movie? And will you work together again?

EMG: I hope so. I'd be so sad if we never made a film together again. There's something very special about the fact that we did our first films together. The Beach was muddy and confused and not handled very well, and that was a shame. Obviously there was going to be a movie that I wasn't right for, but the way it was dealt with was uncomfortable, and I was a bit sore. My feelings about the film I'll keep to myself ...

Q: Which actor or actress would you most like to work with and why?

EMG: I might be doing a film with Jodie Foster next year. Imagine that! I hope she's going to direct me and I really respect her work. It's unbelievable.

Q: Are there any particular playwrights or theatre experiences that have affected you?

EMG: Yeah. I was working in Perth Rep as one of the stage crew and there were two guys who were one year out of drama school and were "acting ASMs". They were appearing in a studio production of The Caretaker. I'd never seen a Pinter play before in my life, I was sixteen. When it ended, I couldn't speak. My Mum asked me what I thought, but I couldn't speak. I couldn't tell you why. I was breath-taken. It uplifted me and blew me away. So that would be it. That's a play I'd like to be in. A musical version ...

Q: Are you prepared to reveal the book that you want to make a film out of?

EMG: I can't, no. But I found it when I was doing the play in Hampstead. So maybe you can find it. I bought it because it fitted really well in my hand, it was a good size. I thought I could read it over lunch but then I thought, "This is the story." But I can't tell you what it is because of the rights, and if I told you then you'd all make it and, er, I'd do a better job.

Q: What's the best advice you can give to an actor?

EMG: You can't be good at all of it. I hated mime classes at drama school because there's a boredom threshold that I just couldn't get over. But I'd not shut down on anything. Drama school can't make you a brilliant actor, but you can do stuff for three years - you're not going to be fired. You should just go for it all, even the stuff you think is codswallop.

Q: How do you see yourself on screen when you're fifty?

EMG: It would depend on who I was playing. I'd just want to be up there still. All the characters I've played look a bit like me, but they're all different. I don't know what I'm going to play until I read the script.

AW: Will you introduce [Young Adam]?

EMG: Young Adam is based on a book by Alexander Trocchi in the 50s who was a Scottish beat writer and a colourful character. David MacKenzie is a young Scottish director who wrote the screenplay. He sent it to me and I couldn't put it down. It's one of those characters. It's an introspective, dark, erotic film about a man's moral decline. It's a very brave piece of work and it was quite hard to get it made. I hope it will be a kick up the arse for British films.

AW: Thank you, Ewan.

Source: The Guardian

Thank you Monika for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, October 29, 2002 // 07:33 p.m.


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Fast Moves
Thesp Ewan McGregor likes to keep it dangerous

Date in print: Mon., Oct. 28, 2002
By SHARON SWART

HOLLYWOOD -- Whether he's plunging down a toilet head-first, singing about his undying love, or dueling dark forces with a light saber, Ewan McGregor has shown auds and his directors that he's up for a challenge -- and he does it with relish. "There's a phrase he uses: he'll say, 'It's such a treat,' " explains Moulin Rouge helmer Baz Luhrmann, who workshopped the pic with McGregor and Nicole Kidman for a year before he started filming the musical extravaganza. "He had to go from Cary Grant screwball comedy in the beginning to a genuine emotional naturalist in the end -- and he had to sing and dance. Ewan can do anything he puts his mind to."

Two key roles McGregor put his mind to in the mid-'90s brought him international acclaim: Alex, the annoying roommate who has the last laugh in Shallow Grave, and Edinburgh junkie Mark "Rent-boy" Renton in Trainspotting.

"Trainspotting was more difficult than Shallow Grave, " says Danny Boyle, who helmed both pics. "It seemed farther away from what he was. But he talked about transforming himself, and he did. I was absolutely amazed."

Since then, the Scottish thesp -- who this week receives Variety's U.K. Personality of the Year kudo at the British Independent Film Awards in London -- has proved again and again that he's got range and he's not afraid to move between indies and studio films to exercise it.

He's just wrapped Fox's Down With Love, an homage to the early '60s Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedies, with Renee Zellweger. Before that McGregor tackled Young Adam, an indie thriller based on a novel by Scottish beat writer Alexander Trocchi that McGregor calls "a dark and erotic book about a guy's moral decline."

Pic, helmed by David Mackenzie, shot in eight weeks with a cast including Peter Mullan, Tilda Swinton and Emily Mortimer. "It was a full-on shoot, with a small crew. We blasted around Scotland in the freezing cold," says McGregor. "What we were doing felt really dangerous. We were pushing the envelope on all the sex."

In between Adam and Moulin, McGregor joined Ridley Scott's action ensemble Black Hawk Down and donned his Obi-Wan Kenobi robe for the second Star Wars prequel. And before Moulin, he racked up an eclectic credits mix in indies such as Brassed Off, Emma, Little Voice and Velvet Goldmine, to studio fare such as Fox's A Life Less Ordinary, helmed by Boyle and co-starring Cameron Diaz.

Moving back and forth between wildly different roles and budget ranges doesn't faze McGregor. "It's about good stories," he says, "whether something is big or small doesn't really matter to me. As a result I've done big budget and small-budget films and I'd like to keep it that way."

In 1998, McGregor added the role of producer to his repertoire with Pat Murphy's Nora, about James Joyce's relationship with chambermaid Nora Barnacle. Pic was funneled through Natural Nylon, the producing shingle that he shared with actors Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee.

He exited the producing partnership earlier this year. "I thought I didn't have any time to be involved with Natural Nylon anymore; I felt it wasn't any use being a member if I wasn't doing anything," says McGregor.

Not doing anything but acting, that is.

After an exhaustive search, helmer George Lucas chose McGregor to play the younger version of Alec Guiness's Obi-Wan, a character the director calls the "steady center of the Star Wars saga."

Providing a film's central stabilizing force, say helmers, is one of McGregor's strengths.

"Ewan held the center in Trainspotting, " says Boyle. "There were lots of fireworks going on around him -- Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle played big, big characters. But those fireworks are no good unless there's an emotional center."

It's that quality and his connection to auds that has put McGregor on the top of director wish lists these days.

Says Down With Love helmer Peyton Reed: "As a guy going to see a romantic comedy, Ewan is the kind of actor that guys want to watch. He's fearless, he's got a punk rock energy -- and there's a real sense of danger about him. It was crucial to have that element in the movie."

"Another thing about Ewan is that he's a major international star," adds Tom Rothman, co-chairman of 20th Century Fox, home of five McGregor vehicles so far and the studio for which McGregor will start shooting another Star Wars installment next year. "A lot of the pictures he's done, and not just 'Star Wars,' do enormous business internationally." (In fact, the foreign B.O. for most pics in which McGregor has a key role outpace their domestic gross by a significant margin.)

"This will be the third Star Wars with him and it has been an incredible journey to watch him grow," says the pic's producer Rick McCallum. "He's so focused, so on, and so giving with everyone around him. He and Sam Jackson set the standard on the set. No one misbehaves because they're so decent."

Concludes Luhrmann: "He's right center stage now in etching this body of work. He hasn't arrived -- he is."

Source: Variety (requires subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, October 28, 2002 // 09:46 p.m.


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Helmers on McGregor
Directors sing the praises of Moulin star

Date in print: Mon., Oct. 28, 2002
By SHARON SWART

Danny Boyle
Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary

"Ewan has an intravenous line into the audience. There's an irreverent side to him that's right in keeping with what people want. He's got that twinkle in his eye, like Sean Connery."


George Lucas
Star Wars episodes I, II and III

"Ewan had the energy, grace and enthusiasm to be the young Obi-Wan Kenobi. It's a very difficult role -- perhaps the hardest of all the roles because he's the steady center of the 'Star Wars' saga. Ewan is a brilliant actor with depths that I don't think have been tapped yet in his varied performances."


Baz Luhrmann
Moulin Rouge

"Ewan brings a soul to the set and he's a bit of a prankster. He'd do something outrageous to relieve the tension. But for all his perceived wildness, he's extraordinarily professional."

Source: Variety (requires subscription)

Thank you Pertitum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, October 28, 2002 // 08:02 a.m.


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Powerhouse Auctions Obi-Wan Lightsaber

Mon, Oct 28, 02 12:15:29 AM EST

This press release was issued today by the Powerhouse Museum:
Powerhouse Museum to auction exclusive Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsaber

To celebrate the success of Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, the Powerhouse Museum will auction an Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsaber replica signed by George Lucas. This prestigious item will be auctioned via Ebay (www.ebay.com.au - collectibles) and will be open to bidders between 1 November – 10 November 2002.

The lightsaber was generously donated to the Powerhouse Museum by Lucasfilm Ltd in support of Marist Youth Care where all proceeds from the auction will go. Marist Youth Care is a charity that takes abused and disadvantaged children who have often been living on the streets for some time, and provides them a home, family support, education and life skills. The group works together to repatriate these kids and give them a chance in life to reach their full potential.

“The Powerhouse Museum is delighted to be able to support this worthy cause. The parallels between the role of Marist Youth Care and the Star Wars story are substantial and I am pleased the auction of this exclusive lightsaber can assist the charity,” said Dr Kevin Fewster, the Museum’s Director.

Star Wars: The Magic of Myth has beaten all records by enticing the largest number of visitors to any temporary exhibition in the Powerhouse Museum’s history. This record translated to 3,551 eager people coming through the Museum’s doors to see the exhibition on 10 October 2002.

Star Wars: The Magic of Myth is one of the most popular exhibitions of all time. As the Powerhouse Museum is the only venue in Australia, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see original artwork, props, models and characters used to create all five Star Wars films including Attack of the Clones.

Source: TheForce.Net

Thank you Stanzy for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, October 28, 2002 // 07:44 a.m.


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HAVEN ON EARTH

Oct 25 2002
Lisa Adams

Scottish stars reveal their favourite locations, from Govan to Gogo Burn


FROM soaring snow-capped mountains to industrial cranes or even the outside of a pub, it seems everyone has a different view about the most stunning place in Scotland.

Now some of the country's top celebrities have revealed, in a new book, where their favourite place is.

Primary school teacher Andy Hall asked 49 famous Scots to pinpoint the place most likely to put a smile on their faces. He then clocked up 15,000 miles and spent three years photographing the stars' special locations.

His search for the perfect shot meant he would often return to the one place in a bid to capture its beauty.

Andy, 47, of Stonehaven, said: "I hope the pictures inspire the beautiful melancholy experienced by Scots away from home all over the world.

"I wanted the photos to be the next best thing to actually being there. But the celebrities' descriptions of their favourite places also offer a fascinating personal insight into their lives."

Andy, who took up photography for a hobby, soon discovered top snappers frequently have to suffer for their art. Football pundit Ally McCoist naming Glencoe as his special place was particularly challenging.

Andy said: "I wanted to take a wintry, moonlit scene to convey how eerie Glencoe is, so I was sitting alone in Glencoe in the middle of the night. I completely lost track of time and was absolutely freezing. I must love Scotland a lot."

Here are some ofthe celebrities' favourite locations.

Ewan McGregor, Actor - Crieff, Perthshire:

"The Knock in Crieff is a very special place to me. It reminds me of childhood holidays, of freedom and getting up to no good. I especially like this view looking over to Comrie. This particular picture has an almost three-dimensional effect. I really like the shiny film stock used. Many thanks for taking it and giving me a permanent, visual reminder of home."


A Sense Of Belonging To Scotland costs £14.99 and is published by Mercat Press. It is available from bookstores.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, October 24, 2002 // 11:20 p.m.


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Film honour for Harrison

Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 19:35 GMT 20:35 UK

The late Beatle George Harrison is to receive a posthumous honour for his film work at an awards ceremony in London next week.

Other stars who will be honoured at the British Independent Film Awards, now in its fifth year, include Ewan McGregor.

McGregor, whose many hits include Attack Of The Clones, Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge, will receive the Variety UK Personality award, sponsored by the trade publication.

"No major UK star over the past decade has toiled as actively in independent films as Ewan McGregor," said executive editor Steven Gaydos.


The awards were set up to recognise the stature of the British independent film industry in the UK and worldwide.

The awards coincide with the 10th Raindance Film Festival, which began in London on Wednesday night, and focuses on the best in independent film from around the world.

Source: BBC News

Thank you Dee for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, October 24, 2002 // 11:12 p.m.


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Ewan talks sex

Last updated 24 October 2002

Ewan McGregor has been talking sex with Radio 1, ahead of a question and answer session at the National Film Theatre's 50th birthday celebrations last night (Tuesday).

He was said to be looking good with a new haircut and just the right amount of stubble when Radio 1 grabbed him for an exclusive chat.

He told us that he quite fancies his hand at directing and possibly starring in a West End musical after going to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

On the movie front, he starts shooting the final instalment of 'Star Wars' next June, but he told us about two films he already has in the can. The first is a gritty British drama with Emily Mortimor called 'Young Adam':

"It's an incredibly good script and we had a fantastic time making it up in Glasgow and it's dark and erotic and so it should be really really good I think. And then I did a film called 'Down with Love' with Renee Zellweger over in LA which is completely the opposite - light and…it's kind of a homage to the sixties sex comedy, so lots of sex next year..."

Source: BBC Radio 1 News

Thank you Darth Annaud for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, October 24, 2002 // 05:08 p.m.


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Ewan's Ads Take The Ginger Root

Oct 24 2002
Rick Fulton

EWAN McGregor has grounds to celebrate. In fact, he has coffee grounds to celebrate.

The Star Wars actor has been signed up to replace Kevin Costner as the new face of Japanese canned coffee Roots.

The Trainspotting star sports a dodgy ginger quiff in the ads but his slick suit looks a lot smarter.

But you can't quite work out why he's wearing that get-up while drinking canned coffee on a mountain bike.

Roots are the fourth Japanese firm to enlist Ewan, after Aeon English Language School, Beatnic drink and Bobson jeans. They have already had ads featuring Hollywood hunk Brad Pitt.

You can see pictures from the ad here.

Source: The Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, October 24, 2002 // 07:34 a.m.


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Ewan's Solid Geometry to play in Manchester, UK

FOR the seventh year running, Manchester becomes the focus of the short-film world as Kinofilm 2002 runs from this Monday until Sunday, October 27.

This year's festival is bigger than ever, with over 30 programmes, featuring over 250 shorts selected from over 1,300 entries from around the world.

The Tartan Shorts category boasts some strong Scottish entries including Solid Geometry. Directed by Dennis Lawson and starring Ewan McGregor, it's about a young man's unhealthy obsession with his inheritance.

Kinofilm 2002 takes place at three venues - Cornerhouse, the Green Room and the Instituto Cervantes with a free programme available at any of the venues, as well as several other outlets.

Venues and bookings

Cornerhouse 0161 200 1500
*Greenroom 0161 615 0500
Instituto Cervantes 0161 661 4200
General Enquiries @ Kino 0161 288 2494

Source: ManchesterOnline

Thank you Dee for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, October 21, 2002 // 06:13 p.m.


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Ewan ranked 5th in E!'s 25 sexiest men in entertainment

As if we needed E! to tell us that Ewan is sexy! Ha! ;-)

It will air on E! on October 21 at 11 am and 2:30pm; Oct. 22 at 10pm; Oct 23 at 11am; Oct. 26 at 1 pm and 7pm; and Oct. 27 at 10 am.

Source: E! Online

Thank you Molly for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, October 20, 2002 // 11:50 p.m.


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McGregor reads bedtime stories

Friday, 18 October, 2002, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK

Actor Ewan McGregor is to read short stories by Anton Chekhov on BBC Radio 4's Book At Bedtime.

He chose the 19th century Russian author because he said the themes of the five stories were still relevant and each one was "melancholy".

The actor will read five of his favourite short stories on consecutive weeknights.

"These could be contemporary stories as they are about very human things, love and survival," McGregor said.

"What really appealed to me is that there is a huge melancholy running through all his work and there is something nice about melancholy stories, especially at bedtime."

Play plans

He continued: "I was thinking of doing The Seagull as a play either acting in it and then I thought I would quite like to direct it on the radio.

"I think it would quite lend itself to radio and I hope to do that in the future."

He said he had enjoyed the experience of recording the radio programmes.

"In radio really anything is possible. I found it really beautiful and it has made me feel much closer to Chekhov's writing by recording these five stories," he said.

McGregor will read for Book At Bedtime each weeknight from 28 October - 1 November at 2245 GMT on BBC Radio 4. The stories will be available for up to a week on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Chosen Chekhov stories

- His Wife (1899)
- The Bet (1889)
- The Beauty (1888)
- Concerning Love (1898)
- Vanka (1886)

Source: BBC News


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, October 18, 2002 // 01:01 p.m.


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Win a night with Ewan!


Ohhh... to live in the UK!



Is Ewan McGregor your kind of man? Did you swoon at his singing in Moulin Rouge, gasp at his power as Obi-Wan, or gulp at his appearance in Velvet Goldmine? Well, if that's the case or you just think he's a mighty fine actor, you could be spending the evening with the Scottish lad next week, care of Empire Online. The British Film Institute has very kindly given us a pair of tickets to pass on to you good folks for the Guardian Interview with the man himself on Wednesday 23 October at the National Film Theatre in London.

The contest is open to UK residents aged 18 and over. Click here to fill out the entry form.

Source: Empire Online

'nuff said.

Thank you Chris and Shirley Ann for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, October 10, 2002 // 08:07 p.m.


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Leading Man

Oct 2 2002

Ewan McGregor has been named UK Personality of the Year. Hollywood paper Daily Variety said the Star Wars actor, from Crieff, Perthshire, "attracts global audiences".

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 // 07:40 a.m.


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Ewan at Sweet Sixteen premiere tonight in Glasgow

Director Ken Loach will be attending the premiere of his film "Sweet Sixteen" at the UGC cinema in Glasgow next Tuesday evening (tonight!).

Celebrity guests including Ewan McGregor and Michelle Collins will see him introduce the film.

But after his presentation, Ken Loach will be driven to Greenock to join the cast and crew at a second premiere at the Waterfront cinema there.

The film is set in Greenock and the 18-year-old star of the movie, Martin Compston, comes from there. After the second premiere, the Greenock audience will be transported to a glittering gala party for 750 guests in a Glasgow nightclub. Originally, the premiere was only to be in Greenock but, as the guest list grew, the Glasgow venue was added.

The film won a Best Actor nomination at the Cannes Film Festival for Martin Compston and won the prize at Cannes for Best Screenplay.

Source: Rampant Scotland Newsletter "Scottish Snippets" (28 September 2002)

Thank you MRS EGM for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, October 1, 2002 // 07:53 a.m.


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Ewan interviewed at the National Film Theatre

Ewan McGregor will be interviewed at the National Film Theatre on October 23 to mark the NFT's 50th anniversary. McGregor will discuss his films in a Guardian interview.

Source: Baz Bamigboye's column in the UK Daily Mail

Thank you Jameslover for the heads up!

 

Update:

The Guardian Interview with Ewan McGregor on the NFT's 50th Birthday

Wed 23 Oct 8.40 NFT1

As a special birthday surprise we are delighted to announce that Ewan McGregor will be taking part in a Guardian Interview.

One of British cinema's fastest rising young stars, Ewan McGregor's career has encompassed a diverse range of roles, from the cult successes of Shallow Grave and Trainspotting and the experiment of Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book to the multi-million dollar Star Wars saga and Baz Luhrmann's musical extravaganza Moulin Rouge.

The Guardian Interview will be hosted by Adrian Wootton, Artistic Director of the British Film Institute.

Tickets £11.00, concs £9.00

Source: British Film Institute

Thank you Jane for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, September 27, 2002 // 11:23 p.m.


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Night on the Styles

Sep 25 2002
Lindsay Clydesdale

TELEVISION'S top fashion stylists are coming to Scotland to give lucky Vital readers the make- over of a lifetime.

As the stars of the hit BBC show, What Not To Wear, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, have become famous for their sharp, sometimes brutal style advice, to women in need of a dressing down.

Each week the bossy duo bring their instinctive sense of style to their victim's wardrobe, handing out a few harsh home truths during the always amazing transformation process.

Feared and revered in equal measure, Trinny and Susannah are holding a girls-only pampering night in Glasgow later this month, only open to Vital readers.

30 lucky readers will win a style make-over from the girls, and their complete outfit to keep, while another 75 tickets to the event are up for grabs.

Trinny said: "The event in Glasgow's going to be great. Basically, we'll all talk about what we love and hate about our bodies, then split ourselves into groups of pears and apples and hourglasses.

"Then the fun starts when we start trying on tons of clothes. In the evening there's fashion, style and hair advice. We have make- up artists and manicurists on hand, plus a clairvoyant. It'll be good, girlie fun and it's a night not to be missed."

And Trinny insisted Scots women are just as fashionable as their English sisters and had nothing to fear from the style gurus.

She added: "Susannah and I have dressed about 2000 women over the last eight years, so we have seen everything. Everybody is unique, but after that many years and that many women, I don't think there's much left out there to shock us."

Susannah said: "I think both Edinburgh and Glasgow have come a long way in terms of fashion. Glasgow's always been pretty good and all the designers are there now. I do think the further north you go, the more effort women seem to make with themselves."

The normally sharp-tongued pair are full of excitement at the chance to come north of the border.

Susannah said: "I love Scotland, I've spent a lot of time here. My husband's family have been holidaying in a place near Blair Atholl in Perthshire for 20 years and I go up there for breaks whenever I can. I'd love to stay in Scotland, it's so beautiful."

Trinny, who's half Scottish, revealed she has her own fashion skeleton in the closet, a history of wearing kilts, but claimed the tartan skirt was a real fashion statment.

She said: "I love the kilt, I used to wear it a lot when I was a kid. I think the kilt is fun. It can be fashiony or classic or sexy or dowdy depending who's wearing it and what length it is."

Our national dress might get the thumbs up, but what about our celebrities? We asked the pair to run their eyes over some of our hottest stars and give us their verdicts.

KIRSTY GALLACHER

THE breakfast TV presenter has been panned for her part in the Channel 4 show RI:SE but won praise for her sexy and stylish dress sense.

"She's very sexy," said Trinny. "She's got a very good figure and always wears low, round or V- neck tops which she should because she's got big knockers and she's got long legs.

"She's kind of Susannah's shape and she dresses very well for her shape. I've never seen her wearing something where I've thought, `Oh my God, what's she doing.' Kirsty gets top marks."

SHARLEEN SPITERI

SUSANNAH is a big fan of the Texas singer and gave her the thumbs up for her individuality.

"She is fantastic," said Susannah. "She has got so much style and, because she is totally unique, it's individual to her.

"She's quite masculine, but she still manages to look very sexy."

LORRAINE KELLY

TRINNY said: "She can sometimes look great. We helped her buy some sexy high- heeled, brown suede boots and it transformed her into more of a kitten- woman than a mum.

"She's got an image for her TV show of an approachable, down-to-earth woman and she was getting a bit dowdy. But I think recently she's got much better."

GAIL HIPGRAVE

NEW mum Gail came in for a tongue-lashing from Trinny for her recent frumpy, dumpy pregnancy clothes.

Trinny said: "She just didn't know how to dress when she was pregnant. The best I've seen her look was in the nude on the Houses of Parliament, a real sexy gorgeous woman.

"She always dresses down, I've never seen Gail really dress up. She's quite short, but she has big boobs and I think she can make herself look dumpy very easily. She's incredibly pretty and having just had a baby, that's a very tough time to get back into feeling like a sexy TV presenter, so it'll be interesting to see what she does next."

LULU

SUSANNAH said: "I love her. Out of all the people around, she is probably one of the best dressed because she really knows how to dress for her shape.

"She's petite, but she's quite curvaceous and she has an amazing flair with colour. She's not frightened to mix and match bold colours. She wears a lot of trouser suits and I think that's a modern twist on a classic. It's smart, sexy or classy, but it's not mutton dressed as lamb."

CAROL SMILLIE

TRINNY said: "She's got sexy mum down to a fine art and looks good."

RHONA CAMERON

TRINNY said: "I heard she was very upset when she was given a baggy boy's T- shirt to wear on `I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here'. I think she really resented that and I felt for her. I've never seen her look that feminine, but I do believe there is a really soft side to her and I'd love to dress her."

KIRSTY YOUNG

TRINNY said: "Kirsty always does well, always looks stylish."

KIRTSY HUME

THE former Chanel model from Ayrshire is stunning enough to carry off the worst outfit.

Trinny said: "She is gorgeous - so gorgeous that even if she wors a sack, all I would see is that angel face. She is so beautiful but she always looks lovely, too. She's got great style."

EWAN McGREGOR

TRINNY said: "I'm happy with Ewan's look - I'm happy with the whole of him."

"I saw him in a shop in London and he looked just fantastic," said Susannah. "He was wearing a biker jacket, a white T- shirt and a very well-cut pair of jeans. He looked understated and doesn't try to stand out with the way he dresses, but my God, he is gorgeous."


BILLY CONNOLLY

TRINNY was quick to name the Glaswegian comedian as most in need of a make-over.

She said: "Even though I think he's fabulous, I want to burn all of Billy Connolly's trousers. He always wears pyjama bottoms, I wouldn't even call them trousers.

"He looks like he's come out of the 1970s. And why have an aubergine beard? But then, he's so funny and wry that he can almost get away with it. If he dressed really well he wouldn't be Billy Connolly but he has pretty eccentric taste."

So that's the verdict on the stars. Are you brave enough to give yourself over to Susannah and Trinny?

Source: Daily Record

Thanks to Chris for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, September 26, 2002 // 10:14 a.m.


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My Hero

Pandora

Sep 26, 2002 - Independent-London

[...]

A stellar assortment of guests, including Ewan McGregor, Peter Ackroyd and Suggs, turned up at Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox in London's St James's on Tuesday night for a private view of Paul Simonon's paintings. Simonon, formerly bass player in the Clash, demonstrated he has a fine pair of lungs as well as nimble fingers. When asked why his work consisted entirely of London landscapes, he burst into song with "Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner". Meanwhile, outside the gallery where the smokers congregated, McGregor proved himself a real-life as well as on-screen hero. One young lady tripped at the top of stairs and could have caused herself a serious mischief had the actor not swiftly sprung into her action and caught her in his arms.

She later vowed not to wash the part of her anatomy which had been graced by the heart-throb's touch "for at least a week".

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, September 26, 2002 // 09:44 a.m.


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A Chic Off The Old Block

Sep 26 2002


Photo from Rex Features

HOLLYWOOD star Ewan McGregor seemed to be paying tribute to one of Scotland's funniest men when he turned up for the opening of an art exhibition.

The Attack of the Clones star looked like a clone of the late, great Scots comedian Chic Murray as he donned a flat cap - Chic's trademark.

Ewan is yet to fully demonstrate his comic talents on the big screen - unlike Chic, who had viewers in stitches as the headmaster in Gregory's Girl.

Perthshire-born Ewan and wife Ève were attending an art show in London by former Clash bass player Paul Simonon.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 // 09:56 p.m.


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Award for Ewan McGregor at glittering night for Scottish cinema.

Monday, 23 September, 2002, 12:54

Actor Ewan McGregor was last night named Scottish film star of the year at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow. The Scot was among many high profile stars who attended the Scottish People's Film Awards, but it was an up and coming actor from Greenock who stole the show.

It was Scotland's own blockbuster of the year. Stars of the big and small screen gathered together to celebrate the talent in the Scottish film industry.

Ewan McGregor said: "Scottish film's had a really good year and the last three years. At a time when it seems to becoming harder and harder to be making films in this country with Channel Four collapsing and Granada films collapsing. There's a strength of film making in Scotland that feels like we're digging our heels in so it's nice for a night like that to celebrate that."

Daniella Nardini said: "I think it's lovely for someone like Ewan McGregor who's out in Hollywood still has ennough time to come here to night - I'm sure he's very busy and making far too much money."

John Gordon Sinclair, who was also at the ceremony, said: "The thing is I'm actually gate crashing so I don't know that much about it. I'm just on a lig tonight but that's me."

The first award of the evening went to Ewan McGregor for Film Personality of the year, after his success with Moulin Rouge and the latest Star Wars prequel.

Veteran actor Tom Conti was awarded a lifetime achievement award but the biggest cheer of the night was for 18-year-old Martin Compston for his performance in the Ken Loach film Sweet Sixteen. Mum and Dad gave him a helping hand to collect his best newcomer prize.

On winning the award, Martin Compston said: "It's...I can't believe it. It's the first thing I've ever won. So I'm never going to forget it. And at least I've won it in front of people who can un what I say and don't need subtitles."

He added: "I'll remember it. Hopefully first of many. We'll see but - really chuffed."

Asked about the chance to meet Ewan McGregor as well, he said: "Top man - Legend. Moulin Rouge, Nicole Kidman, Trainspotting,...the man's an absolute legend."

He added: "He told me a bit of advice - don't sleep with the director."

It was a great night for the Scottish film industry and for young Martin it is a step towards Hollywood.

Video clip

Source: Scotland Today

Thank you Gail and Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, September 23, 2002 // 08:31 p.m.


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Rennée 'set fot Bridget Jones pt II'

16.20PM GMT, 1 Feb 2002

Chardonnay swigging Bridget Jones could be set to return - so long as the single girl's film icon Renée Zellweger approves the film's script.

A newspaper claims that Ms Zellweger has agreed to pile on the pounds one more time to become Helen Fielding's much-loved character.

If Renée gives it the go-ahead, the cast, including Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, are set to get together in the autumn to start filming.

Screenwriter Andrew Davies is writing the screenplay, which is based on the second Bridget Jones novel, The Edge Of Reason

Renée is in for a busy year - she already has a film with Scottish star Ewan McGregor in the pipeline.

The pair are teaming up for a romantic comedy called "Down With Love". It has being described as a homage to the Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedies of the sixties.

Renée will play an agony aunt who falls for the charms of Ewan's sly journalist playboy character.

Ewan himself may have work piling up. Like Zellweger - who said she would never make another Bridget Jones movie - McGregor also ruled out starring in a Trainspotting sequel.


But it seems his leading lady Kelly Macdonald, who starred as schoolgirl Diane in the cult film, isn't being quite so hasty.

Author Irvine Welsh has already been in talks about writing a sequel, and Kelly says she's keeping an open mind.

Source: itv.com


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, September 20, 2002 // 10:30 p.m.


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'Callar' gets BIFAs' call, 'Sunday,' 'Heart' nab 5 noms each

By ADAM DAWTREY
Date in print: Thurs., Sep. 19, 2002, Los Angeles

LONDON -- "Morvern Callar" nabbed seven nominations for this year's British Independent Film Awards, closely followed by "Bloody Sunday" and "The Lawless Heart" with five apiece.

Those three movies will contest the award for best British independent film along with "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Sweet Sixteen."

The actor category is shaping up as a veterans race, with Richard Harris ("My Kingdom") vying with Bill Nighy ("The Lawless Heart"), Timothy Spall ("All or Nothing") and James Nesbitt ("Bloody Sunday").

The younger generation is better represented in the actress section, where Samantha Morton ("Morvern Callar") and Elaine Cassidy ("Disco Pigs") are up against Shirley Henderson and Harriet Walter (both from "Villa des Roses").

This year, as well, Variety's U.K. Personality Award, the only award not voted for by the fest's jury, will honor Scottish thesp Ewan McGregor.

Variety's exec editor Steven Gaydos said: "No major U.K. star has toiled as actively in independent films as Ewan McGregor. It's our great pleasure to honor and celebrate Ewan's career at the BIFA Awards and it is also extremely meaningful for Variety to make a contribution in his name to Ewan's most special charity, Rachel House, Scotland's first children's hospice."


This is the fifth edition of the BIFAs, now sponsored by Park Caledonia. The winners will be announced Oct. 30 at Pacha in London.

Source: Variety (requires subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, September 19, 2002 // 12:32 p.m.


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Meet Ewan at the Scottish Film Festival

Sep 15, 2002

THE stars are coming out for the McEwan's Scottish People's Film Festival. And the Sunday Mail is giving 50 lucky readers the chance to meet one of Scotland's favourite talents. Big names who will be attending the event - sponsored by cinema chain UGC and the Sunday Mail - include Ewan McGregor, Dougie Henshall and Tom Conti.

Shirley Valentine star Tom will be giving a question and answer session at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Sunday, September 22, at 3.45pm. And we have 25 pairs of the gold-dust tickets to give away.

To be one of the lucky few in the audience just call our hotline on 0901 562 8720. All you have to do is complete the title of Tom's 1983 movie, Merry Christmas, Mr ********.
(The answer is "Lawrence")

Leave your answer, name, address and daytime phone number. Calls cost 60p per minute. Lines close at noon tomorrow. Normal Sunday Mail rules apply.

Source: Sunday Mail; Glasgow (but found at a site that requires a subscription)

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, September 15, 2002 // 09:45 p.m.


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Wife is Ewan's leading lady


HE'S been the escort of some of Hollywood's leading ladies.

Star Wars heart-throb Ewan McGregor, 30, is the opening night companion of choice for the likes of Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz.

But last night Ewan revealed the leading lady who matters most - his wife Ève.

The couple, who have two children, made a rare public appearance together at a private viewing of photographs by society snapper Robert Jan Fentener at Christies in London.

Dressed casually in stripey shirt and velvet trousers, Ewan looked happy to play the part he likes most of all - that of a happy hubby.

All proceeds went to the Children's Wish Foundation for children with cancer.


Source: The Evening Times

Thank you jameslover and Mary for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, September 13, 2002 // 04:10 p.m.


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EWAN'S STARRING IN STORE WARS

Sep 5 2002 Georgia Williams



EWAN McGregor showed a return to his Trainspotting roots yesterday when he arrived in Edinburgh to open posh store Harvey Nichols.

He turned up sporting a close-cropped haircut.

It's a style he first wore when he shot to fame in Trainspotting in the mid-90s.

When asked about his new look, Ewan said: "This is a style I like, that's all. It is a practical haircut.

The Star Wars and Moulin Rouge heartthrob officially opened the £20million store in his role as ambassador for Scotland's children's hospice.

Ewan accepted a £20,000 donation on behalf of Rachel House from Harvey Nicks chairman Dr Dickson Poon.

Later, he said he was delighted to be representing a charity "close to my heart".

Ewan added: "Rachel House is an incredibly special place. We are trying to raise £10million to help ease the pressure on it and allow more parents to visit their sick children more often."

He told the Record he was enjoying a break and spending the summer with his family.

Others on the guest list were Atomic Kitten Jenny Frost, Noel Gallagher's ex- wife Meg Mathews and DJ-turned-actor Goldie.

Ewan's fellow Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle and former All Saints Nicole and Natalie Appleton were said to be arriving later.

The St Andrew Square shop is the fourth Harvey Nicks store in the UK.

Source: Daily Record

Thank you xcbug for the heads up!




Update: There is a video available here.

Thank you MRS EGM for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 // 10:30 p.m.


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Ewan wins the Internet Movie Awards' Best Supporting actor

Never mind that Ewan's name came first in the Attack of the Clones credits on movie posters and at the end of the film, Ewan was awarded the Best Actor in a Supporting Role by the Internet Movie Awards.

Attack of the Clones won in the Best Film category, Best Soundtrack or Musical Score and Best Visual Effects (Special Effects, Make-Up, or Animation), Natalie Portman won Best Actress in a Leading Role and Hayden Christensen won for Breakthrough Performance.

Source: Internet Movie Awards

Thank you Darth Mystique for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 // 08:49 a.m.


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Solid Geometry airdate change

It was previously reported here at Ewan News that Solid Geometry would air on September 30th in Scotland. The airdate has been changed to October 3rd, at 10.30pm.

Source: Scottish TV

Thank you Dianne for the update!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, August 24, 2002 // 09:20 p.m.


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EWAN IS SEXIEST MAN ALIVE

Aug 24 2002

ACTOR Ewan McGregor has been voted the sexiest man alive in a poll of Scottish housewives.

Golden oldies Harrison Ford and Sean Connery came second and third.

Pop star Robbie Williams and actor Jude Law got an equal amount of pulses racing in the joint No4 spot.

And cheeky football pundit Ally McCoist scored next, beating England captain David Beckham and Welsh crooner Tom Jones.

Wrinkly Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger clinched the NO1 spot for least sexy male with funnyman Rik Mayall close behind.

A spokeswoman for pollsters Consumer Link said: "Clearly, Scottish women want a real man who they feel can protect them. Most of their top choices are rugged, adventurous types."

Source: Daily Record

Thank you Spectacular for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Saturday, August 24, 2002 // 11:47 a.m.


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Scottish film stars feature in Edinburgh exhibition

Story filed: 15:23 Monday 19th August 2002

Festival-goers in Edinburgh can see photographs of Robbie Coltrane, Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle.

They are part of the Scots In Film exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Other actors featured include Shirley Henderson, Billy Connolly, Kelly MacDonald and Dougray Scott.

All the pictures are taken by Scottish-born photographer Donald MacLellan.

The exhibition continues until October 13 and admission is free.

Source: Ananova


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, August 19, 2002 // 08:50 p.m.


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Ewan donates pair of boots for charity

Ewan McGregor has donated a pair of boots to LEPRA's (The Leprosy Relief Association) Celebrity Shoe Auction, which takes place on November 8th. For more details on the Auction visit the LEPRA website by clicking here. Thanks to Wayne and Ady for the alert.

Ewan's entry reads: Ewan McGregor – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Moulin Rouge & Trainspotting. Ewan has very kindly donated a pair of Hogan black boots, size 9½. The boots are both signed at the top and read on the left boot 'Ewan McGregor' and on the right 'This way up, Ewan McGregor'.

Source: TheForce.Net

Thank you Stanzy for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, August 19, 2002 // 05:40 p.m.


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Boys’ toys top list for Harvey Nicks

Exclusive store to target ‘It boys’ with hi-tech gadgets and designer fashion

Alastair Jamieson
Wednesday, 14th August 2002

IT HAS long been the shop of choice for trendy women, celebrity wives and fashion followers.

But exclusive department store Harvey Nichols will be targeting men when it opens its first Scottish store tomorrow.

Forget about "It-girls", Edinburgh’s hottest shopping spot will be all the rage among "It-boys" - affluent young males with an eye for designer labels and plenty of cash to spend.

The new store, which will be officially opened by Ewan McGregor at a star-studded party next month, will feature a special section dedicated to boys’ toys such as plasma television screens and palm pilots. The area, to be called "the playground", will also showcase new gadgets. Special services such as personal shopping will be on hand to help men find Christmas and birthday presents, while the food hall will stock a big selection of cigars, wines and champagnes.

The move to attract Scotland’s high-spending, fashion-conscious men mirrors the store’s appeal in London, where singer Robbie Williams, England football captain David Beckham and Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie are regular customers.

Karen Watson, a buying director for menswear at Harvey Nichols, said: "It’s absolutely fantastic for men. We have been able to put in things we have not got in some of the other stores and also that don’t currently exist in Edinburgh, so we have quite a lot of exclusives.

"What we have tried to do is cater for all different markets, we have got a great casualwear offer, a great offer for the contemporary clubbing guy, which I don’t think is catered for in Edinburgh . It’s quite sophisticated and not too classic or high fashion."

Among the labels on offer at the new store, on St Andrew Square, will be Prada, Helmut Lang, Paul Smith, Comme de Garçon and Dior.

Men are the fastest growing consumer group on the high street, responsible for spending more than £600 million a year in Britain on clothes and grooming products.

Ken Grant, a buying and marketing director for Edinburgh’s family-run department store Jenners, said: "I have definitely noticed men spending more, especially at weekends when we get a lot of people in our designer menswear section.

"Men, particularly young men, will save up and spend more on clothes and grooming products. They are also more concerned than they used to be about skin care and cosmetics.

"A lot of it comes from the girlfriend and boyfriend mix, where couples come into the store and he spends money while she does her shopping."

Other attractions for It-boys in the new Harvey Nichols store include an oxygen bar and a drinks area serving high protein power drinks with names such as "Blow in Your Ear" and "French Kiss", which apparently help maintain sexual performance.

Karen Watson added: "We have always been very targeted at menswear in Harvey Nichols. We’ve had a very successful menswear section in Knightsbridge and Leeds. Because we have always marketed our business as a women’s shop it can be a bit unknown, but our offer for men is very targeted.

"It’s a bit of a fallacy to think that what we offer is only really expensive clothes. Generally, the clothes are very affordable and I don’t think guys have a problem with £70 for a shirt these days. People are prepared to pay if it’s nice and you can’t get it everywhere else."

Although the celebrity launch is not until September, the store opens its doors for business at 10am tomorrow. Cutting the ribbons will be camp comic Kandi Kane, whose Native New Yorker show is on at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

The store has commissioned 16 designers to create a kilt in their own style; efforts so far have included a micro-kilt in a patchwork of paisley silk and satin by Matthew Williamson.

The kilts, which will be displayed in the windows of the new store, will be auctioned off for charity.

Source: The Scotsman


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 // 12:16 a.m.


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Down With Love to be released April 11th, 2003

The 20th Century Fox website has been updated with Down With Love's release date (April 11th, 2003) and a synopsis:

An irresistible force - a feminist writer - becomes involved with an immovable object - a womanizing journalist - in this sexy farce and homage to the grand romantic comedies of the '50s and '60s. Process shots of fake backgrounds, hyper-vibrant color schemes and trademark period fashions and decor add to the fun. From the producers of 'American Beauty' and the director of 'Bring It On.'

Source: FOX Movies.com

Thank you Karen for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, August 8, 2002 // 03:28 p.m.


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McGregor, Finney swim with 'Fish' for Col, Burton

Thu Aug 1, 2:04 AM ET
By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney will topline Columbia Pictures' adventure feature "Big Fish" for director Tim Burton. The project goes into production in January in Alabama with Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen and Richard D. Zanuck producing.

Based on Daniel Wallace's novel "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions," the project revolves around a dying father (Finney) and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father's elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats -- and his great failings. McGregor will play Finney's character in the re-creation of the tales.

The studio has high hopes for the pairing as recent successes of two actors playing the same character have included Judi Dench and Kate Winslet on "Iris" and Winslet and Gloria Stuart on "Titanic." All received Oscar nominations for their roles.

John August adapted the "Fish" screenplay, which is being overseen by senior vp production Andrea Giannetti, reporting to production president Peter Schlessel. Columbia has been developing "Fish" with August since he brought the 1998 novel to the studio (HR 9/21/98). Burton came aboard in the spring (HR 4/30).

The project reunites McGregor with Jinks and Cohen as the trio are in production on Fox 2000's "Down With Love." The actor is repped by CAA and his London agent Lindy King. He continues to be attached to Imagemover's "Borgia," which has yet to go into production. He next reprises his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: Episode III."

Finney was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar for his role in "Erin Brockovich." He most recently starred as Winston Churchill in the HBO feature "The Gathering Storm."

Source: Yahoo News


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, August 1, 2002 // 08:49 a.m.


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Lucasfilm, Fox mount vid attack for 'Episode II'

Thu Aug 1, 2:04 AM ET
By John Gaudiosi

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Backed by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will unleash "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones" to North American retailers on special-edition DVD ($29.98) and VHS ($24.98) on Nov. 12.

"We set the bar pretty high with the 'Episode I' DVD, and we want to carry the momentum that we've built with this second DVD release, which marks the first time that a live-action feature shot digitally will be transferred to the digital medium," Lucasfilm vp marketing Jim Ward said. "With the compression and authoring that it has undergone, the film looks amazing on DVD."

The two-disc "Episode II" DVD, which will be available in both full-screen and anamorphic widescreen versions, will incorporate more than six hours of additional materials.

Disc 1, which will offer Dolby 5.1 Surround EX, will include feature-length commentary from writer-director George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, sound designer Ben Burtt, Industrial Light + Magic animation director Rob Coleman and ILM visual effects supervisors Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow.

The second disc is loaded with extras. As it did with the "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" disc, ILM went back and finished the special effects in eight deleted scenes and included them on the DVD. Additional content includes three featurettes, a 12-part Web documentary series, theatrical trailers, 12 TV spots, the Fox TV "R2-D2: Beneath the Dome" mockumentary, a visual effects breakdown montage, an exclusive production photo gallery and the "Across the Stars" music video featuring John Williams.

"We had such great response from the 'The Beginning' documentary on the 'Episode I' DVD that we've included three documentaries on 'Episode II,' " Ward said. " 'From Puppets to Pixels' follows the entire process of Yoda from puppet to full CGI character as well as showing fans how digital stunt doubles were incorporated into the film. 'State of the Art: The Previsualization of Episode II' explores how entire scenes can be created from scratch. George thought of the idea of the droid factory sequence a year after principal photography wrapped, then enlisted ILM to bring the scene to life out of virtually nothing. The third documentary, 'Films Are Not Released; They Escape,' delves into the sound process for the making of the film."

The special-edition VHS will include six selected deleted scenes and a "Star Wars: Connections" featurette hosted by R2-D2 and C-3PO, who explain the "Star Wars" story to new fans.

Lucasfilm and Fox will target core "Star Wars" fans, families and kids with its marketing campaign, Ward said. Such licensees as Hasbro and Lego will work with Lucasfilm and Fox to cross-promote "Episode II" products with the DVD and video release, which is expected to compete with Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Nov. 1 release of the "Spider-Man" DVD and home video.

In addition to providing its own marketing support for its "Episode II"-based video games, sister company LucasArts Entertainment will draft off the home video and DVD release's marketing campaign. LucasArts will ship the action game "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" for PlayStation 2 and GameCube on Sept. 24 and "Star Wars: Bounty Hunter" for PlayStation 2 and GameCube on Nov. 15. Both video games are set within the "Episode II" universe and extend the story beyond the film's scope.

With more than 100 million copies sold worldwide to date, the "Star Wars" series is the best-selling home entertainment franchise. While consumers had to wait 18 months between the April 4, 2000, release of the "Episode I" VHS and the Oct. 16, 2001, release of the DVD (which came three years after the film's theatrical run), this time consumers will have a much shorter wait and three choices at retail. The "Episode I" DVD ranked eighth in DVD sales last year, selling more than 4.2 million units in 2 1/2 months and generating $96 million in revenue. "Episode I," which marked the debut of the "Star Wars" franchise on DVD, sold 2.2 million units and raked in $45 million in revenue in its first week. Combined sales for the "Episode I" DVD and VHS topped 18 million units worldwide.

Lucasfilm and Fox will release the remaining "Star Wars" films sequentially, which means the original trilogy will not be released on DVD until after "Episode III" is released on DVD.

Source: Yahoo News


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, August 1, 2002 // 08:43 a.m.


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Attack of the Clones DVD release date

While previous reports mentioned Nov. 26 as a possible release date for the EP2 DVD, an insider writes in with the latest and greatest:

I work for a major retailer in the electronic department and I got the release date for Episode 2 DVD as November 12th. I've attached a scan showing the updated release info.

Source: TheForce.Net


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, July 25, 2002 // 03:39 p.m.


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Voting has begun for the Internet Movie Awards. Voting lasts until August 18. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (for Natalie Portman), Best Supporting Actor (for Ewan), Best Musical Score, Best Visual Effects, and Breakthrough Performance (for Hayden Christensen). Start voting now!


Posted by ewanspotting.com on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 // 10:33 a.m.


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Keep Ewan on the top as the coolest movie star over at Film Four's website. Ewan was picked as one of the 10 coolest stars. The voting has now narrowed it down between Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Connery and Ewan. You vote for the star you want to evict from the list so be sure to not vote for Ewan.


Posted by ewanspotting.com on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 // 10:22 a.m.


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Ewan Still into Motorbiking and Scooters

Sun, Jul 21, 02 11:37:44 PM EDT

Photo from ducati.com

Joel Martin from MalagutiUSA.com chimes in:

Ewan traded in his light speeder scooter for a Malaguti scooter.

We should have pictures up on MalagutiUSA.com next week.

Really cool guy and seems to know a lot about motorcycles. We'll have a full report up on our site of Ewan at the world Superbike Race in Laguna Seca last week. I figured Star Wars fans might want to see that Ewan has some real life racing skills.


Source: TheForce.Net

Thank you Stanzy for the heads up!

 

Actor Ewan McGregor hangs out with Ducati race team during Laguna Seca World Superbike Round


Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor took a break from filming in L.A. to spend time with the Ducati Corse team at the Laguna Seca World Superbike round. The Scottish movie star and self-professed motorcycle nut arrived in Monterey in time for Saturday’s Superbike qualifying session and spent the day speaking with Troy Bayliss, hanging with Doug Chandler and the HMC Ducati team, riding the Laguna raceway with Ben Bostrom on one of Ben’s replica Malaguti scooters and ended the evening at the Ducati Party on Ducati Island at Laguna.

“I’m having a blast!” said McGregor, who had arrived at the track before some of the teams and was watching the activity from the HMC hospitality area. “I’ve been to a British Superbike race at Donington Park and a World Superbike at Brands Hatch but this is my first race outside of Britain. And it’s fantastic.

“I’ve been following the racing scene for about five years. My friend Charlie and I rode together with a girl called Claire Ritchie in London, who lost her husband in a WSB race. Claire wanted to carry on racing so we started a little team with 250s and Charlie and I helped her get started. The team grew and grew until finally it was too big for the three of us so we got sponsorship, but I couldn’t really be associated with it. Since then I’ve been hooked on motorcycle racing.

“I’ve ridden on tracks but I’m not interested enough to race, nor do I have the time to commit to improve my riding skills to that level. You really need to be riding on the track every week to get that cutting edge racing skill. So as much as I’d love to race, it’s purely a pastime. There’s six or seven of us who go to track days in Britain when we can.

“I owned 748SP which is with my mate Charlie at the moment because his R1 got stolen. I love it; it’s a beautiful bike to ride. I bought it when I hadn’t had a lot of track experience because I found it more forgiving. It lets you off if you go into a corner too hot. Although my one claim to fame is I crashed one at Brands Hatch. I was riding with a British racer, Terry Rymer, who was showing me the ropes.

“I’m really enjoying the atmosphere at Laguna. Motorcycle people are brilliant. I always find that when you go to a race meeting people are always friendly. We met some British guys up in the stands who had come over to watch the racing and it was a great atmosphere up there. I was watching the warm-up laps from the corkscrew and it was unbelievable seeing them coming through those banks. Superpole was exciting, but doing the lap around Laguna with Ben Bostrom was extraordinary. I think I got up to about 35 mph coming down the corkscrew, so I was really pushing the limits of the scooter. I had a terrible case of helmet hair without having even worn a helmet all day.”

Ewan returned to L.A. after the racing on Sunday to continue filming his latest movie with Renee Zellweeger.

Source: Ducati North America

Thank you Perditum for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Monday, July 22, 2002 // 07:49 a.m.


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New Found Land 2002

Solid Geometry - Monday 30 September 10.30pm
Starring Ewan McGregor, Ruth Millar, Peter Capaldi and Jonathan Watson.

Solid Geometry is a fast moving, sexy and exciting short film directed by Denis Lawson. Phil (Ewan McGregor) and Maisie (Ruth Millar) are a successful young couple who have recently married. Life for both of them is great, until one day boxes arrive at the door. They contain the diaries belonging to his great grandfather and a cheque for £25,000. His challenge is to edit the diaries, something his father never got around to doing.

Phil becomes totally obsessed, much to the detriment of his relationship with Maisie. He discovers an equation, an equation to create a plane without a surface. Is this Phil's Holy Grail? Will it bring them back together? Or will it drive them further apart.

Source: Scottish TV

Thank you Stanzy for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Friday, July 19, 2002 // 09:11 a.m.


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Star Wars pilot seat to go up for auction

Story filed: 12:16 Wednesday 17th July 2002

A pilot's seat from Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is up for sale in an auction of film memorabilia.

The seat is valued at between £1,500 and £2,000.

It will form part of Cooper Owen's At The Movies auction in London on July 30.

Other lots include a rubber stunt machine gun used by Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies, and an officially authorised version of Elizabeth I's crown jewels created for Elizabeth which has an estimated price of £10,000 to £15,000.

Also for sale is one of the wigs used by Christopher Reeve in Superman III, which is expected to sell for around £200 to £300.

A camouflage hat and trousers worn by Ewan McGregor, with stunt gun from Black Hawk Down, is expected to fetch up to £350.

All the lots in the auction can be seen at www.cooperowen.com.

Source: Ananova


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Thursday, July 18, 2002 // 07:28 a.m.


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Bid on a clock painted by Ewan

Rotary Watches is running an auction, selling clocks painted by celebrities. This is Ewan's:

It's for a good cause: Rotary Watches launched a major fundraising initiative with The Prince's Trust and Royal Doulton.

The Prince's Trust helps 14-30 year olds develop confidence, learn new skills, get into work and start businesses.

Celebrities are designing plates to be auctioned at events all around the country.

Thank you MarGwan for the heads up!


Posted by Best of Ewan McGregor on Sunday, July 7, 2002 // 09:43 a.m.


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