Thursday, 23 December 2010 By Gerry Duffy and Andrew Drummond
Movie hunk Ewan McGregor was the target of a chilling poetic death threat — penned by his own nutcase stand-in for his latest flick.
The extra was given the boot by shocked producers on location in Thailand after they found he’d written a verse about wanting to slay the star.
The warped prose included a line about facing the Scots actor before “twisting the knife as I look into your eyes”. Bosses stopped filming on the set of The Impossible — about a family caught up in the 2004 tsunami — following the disturbing find.
Last night a member of the production crew said: “We couldn’t call Thai police as the man had only written poetry.
“Instead there was no confrontation.
“The actor was told he would not be needed for a week and he would be called when it was time. He was not called. He looked a little wide-eyed and pre-occupied. The producers decided that he was a serious risk.”
Last night it emerged the stand-in, an American living in Thailand, was also allowed to use McGregor’s temporary trailer.
But the source added: “He was only on set when Ewan was not.” McGregor, who stars alongside Naomi Watts in the film, was unavailable for comment.
When Susan (Eva Green), an epidemiologist, reemerges from an affair gone sour, she encounters a peculiar patient—a Glasgow truck driver who experienced a sudden, uncontrollable crying fit. Now he is calm, but he has lost his sense of smell. Susan learns there are 11 cases like him in Glasgow, 7 in Aberdeen, 5 in Dundee, and 18 in Edinburgh. In fact, Great Britain has 100 cases, with additional ones reported in France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, and they all appeared in the last 24 hours.Although Susan’s encounter with Michael (Ewan McGregor), a local restaurant chef, holds the promise of new love, the world is about to change dramatically. People across the globe begin to suffer strange symptoms, affecting the emotions, then the senses.
Director David Mackenzie returns to the Sundance Film Festival (Spread played in 2009) with Perfect Sense, a magnetic romance/thriller that offers a deeply moving proposition about the way the human race might weather a global pandemic.
Mon, Jan 24 9:30 PM Park City Eccles Theatre
Tue, Jan 25 8:30 AM Park City Library Center Theatre
Wed, Jan 26 6:30 PM Salt Lake City Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
Thu, Jan 27 6:30 PM Ogden Peery’s Egyptian Theater
Sat, Jan 29 6:15 PM Park City Eccles Theatre
Sun, Jan 30 10:00 AM Sundance Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer was the big winner at Saturday’s European Film Awards, where it was named Best European Film, Best European Director and Best European Actor (Ewan McGregor), as well as receiving honors for its screenplay, music and production design.
Polanski’s political thriller is considered a longshot in the Oscar race, but its six wins at the ceremony in Tallin, Estonia far outpaced Lebanon, which won two awards. No other film won more than one.
The show was hosted by German comedian Anke Engelke and Estonian actor Mart Avandi.
European Film: The Ghost Writer
European Film Academy Animated Feature Film: The Illusionist
European Film Academy Documentary – Prix Arte: Nostalgia De La Luz (Nostalgia for the Light) European Director: Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer European Actor: Ewan McGregor, The Ghost Writer
European Actress: Sylvie Testud, Lourdes European Screenwriter: Robert Harris and Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer
European Editor: Luc Barnier and Marioin Monnier, Carlos European Composer: Alexandre Desplat, The Ghost Writer
Carlo Di Palma European Cinematographer Award: Giora Bejach, Lebanon European Production Designer: Albrecht Konrad, The Ghost Writer
European Discovery – Prix Fipresci: Lebanon
The People’s Choice Award for Best European Film: Mr. Nobody
European Achievement in World Cinema: Gabriel Yared
European Film Academy Short Film: Hanoi – Warszawa (Hanoi – Warsaw)
European Co-Production Award – Prix Eurimages: Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan
European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award: Bruno Ganz
On the phone, Phillip Morris does sound quite like Ewan McGregor’s interpretation of his lilting Arkansan cadence in the new film I Love You Phillip Morris. This is not the race-car driver or tobacconist, but the object of convicted con man Steven Russell’s (Jim Carrey) mad affection, an obsessive adoration that contributed to Russell’s apparent record five prison escapes.
The comic drama chronicles Morris and Russell’s affair and Russell’s seemingly endless schemes to keep his lover in buttons and bows — but perhaps glosses over the suffering visited on Morris by Russell’s crimes, which eventually sent Morris behind bars for offenses he swears he did not commit. Morris spoke by phone from Hot Springs, Ark.
Q: Have you seen the film?
A: Only 48 times (laughs). Approximately. Ewan’s portrayal of me is just magnificent. He has my mannerisms, my voice down. Just the fact that he came to Arkansas and spent time with me, studied me, I was just so impressed. I can’t tell him enough how honored and flattered I am — his portrayal of me is right on.
Q: Is there something he did in which you really saw yourself?
A: I’m a bawl bag, OK? I’m just a big, old, sissy bawl bag. I cry a lot, I’m very sentimental, very tenderhearted and that kind of thing. The scene where Ewan — where I’m — sitting alone in my jail cell and Steve is supposedly dying and the orderly walks up to my door while I’m sitting there eating crackers and I look up and say, “Want a cracker?" (laughs), I know that sounds silly.
But the orderly never speaks, to tell me what’s going on in the infirmary. He comes through the door, but he doesn’t speak, which says it all. ... I used to cry in my cell a lot. It had nothing to do with Steve; it had to do with being wrongfully accused and being dragged in on all his mess.
Q: Russell has such amazing aptitudes — why didn’t he use them legitimately?
A: Oh yes, yes, I told him that — when we started our life together, he swore to me he wouldn’t. ... You know, when we were in Harris County Jail, my lawyer told me they were going to reinstate my probation, that I was going to be out of there.
Well, instead when I came back to my cell, Steve was there all happy and smiling. Sometimes he’d have three or four phones going at the same time. Before I even opened my mouth, he said, “They gave you a three-year sentence, didn’t they?" I said, “Steve, how did you know that?"
Of course, what he had done was he had called the judge, pretending to be another judge or the D.A., so I would not be getting out that night. He wanted to make sure that I would go to prison.
We spent all this time together in Harris County Jail; he did that to make sure I wouldn’t go back to my ex-lover. He wanted to make sure he got out before I got out.
Q: How do you feel about this story being out there in public?
A: I’m delighted about it. Just the fact that people will see me as one of Steve’s victims as well. I’ve watched it with really close friends of mine and family members who don’t know the extent of what that man put me through. After the movie, one of my best fishing buddies, who happens to be straight, he actually held me and cried and told me, “Phillip, I did not know this about you."
I Love You, Phillip Morris (R) opens Friday at Bay Area theaters.
Ewan McGregor misses screening due to monsoon while filming tsunami movie
November 24, 2010
Ewan McGregor missed the Cinema Society screening of his latest, “I Love You, Phillip Morris,” on Monday because he was trapped in a monsoon in Thailand while shooting a movie about a tsunami. His co-star Jim Carrey, who’s currently filming in New York, did make it to the screening while Rodrigo Santoro and the real Phillip Morris, the ex-lover of jailed con man Steven Russell, partied at the DeLeon Tequila-sponsored bash at Avenue. Santoro, who plays a gay character in the movie, warned a female reporter, “I’m very much a heterosexual — don’t stand too close to me.”
Steve spent the day at the American Film Market (AFM) and nabbed a shot of the poster for The Impossible along with the film’s synopsis. The movie stars Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, and is director Juan Antoino Bayona’s follow-up to The Orphanage.
A terrifying and emotional story based on one family’s experience of the 2004 tsunami, The Impossible is a compelling account of perseverance and survival in the face of unimaginable disaster and chaos.
Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her.
Henry grabs the two youngest boys, Simon and Thomas, but it’s too late: the wave smashes into him with incredible force and dislodges his grip. Maria is pushed underwater, where she is crushed and battered by debris to the brink of death. She finally surfaces in a raging black sea, which has completely submerged her three-story hotel and the surrounding landscape. Maria gasps for breath, while she tries to understand what has just happened, convinced that her family has been obliterated in the blink of an eye. But then, her eldest son, Lucas (Tom Holland), surfaces a few meters ahead in the wild flood. Face-to-face with something unexpected and incomprehensible, she must fight against all odds for her child’s survival. And her own.
Based on a true story, The Impossible is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, The Impossible is a journey to the core of the human heart.
Red Band Trailer for I Love You Phillip Morris Comes Out
October 22, 2010
A red band trailer for I Love You Phillip Morris has been made available for viewing pleasure to remind people of the upcoming U.S. release. Consolidated Pictures Group will distribute it in limited U.S. theaters on December 3 after they scrapped initial plans to drop it in April reportedly because of public’s reaction to the film’s sexual content.
No sooner does one film about Princess Diana come along than a second, even bigger, production emerges.
Early next year, filming will begin on what is being seen as the first proper attempt to bring the Princess to the big screen — and it promises to be a blockbuster.
Yesterday, it emerged that film company Pathe want Keira Knightley to essay the Princess, but today I can reveal that Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, 35, has been lined up to play Diana — with Ewan McGregor, 39, star of Trainspotting and The Ghost, as the leading man — in a separate £30-million production.
Bafta-winning producer Stephen Evans, boss of Renaissance Films, plans to make a movie about Diana’s relationship with her former bodyguard, Ken Wharfe (played by McGregor).
Evans’s film will be based on Wharfe’s controversial book, Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, which tells of the eight years he spent as Diana’s personal protection officer. No one was closer to the Princess as she struggled to come to terms with her failing marriage.
“We are intending to make the authentic movie of Diana by using the voices of the people who were there — and Ken Wharfe was right there at her side at the most significant part of her life,” says Evans, who produced box-office hit The Madness of King George.
Intriguingly Evans, 64, also produced Henry V, starring Kenneth Branagh — a film Prince Charles enjoyed so much that he wrote to Evans to compliment him.
Whether he writes to Evans again remains to be seen. For in this film — with a script by screenwriter Philip Kerr — Charles is reduced to a minor role.
Win William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge! on Blu-ray
Oct 14, 2010 By Patrick Luce
Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge! make their Blu-ray debut on October 19th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Monsters and Critics’s giving away two copies of each film!
The Blu-ray releases feature new high-definition transfers from the original camera negative supervised by Luhrmann along with brand new content and never-before-seen material.
Widely credited with reinventing the modern movie musical, Moulin Rouge! exploded onto screens when it debuted in 2001. Celebrating some of the best-loved popular music of the twentieth century, the film found audiences ready to enjoy the same break-into-song storytelling currently enjoying its latest reincarnation in the popular television series Glee.
Along with a multi-platinum selling soundtrack led by the single “Lady Marmalade,” the film went on to broadly influence fashion, music, design and popular culture, and was nominated for eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture, winning two for Catherine Martin’s production design and costume design.
Nicole Kidman (The Hours, Australia) sizzles in her Oscar®-nominated role as Satine, the seductive courtesan and star of a popular French nightclub that caters to society’s decadent elite.
When she unwittingly draws Christian, a struggling writer played by Ewan McGregor (Amelia), into her spell, true love turns to tragedy. Moulin Rouge! offers a kaleidoscopic ride through a world of song, dance, romance and drama that celebrates truth, beauty, freedom and above all things, love.
Inventive, unconventional, controversial, Luhrmann’s Oscar-nominated adaption of William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet finds the star-crossed lovers in the modern world of Verona Beach where Romeo drives a car and Juliet packs a gun.
Set to a thumping soundtrack, amidst the threat of gunfire through and the delicate embrace of forbidden love, the audience is invited to drink from an intoxicating cinematic cocktail that takes them on a ride from Romeo and Juliet’s budding love, their first kiss, through to their separation and ultimate demise.
Considered a modern classic, this iconoclastic film adaptation that redefined the timeless tale for a new generation stars a pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island, Inception) and Claire Danes (The Family Stone, Shopgirl), as the youthful star-crossed lovers.
The film went on to achieve box office success and widespread acclaim, a multi-platinum soundtrack album, and won four BAFTA Awards including the David Lean award for best direction and two Berlin Film Festival awards including the Silver Bear for Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as Romeo.
Both Blu-ray discs boast new uncut footage, BD-LIVE: Live Lookup™ Powered by IMDb®, as well as a host of other never-before-seen material produced by Luhrmann and his creative team at Bazmark. And for first time ever, Moulin Rouge! includes an alternate opening sequence featuring the Cat Stevens hit “Father & Son”.
To enter, contestants need to provide a name and e-mail address. Upon notification of winning, contestants will have five days to reply with the name and address of where their prize should be sent.
Sorry, but this competition is open to residents of the USA only.
Click here to enter to win a copy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge on Blu-ray!
The story I ran earlier this evening about AMC’s Movietickets.com having reported that Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire (formerly Knockout) would be getting a one-week booking at Manhattan’s AMC Empire starting on Friday, 10.15 wasn’t wrong from my end -- the listing was there -- but AMC screwed up. They profusely apologized, I’m told, and deleted the entry earlier this evening.
Ewan’s Haywire Gets A Super Early Release In New York City
October 12, 2010 By Rudie Obias
For all of our NYC based readers this is a special treat for you. Steven Soderberg’s Haywire (formerly known as Knockout) will be getting an early release in New York City. Originally slated to open in January 2011, then Lion’s Gate dropped the film and then picked up by Overture FIlms so the release date was pushed back to March 2011. New Yorkers get a sneak peek at this film this weekend.
Opening this Friday, October 15th Steven Soderberg’s Haywire will be screened in only one theater in the city. The AMC Empire 25 in Times Square will be the only place to see this film. Haywire will only be playing for a limited one week engagement. So see it soon!
Starring Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano, Mathieu Kassovitz and Bill Paxton, the film surrounds a black ops super soldier (Carano) seeks revenge after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.
Tickets and showtimes can here found here. I know I will be there for the first showing because not only will it be only screening in the city, it’s also the cheapest with AMC first showing on the weekends prices. Only $6.00 to see a first run movie in New York City? Things have got all haywire.
The theatre where actor Ewan McGregor once worked as a stagehand has been awarded a £500,000 restoration grant.
Perth Theatre, which opened in 1900, will get one of four Heritage Lottery grants given to Scottish projects.
McGregor took up acting at the theatre and worked there while saving money to go to drama college.
The Kings Theatre in Glasgow, the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh and Campbeltown Picture House will also receive £3m between them from the fund.
Perth Theatre will use the money to restore its 800-seat auditorium, designed by William Alexander.
The venue became Scotland’s first repertory theatre company in 1935, with its own craft workshop, paint shop and wardrobe facility.
About 60,000 people visited the theatre last season, but the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) said the fabric of the building was in urgent need of restoration and repair.
The money would help see the auditorium be “restored to its former glory”, the HLF said.
The upper circle, which has been out of commission since the 1960s, will be reinstated as will the orchestra pit.
McGregor said the grant was an exciting investment for future generations of actors and theatre-goers.
He added: “For me it was the start of a career, but for many others, participation in arts activities is an equally life changing way of broadening horizons, boosting confidence and self worth and encouraging creativity in all walks of life.
“To be a part of a collective, creative endeavour at the heart of a working theatre is an unforgettable experience.”
Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Cultural venues have a hugely important part to play in the life of our urban and rural communities.
“They are held dear in our hearts as they are interwoven with the history and cultural traditions of our particular place and provide our towns with their own sense of identity.”
A Spitfire and a Hurricane flew above Westminster Abbey to commemorate one of the most pivotal battles in British military history.
Veterans from the decisive battle rubbed shoulders with royalty and senior politicians at a thanksgiving service in the Abbey.
Prince William, fresh from graduating as a search and rescue pilot, attended the mass with his father, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The ceremony celebrated the 70th anniversary of the pivotal Second World War battle in which Britain's pilots defeated the Nazi threat in the skies of southern England.
The Battle of Britain began as Hitler turned his attention across the Channel after defeating the French.
Sir Stephen Dalton, Chief of Air Staff, said winning the Battle of Britain was vital to the overall outcome of the war.
He said: “The importance of today is of course to recognise the veterans who are still here and all those who gave their lives to ensure that the Battle of Britain was won and the freedom of this country was assured.
“Unless we had control of the skies over Britain we could not build up the forces ready to liberate Europe later on.
“Of course that is entirely relevant today, without the freedom of the skies in Afghanistan it is well recognised that there would need to be 10 times the number of soldiers and marines on the ground to achieve the same effect.
“It is the aircraft and helicopters that allow our forces and our allies to prosecute the war project against the Taliban as effectively as we can.”
Addressing the congregation, which included film star Ewan McGregor, Chaplain in Chief Raymond Pentland said: “Seventy years ago a generation of young men, supported by many, took to the skies and their bravery and sacrifice won our freedom.
“Today we salute the few and give thanks for their bravery, sacrifice and our freedom.”
Battle of Britain veterans made their way in procession through the centre of the Abbey for the Act of Remembrance which formed the centre point of the service.
McGregor, whose brother Colin is in the RAF, read a prayer which said: “Let us pray for those members of the Royal Air Force, who through their vigilance and determination make it possible for planes to fly and defend these shores.
“For all mechanics and ground crew, for radar operators and engineers, members of the logistics corps, that inspired by the example of their forbears, they might continue to fulfil this vital service with skill and pride.”
A large crowd which had assembled outside the Abbey cheered as the historic planes flew overhead.
They were followed by several of the RAF's modern Typhoon fighter jets.
Mon., Sep. 20, 2010 By Pamela McClintock and Jennie Punter
Dealmaking for Toronto Film Festival titles continued in earnest over the weekend, making it the busiest acquisitions market for any film festival in recent years.
A flurry of sales were announced Sunday, including Focus Features’ domestic and multi-territory deal for Mike Mills’ dramedy “Beginners,” toplining Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. UTA Independent Film Group repped worldwide rights.
“Beginners” marked Focus’ first Toronto buy. The deal was notable in that the specialty distribution isn’t making a minimum guarantee; rather, it’s a gross corridor pact, meaning Focus and the filmmakers will share in the box office receipts. Also, Focus has committed to putting up roughly $2 million in marketing costs.
Focus will release “Beginners” in 2011. There were a handful of other bidders for the film, one of the most buzzed-about titles at the festival.
UTA’s Rich Klubeck and Rena Ronson — who has extensive experience in international sales — took a unique approach in selling “Beginners” by handling foreign rights, as well as domestic. UTA had already sold Canada, France, Australia, Scandinavia and Benelux when Focus inked its deal for the U.S. and all remaining territories.
Produced by Olympus Pictures and Parts and Labor, “Beginners” explores the hilarity, heartbreak and surprises of a son’s discovery that his dying father is gay. Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy are producers.
Plane spotting ... Ewan joins his brother on dream flight
19 Sep 2010 By Mark Smith
When they were boys, Ewan McGregor and his brother Colin made Airfix models of Spitfires and read colourful stories about the men who flew the famous fighter.
Years later, Colin became a fighter pilot for real, flying Tornados in Iraq, while Ewan became an actor, playing soldiers and heroes on the big screen. Now, thanks to a BBC documentary on the Battle of Britain, the brothers have achieved another lifetime ambition: to fly in the Spitfire for real.
The documentary Battle of Britain, which is part of a season of BBC programmes to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle, follows the brothers as they meet veterans and find out what it was like to live and fight through that extraordinary summer of 1940.
Colin, who is an RAF veteran of 20 years, visits the quarters where the pilots waited for the call to scramble while Ewan visits the control room in which the defence of Britain was masterminded. But it was the brothers’ hands-on experience of the Spit that really brought home the tension, pressure and exhilaration of the war in the air – and the special power of the world’s most famous fighter plane.
Strapped into the back seat of a two-man Spitfire, Ewan was taken out over Dover’s white cliffs and flew along the route the pilots of 1940 would have taken while patrolling the south coast – and as the plane swooped and dived in an impressive formation with another Spit and a Hurricane, all Ewan could do was whoop and cheer.
“The Spitfire is the most iconic aircraft in the world,” said Ewan, “and to get a chance to go up in it with those pilots and to be so close to the other Spitfires and Hurricane and flying over Dover was wonderful. You just can’t imagine that is going to be in your day when you wake up.”
For his brother Colin, going up in the Spitfire was a slightly different experience as he was behind the controls. He spent a couple of days in training and by the time he’d touched down at the end of his flight, the emotions had become too much for him and he had to take a few moments to compose himself.
“I didn’t think I was going to react like that,” said Colin. “It was everything rolled into one: my impression of how the aeroplane would be, how I’d been brought up with that image of it, and the guys that flew it. I started it up and the Merlin engine kicked in and you get the smell and you hear it and it took my breath away. It was incredible. It dredged up a lot of emotions that I’ve built up over the years.
“You hear so much about the Spitfire and how it’s a thoroughbred and how it handles and it’s sleek and fast and amazing, and I had all that confirmed by doing it myself. I realised it was true.”
At the end of the documentary, Ewan and Colin visit the Battle of Britain memorial at Capel-le-Ferne near Dover and speak about their respect for everyone who fought in it – and their hope that they would do the same were it ever to happen again.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Ewan and Colin McGregor present on Sunday, 19th September a special 90 minute feature length documentary on BBC1 looking at what is to date the most significant air battle in British history. The brothers relive the experiences of young airmen in a bid to find out what it was like to live and fight through the air battle discovering how 'the few' of the RAF saved Britain from invasion by the Nazis.
For Colin, a former 20 year veteran RAF pilot it's a chance to see if his modern jet fighter training compares to the seat-of-the-pants skills needed to master a Spitfire, while Ewan investigates the iconic workhorse of the Battle of Britain, the Hawker Hurricane.
Along the way the brothers meet some of the heroes who fought in the battle some 70 years before and meet pilots, radar operators and ground-crew who instruct and guide them through their own “Battle of Britain”. Summing up the making of the documentary, Ewan said, “The Battle of Britain was a dramatic turning point in the history of the Second World War and a defining moment in world history. It was a privilege for Colin and I to make this documentary; not only to mark the 70th anniversary itself, but to be able to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of those who fought during the battle”.
The programme starts at 8:30pm on BBC1 Sunday, 19th September.
Film star Ewan McGregor and his brother Colin visited RAF Cranwell to film part of a BBC documentary, which will be broadcast on Sunday.
Ewan and Colin, who is a former Tornado pilot in the RAF and did his officer training at RAF Cranwell, were trying to discover more about the Battle of Britain when they visited in April.
A spokesman at the RAF base said: “They filmed at College Hall and interviewed cadets undergoing officer training at the Officer and Aircrew Training Unit. We haven’t seen the finished article so we don’t know what’s been cut but it should be good.”
UNICEF UK Ambassador Ewan McGregor urges the UK public to help Pakistan’s children whose lives have been devastated by the floods.
Pakistan is facing a growing humanitarian crisis as worsening floods are affecting even more people than the Boxing Day Tsunami and Haiti earthquake combined. Millions of children have lost their homes and have no food or clean water. More and more of these children are at risk of contracting deadly waterborne diseases like dysentery, diarrhea and cholera.
Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have nabbed North American distrib rights to Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor starrer “I Love You Phillip Morris,” with plans for a Dec. 3 release date.
The deal, announced today, is welcome news for “Morris” after having been postponed indefinitely when Consolidated Pictures Group nixed the film’s limited April 30 launch. The film, about a married con man (Carrey) who falls in love with his cellmate (McGregor), bowed at last year’s Sundance.
“Morris” is from helmer-scribe team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who also co-wrote “Bad Santa”, and is based on the non-fiction book by former Houston Chronicle investigative reporter Steve McVicker.
“Audiences who know this is from the creators of ‘Bad Santa’ will be thrilled that it’s as outrageous as they’d expect,” said Mickey Liddell, who also partnered with Roadside on Chris Rock’s 2009 docu “Good Hair”. “It’s a true-life, daring crazy love story with fascinating lead performances by Carrey and McGregor.”
The deal was negotiated by Liddell and Robert Darwell, an attorney for Shepard Mullin, on behalf of Liddell Entertainment and by Roadside’s co-prexy Howard Cohen and attorney Greg Bernstein.
The Factory presents: In conversation with Ewan McGregor
September 1st 2010
Show starts: 7.30pm
Running time: TBC
The Factory and Southwark Playhouse are pleased to announce that Ewan McGregor will offer insights into his life and work for a fundraising evening in support of The Factory’s forthcoming production, Boiling Frogs, which opens at Southwark playhouse on 14 September 2010.
The Factory’s Artistic Director, Alex Hassell will speak with Ewan about acting, the differences between working for stage and screen and his career to date. After a short interval, the floor will be opened for questions from the audience.
Ewan McGregor is an acclaimed stage and screen actor. He became a Patron and Supporter of The Factory after seeing Hamlet at Southwark Playhouse in 2008. He returns to the theatre for one night only to support this fundraiser.
Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt go “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
August 18, 2010 By Rosy
Emily Blunt has returned to work in her native London just a little bit over a month after tying the knot with fellow actor John Krasinski.
Her latest project entitled Salmon Fishing in Yemen has her paired with the adorable Scotsman Ewan McGregor and beloved actress Kristin Scott Thomas.
Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, Dear John) is directing the film from the script by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) which was adapted from the Paul Torday novel. Currently in its second week of filming, the romantic tale follows government scientist Dr Alfred Jones (McGregor), as a fly fishing-obsessed Sheikh (Amr Waked) tasks him with a seemingly impossible task – introducing salmon to the wadis of the Yemen.
With the British government desperate for a good news story in the area, the Prime Minister’s fearsome spokesperson, Patricia Maxwell (Scott Thomas), seizes on the idea and makes Jones responsible for the success of the project. Jones also begins to fall for the Sheikh’s representative Harriet (Blunt).
Salmon Fishing in Yemen is set to hit theaters in 2012.
August 12, 2010 By Mark Naglazas, The West Australian
There should be a special place in heaven reserved for actors such as Ewan McGregor - or, considering his notorious lavatorial plunge in Trainspotting, a loo with a golden toilet seat.
Like William Holden and Jack Lemmon in the 1950s and Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell in our own time, McGregor is one of those average- looking Everyman actors who shuffles gracefully between drama, light comedy, romance, musicals, genre movies and, at a pinch, bone-crunching action - especially if it involves a light saber and an Alec Guinness accent.
Even more appealingly is McGregor’s willingness to take the supporting role, to step out of the spotlight and into the shadows in order to serve the screenplay instead of demanding the script serve him, a la Russell Crowe or Tom Cruise.
In other words, the Perth-born (Perth, Scotland, that is) 39-year-old doesn’t look or behave like a movie star yet is widely admired, generally receives strong reviews and has as busy a dance card as any actor in the business.
Despite a stable family life, almost zero tabloid action and enough cheesy, big-budget movies to ruin any career (The Island, Angels and Demons), McGregor has retained the cool and street cred earned with his breakthrough hits Shallow Grave (1994) and Trainspotting (1996).
The modesty and admirable work ethic which comes across in all of his screen performances flows naturally from the man himself, whose focus, judging by our brief discussion, is on the work and not the business of being a celebrity.
Never raising his voice to make a point nor launching into an empty oratorical flourish, McGregor drops names only after I tease them from him and is so serious about his acting he might have been an economist commenting on this week’s employment numbers. He is modesty and puritanical purposefulness personified.
McGregor says that he has never sought roles which elevate his character or status. Rather, he considers that the job of an actor is to make whichever character he plays believable and well-rounded - be it heroic types, as in The Island or Star Wars, or little guys such as The Men Who Stare at Goats.
“I’ve never bothered about my standing. I’m just an actor,” McGregor tells me during his recent visit to Australia for the Sydney Film Festival, where his latest movie, the Roman Polanski-directed thriller The Ghost Writer, was one of the star attractions.
“I don’t like to give myself any limits. I don’t only play the leading role and I don’t only work in studio pictures. My only decision is based on whether I like the story or not or whether I like the character.”
Indeed, The Ghost Writer, in which he plays a writer hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister being accused of war crimes, might turn out to be the most iconic role of McGregor’s career. Even though McGregor is the film’s lead, he is by far the weakest personality in a film full of powerhouse presences.
There’s Pierce Brosnan as the charismatic Tony Blair-like leader whose legacy is besmirched by his actions during the war on terror; there’s his strong-willed wife (Olivia Williams) who is standing by her rather shallow, preening husband; Kim Cattrall as his ballsy, efficient personal assistant; and Tom Wilkinson as an academic with sinister connections.
Yet it’s hard to imagine an actor who more effectively plays such an ordinary guy - he doesn’t even have a name but is simply known as “the Ghost” - bringing just enough intelligence, curiosity and boldness to make him interesting and believable.
While The Ghost Writer has been adapted from a very well-regarded novel by Robert Harris, the real attraction for McGregor was the chance to work with the Polish-born master Polanski, who re-established himself as a major figure in world cinema with the Holocaust drama The Pianist.
“I expected to be challenged by Roman and I really wanted to be. He’s always giving actors really interesting notes on their performance, left-of-field comments that bring things to life,” says McGregor.
Even though The Ghost Writer is set on an island off the east coast of the United States, the film was shot in Germany because of Polanski’s well-known legal problems. (He fled the US in 1978 and only last month Switzerland rejected a request to extradite him to America.)
McGregor says he had no qualms about working with Polanski.
“His case and his situation have nothing to do with me. I was there to work with one of our greatest living filmmakers. The rest didn’t matter.”
McGregor was also drawn to the film due to its bold interweaving of fact and fiction.
“Politicians make monumental life or death decisions on our behalf and then retire and wander off into a world of speech-making and money-making and are not held accountable for the decisions they made or the lies they told and they get off scot-free. It drives me mad and this film is very timely.”
While Brosnan plays the former politician in The Ghost Writer, it is McGregor who comes across as the the more diplomatic of the pair.
When asked about Polanski at this year’s Berlin Film Festival - where The Ghost Writer premiered to great acclaim - Brosnan infamously declared: “The film is in the can and so is our director.”
When I asked McGregor about his involvement with James Bond - he was supposedly close to being offered the role ahead of Daniel Craig - the actor would not give me a single hint on how close he came to swapping the light sabre of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the double entendres of 007.
“They met with a great many actors for that part. I thought that Daniel Craig did a really good job,” says McGregor, who is said to have rejected the role for fear of being typecast.
When I press a little harder, McGregor hesitates, then gets a little annoyed. “Listen, I’m sure they talked to a lot of people and I haven’t given it too much thought.”
McGregor is more willing to speak about his hesitation in taking on the role of the younger Obi-Wan in the final three Star Wars movies, worried that once he swung the light sabre he would forever be known for that part.
“When I was considered for Star Wars I hadn’t done anything like that,” recalls McGregor. “I had been making small, independent films in Britain with guys like Danny Boyle and I was happy and proud for that to be my future. So I did hesitate taking on a part that was so iconic.”
Nowadays, however, McGregor is relaxed moving between independent filmmaking and bigger, studio-financed projects.
“I don’t see it as being different to anything else. I just like telling stories. It doesn’t matter if they are made by the studio or not. The studio stuff I’ve done, like The Island, has been very interesting.”
“I don’t know very much about fashion,” declares this debonair Scotsman with a laugh. He may protest ignorance when it comes to the finer points of style, but McGregor is comfortable chatting about the national dress of his homeland. “I have lots of kilts [including] some traditional McGregor tartans,” says the 39-year-old, who two years ago moved from London to Hollywood. “I left them all in storage in Britain. I could never wear a kilt in LA!”
In Roman Polanski’s new thriller, The Ghost Writer, McGregor plays an anonymous wordsmith penning the memoirs of a former British PM. So what might his own biography be called? “I’ve never considered writing it,” insists the down-to-earth star. “I’m very happy with my life, but I don’t think it would be of great interest to anyone else.” We respectfully disagree.
What clothes do you gravitate towards?
“I like [English designer] Neil Barrett’s clothes. His suits are classic and sharp, but you can also wear the jackets during the day.”
So, sleek and cool is your style now, but what about when you were younger?
“I liked flamboyant stuff when I was younger. I remember in the ’80s I had a big pair of baggy, multi-coloured trousers. I wore them with braces, a yellow shirt and orange pointy suede shoes. I’d like to replace those shoes, actually. I always keep my eye out [for similar styles].”
You’re facing a milestone birthday next year. Any anxiety about turning 40?
“You’re not the first person to ask me that. Forty next year—it’s true! I don’t really mind, but it’s the first birthday that I’ve thought about. It’s a presence.”
Describe your perfect weekend.
“I like nothing better than to wake up on a Saturday morning with my wife [production designer Ève Mavrakis] and kids [Clara Mathilde, 14, Jamiyan, nine, and Esther Rose, eight] and then spend the weekend running them around: riding lessons, ballet lessons… On Sunday morning, I try to fit in a motorcycle ride and have breakfast at the Rock Store, a biker’s haunt in the canyons above Malibu. Then a barbecue with family and friends.”
You’re the only man in a house full of females. Do you have a room you can retreat to?
“There is another boy in my house: Sid. He’s my dog, my little buddy. My garage with my bikes and tools is where I find my peace and quiet. Sid lies under the counter while I tinker. I’ve got a motorbike with a sidecar, and he sits in there, too. I take him out in the sidecar as well. I’ve got a picture of him where he is ready to go with his goggles on. He loves it!”
Pick up the latest issue of InStyle (Australia) on newsstands now to read more of our interview with McGregor.
Filming will take place on location in London, Scotland and Morocco.
Shooting has begun today (August 6) on Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, directed by Lasee Hallström and starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Adapated by Simon Beaufoy from Paul Torday’s bestselling novel, it follows a government scientist who is given the task of introducing salmon into the waters of the Yemen by a fly fishing obsessed Sheikh (to be played by Amr Waked).
The film, which is finaced by BBC Films, the UK Film Council and Liongsate UK, will shoot for nine weeks in London, Scotland and Morocco.Paul Webster is producing, with Nick Kentish-Barnes co-producing.
Scottish actor Ewan McGregor has revealed how his life has changed for the better since he moved from London to Los Angeles.
In an interview with an Australian magazine, the Crieff-born star said he could not believe how he had tolerated life in London for so long.
“I have a lot more freedom in LA than when I was in London,” he said.
“People leave me alone and I don’t get mobbed when I step outside the door.
“It was harder when I lived in London. I don’t think it’s a depressing city, but I felt that liberty was being eaten away - you can’t go out without being on security cameras. I have a different relationship with the place now. I don’t live there so I enjoy going back.”
McGregor, 39, who lives with French wife Eve Mavrakis and their two daughters Clara Mathilde and Esther Rose, admits to having fantasies about becoming a grumpy, old reclusive writer, when his acting days are over.
“My fantasies mostly involve copious amounts of wine and cigarettes, and shouting at people all day, telling them to f*** off my land, while I sit writing loads of dross nobody will ever see or read,” he said.
McGregor also flirted with the idea of becoming a fighter pilot after recently making a Battle of Britain documentary with older brother Colin, but admits it’s as unlikely as him overcoming his fear of directing a movie.
“Maybe I will join the air force but that’s less likely than writing,” he said.
“I’d like to direct but I’m scared.”
He also admitted to becoming aware of how he was treated differently because of his fame.
“A friend recently said ’Everyone’s nice to you because you’re famous,’ and that worried me,” McGregor said. “It made me feel my experience of life isn’t valid because of my job. I hate the idea that people treat me differently. I can’t stand it.”
We’ve all heard of struggling actors. But what about an actor who struggles to diaper a duck? That’s Ewan McGregor’s reality these days.
“It can take me up to 20 minutes to get the diaper on … it’s frustrating,” McGregor told PEOPLE at the Darker Side of Green NYC Debate Series on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the Scottish actor, 39, struggles regularly with the unusual process. “The diaper’s difficult to put on because she doesn’t like wearing a diaper,” he said. “She just wants to [poop] freely doesn’t she? She’s a duck. But it’s not unpleasant for her to wear. My wife’s very, very good at it.”
McGregor’s wife, Ève, was also responsible for the bird’s exotic name, Patita. “It means little duck in Spanish,” he said.
So where do they obtain these waterfowl diapers? “They sell them on the Internet,” McGregor said. “They’re custom-built.” Of course: The web for the webbed!
Ewan McGregor and Tracy Morgan support “The Darker Side of Green”
July 27, 2010 By Rosy
Ewan McGregor and Tracy Morgan were spotted at The Darker Side of Green debate series moderated by Tracey Morgan held at The Bowery Hotel on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 in New York City.
Luxury automaker Lexus created the series to bring together environmental thought leaders and a star-studded list of moderators to encourage discussion between opposing sides on “green issues”. This is the third one of the series is a greenexchange that brings together two provocative speakers on the environment – Eric Bates and The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.
Bates is executive editor of one of the most influential magazines in the country – Rolling Stone. Its controversial cover story, entitled You Idiots! discussed the international debate over global warming and listed its picks of the climate’s worst enemies.
Author, journalist, and public speaker The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, known widely as Lord Monckton, is a former policy advisor to U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. During his tenure as policy advisor, Monckton’s advice was to take seriously the issue of global warming. He has since become one of the world’s leading global warming skeptics.
Ewan premieres Beginners at the Toronto Film Festival
2010/07/27 By Peter Howell
The Toronto International Film Festival is celebrating its 35th anniversary by offering free screenings of classic movies in its new Bell Lightbox complex.
The new “TIFF for Free” program, details of which will be announced shortly, will include showings of The Big Chill, Roadkill, Water, Crash and other “films that made us who we are,” TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey announced Tuesday.
Bailey and fellow co-director Piers Handling also unveiled the first 20 per cent of the line-up for the fest’s Sept. 9-19 run, which will also include a return to a full day of screenings on the final day.
The announcements included 15 Galas and 35 Special Presentations, with 25 of them being world premieres.
Highlights include Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, Ben Affleck’s The Town, Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Richard J. Lewis’ Barney’s Version, Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock, Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
Absent from the announcement was Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson, which TIFF had been considering for inclusion prior to Gibson’s recent outbursts and public shaming.
Handling declined to confirm or deny whether the film might be included in future announcements.
Redford’s The Conspirator is about a woman accused of aiding her son in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It stars James McAvoy and Robin Wright.
Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard appears in Guillaume Canet’s film, Little White Lies, about a group of friends who are forced to own up to the little white lies they have been telling each other.
In Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman teams up with Aaron Eckhart to portray a couple devastated by the loss of their son.
Other films bound for the fest include Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. It’s about a man forced to examine his relationships when his 71-year-old father comes out of the closet.
Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan star in Never Let Me Go, Steve Coogan stars in the comic road movie The Trip, directed by Michael Winterbottom, and David Schwimmer directs Clive Owen and Catherine Keener in Trust, about a family rocked by their daughter’s new online friend.
An estimated 500,000 moviegoers attended last year’s fest, which is considered to be one of the world’s most important film festivals.
Other big names with films at this year’s festival include Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Javier Bardem, Colin Firth, Juliette Lewis, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Natalie Portman, Ryan Reynolds, Sam Rockwell and Hilary Swank.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ewan McGregor calls for action on HIV/AIDS in Central Asia and Eastern Europe
Watch a public service announcement by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and film star Ewan McGregor calling for action to stop the spread of HIV among adolescents in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. “Blame and Banishment”, UNICEF’s report on children affected by HIV in that region, has been released at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.