Mr. McGregor, it seems like your motorcycle adventures are beginning to overshadow even your film career.
Is that right? (laughs) Well, I like being out there. I think if you can encourage people to do something, if it is to go out and explore the world and see parts of the world that you might not otherwise see, and appreciate that people’s lives are very different from ours here in Europe and in America, then I think that is a good thing to do. I am happy to have done that, whether it be the movies, a perfume ad, or the series about my motorbike trips. Do you know what I mean? If they stand for that, then that is good.
Are the road trips with your best friend your way of soul-searching? Do you reflect about your life and your career while you are on the road for hours and hours?
It is totally a time for all of that. It is time for reflection, because you sit on the bike for eleven hours a day, so you’ve got a great deal of time to think about things. But it is also a time to stop thinking about certain things and let your mind rest and just ride the bike. And it is a time to explore and encounter people in very different situations than my own. That becomes entirely food for your soul. It is incredibly fulfilling.
What is the best soundtrack to ride a bike?
It depends where you are. On the Africa trip we had quite a good system to listen to music all the time, but my taste changes on a daily basis. I think Pink Floyd is difficult to beat when you are on a motorbike. Just lots of Pink Floyd, that’s good. Sometimes my best friend and I just become ridiculous on our bikes. Just dancing and being foolish and enjoying life to the fullest while we listen to loud music.
Would you allow your children to ride motorbikes?
Yeah, yeah, of course. I would because then I would teach them to ride. My wife would never allow it, so they won’t. They will probably never ride bikes. But I would teach them how to do it properly. I drive quite safe; I am not a particularly fast driver. I am much more interested in the feeling of it and the relaxing nature of it. If I go out and ride too fast on roads that I am not too familiar with I get in trouble and then there’s fear and that’s not what I want to experience. I drive slowly and I’m quite happy with it like that.
Do a lot of people recognize you on those trips?
It depends where I am. But quite often, yes.
Does it bother you that you can’t escape your fame no matter where you go?
No. Because I don’t have a problem being Ewan McGregor. I am quite happy being me. I don’t have anything to run away from or escape. I am able, on the whole, to live my life in a fairly normal way other than being away a lot. I’m not mobbed by people or paparazzi. I have a fairly normal time with it. In that respect I am not trying to get away from anything. Getting away from something often implies that it’s a negative pursuit, but it’s not in my case. It is a pursuit that is about taking things in.
But don’t you meet every criteria to be chased by paparazzi? You are good looking, charming and very famous.
No. I don’t meet their criteria. I am happily married and have had kids for quite a long time.
Isn’t that what they are looking for: getting inside looks into private moments with the family?
No. They are generally looking for actors who are going out with other actors. Someone whose life they can document falling apart. This won’t happen to me.
That last sentence matches your image as a nice guy.
Yes, I am a very nice guy. Please write that down and make sure you don’t forget it! (laughs)
Is that one of the reasons why you are getting so many good parts? People want to work with you because you seem to be so uncomplicated?
I think it ultimately doesn’t matter to the work. I have worked with really difficult actors who are great on screen but I had a horrible time working with them. There is no rule about it really, in terms of whether the work is good or not. But I think in terms of a human being and going to bed at night and living in this world, your behavior makes a big difference. I wouldn’t want to work and live like that.
You could live a life like that because people adore you. Somehow it almost became expected for big actors to have a certain arrogance.
People pay us an enormous amount of money for us to do what we do so I think we should be there on time and do our work. Sometimes the more money they get paid, the less they care about their behavior, that’s true. It is a kind of embarrassing attitude if one thinks that he is the next royal, the next prince or princess of Hollywood. But those kinds of demands are embarrassing to me.
You never thought that you were Hollywood’s next prince?
No. And I’ve always been paid very well. Since my first job I’ve gotten paid more money that I could have ever imagined.
But how do you remain the same?
I don’t. It is part of human nature to change all the time. It’s just the older you get, hopefully the more you realize which things in life work. You realize which things make you happy and which not. If you keep your eyes open your life becomes easier and clearer with maturity.
So what is your vision of a perfect life?
I think the things that make me happy are my family, my work, and my bikes. Those are the things that work for me, so it becomes quite clear. My focus is on those things and therefore I become better in it.
Following outstanding reviews, David Mackenzie’s modern day love story Perfect Sense will have its premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011 on Saturday 18th June. After overwhelming demand for tickets the venue was upgraded to the magnificent 1500-seat Festival Theatre. Ewan McGregor, David Mackenzie and other major cast and crew are attending the biggest event of EIFF 2011.
Sigma Films is giving one lucky winner a pair of tickets to the star-studded premiere AND a set visit to their next feature film production. To enter the competition draw simply ‘like’ the above image of McGregor and Green on the Perfect Sense Facebook page: facebook.com/PerfectSenseFilm.
Gillian Berrie, Producer: “Everyone at Sigma is very excited about our star-studded European premiere at the Festival Theatre. It’s the hot ticket at this year s film festival.”
Ewan McGregor, Lead Actor: “I’m delighted to be able to come to Edinburgh to support the film festival and the European Premiere of Perfect Sense and look forward to seeing the film in such an amazing venue.”
Susan is a scientist searching for answers to important questions. So important that she has given up on other things, including love - until she meets Michael, a talented chef. Suddenly everything starts to change. While Susan and Michael are experiencing new and unforeseen depths of feeling, all around the world people are also beginning to feel strange - something is affecting the emotions.
Susan and Michael find themselves embarking on a sensual adventure, experiencing head-spinning, stomach-tightening moments of pure connection. Is this because they are falling in love or is it because the world is falling apart?
A life-affirming look at what it means to love and be loved in these turbulent times.
Saturday 18th June, 7.45pm at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Sunday 19th June, 10.10pm at Cameo 1, Edinburgh
Why go over the English Channel when you can tunnel under it? And why pay for an entire actor when you can just pay for his voice? These are the guiding principals of Jackboots On Whitehall, the puppet animated WWII comedy featuring the voices of Ewan McGregor, Alan Cumming, Tom Wilkinson and more that comes to US VOD and DVD July 26th.
World War II: What if Nazis seized London and all of England had to band together? When scarily campy Nazi leaders invade by drilling under the English Channel and up through the cobblestones on Whitehall, Churchill leaves his quiet retirement with a cat that looks like Hitler to issue a call to arms from his bunker under Downing Street. Chris, a young farm worker with large hands, rallies the village to fight the good fight -- including an alcoholic Vicar, the oldest man in the town, several idiots, a random Frenchman and Bobby Fiske, a swearing American who believes he’s battling Russia. The world’s future is in their tiny plastic hands.
With the US release approaching we’ve been given a trio of clips from the picture to share here. One featuring Churchill and his strangely ominous cat, one featuring a dogfight of the English Channel and, finally, the closing credit block to give you a look at the full range of characters. Check them out below!
Arik’s interview with actor Ewan McGregor and writer/director Mike Mills of Beginners, which opens in Seattle June 3rd. Ewan McGregor and Mike Mills were in town for the Seattle International Film Festival.
Warner Bros. announced yesterday that production on Jack the Giant Killer is underway in London with Bryan Singer directing. Not a big surprise, since we saw photos from the set in April. But the official production announcement revealed this synopsis:
Jack the Giant Killer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
Nicholas Hoult stars in the title role, joined by Eleanor Thomas, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, and Ewan McGregor. Jack the Giant Killer is scheduled for release on June 15, 2012.
This acting reel was created to honor Ewan McGregor receiving the 2011 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival. This video was shown at the award ceremony.
On May 24, 2011, writer/director Mike Mills was joined by his cast Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent at the Tribeca Grand Hotel Screening Room for the New York premiere of Beginners.
Ewan McGregor and Director Mike Mills Talks About Beginners at SIFF
Ewan McGregor was in Seattle May 22, to present his new film Beginners opening in June 2011. He also received an Outstanding Achievement in Acting award from Seattle International Film Festival organizers.
Thanks to Fuumin for the heads up! and to bellsfromep for sharing their videos!
The European premiere of Ewan McGregor’s new movie has been forced to move to a 1500-seat venue after tickets sold out.
The premiere of Perfect Sense was due to take place at the Cameo, which holds around 400, during the Edinburgh International Film Festival but has now moved to the Festival Theatre due to a sell-out of advanced tickets.
McGregor will be in attendance at the premiere on June 18 which now will fill the Festival Theatre.
He said: “I’m delighted to be able to come to Edinburgh to support the film festival and the European premiere of Perfect Sense and look forward to seeing the film in such an amazing venue.”
This week Focus Features features its focus on “Beginners.” Never having met Ewan McGregor was interesting because then you work off your instantaneous reaction.
A 40ish Scot. Handsome. Lean. Slight beard, tousled hair. Dressed well: no torn jeans, no cruddy T-shirt. Proper suit. Tapered pants puddling at the ankle. Easy, no airs. But controlled. Not Scandinavian cold, nor Italian gushy. Did his job well. But just. Never over the line. Never said more than necessary.
Like, what’s he seeing while in New York? “Not anything. Only doing what you see me doing. Talking to journalists and having interviews.”
Then: “I like New York but don’t care to bring up my kids in New York. I know they might wish to be here in a few years, but for now LA’s better.”
Future plans? “Shooting a film in London. When it finishes, I’ll go home. I ride motorcycles and bicycles and take my children to school.
“Being home is a reward to my family. My wife and four girls — 15, two 9-year-olds and a baby of four months — often come with me if it’s a holiday or my locations and their schedules allow. Sometimes we uproot them and put them in another school.”
His early days? “I’ve been lucky. I never struggled. Since I was 9 I wanted to be an actor. My uncle is an actor, and early on it’s all I ever wanted to be. Even if on a movie you have to be up stupidly early.”
Where he expounded was discussing “Beginners,” which opens June 3: “We worked in Echo Park and Silver Lake, cool Los Angeles areas that aren’t suburban but have shops, cafes, street scenes reminiscent of New York. It’s based on our writer/director Mike Mills’ experiences. His mother dies. After his father, whom Christopher Plummer plays and at 75 turns out to be gay, Oliver the son, whom I play, has a back and forth love story and gets to appreciate his father even more.”
Ewan McGregor then silenced his delicious Scottish lilt and was gone.
Ewan attended the New York screening of Beginners on Tuesday, May 24, with director Mike Mills and co-stars Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent. The event took place at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room.
Hot Dude Of The Day: Ewan McGregor Is The Only Person In The World Allowed To Have A Goatee
5/23/11 8:00 pm ET By Chrissy Mahlmeister
Ever since Ewan McGregor sang me, erm, Nicole Kidman the CUTEST LOVE SONG EVAR in Moulin Rouge in 2001, things just haven’t been the same between us. Like, every time I see Ewan, I think of him as the super lovestruck writer from the movie who has barely any money but BIG DREAMS and refuses to give up on this woman that’s completely out of his league. And, Ewan, man, let’s be HONEST with ourselves here. I’m a writer, too. And hey, I’m pretty poor. And guess what? I look NOTHING like Nicole Kidman, which probably means I’m sort of kind of closer to possibly being in your league, right? We’d have so much in common, you know? We could talk about our favorite adverbs and the joys of sentence structure and stuff. And, yeah, you’d drag me to those awkward poetry slams sometimes, and I’d be all reluctant to go, but I’d still do it because it was for you.
When we start dating, you’d probably wear cute outfits like this one you wore to the Seattle International Film Festival. You’d be all West Coast art school cool with your loose gray scarf draped over a button-up shirt and navy blazer. Your jeans would be JUST the right amount of distressed and UGH. I’D FREAK EVERY TIME YOU DECIDED TO CUFF YOUR JEANS WITH BOOTS BECAUSE I LOVE IT SO MUCH. (There’s no actual explanation for why I love this, but it just always looks sooo good.) And you know what? You’d have that weird and kooky facial hair that doesn’t ACTUALLY make you look more attractive, but you like it because you want something "different" but a moustache is too ironic and hipster and blahblahblah. In fact, I’m pretty sure when I see a goatee on ANYONE else it looks quite terrible and it makes me want to gag and I hate it. But there’s something about your wild hair and mesmerizing blue eyes that makes me think your pointy moustache and red chin beard are OK. Actually, adorable. Actually, THE BEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. But only on you. You got that, gentleman? ONLY ON EWAN. I’m lookin’ at you, GoateeSaver.
Beginners is the first major theatrical film release directed by renowned graphic artist/video director/film director and iconic figure, Mike Mills. Mike co-wrote Beginners loosely based on vivid memories of his childhood and distorted growth through adulthood. The film stars Oscar® Winner, Christopher Plumber, Ewan MacGregor and Mélanie Laurent. The soundtrack, which features original compositions by Dave Palmer and Roger Niell, with Brian Reitzell. It will be released on May 31st on Relativity Media (Amazon, $11.53).
“The original score work, ‘Beginner’s Suite’, was a true collaboration, mostly between Dave Palmer and Roger Niell, with Brian Reitzell” says Mills on the side lines pointing this way and that. “I remember trying to get something with the romanticism and dreaminess of a Georges Delarues score, but building it with the more simple notes and harmonies of Jelly Roll Morton’s Buddy Bertrand’s Blues. I don’t know if this really made any sense to Dave and Roger, but it was a great experience watching them try things, taking turns on the piano, each suggesting this note not that one, a real transformative blend of Dave’s deep knowledge of blues piano and Roger’s classical ear, with Brain’s great instincts as all around band leader and producer - all recorded on a beautiful old Bluezner stand up piano that was a favorite of Henry Mancini’s. Once we had the Beginners Theme - the other score work, Anna’s song and I Want To Be Here flowed out of the chords and feelings, somewhat broken but hopeful, that we had established in those first sessions”.
Everthing’s Made For Love
Sweet Jazz Music
That Da Da Strain
Breezin’ Along With The Breeze
Beginner’s Theme Suite
Buddy Bertrand's Blues
Thanks to Zach Hinkle of Sneak Attack Media for the information!
Ewan McGregor still feels like a “beginner” at marriage and though he loves finding out new things about his wife, he believes it is their strong love for one another that keeps their union together.
Ewan McGregor still feels like a marriage “beginner”.
The 40-year-old actor tied the knot with production designer Ève Mavrakis - with who he has daughters Clara, 16, Esther, nine, and adopted Jamiyan, also nine - over 16 years ago and believes the fact they are constantly discovering new things about one another is key to keeping their union strong, though he thinks there is nothing better than the contentment of familiarity.
He said: “I still feel we are beginners.
“I’ve been in my relationship for a very long time. There are always new things that happen - things that surprise you or you discover about yourself and your partner all the time.
“However the feeling, the lovely feeling of being with someone for a really long time, it’s not about being a beginner - it’s the fact you know each other so well and you’re so comfortable in each other’s company.
“It’s about where it goes from there. That’s what makes our relationship, our marriage, our partnership. It’s so wonderful.”
The “Trainspotting” star also admitted he and his wife consider their love for one another more important than showing their affection with small gestures.
He added in an interview with the Daily Record newspaper: “I don’t think having separate bathrooms is a key to a successful marriage if you love each other.
“I think loving each other is the most important part of it, whether you share a bathroom or not. I don’t have any secrets other than that.
“I found my partner, my life partner, and I really am in love with my wife and we have a lovely time together. We share a long history together and children together and that’s it.
“It’s not because I do a certain gesture that she stays with me or anything. I think it’s just because we love each other.”
97.3 KIRO FM Movie Critic Tom Tangney interviews Ewan McGregor, who is this year's winner of the Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting at the Seattle International Film Festival, and director of Beginners, Mike Mills. May 22, 2011
True to its “audience-centered” philosophy, the Seattle International Film Festival gave an audience its fill of Ewan McGregor on Saturday during an all-evening tribute to the beloved actor that included a screening of his recent film “Beginners,” an hour-long retrospective Q&A and dinner with a few fans who ponied up donations to the nonprofit festival.
McGregor, whom festival artistic director Carl Spence described in his introduction as “slight of build but classically handsome,” wore spiky hair, jeans, a tailored white shirt and black jacket as he greeted an unusually enthusiastic (for Seattle) crush of fans outside the Egyptian Theatre. He signed autographs before the tribute and cheerfully stuck around afterward to have his picture taken with whoever asked until handlers pulled him away.
During the award ceremony, McGregor hoisted the sculptural glass Golden Space Needle trophy, designed by famed Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, before handing it off for safekeeping before a Q&A session with Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger.
The chat focused mostly on McGregor’s best-known roles. McGregor described how the infamous “Trainspotting” toilet scene was filmed (the scene was shot on a specially designed set, but “there really are toilets like that in Glasgow,” McGregor said) and cringed at his hairstyle in the period comedy “Emma.” The audience gave him its most thunderous applause for his singing skills in “Moulin Rouge!”
“You wonder, why don’t they do more of this? Why isn’t there more music in cinema?” McGregor mused.
His films haven’t always been commercial or critical successes, but with the exception of the “Star Wars” franchise, they’ve at least been, for the most part, original. “I would never really want to do something that I’ve done before,” he said. “It’s really about what grabs me.”
When it comes to new scripts, he said, “What you’re looking for is that true experience where the movie comes to life in your mind.”
Nearly 20 years of iconic moments aside, at least part of McGregor’s appeal is the fact that he comes across as a regular guy, one who’s part of, but not obsessed with, the movie business. He’s been married to the same woman for more than 15 years and has three daughters (he recounted when one of them called impresario director Baz Luhrmann “crazy”).
In some quarters, he’s known more for chronicling his motorcycle adventures, which he says have prompted some fans to tell him, “I liked your films and everything, but those bike trips are great!”
“Beginners” is on the quieter side of the McGregor film spectrum. Mike Mills’ tender and intimate look at a father-son relationship had its premiere at Toronto last fall.
The film is based on Mills’ own life; his father, like the father Christopher Plummer plays in the film, announced after his wife’s death that he was coming out of the closet as a gay man. The story has Seattle roots at the deepest level: Like the characters in the film, Mills’ parents met as students here at Garfield High School.
When McGregor said yes to “Beginners” after Mills sent him a letter about his story and the project, “I had no idea how lucky I was or what a great choice we made,” Mills said.
McGregor, in turn, said, “We are the luckiest actors in the world, to be able to be directed by Mike,” and planted a kiss on Mills’ cheek.
McGregor said he was impressed by Plummer’s dedication to working on his craft, by “how hungry he is.” (When that got a chuckle from the audience, he added, “To work. Not to eat.”)
McGregor recalled that on the first day of rehearsal, Mills suggested he and Plummer go shopping for a scarf to get to know each other — a simple expedition that turned into a $1,200 Barney’s bill on McGregor’s credit card after the 81-year-old Plummer admired McGregor’s skinny jeans and wanted some of his own. Plummer, McGregor said, didn’t bring his wallet.
Actor Ewan McGregor received the 2011 Golden Space Needle award for for outstanding achievement in acting at the 37th Seattle International Film Festival on Sunday.
McGregor has starred in mainstream films such as Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, Black Hawk Down, Angels and Demons, and of course as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars Trilogy. But the actor is also established and respected in indie and art house films.
He was presented the award during a SIFF showing of his new romantic comedy “Beginners,” which was written and directed by Mike Mills. McGregor and Mills also participated in a Q&A session at the Egyptian.
Dozens of fans and autograph-seekers lined a sidewalk in front of the Egyptian Theater. McGregor signed autographs and posed for pictures before receiving the award.
Ewan McGregor comments on Star Wars: The Complete Saga
20 May 2011
Although he’s done excellent work in Velvet Goldmine, Moulin Rouge and Trainspotting, Ewan McGregor is probably best known for his work as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first three Star Wars movies (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith). Although the first three episodes received far less acclaim than the original pictures (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi), one would think McGregor would have a few thoughts on the Star Wars franchise.
During the interviews for the upcoming drama Beginners, I asked McGregor about his thoughts on the September 16th domestic release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray. Featuring 40 hours of special features, new documentaries, and never before seen material, one would assume the actor would have a passing interest on the collection. His answer: “I suppose it’s nice for the fans to have a really sharp, colorful version of it, I don’t know what it means more than that, really.”
What it means, for Star Wars enthusiasts, is the chance to see their beloved films in high definition, and at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, fans will get an exclusive look at some of the collection’s special features. What did you think of McGregor’s Star Wars response? Too short? On the money? Listen to the clip on the site (link below) and give us your comments (the person in the background is a fellow journalist who had a bit of a laugh).
Beginners, co-starring Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), opens June 3rd.
The 37th Seattle International Film Festival will host its Opening Night Gala at McCaw Hall Thursday at 5:30 p.m., beginning the 25-day film extravaganza.
Among the special events, spectacles and movie stars at this year’s festival, Ewan McGregor is set to receive the Golden Space Need Award for Outstanding Achievement in ActingMay 22 at the Egyptian Theatre. The event will also feature a screening of his new film “Beginners,” a U.S. comedic drama by director Mike Mills.
Tickets for the Opening Night Gala can be bought here, which include screening of “The First Grader” and Gala party to follow. “The First Grader” is a UK film shot in Kenya by director Justin Chadwick, who previously directed “The Other Boleyn Girl,” about an 84-year-old Kenyan villager trying to get an education. General admission is $50 and includes two complementary drink tickets, while premium admission is $100 and includes open bar at the post-film reception and preferred entry into the Gala screening.
The Centerpiece Gala will be held June 4 and will feature the French film “Service Entrance,” a comedy about a Parisian stockbroker directed by Philippe Le Guay.
The festival concludes June 12 with the Closing Night Gala, featuring the UK documentary “Life in a Day,” a mosaic of thousands of individuals from around the globe in a single day by “The Last King of Scotland” director Kevin Macdonald.
This year the festival will feature 441 films, including 257 features and 184 short films, 96 of which will be premiered at SIFF, representing 74 countries, a record for SIFF.
Special to SIFF this year, the new “Pathway” system will be released aimed at assisting moviegoers in finding the kind of films they’re looking to experience. The SIFF website lists the ten Pathways as:
Love Me, Do! - Romance and love in all its forms, pleasures, and idiosyncrasies.
Make Me Laugh – Films that make you chuckle and tickle your funny bone.
Thrill Me – Suspense, thrills, and action. Films with a faster pace that might also surprise you when you least expect it.
Creative Streak – The exploration of artistic endeavors from all disciplines: literature, film, art, dance, and performance.
Open My Eyes – Revealing films and documentaries revolving around history, politics, and contemporary events from around the world.
Sci-Fi and Beyond – Science, technology, environment, the future—and beyond.
Take Me Away – Be prepared to be taken to another place – from exotic far-off lands to vibrant experiences outside of everyday life.
Spellbinding Stories – Mesmerizing dramas and documentaries that explore thought-provoking questions, realities, and topics.
To the Extreme – Explore the outer limits with films that go beyond the edge.
Face the Music – Films that intersect the world of music on all fronts: from biopics and concert films, to musicals and live events.
Screenings for the films will take place at various venues throughout Seattle, Renton, Everett and Kirkland.
SIFF, the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States, will be opening the SIFF Film Center in the Alki Room at Seattle Center this coming fall, “fulfilling its long-standing vision of creating a permanent home where SIFF’s successful film, education, and community outreach programs can thrive,” the organization says on its website.
Find out more about what’s screening at the film festival this year here.
Ewan McGregor at Norwich Cathedral. Picture by Laura Gibbs.
Hollywood superstar Ewan McGregor has been filming his latest movie in one of Norwich’s most historic landmarks.
Scenes for Jack the Giant Killer - which also stars Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and Nicholas Hoult - are currently being filmed at Norwich Cathedral, and the actor has been spotted outside the venue by a number of people.
Among them are friends Tewsday Hannant, 27, and Laura Gibbs, 22, who were on a break from their jobs as customer service assistants for Virgin Wines when they spied Ewan on Monday.
Mrs Hannant, from Eaton, said: “We found out he was doing a film in Norwich and we thought we would try to spot him. It was so crazy. Timing was everything.”
She said as they walked by the main gate of the cathedral they saw Ewan.
“We ran like a couple of teenagers when we saw Ewan. It was about 4pm and he had just finished filming.
“There were a lot of school children there as well. We both got our work diaries signed. It made our day.”
She said Ewan was “even better looking in real life,” and yesterday she was planning to return to the cathedral with Miss Gibbs to see if she could get her copy of Moulin Rouge signed.
Miss Gibbs, from Old Catton said: “We were so lucky. We looked down the gate and thought,’that must be him!’
“He seemed really happy to be there and really welcoming.
“I passed him my diary and as he was signing it I got pushed by the crowd. He looked at me, put his hand up and asked everyone to be careful. I’ve now got half a signature and a whole signature by Ewan McGregor!”
Miss Gibbs said there were about 50 people crowded around Ewan and that he signed autographs for a couple of minutes.
“I cannot believe how close we were to him,” she said.
“He was so nice. He would look at you and smile as you handed him something to sign. Everyone was saying how much they liked his films and he said thank you.”
Twelve-year-old Norwich School student Bob Ekbery, a massive Star Wars fan from the south of the city, was also in the crowd on Monday and he got a high five from the star.
He said: “We were all gathering around him in a crowd. I did not have any paper so I decided to high five him instead. I said hi and he said hi back.
“It was really cool to high five someone famous and I cannot wait to see the film.”
Martin Ivory also contacted the Evening News to say he had seen Ewan and his little dog in the city on Monday.
Yesterday afternoon a small group of fans also got the chance to meet the star as he left the cathedral after the second day of filming. Ewan stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures before getting into a waiting car along with his dog, and as the car drove off he looked back and waved to the delighted fans.
The Evening News yesterday asked the star how filming was going but he politely said he was unable to talk to the media about the film at the moment.
Jack the Giant Killer is being made by Red Lion Films and it is described as a modern day fairytale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hope of rescuing a kidnapped princess.
Filming began at the cathedral on Monday and will continue until Friday, and also on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Most of the cathedral is closed to the public while filming takes place, but the east end of the cathedral remains open to the public for services and private prayer.
Jack the Giant Killer is due for release next year.
• Have you seen Ewan McGregor or any of his co-stars in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email email@example.com
Massive Twitter slur and fake news campaign underway
For the past several weeks on Twitter, there have been constant slurs and false news posted about Ewan (and other well known people). The posts say “(someone famous) killed, Ewan McGregor arrested”, “Ewan McGregor (died in various ways), funeral Monday”, or he molested a small child, was involved in something else very nasty, or he’s gay... anything to provoke a reaction and get people to click on the provided link.
They also include special hash tags and some Twitter accounts automatically retweet anything with that special hash tag so these nasty links can come from a “trusted” source.
This massive campaign is pretty clever, after 20 (or fewer) posts, they change accounts, so blocking them isn’t effective.
If you are on Twitter, please be careful. Don’t click on the links and report them as spam by clicking on their avatar and in the right-hand panel, clicking on on the right, and clicking on “Report (account name) for spam”. Hopefully Twitter will figure out a way to block these posts soon.
The mostly student-filled audience at Shattuck Cinemas was starting to grow restless. It was the Berkeley premiere of “Beginners,” and director Mike Mills, standing in front of the theater, reported that Ewan McGregor was using the restroom. A couple minutes later, McGregor hurried to the front, sporting a trimmed beard and a black blazer. He had a good reason to look classy: This was the first time that McGregor was going to be seeing his own film in full.
The ensuing interaction between director and actor played out like a scene from a buddy movie. “The best fucking thing that happened for me was you saying, ‘Yes (to the project),’” Mills said, turning to McGregor. “You just made it a breeze and fucking fun.” They hugged, and the audience, as if on cue, went, “Awww.”
“Beginners” is a lovely film that’s based on Mills’ experience with his dying father, who came out as gay when he was in his 70s. (My coworker Jessica Pena wrote an excellent take on the film in Thursday’s Daily Cal.) Mills, who said that he was born at nearby Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, revealed that “Beginners” was really two separately shot films that had been mashed together. One story centers on McGregor, as Mills’ surrogate, playing opposite the great Christopher Plummer; the other on McGregor’s budding relationship with a woman who is played by Melanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”). The story, McGregor said during the Q & A after the screening, was told in “chrono-cological order.”
Mills and McGregor both agreed that Plummer, like Mills’ dad, was a punk. An audience member asked McGregor if he felt intimidated playing his own director. McGregor placed a hand behind his back and admitted that he didn’t really feel intimidated at all — until tonight. “Sitting here tonight I suddenly did!” he laughed. Another member of the audience said that she was studying abroad in Scotland because she had seen Ewan McGregor in Danny Boyle’s drug-centric “Trainspotting.” “So you want to take heroin and then leave!” McGregor said.
While Mills answered a question about deleted scenes in “Beginners,” McGregor stroked his beard with the head of his microphone. A fan told McGregor how much she loved him, before asking what his favorite “Star Wars” film was. “What a disappointing end to a great build-up!” McGregor exclaimed, before saying that he liked the second film. He failed to specify whether he meant the original trilogy or the infamous prequels.
Dragonslayer director Tristan Patterson talks task of making Electric Slide with Ewan McGregor
Interview by Catherine Scott, posted by Kevin Jagernauth
Getting a film off the ground is no easy feat, and for a first time filmmaker, that task tends to be all the more difficult. However, for director Tristan Patterson, he’s gotten off to a helluva start. His first film, the SXSW Best Documentary winner “Dragonslayer,” has put him firmly on the map. We caught up with the film at IFFBoston and thought it was great, calling it a boundary pushing flick that created an authentic moviegoing experience. But what most people may not know is that Patterson was initially attached to make Electric Slide his film debut. The film had Ewan McGregor and Carey Mulligan set to star but as it goes, things didn’t come together at the time. However, there is still life in the project. Last month, it was confirmed to still be in development (though Mulligan has moved on) and we recently caught up with Patterson at IFFBoston who indicated the film was still very much on this radar.
“I wrote a script that’s based on a true story about a guy in 1983 in Los Angeles. He owned an Art Deco furniture boutique, fell in love with a girl and robbed 63 banks in 9 months,” Patterson explained. “He drove to the banks in a Lincoln Continental, made mix tapes to listen to while he robbed the banks. When he robbed the banks he was nothing but a gentleman, wore immaculate suits, flirted with bank tellers. He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records by 40 banks for most banks robbed. I’ve written that script, and Ewan McGregor is going to play the bank robber. Christine Vachon is producing it, with this guy, the other producer, Jamie Patricoff, who produced this awesome movie Blue Valentine. A company called Myriad Pictures is financing it.”
Indeed, the film is about real life thief Eddie Dodson, who was known for his antiquities but who became addicted to heroin towards the end of the 1970s, and in 1983 turned to bank robbing to support his habit. Known as the New York Yankees Bandit, Dodson peacefully and politely robbed 64 banks in seven months (a record), picking up more than $280,000 for his troubles, but was caught in 1984 when a bank employee followed him after a robbery.
Sounds like a great story, but Patterson confirms that the film has been a hard one to get off the ground—certainly, the climate isn’t exactly a good one to try and get a movie about a heroin-addicted bank robber made—but it certainly sounds as if he’s got a vision for the picture already in mind, having worked it out even before he tackled his award-winning doc.
“It was in the works way before [Dragonslayer]. I feel like Dragonslayer is a consequence of how hard it was to get this movie made. Because it’s period…for me the thought of making a period movie is not…it feels like it’s heightened and in a dream, beautiful. Period is a good excuse to do that. I don’t care what 1983 LA looks like, I care what my idea of 1983 LA looks like. I want to make a movie of what my idea is like, so it’s odd. It takes years and it’s been really hard to make,” Patterson revealed.
Electric Slide certainly sounds like strong material and we hope the film does get moving. At any rate, the steam building behind Patterson will hopefully kickstart renewed interest in the project. In the meantime, track down Dragonslayer if you can, and then read more from our interview with Patterson right here.
Ewan McGregor to Be Honored at Seattle Film Festival
4/28/2011 by Borys Kit
Ewan McGregor will receive the 2011 Golden Space Needle for outstanding achievement in acting at the 37th Seattle International Film Festival.
SIFF runs from May 19 through June 12, and is scheduled to present over 400 films at multiple venues in and around the Seattle area. McGregor will receive the Golden Space Needle on May 22 at an event that will see the Seattle premiere of the actor's new film, Beginners, written and directed by Mike Mills. McGregor will also engage in an on-stage interview and a Q&A with the audience.
Focus Features opens the Beginners in select cities June 3.
"Ewan's captivating performances in mainstream, independent, and art house films are a testament to his passion for acting and unyielding determination to being the best he possibly can at his craft," said SIFF artistic director Carl Spence in a statement.
Jack the Giant Killer will be taking over the Wells Cathedral
A multi-million pound blockbuster film will be shooting in Wells this week.
Jack the Giant Killer, a special effects showcase, is directed by Bryan Singer, who was also responsible for X-Men and produced The Usual Suspects.
It features some of the biggest acting talents in the UK, including Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, and Ian McShane, as well as Nicholas Hoult in the title role.
Nicholas found fame playing opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy and as a leading character in the first season of the Channel 4 show Skins.
Ian McShane will play the ruler of the human nation that is threatened when its giant-sized neighbours kidnap the princess, played by Eleanor Tomlinson. The job falls to farm boy Jack to get her back.
Ewan McGregor is playing a giant-killing expert who leads his majesty’s guards, while Bill Nighy and John Kassir are teaming up to play the two heads of the giants’ leader.
Filming will take place at Wells Cathedral and in Cheddar at a number of secret and secluded locations around the village.
Police have advised that parking in St Andrews Street and Cathedral Green in Wells will be limited until May 12, to allow the film crews access to the Cathedral, while at some points St Andrews Street will be closed to traffic.
Residents living in Vicars Close and people who live or work in Sadler Street have been advised to make alternative parking arrangements for the next two weeks.
Cathedral Green will also be closed on Bank Holiday Monday for May Fair.
If you spot a superstar in Starbucks or an actor in Andre’s, call the news desk on 01749 832335.
Celebrate Moulin Rouge 10 Years Later With MTV Live Stream
Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Baz Luhrmann will remember the influential film live on MTV.com
Apr 27 2011
Ten years ago, Baz Luhrmann brought us into the world of the Moulin Rouge, a sexy, musical take on the subculture of turn-of-the-century Paris based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. It starred Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman and featured over-the-top costumes and reinventions of modern songs from Lady Marmalade to Smells Like Teen Spirit.
To commemorate that movie’s 10th anniversary, MTV News reunites Luhrmann, Kidman and McGregor to celebrate “Moulin Rouge at 10: A Spectacular Spectacular MTV News Event” on Monday, May 2, at 3 p.m. ET on MTV.com. The director and stars will be joined by co-star John Leguizamo, who played artist Toulouse-Lautrec, and Catherine Martin, who won the Oscar for costume design and art direction. Hosted by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, the live stream will include special appearances and live interviews while looking back at how the film came to be and how its legacy continues to grow.
To get in on the fun, fans can submit questions for the Moulin Rouge director and talent via the @MTVNews Twitter handle with the hashtag #AskMoulin.
The film premiered in 2001, quickly permeated pop culture and reinvented the modern movie musical. Its influence can still be seen today with the success of musical television shows like Glee and American Idol. It’s also had an impact on fashion, graphic design and style.
The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, and it won two, for art direction and costume design. It was the first musical nominated for Best Picture in 22 years. Moulin Rouge also took home two MTV Movie Awards for Best Musical Sequence (Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor) and Best Female Performance (Nicole Kidman).
UK distributor Arrow Films Distributors picks up “Perfect Sense”
April 13, 2011 By Ida Storm
Arrow Films Distributors are proud to announce the UK/Eire acquisition of “Perfect Sense” by David Mackenzie.
The modern love story drama, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2011 and stars Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, tells the story about Susan, who is a scientist searching for answers to important questions - so important that she has given up on other things, including love. Until she meets Michael, a talented chef.
Head of BBC Christine Langan: “David Mackenzie is one of the boldest and most dynamic filmmakers around and BBC Films is thrilled that Tom Stewart and Arrow Films are on board for an exciting release of ‘Perfect Sense’”.
Tom Stewart, Head of Acquisitions: “‘Perfect Sense’ is a stunning piece of filmmaking that showcases the amazing performances from two of today’s hottest stars Ewan McGregor and Eva Green. We very much look forward to working with them and David Mackenzie in bringing this very exciting film to the UK/Eire audiences.”
TrustNordisk is handling international sales and is very proud to have Arrow Films Distributors on board.
As Susan Wendt, Head of Sales, states: “We are very excited to work together with Arrow on ‘Perfect Sense’. They are very enthusiastic about the film and are more than confident that they will spare no efforts to create a huge awareness and do a great job around the UK release”.
Ewan McGregor & Mike Mills Talk The Sadness, Humor & Joy Of ‘Beginners’
April 25, 2011 By Sean Gillane
On Thursday night at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco “Beginners,” the new film from director Mike Mills (“Thumbsucker”), kicked off the 54th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival. “Beginners” is a partially fictionalized account of Mills’ father, played here by Christopher Plummer, coming out of the closet as a septuagenarian. Ewan McGregor fills in for Mills himself as the character Oliver, who recounts the story of witnessing his father, Hal’s transition to a gay lifestyle after living most of his adult life married to Oliver’s mother. Soon after Hal’s rebirth, he is diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer that leaves Oliver both caring for and being in awe of the man he realizes he never really knew.
“Beginners” premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival but we fell in love with the film at this year’s SXSW. Friday morning we were able to sit down with Mills and McGregor to talk “Beginners” and hear the stories behind the production.
Though just starting their big push towards publicizing the film’s release in June, Mills is already feeling the vulnerability that comes with basing a story on his own life. “For this film, the questions get awfully personal really fast,” he said. “It’s like, ‘So was your mother really happy?’ Those always happen after people see the movie and it’s like they all feel like they’re all in my family now and we’re all intimate. And I’ve invited them in. I’ve opened that door.”
Mills stressed that while the story and events that the film is based on are of course very personal to him, the film itself is an unique entity.
“One way I describe it to people is,” he explained. “Imagine you live through a tornado or a ship sinking and you took like a snapshot. The snapshot of the ship sinking is real but it’s utterly different than living through it. Walking around and talking about that snapshot is so different for me.”
“I always feel like people are slightly overweighing—they’re like, ‘Oh that’s so personal for you!’ And it’s like, yeah and Christopher Plummer is so not my father. And Oliver/Ewan, it’s a lot of facts that we share… I think it’s some kind of emotional frequency which made it really easy and fun, but Ewan gets out of cars so much more handsomely than I do,” he explained, joking about the film’s autobiographical elements only going so far.
Interestingly, while Mills talked about the distance the film has from reality, McGregor still sounded genuinely affected by his experience with the production. For the actor, Mills’ direct connection to the story provided an express route to the emotions essential to his character.
“I think there were also times where you could see the [emotional] chink [in Mike] a little bit,” he said. “Because there’s some very devastating moments. When Christopher dies in the film it’s very upsetting for everybody. There were other moments when you’d end a scene and cast a glance to the monitor to see how Mike was. When Christopher is told he’s got cancer, there were just moments when I was imagining there couldn’t have been any other way than this. It had to be like this. You would be aware of the movie representing something that actually happened to Mike.”
Obviously Mills used himself as a raw resource for many aspects of the film, yet he still seemed in awe of how engaged his cast and crew became with his story. When Mills recounted stories of how those on set absorbed the emotional timbre of a scene, there was authentic surprise in his voice:
“When Hal died (when Christopher died), Ewan really lost it in a really beautiful way. We shot the movie chronologically and that was one of the last things they shot,” he recalled. “And I remember me and Kasper [Tuxen, Director of Photography] standing over the camera and he was bawling; I was bawling. And I’m looking at the monitor and the camera and I see a teardrop hit the camera and I’m like, ‘Oh no! Water! Electricity! Bad!’ But no that’s Kasper’s tears hitting the camera. And that would happen a few times. I would turn around and be like, ‘Great! Great shot!’ and I’d turn around and the crew is crying.”
In the film itself, the timelines leading up to Hal’s death and Oliver’s own blossoming romance with Anna (Melanie Laurent) are intertwined with each other, though in reality the romance takes place months after Hal passes away. In a move to plant the emotional core necessary for McGregor’s character to feel true, Mills decided to approach the production chronologically, which is not typical of most films. The technique would be a welcome gift to any actor and McGregor, who was grateful for the opportunity, made sure to take advantage of the decision.
“It was very charged; emotions were very high in both the stories” he remembered. “We shot the two stories separately. We shot the first story with Oliver and Hal, we rehearsed for a week and shot for three weeks. And then Melanie and I rehearsed for a week and then we shot the story with Oliver and Anna for three weeks. So there were two separate experiences but we shot the Father-Son story first because that happened first. You’re looking back to that story from the love story with Anna. But the height of the emotional content in that first story really informed the second one. Our emotions were all over the place.”
One of the main challenges for McGregor’s character Oliver through the film was dealing with his sadness over his father’s death and trying to find a way to reconnect to the real world. Mills was careful to balance out this sadness with humor found in both Oliver’s relationship with his dying father as well as in his new relationship with Anna. He admitted that his humor-in-dark-times formula is something he gleaned from his father, especially during his final battle with cancer.
“To me, sadness and humor aren’t disrelated and humor is the best tool I’ve had against the sadness in my life,” he said. “I really think I inherited that from my parents. The darker it got sometimes for my dad, and this is something that Christopher nailed, the more pinched you get as a human, the more he would make a joke to crack it back open again. My dad did make jokes with the doctors when things were really grave.
“Sadness is a super important thing not to be ashamed about but to include in our lives,” he continued. “One of the bigger problems with sadness or depression is there’s so much shame around it. If you have it you’re a failure. You are felt as being very unattractive. One thing I love about Ewan is it’s so hard to get a straight male actor of a certain stature who is willing to be that emotionally open and available and show real vulnerability.”
While McGregor has played his share of sad-sacks, typically the cause has been related to a failing relationship of some kind. In “Beginners” he plugged into a more depressed dead-eyed sadness than usual.
“…sadness is something that you can’t really do properly unless you’re feeling it.” he said, describing generating the appropriate levels of melancholy for the film. “I mean you can’t really do anything when you’re acting unless you’re feeling it but there is something about where you have to descend to a sad place and hold onto it. Then usually what happens is you break for lunch and you’re like, ‘Shit,’ and you find yourself coming back to the surface and you’re having a joke at lunch and you go back after lunch and you’re like, ‘Ok… Oh god.’ You’re trying to get back down there.”
Over the last two decades McGregor has starred in a wide spectrum of films, but exactly how stars at his level end up in independent films is often a mystery. His connection to “Beginners,” it turns out, did not come in an elevator pitch, but a chairlift pitch on the ski slopes of Park City:
“I was told the story by Rich Klubeck [Mills’ agent]. By the time we got to the top of the ski run already in my mind I was running through the story of a guy I’d never met and thinking about what that might be like to live through. And when we met the first time at a coffee shop in Santa Monica, I’m pretty sure I was asking [Mike] lots of questions about what happened— not really about the script or how we would shoot it or how do you like to direct. I was fascinated by the story.”
For Mills, having his audience grabbed by the story is a good point to start from, but he hopes they will be as pleasantly surprised to see a person still growing and developing, as he was during the end of his father’s life.
“When I was helping him defrost food as a widower I didn’t think all this was going to happen,” he said. “He changed in so many ways and the sex was just the beginning. And he cracked open all these emotional doors and this willingness to talk to me in a different way. So if that surprise and acceptance in the audience that things can change when you least expect it ...I’d be really happy if that came across.”
“Beginners” opens in Los Angeles and New York June 3rd and will be back in San Francisco June 10th. The San Francisco International Film Festival continues through May 5th.
Ewan McGregor and Mike Mills Electrify the Castro on Opening Night
Friday 22 April 2011
“I don’t know if I can sit,” director Mike Mills, in a state of agitated excitement, explained to the audience as he was being introduced for a Q&A following the opening night screening of his whimsical semi-autobiographical film, Beginners. “Should I tell them about the texts I’ve been getting?” he asked his onstage interviewer, San Francisco Film Society’s director of programming, Rachel Rosen. “Someone is trying to text me, a lot. Someone is losing his mind in a car.”
The someone in question was Ewan McGregor, Mills’s alter ego in the film, and his apparent best friend forever after the shoot. Rosen had been given the difficult task of informing the audience that the expected McGregor might not be present because of a delayed flight from France, which meant she was offered the delightful task of introducing McGregor, when, halfway through the proceedings he showed up, live and in-person, from his long journey. (Which, for the record, began on a runway in Paris with a plane dripping gasoline from its wing). “Here I am,” McGregor announced, panting slightly. “I made it!”
In answer to one of Rosen’s early questions, the audience learned that the point of origin for Beginners dated to another adrenaline-fueled encounter, one that happened before the filmmaker’s father’s death. Late one night his father—who’d come out of the closet at 75 to live a supercharged, colorful life while enduring treatment for cancer—issued his son a statement about how it was that he had come to marry Mills’s mother in 1955, despite the self-knowledge about his own sexual orientation. “She took off her Jew badge, and I took off my gay badge,” he said.
Mills realized his father’s coming out so vibrantly and passing away so quickly was great material, but it took him some time to write and fund the story, which he insisted was actually fiction, however “true” it felt for him. Memory is a slippery thing, he said. “I thought these memories were objective truths and I became surprised at how dreamy they were.” —SG
The 54th SF Int’l Film Fest takes off with Beginners Mike Mills, Ewan McGregor
April 22nd, 2011 By Omar Moore
Last night the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival kicked off its 15-day movie extravaganza at the Castro Theatre, getting off to a rousing start with the opening night comedy-drama Beginners, directed by Mike Mills, who was born a short distance from San Francisco just across the Bay Bridge in Berkeley.
San Francisco Film Society executive director Graham Leggat was met with a huge round of applause by the Castro Theatre capacity audience of more than 1,400 as he rang in the Festival, which runs through May 5.
“I’m deeply, deeply embarrassed but also hugely grateful for your kind words, for your leadership,” Mr. Leggat said to board members, Film Society staff and the audience.
Mr. Leggat announced that British actor Terence Stamp would be receiving the Festival’s Peter J. Owens Acting Award and proudly introduced the audience to his family and his girlfriend.
Cracking jokes and exuberant throughout his remarks, Mr. Leggat cited the standing ovation that accompanied him to the dais perched on the grand Castro Theatre stage.
“Obviously you all need to get out a little more often.”
Mr. Leggat’s playful comments set the stage for last night’s events as Beginners, the exquisite bitter-sweet romance drama enjoyed its San Francisco premiere, drawing an enthusiastic response from patrons.
Taking place across three different time periods, with flashbacks and some clever narrative devices, Beginners stars Christopher Plummer as Hal, a terminally ill man who has come out of the closet after 75 years. Ewan McGregor plays Oliver, Hal’s son, a straight man trying to make sense of his own life through his late father’s as he tries to find romance. Beginners also stars Inglourious Basterds actress Mélanie Laurent.
With his wife, the actress-filmmaker Miranda July (who has her film The Future at this year’s Festival), Mr. Mills beamed on the red carpet, taking pictures of the cameramen and women who were taking pictures of him.
“It isn’t fiction, it is my dream”, Mr. Mills said after the screening of Beginners, referring to the autobiographical aspects of the film, and the conversations he had with his own father who was gay and also had a terminal illness.
“I invite you all to go back and try to remember something really pivotal and key in your life and really look at your memory,” Mr. Mills commented in response to a question from Rachel Rosen, the Film Society’s Festival programming director. “And I think you’ll join me in being startled at how fragmentary and elusive they are. The more you try to look at it, the more it runs away.”
Mr. McGregor, who has not yet seen Beginners, was en route to the Castro Theatre, delayed by a plane from France he had been on which had some mechanical issues. He ultimately missed the chance to see Beginners last night but arrived in the middle of the post-screening Q&A to a loud response.
“There was a gas leak pouring out of the wing”, Mr. McGregor said. “They sent us back to the airport and cancelled the flight.”
Nonetheless, the actor made it to the Castro Theatre before the event was over, and audience members sounded as if Mr. McGregor’s sudden, dramatic arrival made their night.
Ewan McGregor has a taste for single speed bicycles
16/04/2011 By Angela Lovely
Actor Ewan McGregor recently added a third fixed-gear bike to his collection. The former Jedi Knight picked up a specially built bike with a Bob Jackson steel frame from Fitzrovia Bicycles in New Cavendish Street.
The actor was previously spotted in March by a Daily Mail photographer riding a single-speed bike around London, dressed in tweed and carrying a cute stuffed bear in the basket.
McGregor is no stranger to riding on two wheels. In 2004 he completed a 22,345 mile motorcycle trip from London to New York via Europe and Asia. The journey was the basis for the television series and best-selling book called Long Way Round.
The actor is currently working on the film Jack the Giant Killer.
Apparently Ewan McGregor is not the only celeb to take an interest in Fitzrovia Bicycles’ stock of two-wheeled porn. My source tells me that Olympic and world champion track cyclist Victoria Pendleton and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke have also been in for a gorp. Obviously they’d read about Fitzrovia Bicycles in Fitzrovia News.
Fitzrovia Bicycles was founded in the autumn last year after the three staff bought out the owner of the shop and took over the business to run it themselves. Since then Fitzrovia Bicycles has earned itself a reputation for having better stock, fast repairs and some very stylish, and a great variety of, cycles and kit. After a difficult winter for cycling the shop is now doing a brisk trade in sales and repairs.
He starred as Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in the most recent Star Wars movies, but yesterday, Ewan McGregor switched his most famous costume with yet another knight costume as he filmed scenes for his new movie Jack And The Giant Killer in the British countryside.
The 40-year-old actor donned a studded armoured costume as he walked into position on the set alongside co-star Eddie Marsen.
A knight’s tale: Ewan McGregor dons studded, armoured costume on the set of Jack And The Giant Killer with co-star Eddie Marsen
The upcoming movie, due for release next year, is a modern day fairy tale which tells the story of a war between humans and giants as a farmer tries to rescue a kidnapped princess.
Director Bryan Singer spoke to Total Film magazine recently about the movie, and said he is hoping to bring something new to the fairytale film genre.
He said: “What if we look back at the story that inspired the story that you read to your kids? That’s kind of what this movie’s about.
“It’ll also be a fun twist on the notion of how these tales are told.”
The movie also stars Nicholas Hoult, who can soon be seen playing “Beast” in X-Men: First Class, and Singer said he is certain Hoult is destined for big things.
Singer, who produced the new X-Men movie, said: “He’s a really fine actor, and he also has a charm and an innocence that I noticed when we cast him as ‘Beast’.
“He needed those qualities because in X-Men he’s this excitable scientist who’s going through a transformation, and in Jack he’s a lovestruck farmboy who also transforms in the movie.
“He falls for a princess and then goes off to rescue her. It’s a very traditional fairytale.”
Jack And The Giant Killer is due for release next year.
SXSW Interview: Director Mike Mills on his film, “Beginners”
April 8, 2011 by Lance Carter
Mike Mills’s latest film, Beginners, is an incredibly personal one. Based on events in his own life, the film is the story of a graphic designer (Ewan McGregor), whose father (Christopher Plummer) comes out at the age of 75 after his wife dies.
I talked to Mills (Thumbsucker) in a roundtable interview at SXSW where he told me that since McGregor is basically playing him, he wanted Mills to record all the dialog for him so he study his voice. Mills agreed, “as long as you’re not gonna imitate me,” he said. After all was said and done, Mills thought McGregor did an “amazing job.” And once you see the film, you’ll think so as well.
Check out the interview below where he talks about his writing process, shooting the film in continuity and how you cast a dog.
For the full interview, click the audio link above or download it from iTunes.
There’s a lot of different challenges when you’re making a film but is there any one thing that sticks out to you as being the most challenging for this film?
Mike Mills: To be honest, like by the time I got to like shooting the film, if that’s what you mean, that’s easy, shooting the film was fun, easy and great, and the thing I like to do most in my life. It’s the thing where I feel the most alive and what I was meant to do, and I adore it. And the hardest part is getting through writing, it’s really hard ’cause you’re alone, and I’m not really a writer. I love writing, but it’s just a long dark tunnel, and then trying to get your film made, hearing ’No’s’ so often, hearing it be repeated back to you in the worst way, hearing it be described and misunderstood in the worst way, hearing people just not be interested for years is the worst part.
What do you think is the most difficult thing? To get the money, to get people to believe in the movie or to take everything you have inside and write it down?
Mike Mills: Everything. Taking everything I have inside and writing it down is difficult but it’s a joy. It’s lucky. How lucky am I to get to do that? I’m not a great writer, I’m good enough that I can do it. I can make myself kinda happy writing. Going around and trying to get money and trying to get people, knowing you’re trying to get actors, and you’re trying to get money. You don’t just go and meet the actor, you don’t just go and meet the money person. You meet like the agent, the lawyer, the manager, the other agent, the other lawyer, the other manager, someone who just knows them, someone who met them at the coffee shop. And even that is not, like, I’m excited to fight for my movie in any way. But often when you’re doing that, in Los Angeles, you’re bumping up against the worst side of capitalism, which is brutal and unkind and it’s just like trying to get a loan from a bank, basically.
At what point did Ewan and Christopher pop into your head for the parts?
Mike Mills: I don’t write with people in my head at all. And then I get done writing and I’m very confused ’cause I have to like get into this world and find people, and it’s really hard. And with this, I really wanted to cast the dad after I casted the Oliver character ’cause I wanted him to look right. And there’s so many great actors, but if they don’t feel like a family, then it wasn’t gonna be good. So Christopher was always in my mind, and would obviously be awesome.
And then Ewan, for a while I was looking at different ages and I didn’t know what I was doing, and then when Ewan came up I just, it’s like a pipe dream, we’re like, “Oh! Crap!” Another great idea that’s not gonna happen, and luckily he read it and luckily he liked it.
They all worked for scale. They put they’re hearts into it, they did it for their great reasons, they worked for scale but they didn’t act like that at all. So, Ewan wasn’t obvious to me ’cause I didn’t know he would do a movie like this. Doing smaller movies like this in this day and age where like, from 2007 till now, is not the most popular thing in L.A.
You got some great performances in this film and I was wondering, in this personal movie, are there some things about you that you feel no actor could re-create or be able to justify?
Mike Mills: Well, the main thing I said to all of them, I said, “don’t copy me. The idea is not that you’re mimicking us, you have to find a way to make it your own.” And they’re both so smart about that, in different ways. Like Plummer knew, he’d be like, “Michael tell me another story.” Like, “I wanna steep myself in your father.” But then he knew how to be himself, he knew that he had to make it a story. He knew he had to go connect to people through the lens.
Ewan is so casual and easy-going and like I adore him. And he, it was never a ’copy me’, it was never, the weird thing is we were the exact same size in everything. So, he does wear some of my clothes, just out of poverty, just ’cause we didn’t have enough money to make the movie.
But it was like, it looks so much fucking better on him, it was sort of embarrassing and depressing, and that was kinda what it would like the whole film in a funny way. But I think Ewan and I do share some like emotional frequencies, or we share, we’re a similar kind of emotional guy. So, I think he was like, and being a straight guy, which is the most privileged thing to be, blue eyed, European descent, straight guy, there’s still some unsatisfying parts to it if we wanna be emotional, if you wanna be vulnerable, if you wanna be that, you can get sort of boxed in. I think both if us experienced that, and both of us really happy that there was Oliver to play around in a more emotional, vulnerable way.
I saw that this was shot in continuity. As an actor, that’s gotta be awesome, but as a director is that…
Mike Mills: That’s awesome. Makes my life easier, ’cause we’re all experiencing the story together. And it makes you just think differently. I also insist on 2 weeks of rehearsal, which kinda blows everybody’s mind.
I thought it was very interesting, and it worked, that you use the dog. I think the dog symbolizes a lot. Was it always definite that you were going to have a dog?
Mike Mills: Well, yeah I gotta say like I owe a lot to my dad dying, sounds so weird, but it’s true because that grief time, when you’re like intoxicated and braver than you normally are, I was like fuck it, there’s a dog in this movie, he talks. Cause I do that all the time, I talk to my dog, and I inherited my dad’s dog, and they’re there looking at me writing, and I talk to them and I’m talking to them about script, and I just talk all day long to them. So, I’m talking and then I just start, “oh fuck it, I’m just gonna put that in,” and that was a great thing that grief enabled in me, it was like go for it, do whatever you want, and kind of believe that that will work.
How did you cast a dog?
Mike Mills: It’s like a human, there’s canine actors. They have a resume. They have trainers. Cosmo’s worked on a lot of films and so they all came in and then I met Cosmo, and it’s really the combo of the dog, the canine actor and the trainer.
Cosmo is just a deep soul, that guy’s like a thousand years old, and he really just looks at you, and I think Jack Russell’s do have a thing when they stare at you, it’s like part of their breeding, and he does that, he just like look you in the eyes for a very long time, and it’s a unnerving, great thing.
Can you compare the experiences of when you did Thumbsucker to now? What did you learn about filmmaking?
Mike Mills: I learned a ton during Thumbsucker. Maybe the thing I learn the most or the thing I enjoyed the most was the actors, and creating an environment where an actor can do things that surprised themselves and you. Creating an environment that’s inviting and unpredictable, it’s inviting of reactivity to what’s happening in the moment. And that I can do that, I can provide that. Something about me I don’t know why, I just, I can, I’m good at doing that or I can, I like it, put it that way, I like it, and they seem to respond and I love that. I’m formally, I’m a very shy person, you know like very, I’m not shy anymore, but I used to be very shy, and so what an actor does blows me away. When they’re doing it and when they’re really free over there, I’m like probably their best audience in the world, like I am just so impressed, and I, I’m so envious, I wish I could be like that, I wish I could, that seems so fun and free and mind-blowing, how do you do that? And so, creating that environment
is maybe what I learned last time.
And this time I think it’s being braver about trusting that you can tell a story that’s really concrete and specific in that it will be shareable. And trusting that it could be funny. Like, I feel in this one I embrace that my family’s funny, I can be funny and like trying to just be more comfortable about that.
You recorded the dialogue for Ewan?
Mike Mills: To get the accent, which I thought he did an amazing job on. He asked me to record the whole script. And I said, “as long as you promise me you’re not gonna imitate me, ’cause I do not want you to get locked in.” So I would do like a line, and the microphone, and I go, “Now Ewan, do not say it like that, ok?”, and I would say a line and I go, “Ok remember don’t…” And I just kinda make all these jokes as I was reading it about not doing it. But I think that’s how his sound coach works, or dialect coach is to get a specific voice and to study something specifically rather than just have this abstract idea of what an accent is.
His voice is amazing.
Mike Mills: Yeah, yeah. One time, like he was having problems, and he has a heavy Scottish accent and we’re doing monologues and it was the only time where it kinda came up, that he was sort of tripping up on a sound. And then she would do this thing where she’d say the sound back to him, ’oh, ah, ee’, and she had these sentences that was like little mnemonic things. And at the end of the shoot, I was like, “How do you do it?” He goes, “Well, I don’t think about it, it’s like playing the drums, if you think about playing the drums, it doesn’t work. You lose it, so I just have to let go and those little sounds…” He just says the sounds a couple of times and just goes back to playing the drums.
When his not doing the scene, does he go back to his normal accent?
Mike Mills: Yeah, yeah. In between takes. But Tilda [Swinton] did the same thing in Thumbsucker, she’s also, she’s much more high-British accent. But same thing, and my father came to Thumbsucker…the set. He’s watching the monitor, and she’s doing American, and then he met Tilda, and she’s got this very fancy British accent, and he came in to me and he goes, “What, there’s 2 women, they look exactly the same.” And I was like, “No that’s Tilda…”
Fifteen years since its release, Trainspotting is without a doubt firmly positioned at the forefront of most audience’s minds when they think of British cinema. So iconic is the film that it even edges out golden oldies such as The Bridge On The River Kwai in the BFI’s top ten selection of the favorite British films of the 20th century.
Telling the story of a group of junkies in Edinburgh, it arrived amid Cool Britannia, when Britpop ruled the airwaves, and introduced an incredible ensemble cast whose careers were ultimately transformed overnight: Robert Carlyle, Ewan Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kelly Macdonald and, in the lead role, Ewan McGregor.
“At twenty-four, I was in a brilliant youthful, ruling-the-world kind of mood,” explains McGregor, who played the film’s lovable but disreputable skag-obsessed Renton. “I thought everything I was involved in was going to be some huge hit back then, but truthfully, I don’t think that anyone could have predicted just how successful Trainspotting would be today. I mean, it’s still the main thing people ask me about when they come up to me in the street. I really get a sense that it’s possibly the biggest film I’ve done, or definitely the most successful in terms of being in the human consciousness.”
Yet, despite the film’s infectiously entertaining and quick-witted humour Trainspotting has not always been on the receiving end of positive press. In fact for many years after its release, it was routinely condemned, forever at the centre of debates for its apparent attractive and sexy allure of glorifying drug use. “I’ve never believed that,” an authoritative McGregor proclaims. “The story is right there in front of your eyes to see and there’s a great deal of grief and terrible shit going on in it. I mean, yes, the film had a flavour about it, but that’s because it’s very engaging. In the book, you didn’t want to put it down because you wanted to be in amongst these people - when in actual fact if you met these people it’d be a nightmare - and I think that’s kind of what we achieved with the film.”
“There’s something very vibrant about it and something charming about these characters. Yeah, there’s moments in the early scenes when they’re taking drugs and they look like they’re having the time of their lives, but that’s because it is the time of their lives. In a way it’s because they haven’t really got anything else, that’s why people take drugs and why people become addicted to them. It’s an escape, and it’s an escape in their case because of poverty and hopelessness. So to not show that side of it, that moment of high they we’re trying to reach, that wouldn’t be the whole story. Maybe people just don’t like the mix of that stylised look and the subject matter, but I think ultimately it doesn’t matter. The film’s not saying ‘taking heroin is great’, and there’s just no question really; we’re not showing a happy way of life.”
Since the release of Welsh’s 2002 follow-up novel Porno - set ten years after Trainspotting, with the pornography business providing the central focus of the story - news of a possible movie sequel has been rife; with the latest mumblings coming from Danny Boyle himself, when in December he said simply that “it will happen”.
“You know, through all the years of talking about Porno, I’ve never actually been given a script,” confesses McGregor, who has regularly been suggested to disapprove of a sequel. “I don’t like being the guy that’s making it not happen, especially when all the other guys want to make it. But I wouldn’t want to do a sequel to Trainspotting if it was just for the sake of it, and if I’m honest about it, I wasn’t that blown away by the book. I mean, I love Irvine Welsh’s stuff and I think he’s a brilliant writer - Trainspotting blew me away - but I felt Porno was kinda going over old ground a little bit from the Trainspotting novel. It felt a little bit like Welsh had written a good sequel to the movie, but not a good sequel to his novel. There’s too many poor sequels in the world, and it would be terrible to damage Trainspotting’s reputation by making people remember a slightly poorer, clumsy follow-on.”
“It’s not something that I would completely dismiss off-hand until I’ve seen a script,” he admits. “I mean, it could be excellent, but even then cinema’s moved along so much because of Trainspotting, because of Danny’s brilliance. Some of the shots and the energy in that movie, audiences have become so much more used to that vibe now, whereas then it was new, it was different. So on top of the script, we’d need to feel that sense of originality again, and how would that be created? How would they do that? I don’t know myself but it’d be interesting to see what they could come up with for sure. So I guess the answer is, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Read Clash’s full interview with Ewan McGregor in the latest issue of Clash Magazine out now. Subscribe to Clash magazine here.
“The Impossible” brings Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts to Phuket, Thailand
March 1, 2011 By RebeccaJK
Hollywood stars Ewan McGregor (“Star Wars” and “Trainspotting”) and Naomi Watts (“King Kong” and “The International”) touched down at Phuket International Airport recently for the filming of a new blockbuster movie called “The Impossible”.
“The Impossible” tells the story of a family caught up in the aftermath of the Tsunami which struck on the 26th December 2004. The disaster was triggered by an undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, which caused powerful waves to hit the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
Filming took place on the beaches around Khao Lak and Kho Phi Phi, to the south of Phuket. These two areas were amongst the hardest hit by the Tsunami in Thailand.
Since filming began, local businesses have benefitted from the increase in tourists and movie fans, eager to catch a glimpse of their Hollywood idols.
Locals and tourists visiting Songbar in Khao Lak also had the opportunity to appear as extras in the movie where one of the disaster scenes with Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts was filmed.
The Khao Lak Orchid Beach Resort in Khuk Khak provided accommodation for the cast and crew and was transformed into a disaster scene for the movie.
This is not the first time Khao Lak has played host to movie directors and TV producers; in 2006 a miniseries made by HBO called “Tsunami, the aftermath”, starring Tim Roth, Toni Collete, Chiwetel Ejiofer and Sophie Okonedo was filmed in the area.
Directed by Bharat Nalluri, the series received little attention by locals. In fact, many local residents were not happy with the exposure the miniseries brought to Khao Lak and Phuket, as emotions were still running high in the aftermath of the real disaster.
The synopsis for “The Impossible” reads:
“‘The Impossible’ is the terrifying account of a family unexpectedly caught with many others when a Tsunami flattens their three-story hotel and the surrounding landscape and how they had to struggle to survive after being pushed underwater into a quagmire of dislodged trees and debris where they were thrown upside-down, and battered by debris.”
“The Impossible” was written by Sergio Sanchez and directed by Juan Bavona. The film is due for release in late 2011.
Ewan McGregor Negotiating For Jack the Giant Killer
February 24, 2011
Ewan McGregor is in negotiations for a part in Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer has confirmed to ComingSoon.net.
The project, a fantasy drama that re-teams Singer with The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, is said to take an adult look at the “Jack and the Beanstalk” legend. When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.
The cast already includes Nicholas Hoult in the title role with Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and John Kassir costarring. As production is expected to begin sometime next month, the full cast should be announced shortly.
Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor shoot The Impossible in Madrid
J.A. Bayonne and Ewan McGregor chat during the filming of The Impossible.
The filming of The Impossible began last August at the Faculty of La Ciudad de la Luz (Alicante). After four months of filming in Thailand in some of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami, a team of European and Spanish, more than 120 people, have returned to Madrid with principal cast members, led by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
According to the director, “It was a hard shoot, where the team has struggled under exceptional circumstances to move forward with a challenge that was unlike anything we had done before. I have the sensation of having made not my second film, but the third and fourth at the same time. We have approached this tragedy as respectfully but directly, almost at point blank range, to the point that we return all a little touched by the experience.”
Once the production filming in Madrid return to the Faculty of the City of Light in Alicante, a water tank will recreate the wave that hit the coast of Thailand in 2004. The company MagicONE (who has worked on films like The Pianist and 10,000 BC) is responsible for the design and construction of the models.
The cast of The Impossible is composed by Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Marta Etura and young Tom Holland, who debuts on the big screen after bringing Billy Elliot to life on the London stage.
Summit Entertainment will distribute the film in the U.S., Warner Bros. Pictures will do in Spain.
Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner have joined the lineup of presenters for the 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards, along with Ewan McGregor and Eva Mendes.
Presenters already announced include Will Arnett, Jesse Eisenberg, Terrence Howard, Nicole Kidman, Diego Luna, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Kerry Washington, Mia Wasikowska and Rainn Wilson.
The show will be hosted by Joel McHale of “Community,” and will be held at the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 26, the afternoon before the Academy Awards.
Tune in February 26th at 2:30PM ET/11:30AM PT for the Spirit Awards Live Arrival Show on Livestream.
Here is a great Valentine’s Idea! Go to Central Cinema and check out Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.
Tickets are only $6 if bought online and $8 at the box office.
"Moulin Rouge" is a musical set to 20th century hit songs. It is a big hit among women and guys can generally tolerate it.
Central Cinema also serves food and drinks in the theater. It takes care of dinner and the movie all with one shot. This is a pretty safe bet, if you are trying to surprise someone with Valentine’s plans.
Arrive early to get a good seat.
Showtime is Monday at 6:30pm. (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind plays at 9:30)
Ewan introduces Perfect Sense at the Sundance Film Festival from Thailand
Ewan is still in Thailand filming The Impossible and could not attend the premiere of Perfect Sense at the Sundance Film Festival. He recorded a video introduction that was shown before the film’s premiere:
I Love You Phillip Morris on DVD and Blu-ray in April
January 20, 2011
After being available overseas on home video since mid-last year, Lionsgate cleared legal hurdles to bring the dark comedy I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor stateside in theaters in December. After a short theatrical run, it will be making its way to DVD and Blu-ray on April 5.
The film is based on the true story of a con-man who escapes from prison four times to impress his gay lover. Carrey’s performance is being heralded as Oscar-worthy though we don’t know yet if he’ll score a nomination.
Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray version of I Love You Phillip Morris will include a making-of featurette and audio commentary with the writers/directors and producer.
The story of two people who begin to fall in love as the world begins to fall apart.
Susan is a scientist. Michael is a chef. He takes a break from the kitchen heat in the alleyway below her apartment; she smokes a cigarette at the window above. He calls up for a light – the first spark in their passionate affair.
But the world is about to change dramatically. As love turns Susan and Michael’s lives upside down, people across the globe begin to experience strange symptoms, which first affect the emotions then the senses, one by one.
Everything changes. But people laugh, they cry, they eat and drink, they go about their daily business. They adapt, they change, they cope, they live and they love – because life must go on. And so it does.
Get ready! Current TV is running a marathon of Ewan McGregor’s amazing travel documentary Long Way Round on Sunday, January 23rd. Side-by-side with his best mate Charley Boorman, Ewan rides his motorcycle around the world, covering 19,000 miles from London to New York. From dining with nomads in Mongolia to crossing raging rivers in Siberia, it’s an adventure they’ll never forget—and neither will you. The first half airs January 23rd starting at 9pm EST and concludes March 20th on Current TV! (Source)
Pirates of the Caribbean meets Greenpeace, starring Ewan McGregor!
Jan 3, 2011 By Esther Inglis-Arkell
An eco film? An eco film biopic? An eco film biopic that’s been a rotating door of potential leading men and that’s been in development since 1981? Ocean Warrior has to be good!
Ewan McGregor has lent his star power to the film Ocean Warrior. Supposedly it includes incidents from the life of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Captain Paul Watson. In fact, it’s going to be a pirate film with an eco twist. If you have any doubts, look at the Sea Shepherd flag above.
Yes, Whale Wars probably kept the idea humming, but there aren’t that many movies based on Discovery shows. I’m not saying anything about the society, but the film itself wouldn’t have gotten a boost without a certain Disney franchise.
It certainly wasn’t anyone’s top priority. The film has been floating around Hollywood since 1981, which means that even if it gets made and released this year, it has been in development as long as a Senator. I’m actually interested to see what comes out of this long incubation period, but I don’t think anyone expects an factual story. We can probably expect to see a nautical action film with an environmental twist here and there. And since the Sea Shepherd Society was founded in 1977, when psychedelic drugs were in use, I think that the Pirates franchise won’t be the only film with mermaids.
By the CNN Wire Staff January 3, 2011 8:19 a.m. EST
Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite, who starred in “Inception” and “The Usual Suspects,” has died at the age of 64, his agent said Monday.
Highly intense, with a bulbous nose, high cheekbones and ruddy complexion, the actor was immediately recognizable in films ranging from the second “Jurassic Park” movie to “Romeo + Juliet.”
It was for his role as Daniel Day-Lewis’s father in the IRA drama “In the Name of the Father” that he got his only Oscar nomination, for best supporting actor. He lost out to Tommy Lee Jones for “The Fugitive.”
He also starred in the British brass band movie “Brassed Off,” and worked with Steven Spielberg on the slave revolt story “Amistad.”
Spielberg reportedly called him “the best actor in the world,” prompting Postlethwaite to respond that what the director actually said was that he “thought he was the best actor in the world.”
He made his name as part of a cohort of great British actors including Bill Nighy, Anthony Sher, Jonathan Pryce and Julie Walters at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, England, in the 1970s.
He returned to the Everyman in 2008 to play King Lear in Shakespeare’s great tragedy.
He was awarded the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, in 2004.
Postlethwaite died of cancer, British media reported.