Actor Ewan McGregor is urging fans to raise funds for a hospice in his native Scotland by downloading a charity Christmas song penned by a paralysed boy.
The Big Fish star has praised the youngster for his vivid imagination and the lengths he went to to pen a story titled The Christmas Gibbons, which was then set to music by family friends.
Adam Bojelian, 12, from Edinburgh, Scotland suffers from cerebral palsy, a condition that causes physical disability, and lost all movement at the age of 10 months. He can only communicate by blinking and composed the poem with the help of his mother who held up a series of words and letters in front of him.
The actor says, “I love the idea that Santa is assisted at Christmas by gibbons. It’s quite incredible to think that Adam shares his vivid imagination with us through poetry written by blinking. I hope lots of people will download this track at Christmas and help to raise some money for CHAS at such a poignant time of year.”
Ewan McGregor thanks supporters of Christmas charity appeal 'Challenge Santa'
Ewan McGregor thanks supporters of the Challenge Santa appeal for Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS). The appeal is raising money for children and young people in Scotland with life-shortening conditions. Donate now at mydonate.bt.com/challengesanta Find out more about CHAS at www.chas.org.uk.
Moulin Rouge star Ewan McGregor has taken up an unusual new hobby - building bicycles from scraps he finds on eBay.
The 41-year-old actor said that he has become fascinated by the mechanics of the bike and enjoys surfing the internet auction site to find frames to work on, reported Daily Star online.
“You buy a frame on eBay, and you think, ‘What do I do now?’ You have your aesthetic idea, but all bike builders say it kind of builds itself - which it does in a way. Things either do or don’t work. Components fit or they don’t, and sometimes you alter them until they do,” he said.
However, McGregor has little use for all of the bikes he has been building at his Los Angeles home - because everyone drives in California.
“At the end of the day, you’ve built a work of art, but you can also ride it to the shops. (Only) nobody rides bikes in LA,” McGregor added.
McGregor and Capaldi team up for film of Scotland’s biggest-ever movie flop
Sunday 11 November 2012
Two of Scotland’s biggest movie stars are getting together for a new comedy-drama inspired by one of the most disastrous flops in British cinema.
Dashing David Niven played Bonnie Prince Charlie in the disaster-prone 1948 film
Ewan McGregor will star in Born To Be King, based on the story of the making of the 1948 David Niven movie, Bonnie Prince Charlie, legendary for its nightmarish shoot and catastrophic box-office takings.
McGregor will play an extra who happens to look like Niven, who suddenly finds himself in the limelight when the drunken star goes missing.
The film is written and will be directed by Peter Capaldi, best known as foul-mouthed political spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It. However, Capaldi also has impressive credentials as a film-maker, having won an Oscar for his short film, Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, in the 1990s.
Bonnie Prince Charlie was a would-be epic that cost a fortune to make and bombed with audiences and critics. Niven was signed to star but was desperately unhappy at being forced to abandon his easy-going lifestyle in Los Angeles for Britain and a wig and tartan.
The born-and-bred Englishman had been cast only because everyone in the movie world had been taken in by his lie that he was Scottish.
The production was plagued by disaster from the outset: it went through several directors, one of Niven’s co-stars died and then the film disappeared virtually without trace, threatening to take the entire British film industry with it.
It has not exactly been smooth sailing for Born To Be King either. McGregor originally signed up in 2005 when it was called The Great Pretender and at the time hailed it as “a fantastic script”.
Capaldi could not get the money together at the time, but didn’t give up. It was at one time given another title – The Jacobite Slipper – and has featured in at least one list of the Greatest Scottish Films Never Made.
Now, with American backers on board, Born To Be King will finally start shooting at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire in January.
McGregor will be joined by Kate Hudson, the star of Almost Famous and Bride Wars, who plays a Hollywood actress increasingly at odds with her co-star, but attracted to the extra who looks like him.
McGregor was philosophical about the wait. “I signed up to work on this film with Peter Capaldi about six years ago and, as so often is the way with independent films, it’s taken this long to get the funding,” he said. “I’ve known Peter since he acted with my uncle (actor Denis Lawson) in Local Hero in the 80s, and I’ve always loved his work.”
Born To Be King takes its title from a line in the Skye Boat Song about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape to the Hebrides. It is being described as both a “romantic comedy” and a “mistaken identity comedy”.
Capaldi said: “The film will be artful and magical. And, of course, above all, I intend it to be entertaining.”
It caused considerable excitement at the American Film Market last week, where distribution rights were up for sale.
Stephanie Denton of distribution company Indomina said: “Peter’s screenplay seamlessly weaves the story of the film within the film. It’s an exciting, entertaining and genuinely funny project.”
Capaldi and McGregor will be hoping that Born To Be King turns out better than Bonnie Prince Charlie. With a huge budget, a major Hollywood star and a dramatic story from Scottish history, the 1948 film should have been one of British cinema’s most celebrated epics.
Alexander Korda, the Hungarian refugee who became England’s greatest movie mogul, had conquered America with The Private Life of Henry VIII, the first British film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and he was prepared to spend big money for a repeat.
Niven was at the time under contract to Sam Goldwyn, but Korda’s London Film Productions offered the studio the then-astronomical sum of 0,000 for the use of his services.
Bonnie Prince Charlie was shot mainly in the studios at Shepperton, although there was some location filming in the Highlands.
The distinguished cast included Margaret Leighton as Flora MacDonald, Jack Hawkins as Lord George Murray and Scots actor John Laurie, who later played Private Frazer in TV’s Dad’s Army, as Blind Jimmie. When Charlie asks him if the clans will rally to him, Laurie replies that he will answer in song. He whips out his harp and starts to sing, in a scene that might remind modern audiences of a Little Britain sketch. Suddenly the landscape is awash with clansmen.
Many of the extras who played Charlie’s men actually came from London’s East End. Asked to cheer the appearance of the prince and let him know of the capture of the enemy colours, one cockney clansman blurted out: "Oi, David, We’ve got their f***in’ flag!", or so Niven claimed in his entertaining, but highly unreliable, memoirs.
One reviewer of the film concluded: “Niven seems as much at home among the Highlanders as a goldfish in a haggis.”
Just to add insult to injury, when Niven’s birth certificate was discovered after his death it turned out that he had not been born in Kirriemuir in Angus, as he claimed, but in Belgrave Mansions in London.
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Ewan McGregor regards the recent collection of scrapes on his forearm—real-world wounds, not movie fakery—with a wry grin and the slightest hint of pride. The 41-year-old actor has long been a motorcycle enthusiast (or, as he calls them in his slight Scottish lilt, motorbikes), having once traveled from London to New York via Europe, Asia, and Canada, and also journeying from his native Scotland to South Africa. “Every time I ride it puts a smile on my face,” he says—but even he’s not immune to occasional horizontal parking.
“I fell off my bike [recently] for the first time in a long time,” he says, a bit sheepishly. “I overcooked a corner and I slid off my bike.” It’s clear that the tragic fate of his ride—an expensive one in his dozen-motorcycle collection—was more painful than his own abrasions. “I just had the scrape on my elbow. But the bike came off really badly, because as the left-hand side of the bike slid, the tires caught, and it flipped onto the right-hand side—so it really f’ed up that side of the bike. It’s a disaster. But in a way,” he muses, “it reminded me why I like [motorbikes].”
There’s something about the ever-present element of danger that keeps McGregor’s senses sharp, and he concedes that he relishes a similar element of risk and adrenaline as an actor. A friend recently e-mailed McGregor a link to a clip from one of his earlier film performances, in Velvet Goldmine, which he hadn’t seen in more than a decade. In it he gave a seat-of-his-pants, live concert performance before hundreds of extras in character as a Ziggy Stardust-esque ’70s glam rocker. “It was like watching someone else, because I haven’t seen it for so long,” he laughs. “That was one of those moments where you don’t know what’s gonna happen… Those little moments that you know came out of putting yourself on the line to do it, really. I still like that; I still like leaving my trailer, not knowing what’s going to happen, and coming back an hour later going, ‘That was interesting—I didn’t know that was going to happen.’ I love that part of it.”
Risk appears to suit him—especially now as he approaches nearly two decades in front of the camera. His early career was filled with an impressive array of diverse performances, from early stints for director Danny Boyle in Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, and A Life Less Ordinary to adventurous studio films with auteur-directors: Moulin Rouge! for Baz Luhrmann, Black Hawk Down for Ridley Scott, Big Fish for Tim Burton, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy for George Lucas. But in contrast to the career arcs of a good portion of his contemporaries, McGregor has not only remained in constant demand—he looks 10 years younger than his age—he’s been turning out even more challenging work in recent years. His performances in The Ghost Writer, Beginners, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen are as rich and varied as anything he delivered as a young, fresh face in Hollywood.
McGregor’s latest film is easily his most harrowing since Black Hawk Down. The Impossible tells the gut-wrenching tale of a Western family on Christmas vacation in Thailand, when they’re caught in the onslaught of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In a fictionalized version of events that befell a real family, he and Naomi Watts—his costar in 2005’s Stay—find themselves agonizingly separated from each other and their three children by the maelstrom, struggling to stay alive and both desperate and terrified to learn what fates may have befallen their loved ones.
“There was something unusual about it,” he says of his first reaction to the screenplay. “I didn’t know what it was at first, but there were some lines of dialogue that were really startling in their honesty. I didn’t know that it had been written from a real family’s perspective when I read it. And then I later found out a lot of the lines of dialogue are, in fact, lines that the family members remember saying or remember hearing said. And that makes sense of it, in a way... This is an exploration of that unique, powerful bond we have with our kids, albeit in this extreme backdrop.”
“I was looking for someone whom I could really empathize with in an easy way, to have a sense of intimacy with,” says the film’s director, Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage). “The kind of actor like Spencer Tracy or Gregory Peck: these very human people, humble, and with great novelty. Even though Ewan has been in very different kinds of roles in his career, the kindness and goodness in his persona is what I was looking for.”
One aspect of the role that appealed to McGregor was the opportunity to play a father— something he’s yet to do, despite having four daughters (the eldest is 16, the youngest is not yet 2) in his off-camera life with wife Ève Mavrakis. “It’s the first time, really, in my work that I will have explored what it means to be a dad—and I’ve been one for 16 years!” he says. “I mean, I must’ve had kids in a film, but it’s never been what the films are about. [But] I’m a guy who lives his life with a partner and we have four children, so that’s at the heart of who I am. It’s the bedrock of who I am.”
While the role dramatizes one of any parent’s worst possible nightmares, it allowed McGregor to delight in the novelty of playing dad to three sons after being outnumbered, genderwise, in his own home—so much so that it was easier to respond naturally to the three young actors in his scenes rather than imagine the terror of his own offspring in danger. “On set I was so taken with my three boys in the film,” he says. “I enjoyed their company so much that I only had to think of them, really. I didn’t spend time on set thinking about my kids… It was so different. I really don’t know what that’s like, to have boys, so I enjoyed it because they’re such great boys.”
While his prolific output makes it seem like McGregor’s been working tirelessly in recent years, he’s actually enjoyed his first real hiatus in some time, summering in LA and Europe with his family and making the most of their time together. “I think it’s the longest time I didn’t work for my whole career,” he reflects. “My baby’s 21 months, so to spend the majority of this year with her at home and then on holiday, it’s just fun to have that kind of continuity with them. You’re not rushing off, coming back for a couple of weeks, rushing off again. To be solidly at home is a real treat. There was a time when I was working, working, working, and grabbing weeks at home here and there, and that’s not great for anybody.”
He’s got another high-profile feature on the way in director Bryan Singer’s fantasy Jack the Giant Killer, playing “a real gung-ho, Errol Flynn-type knight—but he then f’s up what he’s trying to do, so there was something a bit fumbly and daft about him that I really liked.” And he’s about to finish shooting the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County, opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and admits after some time off, “I’m itching to get back on set with really good actors and a really good role.”
Pondering the precise reasons for his current hot streak, McGregor decides that it’s not because Hollywood—the industry—has cracked the code on how to best utilize him. “I’ve never known or even had a sense that Hollywood did want to do anything with me,” he chuckles. “Hollywood’s so immediate. It’s about what you’re worth—that’s the sad truth—and when something doesn’t work… they’re like, ‘Okay— moving on!’” A few commercial-minded films that failed to be box-office hits a few years back may have cooled the industry’s ardor for him as a major movie star—one of the producers of The Island said as much in the press—but McGregor just kept seeking out parts that tested him, perfectly content with the job description of actor.
It’s a vocation he’d been dreaming of as far back as he can remember, and one that felt attainable even in his small Scottish hometown of Crieff; his parents were educators, but there were accomplished actors in the family. (His maternal uncle, Denis Lawson, was well-known in British film and TV, and played in all three of the original Star Wars films.) “I just didn’t ever consider the alternative. I always thought that it would work out—I didn’t imagine that it wouldn’t,” he recalls, leaving school early to pursue the stage. “But I always wanted to be making movies, and luckily it just all worked out. I don’t know that it matters where you come from—I don’t think it really does. What matters is what you can do in front of the camera, and what you’re like to work with.”
“Now I feel like I’m back in favor, if there is such a thing; the work that I’ve been doing lately has been well received,” he says with a characteristic enthusiasm. “[But] I always think I’m doing great, and I always did, even when I maybe wasn’t,” he chuckles. “But lately, I think it’s to do with age. I’ve caught up to the point where there’s more choice. There are really good roles now. In your late 30s and 40s, it starts getting really interesting, and I’ve had a chance to do some of that stuff lately.”
Having brushed off any career skids as easily as he did dumping his motorcycle, McGregor is back on the bike, eagerly revving his engine. He’s a distance rider. “I’m having the time of my life,” he says, adding, “but I feel like I always have been.”
Photography by Art Streiber; Styling by Ilaria Urbinati at The Wall Group; Grooming by Jenn Streicher for starworksartists.com
‘Jack The Giant Killer’ gets moved up three weeks and a new title
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 By Germain Lussier
With Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium moving back a few months from a previously announced March 2013 release date, the long delayed Bryan Singer film, Jack the Giant Slayer, is jumping on the opening. Previously scheduled for release on March 22, it’ll now be released March 1 and yes, the new title is “Jack the Giant Slayer,” as opposed to “Killer.” The film is reportedly more family friendly than the world “Killer” suggests.
Jack the Giant Slayer is an adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend starring Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and Ewan McGregor. Watch the trailer here. Thanks to THR.
Doting dad insists 180-mile cycle was 'worth it' to meet Sir Chris Hoy and raise cash for autistic son
3 Oct 2012 By Craig McQueen
Gly Morris rode for 18 hours in heavy rain just to get Hoy to sign a guitar he'll auction off having already got signatures from Billy Connolly and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Most people would get a good night’s sleep before meeting one of their sporting heroes but Glyn Morris decided on a 180-mile cycle instead.
The Forres dad-of-two is on a mission to get as many Scots celebrities as possible to sign a Saltire-emblazoned guitar so he can auction it off for the National Autistic Society Scotland.
And having secured some time with Sir Chris Hoy at the new Commonwealth Games velodrome in Glasgow, he decided pedal power would be the best way to get there.
The journey took him 18 hours in lashing rain and he arrived in Glasgow just before 5am yesterday.
“It was a case of mind over matter,” said Glyn. “I was relying on absolute determination.
“I couldn’t see the tarmac because of the water. It was sore on my face and I couldn’t wear glasses because it was too dark.
“So I was soaking wet and the gusts of wind coming in were incredible. I was going downhill and still pedalling hard because of it.”
The gruelling journey is the latest chapter in an extraordinary story which has so far seen Glyn secure the signatures of Ewan McGregor, Billy Connolly, Sir Alex Ferguson and Darren Fletcher.
But Glyn, 47, only came up with the idea of cycling to Glasgow five weeks ago. As a novice in the saddle, he enlisted the help of friend Anthony Hewitt, an experienced cyclist.
Glyn said: “Sir Chris is an absolute legend and such an inspiration that I decided to borrow a friend’s bike and start cycling.
“There was nothing confirmed with Sir Chris at that stage but I thought that just in case, I would get a bit of training in so I could at least make an attempt at cycling down to Glasgow. The most I’d ever cycled before was about three or four miles, so I’m not a cyclist at all.
“A couple of weeks in I bumped into someone from Elgin Cycling Club and he said I should join them on a 50km ride on a Sunday.
“It turned out to be 50 miles, so that was the longest ride I did before doing Inverness to Glasgow.
“They kept telling me that I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
And he was almost wishing he’d listened to that advice as he set off from Inverness in appalling weather.
He said: “We had to stop at Aviemore and stock up on wet weather gear but even that wasn’t good enough because it was so bad.
“Added to that there was a problem with Anthony’s bike. He only had two gears so he had to use my secondary bike. But there was a pint waiting for us when we arrived.
“I had a bath to warm myself up and then I got 90 minutes’ sleep before heading to the velodrome. But it was worth it to get that signature, and I’d do it again in an instant.
“Sir Chris was very welcoming and really friendly. We chatted about the ride from Inverness and he was genuinely interested in what we were doing. I think he was impressed that I’d made it in that time given that I’m a novice.”
Glyn’s autograph-collecting campaign is inspired by his son Gregor, 13, who has autism.
“Gregor was diagnosed when he was three,” Glyn said. “He’s non-verbal, he has epilepsy and he has balance impairment as well but we always focus on the things he can do. He’s a smart individual, he’s very happy and affectionate, and he’s overcome hypersensitivity to things such as loud noises. He’s also got an amazing photographic memory.
“He always needs one-to-one support but he’s a star.”
Together with wife Jennifer and daughter Emily, 10, he’s seen people react in different ways to Gregor but he was spurred on to take action when they were asked to leave a musical at a London theatre.
“The way Gregor communicates is very descriptive,” said Glyn. “For example, if he sees something green he likes to hear from me that it’s green. He can use soft vowel noises to communicate and we were at a musical when we were asked to leave because of a complaint from the sound engineer.
“But he wasn’t annoying anyone and audience members were very supportive. When I took part in radio phone-ins about it later on, I had audience members phoning in and backing us up.”
Glyn started a Facebook page which got 4500 followers and the support he gained resulted in the theatre, along with others, changing their policies.
Keen to do more, he hit upon the idea of auctioning an autographed guitar while he was doing a bit of work to help out at the RockNess music festival in June.
Glyn said: “I got it signed by Biffy Clyro, Kassidy and The View and as it was relatively easy to do I thought I’d do the same thing again. I’d had my eye on a guitar with a Saltire on it and decided the best thing was to get famous Scots to sign it.”
Ewan McGregor and Billy Connolly both invited Glyn to their family homes. Glyn said: “Ewan was an absolute star. He was really genuine and I had the pleasure of meeting his parents and some of his children as well.
“We went to Billy Connolly’s estate at Strathdon and he signed it there. He actually played the guitar as well, which was great.”
Glyn then scored a double when the Manchester United squad came to Aberdeen for a pre-season match along with boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
“They were playing in Neil Simpson’s testimonial in August, so it was a case of using contacts to try and get in there.
“Getting Darren Fletcher to sign it was a bonus. We wanted him to sign but we didn’t know if he would be there as he was still coming back from his illness.”
One star who has so far eluded Glyn is Andy Murray but he’s close to securing the signatures of golfing greats and music stars.
He said: “We’ve been given a definite from Colin Montgomerie and it looks pretty likely that we’ll be able to get Paul Lawrie to sign it later this month.
“Barbara Dickson and The Proclaimers have offered to sign it and we’re not stopping there.”
Once the guitar is covered in autographs, it’ll be put up for auction, with the cash raised going to help people with autism.
Glyn said: “Autism is very much a hidden disability and it comes down to education.
“We hear a lot more about it now but we can’t be complacent as there is still a lack of understanding, particularly among people who have never encountered anyone with autism before.”
Ewan McGregor has become the youngest actor to be given the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at Spain’s 60th San Sebastian International Film Festival.
McGregor, 41, was described as “one of the finest actors of his generation”.
“It was amazing arriving and feeling the wave of love from Spanish filmgoers,” McGregor said, adding: “Thank you”.
Other actors who have received the accolade include Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Woody Allen.
The San Sebastian festival runs in Spain’s Basque region until Saturday.
Ewan McGregor has been cast alongside Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County, the movie adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play that begins production September 24. The Weinstein Company made the announcement today.
McGregor will play Bill Fordham, the estranged husband of Barbara (Roberts) and son-in-law of pill-popping matriarch Violet Weston (Streep). A college professor, he left his wife for one of his students but wants to be there for his family. His marriage is disintegrating and his patience is running thin. McGregor, most recently seen in Beginners and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is up next in The Impossible, the Juan Antonio Bayona tsunami movie that just had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. He is repped by UTA and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, as well as United Agents in the UK.
MADRID – The 60th San Sebastian International Film Festival will pay tribute to Ewan McGregor with the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, organizers announced Tuesday, a day after revealing a special 60th Anniversary Donostia Award for Oliver Stone.
Calling the Scottish-born actor “one of the finest actors of his generation” and saying he “consistently captivates audiences with a diverse line-up of roles across a multitude of genres, styles and scope.”
With a string of roles ranging from the heroin-addicted Mark Renton in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting to the legendary Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars saga, to starring opposite Nicole Kidman in the musical Moulin Rouge, his diverse film credits also include Big Fish, Black Hawk Down, The Island and most recently Beginners.
McGregor will receive the award Sept. 27 while in San Sebastian for the European premiere of Juan Antonio Bayona’s much-anticipated The Impossible, in which McGregor stars opposite Naomi Watts in a drama based on a true story of one family’s terrifying account of the 2004 tsunami that swept through Southeast Asia while vacationing in Thailand.
San Sebastian runs from Sept. 21-29 in Spain’s northern Basque region.
End of the road for Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor
Saturday August 11,2012 By Lizzie Catt with Lisa Higgins and Jack Teague
Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s successful programme Long Way Round may be their last as Charley tells Day & Night that Ewan is too busy with his acting career.
Speaking ahead of his show at the Royal Court in London in October with Pilsner Urquell, the adventurer explains that best pal Ewan is flat out with acting and their travel plans require both of them to have plenty of free time.
“I think we’d both love to do that but it’s a big endeavour,” says Charley, 45. “It’s three months beforehand to plan and organise and then four months travelling and Ewan is on such a run of fantastic movies. I think eventually we’ll get it together. We both don’t feel there’s a rush to do it. It’ll happen – but when, who knows?”
But while Ewan, 41, is busy filming, it seems Charley can’t get enough of travelling the globe having just returned from filming in South Africa and tells us where he has his sights set next.
“I think Mexico or somewhere in South or Central America. The interesting thing about doing these sorts of things is that you walk away from that country having a greater understanding of the history and the people and you can get a real sense of the place.”
Olympic opening ceremonies: Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor lend their voices
Jul 26 2012 by Jeff Labrecque
Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor will narrate “a five-minute opus magnus” that will open NBC’s coverage of tomorrow night’s Summer Olympic opening ceremonies in London. Executive producer Jim Bell made the announcement during an afternoon conference call with media representatives. “It is pretty breathtaking,” he said. “I think it will give you a sense of the flavor of our coverage and the feeling we’re all having going into these games.”
Bell promised that London’s opening ceremonies will rival Beijing’s spectacle from the 2008 Games. “Having seen it … I can tell you that it includes some amazing moments,” said Bell, “including one that I think will be among the most astonishing and memorable in opening-ceremony history, and one that people will be talking about for years to come.”
The four-and-half hour opening ceremonies, which will air tape-delayed in the United States beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, will be co-hosted once again by Bob Costas and Matt Lauer. On Monday, Costas told reporters that he intended to implement his own moment of silence into the telecast to honor the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Games in Munich, since the IOC declined to recognize it in the opening ceremony, opting for a low-key tribute Monday at the Olympic Village instead. “Many people find that denial [to recognize the 1972 tragedy] more than puzzling but insensitive,” Costas said.
Bell said that Costas did not consult with NBC before making his comments, but shrugged off concerns. “I think if there’s anybody who knows how to handle himself in that situation and have the right approach and tone, it’s Bob and Matt,” said Bell. “You’ll have to watch the coverage; it will be a measured and balanced approach with the proper tone for that moment.”