Ewan McGregor


Ewan McGregor

Infobox Actor
name = Ewan McGregor



caption = McGregor at the "Stormbreaker" premiere, July 2006
birthname = Ewan Gordon McGregor
birthdate = birth date and age|1971|3|31|df=yes
birthplace = Crieff, Scotland
deathplace =
othername =
yearsactive = 1993–present
spouse = Eve Mavrakis (1995–present)
homepage =
academyawards =
emmyawards =
tonyawards =
awards = Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2001 "Moulin Rouge!"

Ewan Gordon McGregor (born 31 March 1971; pronEng|ˌjuːən məˈgrɛgər) [See cite web|url=http://inogolo.com/pronunciation/d1041/Ewan_McGregor|title=Pronunciation of Ewan McGregor|accessdate=2008-07-09|publisher=Inogolo] is a Scottish actor, who has had significant success in mainstream, indie and art house films. He is perhaps best known for playing the lead role in Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting", his portrayal of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy of "Star Wars", his role as the romantic penniless writer, Christian, in the 2001 award-winning "Moulin Rouge!", and his motorcycle adventures with friend Charley Boorman in "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down". He is due to appear in the upcoming films "I Love You Phillip Morris" and "Amelia", and will portray Carlo Ventresca in the film adaption of "Angels & Demons", awaiting release in 2009.

Aside from his film work, McGregor has starred in theatre productions of "Guys and Dolls". He also appeared in television series such as "The Scarlet and the Black", "Lipstick On Your Collar", "Tales from the Crypt", and "ER". He was ranked No.36 in "Empire" magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000191/bio|title=Biography for Ewan McGregor|accessdate=2008-01-23|publisher=IMDB.com] In his personal life, McGregor has admitted to once being an alcoholic and battling with depression.

Biography

Early life and career

McGregor was born in the Perth Royal Infirmary, was brought up in the nearby small town of Crieff, Scotland, and went to the independent fee-paying school Morrison's Academy. His mother, Carol Diane (née Lawson), is a teacher and school administrator, and his father, James Charles Stuart McGregor, is a physical education teacher. [cite web | url = http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/ewan_mcgregor_biog.html | title = Ewan McGregor biography | work = tiscali.co.uk | accessdate = 2008-01-15] [cite web | url = http://www.filmreference.com/film/99/Ewan-McGregor.html | title = Ewan McGregor Biography (1971-) | work = filmreference.com | accessdate = 2008-01-15] His mother is the sister of actor Denis Lawson,cite web|url=http://www.hellomagazine.com/profiles/ewanmcgregor/?|title=Hello Magazine Profile - Ewan McGregor|accessdate=2008-07-09|work=Hello Magazine] the sister-in-law of the late actress Sheila Gish, and the step-aunt of the late Lou Gish. McGregor attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1988 to study drama. Six months before graduating, he won a leading role in Dennis Potter's six-part BBC series "Lipstick on Your Collar", and has been working steadily ever since. McGregor made his feature film debut in 1993 in Bill Forsyth's "Being Human".cite web|url=http://www.hellomagazine.com/profiles/ewanmcgregor/?view=jobs|title=Hello Magazine Filmography - Ewan McGregor|accessdate=2008-07-09|work=Hello Magazine] The following year, he earned widespread praise and won an Empire Award for his performance in the thriller "Shallow Grave", [cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Empire_Awards_UK/1996|title=Empire Awards, UK: 1996|accessdate=2008-07-09|publisher=IMDB.com] which marked his first collaboration with director Danny Boyle. His major international breakthrough soon followed with the role of heroin addict Mark Renton in Boyle's film version of Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting" (1996).

Leading man

McGregor has been featured as the male romantic lead in Hollywood films such as "Moulin Rouge!" and "Down With Love", and in the British film "Little Voice". He received excellent reviews for his performance as an amoral drifter mixed up in murder in the Scottish film "Young Adam" (2003), which co-starred the acclaimed British actress Tilda Swinton. [cite web|first=Matthew|last=Slater|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/entertainment/3143170.stm|title=Young Adam's dark tale|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2003-10-09|publisher=BBC] [cite web|first=Adam|last=Dawtrey|url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117892711.html?categoryid=1246&cs=1|title=Thomas' distrib misstep|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2003-09-21|work=Variety]

He took on the role of a younger Obi-Wan Kenobi in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, a role originally made famous by Sir Alec Guinness in the original "Star Wars" films. McGregor took very special care (especially in "") in his portrayal of Kenobi to ensure that Obi-Wan's mannerisms, speech timings, and accents closely resemble Obi-Wan's "Alec Guinness Self". [cite video|year=2005|title=Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Web Documentaries of "Revenge of the Sith" DVD|medium=DVD|publisher=20th Century Fox] In appearing in "Star Wars" films, he was continuing a family tradition of sorts: his uncle, Denis Lawson, had played Wedge Antilles in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. [cite video|year=2004|title=Star Wars Trilogy|medium=DVD|publisher=20th Century Fox] McGregor was offered the lead role as James Bond in the 2006 reboot "Casino Royale" but he turned it down because he feared becoming typecast. [cite news | title = 007 role offered to Ewan | url = http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/2006/10/23/007-role-offered-to-ewan-89520-17976644/ | publisher = Daily Mirror | first = Robert | last = Stansfield | date = 2006-10-23]

McGregor is one of the few major male actors to repeatedly do full-frontal nudity in many of his films, including "Trainspotting", "Velvet Goldmine", "The Pillow Book", and "Young Adam".cite web|first=Nigel|last=Farndale|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2003/09/13/bfewan09.xml&page=1 |title=McGregor the brave|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2003-09-13|work=Telegraph] He also played gay and bisexual characters in Peter Greenaway's "The Pillow Book" (1996) and Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine" (1998).

In 2005, McGregor lent his voice to two successful animated features; the robot Rodney Copperbottom in "Robots", which also featured the voices of Halle Berry and Robin Williams; [cite web|first=Peter|last=Hartlaub|url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/03/11/DDGR8BLNC219.DTL&type=movies|title=It's a bucket of bolts that rattles agreeably. 'Robots' mingles brass, laughs and, yes, Robin Williams|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2005-03-11|work=San Francisco Chronicle] and the lead character in Gary Chapman's "Valiant", alongside Jim Broadbent, John Cleese and Ricky Gervais. [cite web|first=Stephen|last=Holden|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/19/movies/19vali.html?ex=1282104000&en=3132d224e8bfc4c4&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss|title=Thse Brave Pigeons Are Doing Their Part for the War|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2005-08-19|work=New York Times] Additionally in 2005, McGregor played two roles (one a clone of the other) opposite Scarlett Johansson in Michael Bay's "The Island" and then appeared in Marc Forster's "Stay", a psychological thriller co-starring Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling. [cite web|first=Paul|last=Clinton|url=http://edition.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Movies/07/22/review.island/|title='Island' just interesting enough|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2005-07-22|publisher=CNN] [cite web|first=Manohla|last=Dargis|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/21/movies/21stay.html|title=Something Is Happening, but Who Knows What It Is?|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2005-10-21|work=New York Times]

McGregor has narrated the STV show "JetSet", a Scottish series following the lives of student pilots and navigators at RAF Lossiemouth as they undergo a gruelling six-month course learning to fly the Tornado GR4—the RAF's primary attack aircraft. [cite web|url=http://www.stv.tv/tv/TV_Miscellaneous/JetSet/Episode1|title=Ground School|accessdate=2008-07-10|date=2007-07-27|publisher=STV] In theatre, he starred alongside Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge, and Jenna Russell in the original Donmar Warehouse production of "Guys and Dolls"cite web|url=http://www.guysanddollsthemusical.com/|title="Guys and Dolls" musical|accessdate=2008-07-09|publisher=Guys and Dolls the Musical] in London at the Piccadilly Theatre. He played the leading role of Sky Masterson, made famous by Marlon Brando in the movie, and he received the LastMinute.com award for Best Actor in 2005. [cite news | title = McGregor wins theatre award | url = http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/McGregor-wins-theatre-award.2672382.jp | publisher = Scotsman | date = 2005-10-25 | first = Anita | last = Singh] He was also nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. [cite web | title = The nominees and winners of the 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards | url = http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/awards/winners/display?contentId=90839 | publisher = The Society of London Theatre | accessdate = 2008-01-15] McGregor appears opposite Colin Farrell in "Cassandra's Dream", [cite web|first=Roger|last=Moore|url=http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_7991699|title="Dream" gives wakeup call to Woody Allen|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2008-01-29|publisher=Denver Post|work=The Orlando Sentinel] and will co-star with Daniel Craig in Dan Harris' upcoming film adaptation of Glen Duncan's novel "I, Lucifer".

From December 2007 to February 2008, he starred as Iago in "Othello" at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona,cite news | title = Ewan McGregor returns to London stage for minimum wage | url = http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/12/arts/EU-A-E-STG-Britain-People-McGregor.php | publisher = International Herald Tribune | date = 2007-05-12] [cite news | url = http://www.broadway.com/Gen/Buzz_Story.aspx?ci=547979 | title = Ewan McGregor to Play Iago in Othello at London's Donmar | publisher = Broadway.com | date = 2007-05-11] a role he will reprise on BBC Radio 3 in May 2008.

Personal life

On 22 July 1995, in a village in France, McGregor married Eve Mavrakis, a French production designer, who he met while filming a guest appearance on the British television series "Kavanagh QC". They have two daughters together, Clara Mathilde (born February 1996) and Esther Rose (born 7 November 2001).cite web|url=http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800019128/bio|title=Ewan McGregor Biography|accessdate=2008-07-09|publisher=Yahoo!] In April 2006, McGregor and his wife adopted Jamiyan, a four-year-old girl from Mongolia (born June 2001).cite web|authors=Stephen M. Silverman and Pete Norman|url=http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1183096,00.html|title=Ewan McGregor Adopts a Daughter|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2006-04-12|work=People] They currently reside in North London. McGregor refuses to talk about his family in interviews; "because it's private."cite web|url=http://www.cineman.ch/en/entertainfo/ewan-mcgregor.html|title=Ewan McGregor|accessdate=2008-01-23|publisher=Cineman] During the "fly-on-the-wall" filming of preparation for the "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down" journeys, McGregor went to great lengths to keep his children and information that could reveal the location of his house away from the cameras. Unlike travelling companion Charley Boorman, whose daughters often appeared in front of the cameras, McGregor's children were not present at the send-off or any other filmed parts of either adventure.

A keen motorcyclist since his youth, McGregor undertook a marathon motorcycle trip with his friend Charley Boorman and cameraman Claudio von Planta in 2004. From mid-April to the end of July, they travelled from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Russia (including Siberia), Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Canada on BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycles, for a cumulative distance of 22,345 miles (35,960 km). [cite web|url=http://www.longwayround.com/press/october2004/DailyTelegraph_16thOctober.pdf|title=Long Ride to Self Discovery|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2004-10-14|publisher=Long Way Around|work=Telegraph] The trip formed the basis of a television series and a best-selling book, both called "Long Way Round". En route the "Long Way Round" team took time out to see some of UNICEF's work in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. The "Long Way Round" team reunited in 2007 for another motorcycle trip from John o' Groats in Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa. The journey, entitled "Long Way Down" lasted from 12 May until 5 August 2007.cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/05_may/15/long.shtml|title=Ewan McGregor gets back on his bike – this time for BBC Two|accessdate=2008-01-23|date=2007-05-15|publisher=BBC]

McGregor once criticized fellow Scottish actor Sean Connery, saying that he resented being told how to feel about Scotland "by someone who hadn't lived there in 25 years". However, he later apologised to Connery, after Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, for whose party Connery is an occasional spokesman, contacted him about the statement. [cite news | url=http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=515&id=762612003 | publisher = Scotland on Sunday | title=The force is with him | last=Synnot | first=Siobhan | date=2003-07-13 | accessdate=2007-06-07]

McGregor's brother, Colin, is a Tornado GR4 pilot in the Royal Air Force.cite news | url = http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2006/09/18/ewan-felt-the-force-of-my-lightsaber-66633–17767019/ | title = Ewan felt the force of my lightsaber | publisher = Daily Record | date = 2006-09-18 | first = Ben | last = Spencer] Colin joined the motorcycle team during the early stages of the "Long Way Down" journey. His father Jim McGregor also rode on sections of both "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down", while his mother Carol surprised him in the latter stages of his African journey, serving him a can of Coca-Cola at a lodge in Malawi.cite episode |title=Long Way Round |episodelink= |series=Long Way Round |serieslink= |credits=Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian, and Russ Malkin |network= |station=Sky One |airdate=2004-10-18 |season= |seriesno= |number= |minutes=42 ] cite episode |title=Long Way Down |episodelink= |series=Long Way Down |serieslink= |credits=Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian, and Russ Malkin |network=BBC Two |station= |airdate=2007-10-28 |season= |seriesno= |number= |minutes= ]

In an episode of "Parkinson" in 2007, McGregor claimed that he has given up alcohol after a period where he was arguably a functioning alcoholic, and that he has not had a drink in seven years. [cite web|author=C Taylor|url=http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/38707/ewan-mcgregor-admits-to-drink-problem|title=Ewan McGregor Admits To Drinking Problem|accessdate=2008-07-09|date=2007-11-17|publisher=Entertainment Wise] He has since been relatively open about his battles with clinical depression. [cite web|url=http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/celebrity/Ewan+McGregor-4867.html|title=Ewan McGregor|accessdate=2008-07-09|publisher=Female First] In 2008, he had a cancerous mole removed from underneath his right eye. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7360233.stm|title=McGregor fine after cancer scare|accessdate=2008-04-22|publisher=BBC]

Filmography

Television

*"The Scarlet and the Black" (1993)
*"Lipstick On Your Collar" (1993)
*"Tales from the Crypt" - "Cold War" (1996)
*"ER" (1997)
*"Long Way Round" (2004)
*"Long Way Down" (2007)
*"Star Wars live-action TV series" (2009 or 2010)

Discography

*"Gimme Danger" single (Soundtrack for movie Velvet Goldmine Cover version of original song by The Stooges - 1998)
*"TV Eye" single (Soundtrack for movie Velvet Goldmine Cover version of original song by The Stooges - 1998)
*"Come What May" Single (Duet with Nicole Kidman - October 2001) UK #27
*"Your Song" single
*"Elephant Love Medley" single (Duet with Nicole Kidman - October 2001)

References

Further reading

*Adams, Billy. "Ewan McGregor: The Unauthorized Biography". Overlooks Press, 1999. ISBN 0879517042
*Bassom, David. "Ewan McGregor: An Illustrated Story". Hamlyn, 1999. ISBN 0600596532
*Jones, Veda Boyd. "Ewan McGregor". Facts On File Inc., 1999. ISBN 0791055019
*Nickson, Chris. "Ewan McGregor: An Unauthorized Biography". Macmillan, 1999. ISBN 0312969104
*Pendreigh, Brian. "Ewan McGregor". Thunder's Mouth Press, 1999. ISBN 1560252391
*Robb, Brian J. "Ewan McGregor: From Junkie to Jedi". Plexus, 1999. ISBN 0859652769

External links

*imdb name|id=0000191|name=Ewan McGregor
*voice actor|id=4268|name=Ewan McGregor
*ymovies name|1800019128


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