Emma and sighs over Serpent’s Kiss, which competed in this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
No fears though about A Life Less Ordinary, his third film with the Trainspotting/ Shallow Grave team. In it he plays a sacked Scottish cleaner who ineptly kidnaps his ex- boss’s daughter, only to fall in love with her as they’re chased across America. It is McGregor’s best comic turn to date, and part of his on-screen assurance must come from the sense of place he feels when working again with director Danny Boyle.
‘lt’s more than just having worked with him three times now,’ the actor insists. ‘You want to push everything out for Danny anyway, so it could have been our first movie together. I’d do anything for him — paint my arse blue and run round naked in Central Park if he wanted me to.
‘There are definitely points in A Life Less Ordinary when you know it’s a funny bit, whereas in Trainspotting you weren’t so sure. I was more aware of being funny. if you like, but that isn’t done by trying to play the comedy. you’re still playing the characters in a real situation.‘
It’s not just Boyle and the usual crew who helped McGregor relax on set. He struck up a close relationship with co-star Cameron Diaz that has lingered long after the cameras stopped rolling. Not that there’s anything romantic in the air — the backbone of McGregor’s hectic professional life is his domestic bliss with French wife Eve Mavrakis and eighteen— month-old baby daughter Clara. while Diaz plans to marry actor Matt Dillon.
Their screen partnership makes perfect commercial sense. Like McGregor. Diaz is the hottest new kid on the block — only she’s American and female. After a jaw- dropping. tongue-lolling debut in The Mask. she made some well- chosen independent movies. and can be seen stealing My Best Friend’s Mir/ding right from under Julia Roberts’ nose. McGregor believes the pairing also had a personal touch.
‘There was such an case when we were doing the scenes together.’ he says. ‘She’s a special girl. really funny. She could have arrived with tons of Hollywood baggage and
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been arsy about this and that — you know the stories you hear. However. she absolutely threw herself into it and pushed the boat out with everyone else. You can see in some of the scenes we’re genuinely having a laugh with each other and that makes it so much warmer. There are real twinkles in our eyes.’
Earlier in the day, their ongoing repartee is in evidence at a press conference. McGrcgor treats the event as an excuse to throw away as many one—liners as possible — ‘You just act
'One journalist was really pushing for stuff. . . But all I said was, "Oh Cameron's great"
and everything. Then his tape ran out, so I looked at him and said, "And that was when
I fucked her."' Ewan McGregor
like a dick and hope everyone shuts up and goes away,’ he tells me later — while Diaz laps up each of his jokes with girly giggles and a gulping laugh that would make Sid James proud. Here they are on ‘being romantic’:
CAMERON: ‘I hate romance in real life. That’s why I make romantic films.’
EWAN: ‘I sent her flowers. I gave her
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CAMERON: ‘No, l’mjust teasing. I like to be made to feel special and I like to make other people feel special. and I think that’s what romance is — flowers and phone calls when you don’t need to be called. dropping off a note in the drawer that you’re not expecnngf
EWAN: ‘Notes in the drawer saying “Where’s my other sock‘.’”.’
And so on and so on. Aside from the japery, Diaz — a gorgeously slender 24-year-old — has obviously clicked into place with the team. and even watching Trainspotting before she met them didn’t colour her perceptions.
‘You can’t really judge people by their work.’ she says. ‘Of course you can see their personalities in the material that they choose. but you can’t really say how it’s going to be to work with them professionally. I try not to go into anything with expectations of relationships or what the experience is going to be like. I sort of let it happen as it goes.’
24 Oct—6 Nov 1997 THE [1379
. She never phones, she never