He’s fought with light sabres. He’s played soldiers in Morocco. He’s snogged Nicole Kidman. Are we jealous of EWAN McGREGOR? Too right we are. Words: Miles Fielder
‘m the wrong person to interview liwan McGregor: I hate him. There. It‘s not a particularly professional thing to write. but I can‘t help it. I hate liwan McGregor. Why'.’ Well. to begin with. I’m sitting in the impossibly swanky Dorchester Hotel on London‘s Park Lane. liwan is sporting his old 'lioinspotting scalped look. having just bugged out from Morocco where he was shooting Bltlt‘k/Hllt'k Down. Ridley Scott‘s war movie about America‘s 1993 involvement in Somalia in 1993. ‘We blew some shit up over there I'll tell you.‘ says the lad from (‘rieff all boyish charm and energy. ‘Massive amounts of explosions and gunshots: there’s never been a movie that‘s used as many rounds of ammunition as we just did. It was fucking great.‘
And so. later. when he says. ‘The way I‘ve always seen it. my job is to pretend to be different people; people fascinate me and that's one of the reasons I love acting so much’. I sit opposite him sulking. I‘m thinking. ‘I want to play with a big gun too‘. That‘s why I hate him. Pure jealousy.
Anyway. I ask him a question about his film just about to be released. This is Mon/in Rouge. Bax Romeo + Juliet l.uhrmann’s wildly. gloriously over-the-top musical in which the 19th century Parisian dance hall—cum-brothel is time-warped into New York‘s Studio 54 disco inferno or Manchester’s ecstatic I-lacienda. Did he have any idea of the kind of trip l.uhrmann was going to create‘.’ ‘Baz is an incredible visionary.‘ says liwan. ‘but his ideas will spill out in a tidal wave. Though I got the world he wanted to create.~
liwan understood even more of it after flying out to Australia to complete a two-week workshop of the film a few months before it went into production. ‘Me and j.
Nicole went out there [Did I mention liwan gets to fall in love Till-WEEK‘S???
with his co-star. Nicole Kidman‘.’ Did I mention I was jealous'.’l and worked on dancing set-pieces.’ The workshop ﬂaw r" ,g I “in y (_ mm - was to see how they were going to film these complex song Mil“? lgCLDMUUijﬁE-lf l QED and dance routines. but also to reduce the script which was M mg]: about 300 pages long: that‘s a five-hour film. a A m. e , fr
‘So after we‘d done that I had a pretty good idea of the Vgﬂggiﬁdnmgln The story and the scale of it.‘ says liwan. ‘But I didn't realise the Ml depth of the emotions until we were doingit. l m playing such am] rjhﬁmﬂ an open. innocent character — probably it s a lot of me coming ‘ ‘ 317 [p out — so it was quite vulnerable. That‘s all good as an actor amyﬂlﬂg litigath and good to watch in the cinema. I su ) )ose I imagined it was _ . 9 a musical and therefore was going tollie quite light — singing ewe?! dﬁmg and dancing and arsing around.‘
Here‘s the thing with liwan: he‘s just finished playing with millions of dollars‘ worth of big toy guns in Morocco. jtist about to be seen on the big screen wooing Hollywood’s leading lady. already made the most successful Scottish film ever and he‘s wielded a light sabre against the livil limpire — and for fuck's sake. he‘s still so sodding down to eaith. Singing and dancing and arsing around'.’ He‘s so friendly and open; there‘s absolutely no sign of fami)us-film-star-person ego about him. Someone. somewhere once said of actors that they gave their greatest performances during interviews. but liwan
saves his best work for the big screen. He's so bloody genuine. I hate him.
16 THE LIST ‘I I/x’) Sept 7001