Ewan McGregor PROFILE (2)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Personal Quotes

Actually, I really want to play Princess Leia. Stick some big pastries on my head. Now, that would be interesting.

I'm doing my bit for the women's movement. The women have always been naked in movies and now I'm just desperate to take my clothes off as much as possible.

I've been waiting nearly twenty years to have my own light saber. Nothing's cooler than being a Jedi Knight.


"Isn't Halle Berry the most beautiful woman? I have a film I'd like to be in her with. I mean, I'd like to be with her in" - At the 2002 Golden Globe Awards commenting to Melissa Rivers on Halle Berry, who just walked by.

It's a great feeling of power to be naked in front of people. We're happy to watch actual incredible graphic violence and gore, but as soon as somebody's naked it seems like the public goes a bit bananas about the whole thing.

I won't buy into the Hollywood thing...I want to be in good movies.

I was with a friend of mine recently who was dying and while he was lying there with his family around his bed, I just knew that was it, that was the best you can hope for in life - to have your family and the people who love you around you at the end.

I fight cynicism. It's too easy. It's really boring. It's much harder to be positive and see the wonder of everything. Cynicism is a bunch of people who aren't as talented as other people, knocking them because they make them feel even more untalented.

[My fans] say, 'I've seen Star Wars and Moulin Rouge!. What else should we try to see you in?' I always tell 'em to get The Pillow Book (1996). That would be a bit of an eye-opener for them, wouldn't it?

My uncle would appear back from London, where he lived in the 70s, in sheepskin waistcoats and beads and no shoes. As an actor he had something about him that I liked and wanted to have. So that's one element: to be like my uncle, to be different

My brother is two years older than me and he was brilliant at everything, it seemed. He was captain of the cricket and rugby teams. We had this rather archaic system of head boys and prefects at my school. I was in my fourth year - in Scotland we finish school in our sixth year - and my brother had become head boy and brilliant at everything: academia, sports. In fact, all the things I wasn't good at. Then he left and I couldn't get my head round anything, so I became depressed and got in trouble a lot. I remember my mother driving me one night through heavy rain, with the windscreen wipers going. It was the first half term of my fifth year and she said that she'd spoken to my dad and that I could leave school if I wanted to. I'd only assumed that I'd have to stick it out until I was 18, but here I was being offered the chance to leave at 16. My whole world opened up. I couldn't believe it. And I was out, as soon as she said those words.

It taught me a lesson which was an actor should not say, "I won't do that." Once you've agreed the script, you must be willing to go as far as it needs to go on set. With some directors, you do the scene and they say that it's fine, but you think to yourself, "Is that really enough? Is there not more?"

It's not my job to try and alter the director's style - he's in charge, and I'll always give him my trust. I think what happens is that you learn how to deal with it if you're not getting the support you need or if you're not being pushed. Occasionally you're doing two jobs at once: you're fooling the director into thinking you've taken his note while doing what you think is better. It hasn't happened very often, but it's an awful thing when you lose your trust in a director. But it's not for me to say.

...as an actor there's nothing better than a great moody moment to play with nothing to say. It's so much easier to do because you can really get inside your head.

That was my challenge - to be a young Alec Guinness. People would come up and say to me, "You sound a bit like Alec Guinness. Did that just happen?" No! It's my job, you know? The thrilling bit about it was I immersed myself in Alec Guinness movies, and I found this great one called The Promoter (1952). God, it's a brilliant film.

Then I watched the first episode of Star Wars over and over again. I loved it as a kid. It was a bit funny to be paid for it. I'd say to my wife, "I've got to go and watch Star Wars again, Sorry. I just haven't quite got it..." Brilliant.

Doing the second one was interesting, because I'd never had to go back to play a character again. It was three years between the two episodes. It was a bit easier because I was more used to the technical demands. In other films you rehearse, crack the scene and shoot it. In Star Wars, that's not the case. It's a very different process with an enormous amount of blue-screen work. It's very difficult - you play scenes with people who aren't there. [on 'Attack of the Clones']

Acting to mid-air is odd. There's a perverse pleasure to it when you get it right, but often you don't. Aliens are really hard. On the second one [Star Wars: Episode II] I was doing the scene with those tall ones - actually, I quite fancied the female one - and they've got actors there who will actually be providing the voices for the characters. They wore blue hard hats with cardboard cut-outs of heads taped on top of them. So you've got to remember not to talk to the people but to talk to the hats.

I love talking to kids about it, because they have great questions about how things work: "Do you have your lightsabre with you?" [on Star Wars Episode I & II]

It's strange to explain off camera what you have done in this or that scene. How redundant, like an artist explaining his painting. As much as I like watching movies I've been in, I can't watch myself in interviews. People shouldn't know how we do it.

I am a married man. I haven't been personally involved with all my leading ladies. It would maybe be somewhat glamorous if I had been, but I have not.

Film-making is like a series of problems that need to be solved. And the excitement, the adrenaline that you get from making a small film is that you all have to pull together. You finish and you feel like you're walking away from your family. I love that.

I've always thought as an actor, I'm not very clever about that, not very clear on it. My choices aren't about `OK, if I choose this film, that will let me carry on,' you know. Whether it is a big budget movie or a small budget movie, that isn't part of my decision.

Movies are so draining. They pull away from the actor, but theater just fills you up. I needed my fix.

The guy who's creating that character will create their responses off how you respond to their responses which aren't there. It's a nightmare! - about acting with digital characters in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

"I like George Lucas and Tim Burton because there's no messing about. No 100 takes of me walking through a door. They know what they want and when they get it, we move on. Naming no names but, with some directors, it's take after take and take 22 is the exact same as the first one".

In real life, you don't get up with the sheet after you've had sex. It's not like I'll play a carpenter and wear nothing but a tool belt while constructing a dresser. That's just not safe. Aussie Who Weekly 2002

I needed to go and just find out exactly what it meant to be out and having fun in a kind of hedonistic and debauched environment. That's right, something I wasn't familiar with. [on researching for Moulin Rouge]

Starting with a party scene for 600 cast and end up singing on top of a giant elephant...does it get any better than this? [On Moulin Rouge! (2001)].

Lying down from 50 feet, I was perfect. So I could really kill someone. Which is always good to know [On learning how to use a gun in Black Hawk Down (2001)].

Nicole, Knickers, as I call her. I would swear, burp and fart in front of her. I'd try and embarrass her and she would pretend to be shocked. I always played up on that. It was a real elder sister-younger brother relationship.

There is some really good crack when I come back here. This is where I learned to swear. [on coming home to Scotland.]

I smoke a lot. I drink far too much-I don't exercise. I torture small animals. [Ewan On his sex appeal]

An airport customs inspector once recognized me from Trainspotting and strip searched me looking for drugs.

I'm naked a lot of the time, and they don't try to frame planted pots in front of my dick like they do in most other films. It's all part of the story, but they don't zoom in on it or anything and go, 'Cock shot!' I've been naked in almost everything I've been in, really. I have it written into my contract.

My dad saw my full package in The Pillow Book (1996) and said 'I'm glad to see you inherited one of my major attributes'.

I hated Clueless (1995) with a passion. I thought it would have been a really good film if someone had blown her head off at the end with a really huge gun. I mean, this rich bitch suddenly becomes charitable and then she's okay? And then there's the token black friend. It was so corrupt, so L.A., I hated it.

I've always wanted to go to Hollywood, drive big cars and be in big movies. But I hope I won't do just any film to become a star. I just want to carry on working, acting. I don't want to direct or write. I think making films is brilliant. I get excited just going on a film set. Going on location is amazing, hanging about with all these film people doing their thing. If I bump into a star I get all star-struck.

He's quite the gentleman, Obi-Wan. But I don't think he'd have any problems pulling if he wanted to. You know, as a Jedi, he's not allowed to fall in love or get involved with that. So I suppose by now, he's just got really big balls. Empire Magazine June, 2002

I started watching golf for the first time yesterday. I'm really worried about myself. I was actually enjoying it.

My lightsaber flew out of my hands. No one tells you the sabers have about 10 'D'batteries in them. They burn your hands... I tossed the saber in the air and it ended up hitting a technician in the head. [Twist Magazine]

He's quite extraordinary with his moves and spins. I think he was a baton girl in a past life [on his co-star Hayden Christensen].

I've got a black woolen hat and it's got Pervert written across the front of it. It's the name of the clothing label. And I was with my wife and my baby at the supermarket and I didn't think. I just put my hat on Clara's head, because it was cold. And the looks. I couldn't figure out why I was getting death looks. And then I realized my 10-month old baby's wearing a hat with the word Pervert written on it and these people were like, 'There's Satan! There's Satan out with his kid!' And then I made a point of her wearing it every time we went there [On an experience during the filming of A Life Less Ordinary (1997) in Utah].

People are incredibly rude about it sometimes. Like, 'What? You're married?' Strange reaction to have. Proves what people's ideas about marriage are. 'We're having a baby.' 'What?' As if it's the end of the world. Of course, it's the start of a brilliant world.

From Velvet Goldmine (1998), I got fond of wearing nail polish and eye makeup. I used to wear it quite a lot. We all wear makeup when we go to events - men and women alike. I've also had some good makeup artists, and I like to let them have a good time. I don't think we should pretend we're not wearing makeup when we are. I quite like the look of it.

When I played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, I had to transform myself into a young Alec Guinness. I watched his early work to see what he was like on screen. It is interesting how he is only remembered by people younger than myself for appearing in Star Wars. He played a wealth of characters in lots of films - it was like he was the British film industry.

[on his decision to quit cigarettes and alcohol] I wasn't someone who could smoke or drink in moderation, and I recognized that those things would kill me. I started visualizing the doctor telling me that I had cancer from smoking or that I was extremely ill because of how much I'd been drinking. What kind of regret would I have if I had to tell my children or my wife that I was dying because of something I could have done something about? I didn't want to be that kind of man.

In your 20s, you spend a lot of time being self-conscious about what other people think of you. Then you hit your mid-30s and start to realize they weren't really thinking about you that much.

[on rejecting the idea of a Trainspotting (1996) sequel] I wouldn't want to damage Trainspotting (1996)'s reputation, because it was an amazing film and a very important film of its time, a very important film for me and... a very important film for British cinema. I wouldn't want to leave people remembering a poor sequel rather than leaving its reputation where it sits at the moment, which is kind of a phenomenal film.

There was talk that Disney fended off the release [of I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)] until after A Christmas Carol (2009) came out. They didn't want kids thinking [Jim Carrey's] "Ebenezer Scrooge" was a bender.

[on I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)] - I'm very keen that it's a gay movie. There was quite a lot of talk at Sundance (in 2009) that 'Well, it's not a gay movie. It's a film about guys who happen to be gay'. And I was thinking, it's nothing but a gay movie. It's about a gay couple, about a man's sexuality, and he comes out. It's not the point of the film, but let's not pretend it's not a gay film.

I like kissing boys on screen. As a straight guy, it's quite an interesting proposition. Anything on a film set that takes you by surprise like that, that gets your blood up, is good.

I'm always interested in playing different people, in different situations. It doesn't matter to me whether someone is in love with a man or a woman. I find the idea of love and romance interesting. I'm a sucker for it. I like playing someone who's falling in love because I like the sensation of it. People do extraordinary things when they're falling in love.

I go on my gut instincts. Occasionally, the thought of working for a director pricks up my ears, or being alongside an actor gets me interested, But if the story can't live in my head when I read the script, I feel I can't be bothered to live with it on set.

(May 2005) Starring as Sky Masterson in "Guys and Dolls" in London West End

(April 2006) He and his wife, Eve Mavrakis, adopted a four-year-old girl from Mongolia.

(May 2007) Left John O'Groats (Scotland) with friend and actor Charley Boorman, marking the beginning of their 15,000 miles long southward trip on motorbike, "Long Way Down" (2007) (May 12th, 2007).

(November 2007) Donmar Theatre, London West End, playing "Iago" in William Shakespeare's "Othello".

(May 2011) (May 22) Attended the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival for his film, Beginners (2010).

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