I’ve added a few more portraits from the Film Independent Spirit Awards:
He was Obi Wan Kenobi, and he’s now playing Jesus in Sundance’s Last Days in the Desert, but Ewan McGregor tells Krista Smith he still got tongue tied when he met Prince Charles.
Have your doubts about that new Star Wars lightsaber? Well you’re not alone. Ewan McGregor, that’s right, Obi Wan Kenobi himself, jokingly says the updated design leaves much to be desired.
McGregor has moved on from his Kenobi days to play another famous robed figure in the sand: Jesus. The actor spoke with Vanity Fair senior west coast editor Krista Smith about his Sundance film Last Days in the Desert which he originally describes as just a story about a father and son. The film covers Jesus’s time in the wilderness before the beginning of his ministry and McGregor plays not only Christ, but Lucifer as well.
But the challenges of playing the Messiah may pale in comparison with the fright McGregor received in 2013 when getting an Order of the British Empire from Prince Charles. In the video above, McGregor goes into great detail about what the ceremony entails, should you ever find yourself in his shoes.
Ewan McGregor plays Jesus and Satan in this hushed, austere and stirringly beautiful drama from writer-director Rodrigo Garcia.
A filmmaker known primarily for his perceptive melodramas about women, from “Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her ” to “Mother and Child,” now turns his attention to a primal tale of fathers and sons — including the Son of Man himself — in “Last Days in the Desert,” a quietly captivating and remarkably beautiful account of Jesus’ time in the wilderness before the beginning of his ministry. Deliberately paced, sparely imagined and suffused with mystery, writer-director Rodrigo Garcia’s seventh feature is nonetheless quite lucid and accessible in its themes of empathy, compassion and sacrifice, and grounded by a Christ/Satan dual performance by Ewan McGregor that plays vastly better onscreen than it sounds on paper. While many will find the drama as arid as its parched surroundings, with a thoughtful and concerted marketing approach the picture might well appeal to art-minded nonbelievers and Christians open-minded enough to accept an off-Scripture narrative.
Certain to elicit the full range of reactions from the faithful and the skeptical alike, “Last Days in the Desert” approaches the figure of Christ — or Yeshua, as he’s referred to here — with tremendous care and tact, yet also with a scrupulous focus on his humanity rather than his divinity. Some may well discern a connection with “The Last Temptation of Christ,” though there’s nothing here that even remotely approaches that film’s controversy-stirring elements. This is a hushed, austere and surpassingly gentle treatment of a brief chapter of Jesus’ life — probably too subdued and speculative for those inclined to find profundity in the self-glorifying “realism” of “The Passion of the Christ,” but a vastly more considered and spiritually probing picture in every respect.
Tonight Ewan received the International Humanitarian Award for his work with UNICEF UK at the 2nd Annual Unite4Humanity. Here are pictures and more about his work below.
Ewan McGregor – Int’l Humanitarian Award
In our current debate about the efficacy of vaccinations, actor Ewan McGregor, having seen the ravages of polio up close, feels the matter is pretty clear-cut.
“I’ve seen it in Nepal and India and how close we are to having wiped out that disease completely, but not quite,” he says. “There’s still quite a bit of work to be done. You can’t tell the mother or the father of a child that’s been crippled with polio that vaccinations don’t work.”
McGregor, who acts as a roving ambassador for Unicef UK, should know. In 2004, he and buddy Charley Boorman trekked 20,000 miles across 12 countries on their BMW R1200 GS, their version of “The Motorcycle Diaries” chronicled in the documentary “The Long Way Around.” It was more than a freewheeling road trip; it was a wake-up call to human suffering that provided invaluable awareness to a charity that focuses on the plight of children in need.
In this and subsequent trips to remote regions of Ukraine, Uganda and Peru, they witnessed extreme poverty, learning difficulties, disease and kids from broken homes with nowhere to go.
“In America and in Europe, our way of life is such that it’s hard to imagine a village where there is no doctor or clean water, where if your baby gets sick, your baby dies and that’s it,” he says. “Yet it is the reality for so much of the world’s population. That’s why I think we have a responsibility to help.”
Louise O’Shea, spokeswoman for Unicef UK, calls McGregor the face of the org’s direct-response ads. “He fronted our appeal during the 2014 Commonwealth Games that raised £5 million,” she says. “His support for Unicef is like no other.”
Good evening, everyone!
My name is Annie and I’m the new webmaster of EwanMcGregor.net. Mariana has kindly agreed to let me take over the site after the long period of hiatus.
I’ll be working on bring the site back to it’s full glory, with a fully revamped and re-organized gallery, aswell updated news and information about Ewan.
Later tonight I’ll be bringing pictures from tonight’s Variety’s Unity4:Humanity Event where it honored, among others, Ewan, for his work with UNICEF UK.
Global philanthropy initiative unite4:good and Variety announced the honorees for the second annual unite4:humanity event on Feb. 19 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Seven entertainment figures will be recognized for their philanthropic work, including:
Halle Berry; Creative Conscience Award for her work with the Jenessee Center, a domestic violence intervention and prevention program Ewan McGregor; International Humanitarian Award for his work with UNICEF UK, an organization promoting the rights and well-being of children Lauren and Aaron Paul; unite2gether Award for their work with the Kind Campaign, a documentary and school campaign working to end girl-against-girl bullying P!nk, who will also perform at the event; Music Visionary Award for her work with No Kid Hungry, a campaign to end childhood hunger Josh Hutcherson; Young Humanitarian Award, for his work with Straight But Not Narrow, an LGBT ally organization for straight youth and young adults Christina Applegate; Saint Vintage Love Cures Award, for her work with Right Action for Women, her breast cancer awareness and action foundation
The event serves as a preview of the conference4:change, hosted by unite4:good, Variety and the University of Southern California’s Media Institute for Social Change at USC on Mar. 14. The conference bring together media figures including writers, directors, musicians, producers, actors and industry executives for discussion aimed at creating action for positive change.
“The mission of unite4:good is to empower people to give back and contribute to their communities through acts of kindness and service. Unite4:humanity will honor exemplary community heroes, and also recognize leaders in the entertainment arena who have used their influential voices for good while making a personal commitment to service,” said unite4:good founder Anthony Melikhov. “The entertainment industry has the most powerful reach of any in the world, and through this event and the conference4:change, we hope to inspire the industry to use its collective creative voice to highlight social causes, develop more avenues for positive content and truly unite to make a difference around the globe.”
UG4 Group is the presenting sponsor of unite4:humanity, with premiere sponsors including Champagne Piper-Heidsieck and Saint Vintage and official sponsors including Jet Edge International.
Ewan McGregor will make his directorial feature film debut in Lakeshore Entertainment’s “American Pastoral” in addition to starring with Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning.
The long-in-development project is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Philip Roth. Philip Noyce was previously attached to direct.
“Ewan’s talent goes far beyond his on-screen work and we’re excited to be working with a director who is as passionate as we are about telling the story of ‘American Pastoral,’” Lakeshore CEO Tom Rosenberg said.
“It’s a great privilege to be working with Lakeshore on Phillip Roth’s astounding novel ‘American Pastoral,’” McGregor said. “I’ve wanted to direct for years and wanted to wait until I found a story that I ‘had’ to tell and in this script I knew I had found that story.”
The screenplay was written by John Romano with filming scheduled for September in Pittsburgh, Pa. Producers aer Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.
The story follows Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, who grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business. His perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and committing a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.
Don’t don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere.
And Gertie knows about this open hiatus and kindly agreed with it and understood our reasons.