In a move not attempted by actors at San Diego Comic-Con, Trainspotting and Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Ewan McGregor took the stage at the Javits Centers today at New York Comic-Con to discuss himself, not struck work during what is the 92ned day of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
“This is the first thing like this I’ve done and it’s been a big decision to do it, but I really wanted to take part,” said McGregor who also didn’t represent or speak of any studio during the onstage convo.
“This is the first thing like this I’ve done and it’s been a big decision to do it, but I really wanted to take part,” the actor continued.
“It’s difficult for us to be up here and not be allowed to talk about our actual films,” he added, “I’m sure you would want to hear about (them) and so I apologize for that. But that’s just the way we have to do it, I suppose.”
McGregor’s appearance onstage came the following day after AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA contract talks broke down with the Fran Drescher-led guild accusing studios of using “bully tactics” and “the same failed strategy they tried to inflict on the WGA” to cripple the deliberations; the two sides uable to find a way to mutually cut the Gordian knot of SAG-AFTRA’s revenue-sharing proposal as well as the issue of AI.
The Scottish born thespian took time to reflect on his fellow actors’ pain: “This strike is very important. It’s very important that we are taking this action. There are so many things that have to be addressed that
have been left unaddressed for too long. It’s a shame that it’s taking the studios this length of time to come to some sort of resolution with us. But as a result, I’m 100%, behind the strike and involved
with my union.”
McGregor was largely hamstrung in the discussion, with the Halston Primetime Emmy winning actor limited to small chitchat, i.e. the type of oils he uses in his beard, how he takes no sugar or honey in his tea, and how it’s harder to dance than sing on set.
When it came to detailing some of his art, McGregor shared a story about playing Iago on stage opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
“Our production was very dark at the beginning of the play and it lights up. So by the time it’s the scene before the intermission the whole place is totally bright sunlight and you can see every person in the room,” said McGregor.
He added, “There’s a sort of unwritten rule when you go and watch an actor when you go and watch
somebody’s show. You either don’t tell them that you’re coming, just so that you don’t put people on edge or anything. So every night, I remember being in the middle of a soliloquy looking up and going, oh, that’s Jude Law . The worst one was I looked up and I saw Sir Peter Hall, who was like a legendary Shakespeare director…I was like am I breathing? I totally fell apart. My confidence was gone.”