EWAN MCGREGOR: Scotland’s first man – Exclusive video interview

Contributed by Nicol WistreichI’d kept myself eerily cool right up until the moment he walked in the room.In those few brief seconds, it suddenly hit me. This is Renton. Sure there’s Star Wars and Big Fish and Robots and Moulin Rouge and even Shallow Grave. But Trainspotting was the film that made me and everyone I knew at that time sit up and say ‘hot shit that’s a good British film’ – and Ewan was what made it. And before that I can still remember sitting down to watch my first Dennis Potter series and seeing McGregor, brylcreamed-back hair, calmly stiring a cup of teain Lipstick on Your Colllar and wondering – who is that guy that make me have to watch every move he makes?Yet from the first email to his agent, then his publicity officer, right through to the email that sounded almost as suprised as I was when I read it: ‘Ewan has said he’ll do this’, it was just another interview. But there are some actors who you feel like you’ve grown up with, become an adult with, and as he walked in the back room of the Soho club we met at, hand thrust forward, I finally got those eery spine sweating shivers.He’d agreed to do the interview – not connected to any film release – for a documentary I was making for TAG Theatre while launching Netribution at the start of the year. TAG is Scotland’s longest running theatre in education company, and travels the country engaging with kids and exciting them about life and learning and – at its best – making them feel that expressing themselves creatively is a good thing. As I made the film I became converted to the overwhelming benefits of drama for young people – it boosts confidence, social skills, imagination, emotional inteligence, awareness, empathy and so on. It also – to get a bit academic – can teach something to a kid regardless of their learning style (some students need to act out, others need to listen, others need to write things down, etc) which may not sound like much but if you have to engage a class of 30 completely distinct children without the use of a cane, it’s kind of a god send.Thanks to Roberta for sending the interview 🙂

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