Ewan McGregor Network

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elcome to EwanMcGregor.net, the ultimate source for the Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. You may know him from movies like Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, Star Wars, The Impossible, Beginners, The Ghost Writer, among many others. Next, you can see Ewan next on Doctor Sleep and upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Series.
Posted by Annie on June 23, 2009

Ewan attended the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday – first the press conference for ‘Angels & Demons’, followed by the Closing Ceremony.

12th Shanghai International Film Festival – June 21, 2009

Posted by Annie on May 15, 2009

leaving the ABC studios

Ewan on “Good Morning America”

Posted by Annie on May 14, 2009

Angels, Heroin and Light Sabers
Ewan McGregor on Angels & Demons, Danny Boyle, and Obi Wan Kenobi.

Posted by Annie on May 14, 2009

IGN’s exclusive chat with the Angels & Demons actor.
by Jim Vejvoda

May 14, 2009 – IGN Movies chatted this morning with actor Ewan McGregor, who stars opposite Tom Hanks in director Ron Howard’s adaptation of the Dan Brown novel Angels & Demons. Please be advised that the following article contains SPOILERS.

Angels & Demons follows Harvard religious expert Robert Langdon (Hanks), who discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati. When Langdon learns that the clock is ticking on an unstoppable Illuminati time bomb set to destroy the organization’s enemy, the Catholic Church, he jets to Rome where he follows a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that mark the Vatican’s only hope for survival. The film begins with the death of a Pope and the ancient ritual of Conclave, the process by which the College of Cardinals elects a new Holy Father. The process is famous for being shrouded in secrecy, with the Cardinals secluded until their important work is completed. The only communication with the outside world comes in the form of smoke released from the Sistine Chapel. Dark smoke indicates that a two-thirds majority vote has not occurred, and white smoke (and, recently, bells) indicate that a two-thirds majority has been reached and a new Pope has been elected.

McGregor portrays Camerlengo Patrick McKenna in the film. “The camerlengo is the Pope’s right-hand man. His aide, his personal secretary, and he, under Vatican law, is in charge of the Vatican when the pope passes away until the new Pope is elected,” the actor explained. McKenna, however, isn’t in Brown’s book; his character’s function was served by Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca instead. “Well, in the book he’s Italian and probably older and Ron wanted him to be Irish. Just for the pace of the film they changed his backstory a little bit to help the story speed along,” the Scottish star said.

McGregor calls the relationship between the late Pope and McKenna “very close. The Pope is somebody who has a more liberal attitude towards science and feels that science, in fact, can help us understand God’s world and whereas Patrick, who I play, has a much more extreme, right-wing attitude towards things. The story is at the beginning of the movie scientists at CERN have created anti-matter and are nicknaming it ‘the God particle’ and my character feels that if scientists are able to claim the act of creation, what is left for God and what will happen to his church?”

McGregor is no stranger to big franchises, having starred in the Star Wars prequels. But the actor didn’t find his experience with that franchise particularly helpful in preparing him for the controversy and outrage that surrounds Dan Brown’s works. In fact, McGregor doesn’t view the film series based on Brown’s books to be a franchise at all. “I don’t see it as being any huge difference from any other films I make. I don’t feel like I’m stepping into a franchise. When I was offered the script, I was just stepping into the shoes of that character so that’s what grabbed me,” he explained. “To begin with, I don’t look at the project as anything other than that: the story and the characters and, of course, who’s directing and who is acting with you. But I think the idea of a franchise is all to do with how the film is perceived and sold afterwards. But it’s not like being offered a part in Spider-Man or Batman or something. It’s very different from that.”

The big draw for McGregor to make Angels & Demons was director Ron Howard. “I’ve wanted to work him for a long time and we were supposed to work together on a project some years ago but it didn’t end up happening and so I was thrilled to work with him on this. I think that’s where it came from to begin with, and then I liked the script. I felt it was a good page-turner, a really thrilling story and an interesting character to play.”

He added, “I’ve been directed by actors before and I’ve always felt it’s like a bonus, you know? It’s a good thing and certainly with Ron I felt like that. A director who knows how to act has an extra string in terms of helping you unlock a scene. I realized one day walking on-set and from my discussions with Ron, I knew the approach to play (the character) rather than just knowing what he wanted out of the scene. That’s always been my experience working with actors who then direct. There’s a really nice understanding of what they want you to do.”

Speaking of directors, McGregor is currently shooting The Ghost for Roman Polanski. The political thriller also stars Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall, although most of McGregor’s scenes have been on his own. He plays the lead role of an unnamed ghost writer who uncovers dark secrets while penning the memoirs a retired British prime minister (Brosnan). “It’s an extraordinary experience to work with Polanski. He pushes you hard, as he does the crew, and I find it to be fantastic. I’ve never worked harder in my life,” McGregor said. “It’s relentless, as you can tell from the book. The ghost is in every single scene. The way Polanski shoots he likes it to be from the Ghost’s point-of-view as well so it was a great opportunity to work with him. He’s a fantastic director.”

McGregor’s future releases also include Amelia, The Men Who Stare at Goats, and I Love You Phillip Morris. The latter film, which stars McGregor and Jim Carrey as two gay lovers in prison, famously struggled to find a U.S. distributor until Consolidated Pictures Group acquired it this week. McGregor tends to think the film’s struggle was due more to economics than concerns over its subject matter. “I’m not in the distribution game. I don’t know. I think certainly at the moment given the current financial climate companies are reluctant to spend money on things that aren’t absolutely dead certain to get their money back. And it might be more of a reflection on the financial situation in the world at the moment rather than the result of a film about two gay men,” he said. “I would be reluctant to think that Americans would be reluctant to see a film about that. I don’t think that’s the case. I mean, it’s not in my world but I don’t live in middle America. Maybe I’m naive about certain things.”

Angels & Demons opens Friday.

Source: movies.ign.com

Posted by Annie on May 12, 2009

Landmarks replicated on L.A. soundstage for Angels & Demons

RICHARD CROUSE
FOR METRO CANADA
May 12, 2009 1:00 a.m.

While sitting atop the Castel Saint Angelo in Rome waiting to interview Angels & Demons star Ewan McGregor, I had a panoramic view of the city and the beautiful chaos that makes life in the Eternal City tick.

The traffic is crazy and there are people everywhere. It’s an intense place, even more so, I imagined, if you were shooting a big budget Hollywood picture that takes place in some of the city’s busiest spots.

“The funny thing is I didn’t shoot any of it in Rome,” McGregor said when asked. “I shot in this place called Caserta. There’s a palace in Caserta that I thought it sounded really romantic, so I arranged for my wife to come over and spend a weekend with me, but it’s a dump, a horrible place. I’m sorry but it’s just a suburb of Naples that’s exploded around this old palace. It’s really nasty. Not a good place.

“Apart from that I did most of my stuff in L.A. because my character is mainly inside the Vatican and of course, the Vatican didn’t want us to shoot inside their buildings so they built the Sistine Chapel on the Sony soundstages in L.A. They also built the exterior of St. Peter’s Square, this huge, huge set, in the parking lot of Hollywood Park Racetrack in south L.A. That was cool. I saw it from an airplane. I was landing at LAX and I looked down and thought, ‘God, that’s a big set… look at that.’ Then I realized it was ours.”

Despite never having stepped foot in an actual church during the shoot, McGregor convincingly pulls off the roll of Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, a priest who acts as the pope’s right hand man in the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel.

“We had a priest from New Jersey who came over and was our religious advisor for any of the technical things,” McGregor said, “the ceremonies and the ritual stuff. But he also gave us a kind of idea of what would be going on behind the scenes during those ceremonies and humanized it for us.

“It looks so precise from the congregation’s point of view but in actual fact behind the table there is a guy with matches trying to light the incense. He put that into it for me which was great.”

The training paid off, he says, at least superficially.

“I didn’t get to understand the meaning of all the ceremonies; why everything is in a certain order, but I did learn enough to look like I knew what I was doing, hopefully.”

Source: www.metronews.ca