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Movie Features

Ewan Mcgregor Interview  

Ewan was interviewed by Kirsty Wark on the Kirsty Walk show for BBC Scotland in Morroco during Ewans day off from shooting Black Hawk Down. The interview was funny with lots of laughs from Ewan, Black Hawk Down appears to be a happy shoot judging the upbeat manner that Ewan was in.

Kirsty: Ewan Mcgregor, 30 next week has starred in some of the most talked about movies of the last 10 years. Catapulted to fame on the energy of Trainspotting, to Hollywood star status of Star Wars and he still finds time to make a 2 minute low budget movie. Now he's in Rabat shotting Ridley Scott's latest movie Black Hawk Down. I met him on Sunday his day off.

Kirsty : Back in Morroco, you made your first film here?

Ewan : I was here in 93 with Bill Forsyth's film Being Human, I've never seen it, I spent one month in Rabatt. I had one line in it.

Kirsty: David Puttnam came out and said apparently "that boy is going to be a star"

Ewan : He's got very good taste hasn't he. I didn't know that.

Kirsty : But I'd never guess you were back doing some kind of American military movie.

Ewan: Would you not, no.

Kirsty : What's Black Hawk Down about?

Ewan : It's about the American army's involvement in Mogadishu when the warlord's and there was a famine and they were stopping the food etting to the people so the Americans moved in with a group called the Task Force Rangers.

Kirsty : Black Hawk Down is based on a real incident in 1993 of a UN force on a humanitarian mission in Mogadishu who went after a Somali warlord and found themselves outnumbered and out manouvred. The resulting battle left 18 US soldiers dead and 500 Somali's dead. It has profoundy influenced American foreign policy ever since.

Kirsty : Somali wasn't regarded as America's finest hour, when you are looking at scripts are you looking for?

Ewan : I always wanted to be in a war film, that's what swung it yeah. Because I spent a lot of my youth running around pretending to be a soldier. And now I'm getting paid to do it.

Kirsty : Ewan was among the cast trained by US Rangers in Georgia before travelling to Morocco for filming to recreate the battle. Filimg started in February and the movie is due out in November.

Ewan: We worked with a lot of sergeants in the training school.

Kirsty : did you have to go throug rigorous training?

Ewan: Fairly, we'd have 3 to 4 mile runs every morning. And we did a Meet Jesus PT session at the end where we had to do an assault course of a mile in the forest. It was hellish and then we were ushered to a field and there were two guys in stretchers and we moved them as a team across the field.

Kirsty : And what was the trainers like?

Ewan : They were quite tough. Not a lot of shouting except that one where they stipulated we had to run all the way, people were throwing up. It was about my limit, I didn't get to meet Jesus though.

Kirsty: What was he screaming at you?

Ewan : It was just healthy encouragement, a lot of suck it down, suck down the pain and carry on.

Kirsty : Did you come to people's attention after you did Trainspotting?

Ewan : In the states, yeah, that changed things yeah.

Kirsty : Still look back on that and think it was a great performance?

Ewan : It was fantastic, I was quite pleased with myself in it , yeah. Best shoot, smoothest experience, best actors, best crew it was fantastic. Around that time at Chicago airport going to do ER, US customs asked what I was doing and I explained that he might have seen me in Trainspotting, sent over to Red immigration zone and stripped off. 'But I'm an actor for christs sake!, I'm not really a heroin addict!'

Kirsty : How do you deal with that paparazzi stuff?

Ewan : There isn't any of it here so it's fantastic. I don't like it, it's none of their business I think. What I hate more than anything is when they take pictures of my daughter. I always try and keep her out of everything. I don't want to soil her childhood. Also, I don't want people to know what she looks like.

Kirsty: You don't subscribe to that "Hello" culture ?

Ewan : hate it, yeah, people devour it, are they interested in it just because it's there or are they just buying it because it is there, because it is just absolute crap.

Kirsty : Did you ever want to do anything else?

Ewan No, never no. I wanted to be an actor at 9, I remember asking uncle Dennis (Lawson) how do I be an actor? Told me to come back in 10 years.I've never wanted to do anything else.

Kirsty : Were your family supportive of that?

Ewan : Very lucky, very scary moment for a parent when an offspring wants to be an actor, just because of insecurity of it you know. Parents right behind me, in a sense Dennis had done a lot of the work for me, proving you can be an actor and survive safely on it.

Kirsty : Must be atough thing to decide to be away as an actor/

Ewan : It's hard for a couple, they've (wife and child) travelled with me, now Clarisa's at school it's different. It does mean being away a bit more.

Kirsty: You were away while she contracted meningitis?

Ewan : Yeah, I was stuck in LA, filming ER, phoned home and she was in casualty, it was horrendous, longest flight I've ever had.

Kirsty : So when you're away does she phone you?

Ewan : Yeah, she phoned me and reminded me why I'm here cos I was moaning that I missed her and wanted to be at home. She reminded me that I was was doing it for things like clothes and food and things like that.

Kirsty : Does it embaress you to be wealthy?

Ewan : No I mean all my money is in my house really, I'm certainly well off, I've got a beautiful house and nice stuff.

Kirsty : So when people say you signed up for Star Wars for money?

Ewan: It's not true, I signed up for Star Wars. I loved Star Wars as a kid. I used to know all the dialogue and I just wanted to be in it and have a laugh and the cloak and stuff. What's interesting with Star Wars is I really enjoy when kids come up. I like that, wherever I've been in the world it's the one film that most people remember me in. It's by no means my best performance. It's not my finest performance. It's what it is you know. It's great with the kids. I love that. Do the lightsabre work and I like that as the film is essentially for the children.

Kirsty : There's lots of kinds of anoraks around?

Ewan : Adults come up and ask me a lot about it and they go on about it and I feel that hard to deal with as you feel, come on mate, you're a bit older and better than that. We've done the second one , I've one more to do. In terms of my career and stuff, suppose it's opened stuff up in the states, but it's not the overwhelming step up you imagine it to be, you view it as being one of a kind.

Kirsty : did you do it as a step up?

Ewan : No I did it to get a lightsabre and run around in a cape.

Kirsty : Any films you are unhappy with?

Ewan : The worst thing is the director playing the director when there are ego's around.

Kirsty : So you feel confident about turning stuff down?

Ewan : Yeah

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