EWAN MCGREGOR: How it all began - Exclusive video interview
In a 30 minute non-PR interview, Ewan McGregor talks with Netribution's Nicol Wistreich about his early days, the beginning of interest in drama at school, and travelling around Africa with Aids campaigners. He talks about his first ever play, practicing the lines to the sherif of Nottingham to himself, and overcoming the negative perceptions of people around him to get where he is now. The interview comes in four parts:
I - I was nine when I absolutely knew I was going to become an actor" - early memories of theatre
II - "There's music in everything" - performing at school
III - "My life changed that day" - starting work
IV - "You can do whatever you want if you're passionate about it" - the attitude
I'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 good' - 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 in the opening scene, brylcreamed-back hair, calmly stirring a cup of tea in Lipstick on Your Collar and wondering - who is that person who make me have to watch every move he makes?
There are some actors who you feel like you've become an adult with, and as he walked in the back room of the Soho club, hand thrust forward, I got sweaty shivers down my spine.
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 intelligence, awareness, empathy and so on. It also can teach something to a kid regardless of their learning style (some students need to act stuff 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 unique children without the use of force, it's seems really useful.
Anyway, Ewan talked about his early days, the very beginning with his schooling and memories of drama. He talks about his first ever play, practicing the lines to the sherif of Nottingham to himself, and overcoming the negative perceptions of people around him to get where he is now.
I came away with a sense that no-one else could be a young Obi Wan - and if you're lucky enough to spend some time with him, a man who took a year out to bike around the world, you'll know what I mean. Hopefully tho, in a first for Netribution, this video interview should give idea more of an idea than words.
The interview comes in four parts:
Part one - "I was nine when I absolutely knew I was going to become an actor" - early memories of theatre
Part two - "There's music in everything" - performing at school
Part three - "My life changed that day" - starting work
Part four - "you can do whatever you want if you're passionate about it" - getting the right attitude
To learn more about TAG, there's a bunch more documentaries on You Tube - see here.