Ewan McGregor Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Ewan McGregor        

Actor Known for his Roles in "Trainspotting," "Big Fish" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

After high school, Ewan McGregor joined the Perth Repertory Theater and furthered his education through three years of training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His studies at Guildhall eventually led to McGregor landing a major role as Private Mick Hopper in Dennis Potter's 1993 "Lipstick on Your Collar," which was a British made-for-television musical comedy.

In 1993, McGregor starred in a British television miniseries called "The Scarlet & The Black," which was an adaptation of Henri Beyle Stendhal's 1830 novel. In that same year, McGregor made his cinematic debut in Bill Forsyth's American drama "Being Human," which starred Robin Williams.

After filming "Being Human," McGregor continued to make television appearances in the United States and Britain, including "Family Style" (1993), "Doggin' Around" (1994) and "Kavanagh QC" (1995). He also got his first major movie role in the 1994 film "Shallow Grave," which was written by Danny Boyle and received some critical acclaim.

After "Shallow Grave," McGregor continued to get work as a movie actor in the British surfing movie "Blue Juice" (1995) and Peter Greenaway's "The Pillow Book" (1996), before landing a role in 1996's "Trainspotting."

For "Trainspotting" -- his second movie with director Danny Boyle -- McGregor shaved his head and lost 30 lbs to play the main character and heroin addict Mark Renton. The movie and McGregor's role received worldwide critical acclaim, garnering much attention for the young actor.

Following his success in "Trainspotting," McGregor took a completely different role as Frank Churchill in the historical comedy "Emma" (1996). McGregor then continued his work in cinema, including "Brassed Off" (1996), "The Serpent's Kiss" (1997), "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), and "Nightwatch" (1998).

In 1998, McGregor landed the largest role of his career when he signed on as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. McGregor already had a connection with the iconic movie series as his uncle, Denis Lawson, appeared as Wedge Antilles in the original three films. McGregor first hit the screen as Kenobi in 1999, with "Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace," to much commercial success. The next two installments of the trilogy would follow years later.

Also in 1999, McGregor acted in Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine," as a 1970s-era glam rocker in the mode of Iggy Pop.

In the early 21st century, McGregor started his own production company called Natural Nylon. He founded it with fellow actors Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee. The group's first movie was the Pat Murphy biopic "Nora" in 2000, which was co-produced by Wim Wenders' production company and Metropolitan Pictures. The film dramatized the real-life relationship between Irish author James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. McGregor was the star of the movie as Joyce and he played opposite Susan Lynch as Barnacle.

Following "Nora" in 2001, McGregor took on another challenging role in Baz Luhrmann's musical "Moulin Rouge!," which was set in Paris in 1899. McGregor starred as the young poet Christian, who carries on a tumultuous relationship with Nicole Kidman's character throughout the film. McGregor was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role in the film and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. Later that same year, "Black Hawk Down" (2001) was released with McGregor playing one of the ensemble casts' main characters, Grimes.

In 2002, McGregor continued his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the second film of the trilogy, "Star Wars: Episode IIAttack of the Clones." Another commercial success, McGregor was able to parlay his popularity into many more films.

In his early years as an actor, a magazine told McGregor that he had a very close resemblance to Albert Finney when he was a young man. So, in 2003, when Tim Burton was looking for someone in McGregor's age range to play Albert Finney as a young man in the fantasy film "Big Fish," he was given the part. The film was a critical and commercial success as well. That same year, McGregor also starred in the erotic drama "Young Adam," which was directed by David Mackenzie and originally screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Also that year, McGregor and Rene Zellweger starred opposite each other in director Peyton Reed's homage to 1960s romantic comedies in a film called "Down With Love."

During 2004, McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman created a documentary about riding their motorcycles from London to New York. The pair traveled east through Europe and Asia, and then flew to Alaska to finish the journey to New York.

The entire journey, entitled "Long Way Round," went from April 14, 2004, to July 29, 2004. It was documented as a television series, DVD set, and book. It covered over 19,000 miles and 12 countries. The project was conceived partly to raise awareness of the worldwide efforts of UNICEF and included stops to see UNICEF projects.

McGregor reprised his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the final time in 2005 for "Star Wars: Episode IIIRevenge of the Sith." That same year he also lent his voice to the animated family film "Robots," starred with Scarlett Johansson in "The Island," and filmed Marc Forster's "Stay," which was a follow-up to the successful "Finding Neverland." After multiple commercial and critical successes, McGregor tried his hand at several arthouse films in 2006. His first was "Scenes of a Sexual Nature," Ed Blum's directorial debut about a day in the life of seven British couples. The second was "Miss Potter," the much-anticipated Chris Noonan follow up to the 1995 success "Babe," a biopic about popular children's author Beatrix Potter.

McGregor has also tried his hand at stage acting, taking the role of Sky Masterson from 2005 to 2007 in the revival of the play "Guys & Dolls" at London's Piccadilly Theatre.

In 2007, McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman created a follow-up documentary to their 2004 trip, entitled "Long Way Down." During this trip the two rode their motorcycles again, but this time traveled from John o' Groats in northern Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. This documentary also centered on the pair spending time visiting UNICEF projects along their journey and was distributed as another television series, DVD set, and book. That same year, McGregor appeared in "Cassandra's Dream" (2007), and was ranked No. 36 by Empire magazine in their list of the "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time." The next year, he appeared in the films "Incendiary" (2008) and "Deception" (2008).

In addition to film, McGregor has appeared on several soundtracks as a singer throughout his career, including two duets with Nicole Kidman on the "Moulin Rouge!" Soundtrack, two singles for the "Velvet Goldmine" soundtrack and a duet with Renee Zellweger for the movie "Down With Love."

In 2009, McGregor starred in "I Love You Phillip Morris," "Angels & Demons," "Men Who Stare At Goats" and "Amelia."

He appeared in "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" in 2011, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe.


Ewan McGregor Wears Kilt to Receive Order of British Empire ...

Ewan McGregor was honored Friday at Buckingham Palace with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) f...

Ewan McGregor Sets Broadway Debut in 'The Real Thing' - The ...

NEW YORK -- Ewan McGregor will make his Broadway debut next season in a revival of Tom Stoppard's multiple Tony-winning 1982 play, The Real Thing, ...

Ewan McGregor Visits Refugee And Displaced Children On Iraq Frontline

UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor travelled to northern Iraq last week to see how the conflicts sweeping across Iraq and Syria are devastating children’s lives...

Related Speakers View all

More like Ewan