Ewan McGregor (1971-) b. Crieff, Scotland.
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971, in the small Scottish town of Crieff. He attended Morrison Academy until the age of 16, when he left his hometown of Crieff to gain theatrical experience at Perth Repertory Theatre. From this point, he moved to London, and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for three years. Before graduating he got an early big break in Dennis Potter’s Lipstick on Your Collar (1993), a six-part TV series aired on Channel 4. That same year, McGregor made his feature film debut in Bill Forsyth’s Being Human (1993). McGregor came to public prominence when cast as Alex, a lippy journalist entangled in a triangle of greed in Danny Boyle‘s Shallow Grave (1994), the film won the BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film. He followed this with an appearance in the lacklustre surfing flick Blue Juice (1995).
He again teamed up with Danny Boyle to star in his breakthrough film, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting (1996), a dramatic look at the dark side of Edinburgh street culture through the eyes of heroin addict and anti-hero Mark Renton. Next, he was Nagiko’s lover in Peter Greenaway‘s The Pillow Book (1996), and followed this with a leading role in Douglas McGrath’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (1996). The same year he played Andy in Mark Herman’s Brassed Off (1996), portraying a love-struck brass band member facing the prospect of unemployment. In 1995, McGregor married Eve Mavrakis, a French production designer he’d met a year earlier whilst working on TV series Kavanagh QC. He collaborated with director Danny Boyle for a third time in A Life Less Ordinary (1997), a hit-and-miss romantic comedy co-starring Cameron Diaz.
The following year he starred as a debauched glam-rock star in Todd Haynes Velvet Goldmine (1998). He also starred in another small-budget British film, Little Voice (1998), based on a play by Jim Cartwright. He later landed the role that would guarantee him universal recognition, the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the highly anticipated prequel Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). The same year he appeared in two mediocre films, as disgraced Barings Bank financier Nick Leeson in Rogue Trader (1999), and an obsessed voyeur in the muddled Eye of the Beholder (1999). McGregor was seen to greater effect as James Joyce in Pat Murphy’s Nora (2000), Natural Nylon, the production company set up by McGregor, Jude Law, Jonny Lee Miller, Sadie Frost and Sean Pertwee, produced the film. In Baz Luhrmann’s blockbuster musical Moulin Rouge! (2001), Ewan portrayed a young writer obsessed by courtesan Nicole Kidman whilst also singing admirably, the film garnered multiple Academy Award nominations. His next film was Ridley Scott’s military action epic Black Hawk Down (2001), based on the true shooting down of an American helicopter in Mogadishu, Somalia. McGregor returned to his Scottish roots to appear in David Mackenzie’s dark and brooding morality tale Young Adam (2003).
He once again reprised the role of Obi-Wan for the third and final prequel Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). Although he had publically voiced disappointment in the earlier films, the actor dutifully fulfilled his role for the final outing and in the process turned in his best performance as the Jedi Knight. In between filming, McGregor has joined close friend Charley Boorman in embarking on long distance motorcycle endurance rides; in Long Way Round (2004) they travelled around the globe, and in Long Way Down (2007), they journeyed from John O’Groats, Scotland down to Cape Town, South Africa.
The actor returned to the big screen for the panned bombastic sci-fi actioner The Island (2005), the story of a sinister human cloning facility in a post-Apocalyptic world. The Island failed to score with audiences, but McGregor is excellent as the quizzical Lincoln Six Echo and the film is better than critics suggest. After starring opposite Renée Zellweger in the of Beatrix Potter period biopic Miss Potter (2006), McGregor has starred little-seen miss-fires Incendiary (2008) and Deception (2008).