Ewan McGregor Biography

Ewan McGregor photo

Born: March 31, 1971


Date of Birth: March 31, 1971

He doesn't dig Hollywood. But Hollywood is sure digging him. The current walking embodiment of U.K. cool, Scottish-born Ewan McGregor is one of the hottest actors in Tinseltown.

Young Ewan got into acting because his uncle, Dennis Lawson, was making money at it—Uncle Dennis even had a role in Star Wars. Ewan left home to study acting at 16, first at the Perth Repertory Company then in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

His first movie job was the role of Alvarez in Bill Forsyth's quirky 1993 comedy/drama, Being Human, with Robin Williams. The movie—and Ewan—were quickly forgotten. Then, in 1994, he met a director/producer/writer trio that would really launch his career. Danny Boyle, Andrew MacDonald and John Hodge cast him in Shallow Grave, a macabre thriller about three Edinburgh flatmates who find their new boarder dead... and dispose of the body to keep the suitcase full of loot that he moved in with.

The threesome—now a quartet including McGregor—reunited in 1996 for a screen version of Irvine Welsh's harrowing novel about heroin use, Trainspotting. The film was an enormous success in Britain and abroad. Ewan, in particular, made a "splash" as Renton, literally diving into the toilet at one point to reclaim his flushed stash.

Ewan appeared in Emma (1996) with Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book (1996) and Brassed Off (1996) before the Trainspotting team reunited a third time for A Life Less Ordinary (1997), their first American film. The film flopped, but it wasn't Ewan's fault—and Hollywood knows it.

And the kid who got into acting because his uncle was making money at it, well, he continued in his uncle's footsteps by signing to play young Obi Wan Kenobi in George Lucas' long-awaited Star Wars prequel. Says McGregor: "The Star Wars movies are way beyond studio pictures. They're enormous. I can't say no."

McGregor has won numerous honors during his career, including an MTV Movie award, two British Actor of the Year awards (1997, 2002) from the London Critics Circle Film Awards, Actor of the Year at the 2001 Hollywood Film Festival, a 2002 Golden Satellite Award, Entertainment Personality at the 2002 British Independent Film Awards, two Scottish BAFTAs, four Empire Awards and a Golden Globe nomination.

Although he's done plenty of full frontal nudity in his films, in 2011, just before his 40th birthday, McGregor told the UK paper The Express that he wouldn't do anymore, calling nude scenes "terribly exposing" and "rarely of any use."

The actor has appeared in a slew of films in recent years, including Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), Haywire (2011), and Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), August: Osage County (2013), and Mortdecai (2015).

McGregor can now be seen in the Western drama Jane Got a Gun (2016), and the crime thriller Our Kind of Traitor (2016). Also in 2016, he made his directorial debut and starred in the family drama American Pastoral (2016).

He has two daughters with production designer Eve Mavrakis, to whom he has been married since July 1995.


Beauty and the Beast(2017)
T2: Trainspotting 2 (2017)
Don't Make Me Go (2017)
The Land of Sometimes (2017)
American Pastoral(2016)
Our Kind of Traitor(2016)
Jane Got a Gun(2016)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens(2016)
Miles Ahead(2015)
Last Days in the Desert(2015)
Son of a Gun(2014)
A Million Ways to Die in the West(2014)
August: Osage County(2013)
Jack the Giant Slayer(2013)
The Impossible(2012)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen(2011)
Perfect Sense(2011)
Jackboots on Whitehall(2010)
Nanny McPhee Returns(2010)
The Ghost Writer(2010)
The Men Who Stare at Goats(2009)
Angels & Demons(2009)
I Love You Phillip Morris(2009)
Incendiary (2008)
Cassandra's Dream(2007)
Miss Potter(2006)
Scenes of a Sexual Nature(2006)
Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker(2006)
The Island(2005)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith(2005)
Robots (2005)
Big Fish(2003)
Young Adam(2003)
Down with Love(2003)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones(2002)
Black Hawk Down(2001)
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Eye of the Beholder(1999)
Rogue Trader (1999)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace(1999)
Little Voice(1998)
Velvet Goldmine(1998)
A Life Less Ordinary (1997)
The Serpent's Kiss (1997)
Brassed Off (1996)
Emma (1996)
The Pillow Book (1996)
Trainspotting (1996)
Blue Juice (1995)
Shallow Grave(1994)
Being Human(1994)
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