Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Feature
Ewan McGregor: A Viewer's Guide
The highs (and lows) of his career to date

submit to reddit

Velvet Goldmine’s opening epigram – “Although what you are about to see is a work of fiction, it should nevertheless be played at maximum volume” – could be equally well applied to Ewan McGregor’s CV. Everyone’s favourite Davidoff-scented Scotsman has always been capable of high volume. From Shallow Grave and Trainspotting to Moulin Rouge! and last year’s Beginners, the roles he’s picked have rarely lacked a subversive edge. This week’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, an altogether gentler adventure, gives the perfect excuse to delve into the McGregor tackle-box and sort the hot tuna from the rancid sprats.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  1 of 7 Next
Ewan McGregor: A Viewer's Guide |

ESSENTIAL VIEWING: Trainspotting (1996)

Renton is still Ewan McGregor’s definitive film role – and if you’re from anywhere near America, where Trainspotting found itself subtitled, it’s probably still counted as his only foreign-language part. We’re only kinda kidding about that, because McGregor’s command of Irving Welsh’s slang lends the grimy smacktacular a syntax of all its own, although you’d need to be fluent in Leith jargon to decipher all of it. With his shaved head, toothpick-thin frame and deathly pallor, you wouldn’t know whether to feed Renton up or hose him down (after that loo scene, it’s definitely the latter). No matter, his easy charm fits in perfectly alongside Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Kevin McKidd, while his manic energy courses through the veins of Danny Boyle’s film. Choose life? ‘Course he did.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
 
1 of 7
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

21 Empire, You have sold your soul
You have got to be kidding to pick that that as the the movie to be avoided. Although I only read through it just to confirm you did pick it. Too predictable you are these day. The day you 'altered' you star rating for the Star Wars Prequels was the day I had enough of your pandering to the vocal few who keep banging on about their raped childhood and stopped buying you magazine which I had been for years. I'd buy the things again if every few months you didn't wind me up with some stupid prequel jib. Give it a bloody rest. The re-release of the Phantom Menace to the average punter who has no strong childhood connection with the OT (I do by the way) just shows when you take away the insane hype from '99 the film stands very well next to any of the other SW film including the oh so 'sacred' originals. Get some perspective Empire and move on to something else and stop the digs every chance you get. YOu have no problem putting star wars on you cover... oh wait multiply covers per issue toMore

Posted by gazart on Friday April 20, 2012, 11:40

22 Yes it is unfair ...
MacGregor didn't have a great deal to do in Phantom Menace so it's a bit bloody conceited, to be honest, to use one's own dislike of the movie against a supporting role. He simply is not the central character. AND he kicks ten tonnes of ass in the lightsaber duel (the best bit!). And he totally holds episodes 2 and 3 together if you ask me. Also, The Island should be either Recommended or One for the Fans. It's bonkers, non-sensical fun that turns into a perfume ad a couple of times (and there's nothing wrong with that), but Ewan's boyish charm and ability to mix naivety with impetuous vigour keeps the movie light and enjoyable. More

Posted by Nicky C on Friday April 20, 2012, 10:10

23 RE: A tad unfair...
L: Evil_Bob Oh come on for gods sake. Its 2012. Its been 13 years. Have we not got over the initial knee-jerk reactions and realised that The Phantom Menace is not ACTUALLY the worst film ever made. Especially seeing as you've alluded to the existence of Cassandra's Dream and The Island in the very same piece. Even if you do misguidedly believe that this is THE worst film he's ever been in surely its just a cop-out to use TPM instead of drawing attention to these afore-mentioned stinkers. Y'know. Just for a bit of a variety. Might even make a decent article. Laziness. Pure bloody laziness. By the way he's also been in Amelia, Blue Juice, Stormbreaker, Black Hawk Down and Velvet fucking Goldmine. All of which are total shite. ll of the films you mentioned were infinitely better films than The Phantom Menace though... More

Posted by waltham1979 on Friday April 20, 2012, 08:37

24 RE: A tad unfair...
Oh come on for gods sake. Its 2012. Its been 13 years. Have we not got over the initial knee-jerk reactions and realised that The Phantom Menace is not ACTUALLY the worst film ever made. Especially seeing as you've alluded to the existence of Cassandra's Dream and The Island in the very same piece. Even if you do misguidedly believe that this is THE worst film he's ever been in surely its just a cop-out to use TPM instead of drawing attention to these afore-mentioned stinkers. Y'know. Just for a bit of a variety. Might even make a decent article. Laziness. Pure bloody laziness. By the way he's also been in Amelia, Blue Juice, Stormbreaker, Black Hawk Down and Velvet fucking Goldmine. All of which are total shite. More

Posted by Evil_Bob on Friday April 20, 2012, 06:11

25 A tad unfair...
Surely his lightsaber fight with Maul redeems him somewhat? More

Posted by Kained but Able on Thursday April 19, 2012, 22:22

26 Young Adam should be listed.
Young Adam should definitely have been on the list. Much better than Big Fish which is Burton on autopilot with extra sentimentality. More

Posted by fiercehairdo on Thursday April 19, 2012, 22:09

27 Johnny Lee Miller, not "Johnny Lewis Miller"
"Johnny Lewis Miller"??? Methinks you mean Johnny Lee Miller! For shame! More

Posted by fiercehairdo on Thursday April 19, 2012, 22:00

28 Some More
Recommended: Beginners, Young Adam, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Men Who Stare At Goats. AVOID: Velvet Goldmine. Just... Oh man, I love the guy I do but... Oh man oh man. Also Angels and Demons in which he was a non-entity. But you nailed the Essentials. Trainspotting is enough to acknowledge this guy is and always will be a pretty big fucking deal. More

Posted by kisswithatear on Thursday April 19, 2012, 21:29

29 Why so short?
Though these lists tend to be interesting and valid, the bad thing about them is they always miss so many films worth mentioning about the actor. For instance with McGregor, where are: The Men Who Stare at Goats, Beginners, Star Wars I & II, The Island, I Love You Phillip Morris, Angels and Demons, Brassed Off, Miss Potter, etc. (Hell even Valient and Robots - or do they not count for a "viewer's guide" due to animation?) ??? They just seem to miss out a few pieces worth mentioning - especially last year's Oscar winning 'Beginners' and the brilliant 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'... More

Posted by ZakE94 on Thursday April 19, 2012, 21:21

Previous Page

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Michel Gondry Talks Mood Indigo
Gondry on Bjork, erections and Mark Ruffalo in his pants

Everything You Need To Know About The Dragonriders Of Pern
The lowdown on Warner Bros. new fantasy sci-fi

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)