Ewan McGregor And Mary Elizabeth Winstead Bring True Romance To A Gentleman In Moscow – Exclusive

A Gentleman In Moscow

by Ben Travis |
Published on

What does a great screen romance need? It requires chemistry, that intangible frisson between the interested parties. It needs the tension of a will-they-won’t-they, where narrative circumstance and personal foibles threaten to keep the destined duo apart. And it really soars if you have actors willing to go there, putting everything on the line to hook you deeply into the emotional stakes. For the multiple-decade-spanning love story that spins through A Gentleman In Moscow, the upcoming series adaptation of Amor Towles’ acclaimed novel, all three of those factors were bolstered by the casting of Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead – whose real-life relationship deepens the on-screen bond between Count Rostov and Anna Urbanova, playing out against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution.

The series sees McGregor’s aristocratic Count sentenced to live out his remaining days in the confines of the Metropol Hotel – where, among other important relationships, he encounters a life-changing romance with glamorous film actor Urbanova. “Anna is a very modern woman. And the Count is a very un-modern man,” McGregor tells Empire on set of the series. “Years and years go by, and you can never really pin down what this relationship is. But of course, it turns into the greatest love of either of their lives.” While the historical stakes are high, his years spent in the hotel brings unexpected richness to the Count’s life. “These characters are going through these very universal struggles at a time that was very dark – they’re finding hope and humanity in that darkness, and lightness and joy,” says Winstead.

Still, shooting some of the bigger emotional scenes brought up all kinds of real feelings. “In-between takes we were just bawling our eyes out,” Winstead chuckles, looking back on a particularly tender sequence. “It was so beautiful to get to play the scene and make that moment feel so real. But it was really, really hard for us as well.” With a backdrop of world-changing politics, there are plenty of forces that threaten to keep the Count and Anna apart. “It’s about the making of the Russia that we know now,” states McGregor of the series. “It starts in 1921 after the Revolution, and everybody’s in turmoil. There’s a lot of discussion about belief in something – people who believe in the Communist movement and people who don’t, and what it does to their lives.” Prepare to check in for an epic stay.

Empire – May 2024 – Furiosa newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full A Gentleman In Moscow story in the Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga issue, on sale Thursday 14 March. Pre-order a copy online here. A Gentleman In Moscow streams on Paramount+ from 29 March.

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