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Ewan McGregor was born in Crieff, Scotland. He became enthralled with the world of acting from an early age, largely inspired by his actor uncle Denis Lawson’s work in George Lucas’ Star Wars – as well as its two sequels – and Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero.
Six months prior to graduating from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mr. McGregor was offered – and took – a role in the Dennis Potter-scripted musical comedy miniseries Lipstick on Your Collar, directed by Renny Rye. He next starred in the miniseries The Scarlet and the Black, directed by Ben Bolt. Beginning with Bill Forsyth’s Being Human, feature films followed. His starring role in Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave brought him the Hitchcock D’Argent Best Actor Award as well as a BAFTA (Scotland) Award nomination for Best Actor and an Empire Award. Mr. McGregor and Mr. Boyle’s second film together, Trainspotting, catapulted the actor to international fame. He won the BAFTA (Scotland) Award for Best Actor and a second Empire Award; and was cited as Best Actor by the London Film Critics Circle. He was voted the latter for his work in four 1996 movies; Trainspotting, Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book, Douglas McGrath’s Emma, and Mark Herman’s Brassed Off.
A guest role on the television series ER earned him an Emmy Award nomination. Continuing his film work, he reunited with Danny Boyle on A Life Less Ordinary, winning his third Empire Award; starred in Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine; played real-life Rogue Trader Nick Leeson in James Dearden’s film; and reteamed with Mark Herman for Little Voice, for which he shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with his fellow actors. He realized his childhood dream by starring for George Lucas in the second Star Wars trilogy of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.
Mr. McGregor earned a Golden Globe Award nomination, and his second London Film Critics Circle Award and fourth Empire Award, for his performance in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!, which won 2 Academy Awards. His subsequent films included Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down;Pat Murphy’s Nora, in which he played James Joyce; David Mackenzie’s Young Adam,for which he received London Film Critics Circle and British Independent Film Award nominations and won his second BAFTA (Scotland) Award for Best Actor; Tim Burton’s Big Fish; Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream; Ron Howard’s Angels & Demons; Grant Heslov’s The Men Who Stare at Goats; and, opposite Jim Carrey, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s I Love You Phillip Morris. Mr. McGregor was most recently seen on-screen starring in the title role of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, for which he won the European Film Award for Best Actor.
He will soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire; David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense, which world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible, with Naomi Watts; and Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, opposite Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas.
His theatre credits include starring as Sky Masterson in the 2005 Dommar Warehouse staging of Guys and Dolls;as Iago in the Donmar’s 2007 revival of Othello; and in What the Butler Saw, for the Salisbury Playhouse.
At the 2008 Empire Awards, Mr. McGregor was honored with the Icon Award for Achievement.