Filmhouse showing

McGregor says he ‘loved every minute directing’

Ewan McGregor at the Edinburgh premiere (photo by Terry Murden)
Ewan McGregor at the Edinburgh premiere (photo by Terry Murden)

Star attends for premiere

Scottish movie actor Ewan McGregor spoke of how much he enjoyed his directing debut when he attended the Edinburgh premiere of his debut film American Pastoral at the Filmhouse.

McGregor, who admitted earlier to having doubts about it, said tonight: “I learnt a great deal. I loved very much the experience from start to finish. 

“The pre-production and the post-production was very interesting to me and I learnt a great deal about that by doing it,” he told the Press Association.

McGregor credited his first director Danny Boyle as an influence on his directing style and said he copied his process of rehearsing with the actors before shooting.

The Trainspotting star told the Edinburgh Evening News he was keen to make an “indie, grungy, contemporary movie” in Scotland.

Hundreds of free tickets were given away for the screening at the Filmhouse – organised by the Edinburgh International Film Festival. McGregor said he was hoping to be back in Scotland in January for a premiere of the sequel to Trainspotting.

He said in interview this week that he wept on the phone to his wife Eve Mavrakis because of the doubts he had about directing his first movie.

He admitted he had wanted to direct for a long time, but said he was fearful about how he would cope with the pressure surrounding the making of the film.

Ewan McGregor on the red carpet (photo by Terry Murden)
Ewan McGregor on the red carpet (photo by Terry Murden)

“My most significant personal crisis was a couple of days before the actors arrived on set – that fear that I wouldn’t know how to direct them just clouded my logic.

“That should have been the last thing to concern myself with. I should have been terrified of everything else, but guiding actors should have been well within my ballpark.

“I couldn’t get it out of my mind. What if I don’t know what to say to them? What if I’m completely useless? My wife was the one I’d be on the phone to, sobbing down the line.

“Eve’s support was not only crucial for the creation of the movie. She had faith that I could do it, and that was enough for me.”

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Phillip Roth novel, American Pastoral follows a family whose seemingly idyllic existence is shattered by the social and political turmoil of the 1960s.

McGregor takes the lead role in the movie alongside Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning and David Strathairn. 

Debut role (photo by Terry Murden)
Debut role (photo by Terry Murden)

McGregor has a deep relationship with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, marking his first appearance in 1994 for Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave.

He has since returned on several occasions with films Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998), Young Adam (David MacKenzie, 2003), Perfect Sense (David MacKenzie, 2011) and most recently Last Days in the Desert (Rodrigo Garcia, 2015) when he also presented a sold-out ninety minute in-person Q&A event.

American Pastoral is a Lakeshore Entertainment production and is produced by Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Andre Lamal, with a screenplay written by John Romano (Lincoln Lawyer).

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