Ewan did an interview with the Daily Mail to promote The Ghost Writer which opens on April 16 in the UK. It comes with three photos from a photoshoot, and an excerpt from the lengthy interview is below.
McGregor was once a party animal who enjoyed all that London’s nightlife had to offer. He clearly felt it was getting out of hand, and hasn’t touched alcohol for years.
“This November it’ll be ten years since I gave up, and I don’t really miss it.”
He pauses, running a hand through his hair.
“Actually, occasionally I do. There are times when I think about it, but I always know that when I’m thinking about it there’s something wrong. The problem isn’t that I want a drink; it’s that for me - as it is for a lot of other people - drink was a way to dull the pain of something else. For people who drink a lot it’s a way of not dealing with emotions and feelings.”
What was he avoiding?
“I think it was growing up. It’s hard to say without making it sound dramatic, which it isn’t. I was just somebody who always liked to drink a lot. So now when I think about drinking I ask myself, OK, what is it? It’s not really that you’re thirsty for a beer, because you haven’t had a beer for ten years. It’s often something else that’s bothering me.”
McGregor, 38, grew up in Crie ff, Perthshire and his parents, Carol and James, are both teachers. For the last 15 years he has been happily married to French production designer Ève Mavrakis, and they have three daughters, Clara, 14, Esther, eight, and Jamiyan, also eight, who was adopted. He has an older brother, Colin, an ex-RAF fighter pilot who served in Iraq. The brothers are close, although they disagreed over the British Government’s decision to go to war in the Gulf.
“He was very gung-ho about wanting to go there, and I found that upsetting. Because I’m trained to be an actor, I was in a di fferent camp on that situation, and I find that quite diffi cult to reconcile. But I learned to appreciate that that was the path he took. I respect that, and I respect all our forces.
“I went out to Basra to meet some of them and I’m full of respect for their work. I don’t think it should be any other way. I worried about Colin more later on, because - and I don’t know if I should say this - I think he felt that they shouldn’t be there. I thought that was scarier than anything, the idea of being out there and flying and putting yourself at risk if you didn’t know why you were there. I thought that was pretty hardcore.”
McGregor swells with pride when he describes how his brother took him for a ride in a Tornado jet.
“We went barrelling down the runway and I was in the seat directly behind him, and because you can’t see what’s coming you can’t prepare for the G-force. You’re wearing a G-suit that inflates and pushes on your body, and it pushes the blood back. Without it you’d just pass out, as the G-force is unbelievable. It’s horrible.
“I was a little sick, but not too much. We did a lot of low-level stu ff and then he went up to 2,000ft, over the clouds, and I started to sweat and I was thinking, ‘Conquer it, conquer it!’ I managed to be all right, but then he asked me to change the frequency on the radio, and as I put my head down he veered o ff. I couldn’t get my head back up, and it’s horrible when you can’t see. I instantly threw up. When you land, you’ve got your little bag of sick on your lap, and the canopy comes up and the ground-crew fella comes up the ladder and he says, ‘OK?’ And you have to hand him the bag.” [Martyn Palmer via Best of Ewan]