Saturday, May 29, 2010

British Actor of the Month--First Pretend Scottish Boyfriend Edition

I know, I know. I skipped April. But, really, things got a little crazy, and there's really no point in going back. So, anyway, May's British actor is a bit of a unique case in that I think I developed a crush on him before I'd even seen him in a movie. I just knew that he was sexy and Scottish, and that was enough for my sixteen or seventeen-year-old self. And that's how

Ewan McGregor

became my first pretend Scottish boyfriend. Luckily, I have had occasion enough since then to see one or two or fifteen of his movies. Now, the films he's in tend to range in quality from the enjoyable likes of Emma or Black Hawk Down to those that make you wish you could donate your corneas while still living--I'm thinking of Miss Potter and especially The Island right now. But he usually makes as good as he can out of the material. Here's a list of some of my favorite points in his career:

  • Trainspotting, otherwise known as my favorite movie. In it, McGregor plays a Scottish heroine addict who has to decide whether he should stay on the margins with his friends or "choose life" and leave them behind for a more ordinary existence. In addition to the dark, surreal humor and the great soundtrack, you get to hear those natural Scottish accents.
  • Velvet Goldmine, in which he plays the Iggy Pop-like proto-punk singer Curt Wild. This ode to glam rock has many perks for his fans like watching him make out with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and expose not-so-little Ewan--um, I mean, getting to hear him sing. Yeah. *coughs*
  • And of course, for those of you with less prurient interests who still want to see him sing, there's always Moulin Rouge! (It's basically VG minus the gay stuff. Well, sort-of.) Now, for many years, owing to a "dispute" with a former roommate, I refused to watch this movie, but the appeal of Ewan (and the stupid master's exams) finally wore me down. I've got to say, it wasn't half-bad. Especially since, as Satine would put it, he's got an enormous talent.
  • Star Wars Episode I-III. Now, like any self-respecting sci-fi geek, I hate the prequel trilogy. But I think it's kind of cool that McGregor was in them. Because, you see, ever since his uncle had a bit part in the original (and better) trilogy, Ewan had always wanted to be in Star Wars. So, much like last December's British Actor (a.k.a. my current pretend Scottish boyfrined), this would suggest that he's a bit of a nerd.
  • Shallow Grave. Oh my God! Doctor Who's trying to kill Obi-Wan!!! But seriously, this is the film that first brought McGregor and future 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston--as well as Scottish cinema--international attention. A thriller about three flatmates who make a very bad decision that gets even worse, it's a small film, but it's size just makes it all the more tense.

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