Actors: Ewan McGregor

In our house we call him "fancy." I'm not even sure how that started. But I do like Ewan McGregor. People who know me know they can e-mail me pictures of Ewan to cheer me up when I'm down. Like this one:

See? Fancy!

No idea where it came from, or I promise I'd credit it. But it was simply sent to me. (If you know where it's from, or if it's yours, let me know and I'll credit it properly.)

Thing is, I don't have any kind of crush on Mr. McGregor. (My friend Anne, on the other hand . . .) Though I did have him in mind—or a younger version of him—when I wrote the character of Dixon in my play 20 August (which made the short list for a festival in Arundel last year but ended up not being produced). In any case, I like his movies. Most of them, anyway. Perhaps he has a knack for choosing good and/or interesting roles. That's key for an actor; it extends his or her longevity. People like Hugh Grant who ever only did one thing were sort of flash-and-fizzle (never minding his other issues); it works so long as there is an appetite for that kind of thing and a call for those roles, but in the ever changing world of Hollywood trends, very little lasts forever. Oh, there will always be a need for action heroes and cute-but-luckless guys and so forth, but when you're a flavor-of-the-month it's a bad sign. Better, so much better, to be slow and steady. That's the way to win the race in the end.

I won't belabor the point except to say, yet again, there is a big difference between an actor and a star. And actors are [often but not always] easier to work with.

Anyway, Ewan has done a lovely job of trying a lot of different kinds of things, funny and dramatic and dark and light. He's done the big stuff like Star Wars and littler things like Beginners (which ended up being bigger in the end). And I have to say, he's one of very few actors who can draw me into a cinema just by name. Because his good sense in choosing solid roles means I can be relatively sure anything he's in will entertain me or at least give me food for thought.

I haven't seen The Impossible yet, but I want to. Should probably screen it before the various awards and such. But while viewing some of these movies is a chore, I'm usually pretty happy with anything Mr. McGregor has to offer. He's a treat.

And fancy.

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