Quick Talk With Ewan McGregor

2 minute read

What was it like to return to your Trainspotting character Renton after two decades?

I was surprised he was still there, ready to go. The only time I’ve come back to characters was with the Star Wars trilogy, but this was a gap of 20 years. It seemed like Renton was inside there, ready to come out when we needed him. It was odd but wonderful.

The sequel is about a lot of things: friendship, betrayal, nostalgia. What was the main draw for you?

It taps into something about being in your mid-40s. I’m starting to feel it myself, this feeling of looking back at your life and trying to look forward at the rest of your life. It’s not just a film about nostalgia. It’s much more a film about what’s next. I was so moved by it. For me maybe more so than anyone else, because it’s my face there that’s gone back 20 years and forward 20 years.

Was your version of Lumière in Beauty and the Beast inspired by the original?

I still haven’t seen the cartoon, to be honest. I wasn’t watching cartoons by ’91. But it was fun to play, because he’s a specific sort of suave, debonair character. Then to utilize the French accent that I thought would come naturally having lived with a French woman for 25 years–but of course didn’t.

You play two characters in the third season of Fargo. What kind of acting challenge is that?

I’ve done it two times before. I had scenes with myself in a Michael Bay film called The Island, where I played a clone, and then in Last Days in the Desert, where I played the Devil and Jesus. On Fargo, my characters are different shapes, so we’ve got one actor who plays opposite me when I’m playing [each] brother. It’s wonderful writing. It’s got a lovely style. I think it’s going to be really good.

Ewan McGregor attends a T2 Trainspotting photocall at Corinthia Hotel London on January 25, 2017 in London, England. Eamonn M. McCormack—Getty Images

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com