McGregor: I turn to Uncle Denis for acting advice


ACTOR Ewan McGregor has revealed his number one source of acting advice: his thespian uncle Denis Lawson.

The star said his fellow actor is the

“only person really in the world’ who he will turn to when he needs inspiration.

He also revealed that 62-year-old Lawson – who played Gordon Urquhart in Local Hero – did not think much of the Star Wars films, despite his nephew going on to become a major star in the franchise.

McGregor, in an interview with a US newspaper, said:

“He’s the only person really in the world who I discuss acting with in terms of if I feel that I’m stuck.

“Or if I’m on set I can discuss things with him in a way where I know I get advice from him because he knows exactly who I am and what my work means to me and what I’m about. “

The Hollywood star has always been close to his uncle and spoke of his childhood memories of the actor’s visits to McGregor’s hometown of Creiff.

He said:

“He would come up there in the 70’s wearing sheepskin waistcoats and beads and long hair and no shoes and I would be mainly surrounded by farmers.

“I’d be thinking,

“Who is this guy! Oh, my God.” “

He continued:

“He’s a great actor and he’s always been my inspiration, since I was a little child. “

“I was mainly surrounded by farmers and wanted very much to be like him. I didn’t know what to be an actor meant at nine. But he was always there for me. “

Lawson played one of the Star Fighter pilots in the original Star Wars films, with Ewan going on to play Obi-Wan Kenobi in the franchise.

McGregor, who is appearing at the Edinburgh Film Fesival tomorrow (Sat) for the European premiere of his latest movie, Perfect Sense, revealed that his uncle did not think much of the Star Wars films.

“He played a character called Wedge who was a Star Fighter pilot,’ explained Ewan.

“He was one of the few Star Fighter pilots, he made it through all three. He lived through the first three episodes. Or well, four, five and six, wasn’t it?

“Denis was always very dismissive about Star Wars. He played very short, small roles in those films and for him I think at the time it was very much just a job.

“George [Lucas] shot in England and they used a bunch of British actors for those smaller parts. But it’s not at the top of his career in any way. “

McGregor finally got the chance to star alongside his uncle in Perfect Sense.

Lawson is the brother of McGregor’s mother, Carol. They grew up in Creiff, Perthshire with their parents Phyllis and Laurence before Denis went of to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

He starred in a series of television roles during the 70s, including a version of The Merchant of Venice opposite Laurence Olivier as Shylock and The Man in the Iron Mask with Jenny Agutter.

His first film role was as Wedge Antilles in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the first film in the series, in 1977.

McGregor studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before winning international acclaim for his portrayal of drug addict Mark Renton in the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.

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