Ewan McGregor hits back at critics


SCOTTISH actor Ewan McGregor has hit back at critics of his new film based on the 2004 Boxing day disaster.

The 41-year-old stars alongside Naomi Watts in The Impossible which tells the true story of a married couple who go on holiday to Thailand and experience the Tsunami that destroyed the country.

The film has already been a huge hit in Spain but some critics have questioned the director’s decision to focus the story on a western family and not the Thai people’s experience.

McGregor found the script “devastating” and extremely difficult to film


Ewan said: “It’s a very easy and not very clever criticism, I think. Because the truth is, it’s a story about his family, this western family, who are on holiday there.

“And that story is many, many people’s story. But to say that it doesn’t tell the Thai people’s stories…

“Naomi’s character is saved by a Thai man, and taken to safety in a Thai village where the Thai women dress her.

“It’s one of the most moving scenes in the film, really. In the hospital they’re all Thai nurses and Thai doctors- you see nothing but Thai people saving lives and helping.

“Most of the survivors we spoke to had nothing but amazing things to say about the Thai response to the tsunami, in that they mobilised themselves every quickly.”

The Trainspotting actor added: “I think it’s criticism for the sake of criticising, in a way. People said that about Black Hawk Down: ‘Well, it’s just the American story.’ Well, yeah! It was a film about the American side of the story.

“So that’s what you do! You tell a story. And we were telling this family’s story.”

Ewan explained that filming the movie was an extremely difficult experience and described the script alone as “devastating.”

He said: “What you got from it was the brutality and truth of the story, through the eyes of that family.

“In terms of scale, though, it’s all very well to read that your character is walking through a devastated area.

“But it’s not until you get on the set that you think: Oh my God…”

Ewan felt shooting the film was very tough because much of it had to be filmed on location where the area is still scarred by the tragedy.

He said: “It was a very difficult film to make, especially with the weather.

“We had a lot of rain, and the actual day of the original tsunami was very beautiful, so we had to wait.

“There was some talk among the Thai crew that the film might be…cursed, you know?

“That the spirits or the gods might be preventing us from making the film.

“There were some spooky moments.”

The Impossible was the second film directed by Juan Antonio “Jota” Bayona, who had also directed The Orphanage.

Ewan added: “Jota has always said- and he’s right-that crying was a real privilege in that situation, because nobody had time. And so when people did cry, they totally fell apart.”

The Impossible is out in cinema throughout the UK on 1 January 2013.