We Asked Ewan McGregor 38 Very Important Rapid-Fire Questions
The star of Disney's Christopher Robin spills the tea on his bagpipe collection and working with Winnie the Pooh.
Ewan McGregor has done it all. Since shooting to fame in 1996 with his role as Renton in Trainspotting, he's done musicals with Moulin Rouge, tackled two different roles in FX's Fargo (which earned him a Golden Globe in January this year), and, of course, played a younger version of the beloved Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. Now he's taking on another beloved character opposite Winnie the Pooh in Disney's Christopher Robin — but this time, Christopher's all grown up.
McGregor's one of the most well-known actors of his generation, so when we got the chance to chat with him while he was promoting Christopher Robin in London recently, we got him to spill some secrets you might ~not~ know...
1. Tea or coffee?
Ewan McGregor: Coffee.
2. How do you take it?
3. Puppies or kittens?
4. What animal are you most similar to?
EM: A horse.
[People in the room start laughing.]
EM: It is the animal I’m most like! Not physically! I meant spiritually, I’m like a horse. Come on!
5. Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity?
EM: Yes, I’ve been mistaken for Eddie Izzard. I get mistaken for Ricky Gervais.
6. Have you ever intentionally pretended to be another celebrity?
7. What was the most challenging part of your role as Christopher Robin?
EM: I suppose acting with a character who’s not really there. He’s real, but sometimes he won’t come out to play.
8. What was the best part?
EM: Working with Winnie the Pooh. [laughs]
9. What books do you remember loving as a child?
EM: I loved Peter Pan, and I loved this book — I keep thinking of this — I think it was the first book I read that didn’t have pictures in it. It was called Minerva, and it was about a dinosaur. It’s not a popular one, but it’s the one I remember.
10. What part of the character of Christopher Robin do you identify with most?
EM: Well, all of him. I played him, so I have to identify with all parts of him to be able to play him properly.
11. Where is your favourite place in the world?
12. What’s one place you’ve never been to, but would love to visit?
13. What’s the weirdest possession you own?
EM: I have several sets of bagpipes.
14. What’s your favourite pizza topping?
EM: Pepperoni and anchovy.
BuzzFeed: Ooh, I was expecting you to stop at pepperoni.
EM: No, I gave you anchovy as well. It's salt on salt, you know what I mean?
15. What advice would you give to your younger self?
EM: Cheer up.
16. And what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
EM: Cheer up. [laughs] No, no, the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given… Well, professionally, it would be from Dennis Potter, who I worked with on my first-ever job at drama school, and it was called Lipstick on My Collar. He gave me some great advice, and it was shortly before he passed away. He said the work I had done in this series was very good, and that I should be careful not to just jump at the first job I was offered after it, but to make sure I was doing good work and that I was choosing wisely.
17. What’s the craziest fan encounter you’ve ever had?
EM: They’re not usually crazy – I kind of enjoy people coming up and saying hello. It’s just a shame, now these days all fan encounters tend to be is “Can I have a selfie?” And that’s it. I always think it’d be much better to have a chat. I always think if you see someone you like or admire, or respect something about what they do as a profession, it’d be quite interesting to talk to them.
18. Have you ever freaked out about meeting a celebrity?
EM: Yes, I’ve found with some of my heroes that I’ve met. Billy Connolly was a big, big hero of mine growing up, and I met Billy Connolly and I found that it took me ages to get over the… I just asked him for a selfie. [laughs]
19. Who’s one actor you’d love to work with, but haven’t yet?
EM: Well, I think everyone would love to work with De Niro. I’ve never worked with him, and I’d love to.
20. What’s your signature dance move?
EM: I like the old… In the ‘80s, we had this sort of, step and kick.
We’ll nickname it the McGregor.
EM: The McGregor, that’s right.
21. What’s the most challenging role you’ve ever played?
EM: I don’t find acting very challenging – I find that it’s exciting and interesting, so when I’m working, I don’t work from a place of, “I can’t do this!” I mean, there’s some technical things that are challenging, and physical things. The sword fights in Star Wars were very physically challenging and difficult to learn and remember, and required months of practice leading up to those films.
22. What’s the most fun you’ve ever had playing a role?
EM: I really liked playing in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Emily Blunt. That was fun, because she’s so hilarious to work with and she’s so lovely and funny. I really enjoyed that role. The other one would be Fargo. I was in the last season of Fargo, and I played two brothers, and that was really fun. What a brilliant bunch of actors to work with.
23. If you could use one of your past characters’ quotes as a life motto, what would it be?
EM: “Choose life.” It'd have to be that one.
24. What’s your pet peeve?
EM: People asking for a selfie. [laughs] I’m really laying myself bare to just be baited with selfies for the rest of my life.
25. What’s the one thing you’re most afraid of?
EM: Sharks. Although I love them very much, and I think we should stop killing them. We kill millions of sharks a year, just for shark fin soup and stuff. We’re destroying the ecosystem of the sea, and if it was dolphins, we’d be up in arms, but it’s sharks, so nobody really cares because we’re scared of them. I think they should be saved and looked after, but at the same time when I’m swimming in the sea I’m scared of them.
26. Who was the last person you texted?
EM: My mum.
27. What’s your most used emoji?
EM: The love heart.
28. What’s the last song that was stuck in your head?
EM: “Master Plan” by Oasis.
29. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
EM: “Angels” by Robbie Williams.
30. What was the last movie you saw?
EM: Christopher Robin. By Disney.
31. What’s one movie that never fails to make you cry?
EM: It’s a Wonderful Life.
32. What TV show have you been watching recently?
33. What was the last book you read?
EM: I read this brilliant book called Exit West. It’s about immigration and refugees.
34. What job would you want to do if you weren’t an actor?
EM: I’d like to be a sculptor or a fine artist. Something that involves staying at home. I’ve spent my life travelling around and I love that, I love seeing the world, but I spend my life on the move, and I fantasise about having a job where you can just wake up in the morning and make yourself some coffee and go to your studio, which is part of your house, and create. I’d have to do something creative, because I couldn’t not.
35. What’s your proudest achievement?
EM: I think working with Unicef, and being a Unicef ambassador, is the thing I’m most proud of.
36. What’s one ambition you have yet to accomplish?
EM: I’d like to fly. I used to fly aeroplanes, and I stopped doing that because it was so complicated with the radio stuff, because I live in LA and the airspace is very busy. But I’d like to fly paragliders, and soar underneath a wing like that, silently in the wind. I think that’d be amazing.
37. What’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make you happy?
EM: Being with my kids.
38. What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
EM: That I have a collection of bagpipes. [laughs]