Profiles in Time: Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor is one of few actors who successfully made the leap from art house and indie projects to mainstream film and TV. Yet, even after receiving global attention for movies like Trainspotting, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and Big Fish, McGregor has continued to maintain a relatively low profile. Off-screen, he enjoys hiking, watching soccer, riding his motorcycle, and spending time with his four young daughters. Though he’s arguably one of the most discerning and talented actors in the industry, McGregor has a distinct every-man quality. Perhaps that’s why it comes as no surprise he’s also a lover of fine timepieces.

Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor: The Early Years

McGregor came from modest beginnings. He was born to two teachers in Scotland just outside of Edinburgh. As a child and adolescent, he enjoyed singing and became a soloist in the orchestra and choir at his schools. However, he was inspired to get into show business by his uncle, Denis Lawson. He played Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy. Little did McGregor know he would follow closely in his uncle’s footsteps and land his big break in the Star Wars prequel trilogy years later.

In 1987, Ewan McGregor dropped out of school at the age of sixteen to focus on his craft. He started working as a stage hand at a local theater and was able to score some small parts in their productions. Five years later in 1992, he decided to return his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Within a few short years, he was beginning to land some roles in British TV shows and made-for-TV films.

His First Movie

McGregor got his first major movie role in the 1994 film Shallow Grave. The project didn’t skyrocket him to stardom. However, it allowed him to meet writer and director Danny Boyle. He would later prove to be instrumental in Ewan McGregor’s career. Just two years later in 1996, Boyle tapped him to star in his film Trainspotting. The movie garnered critical acclaim, and McGregor got his first taste of the spotlight.

Ewan McGregor

For the next several years, McGregor continued to work on a number of films until he landed the role of a lifetime in 1998. That year, he signed on as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the three upcoming Star Wars films. A year later in 1999, he invested his well-deserved earnings into launching his own production company, Natural Nylon.

The new millennium continued to bring success for McGregor. He went on to star in films like Moulin Rouge!, Big Fish, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. With fame comes the opportunity for partnerships and endorsements. In 2014, he worked with IWC for the brand’s Portofino Midsize campaign and the launch of the new Aquatimer with Cirque du Soleil. In addition to the Portofino and Aquatimer, McGregor is also a fan of the Big Pilot Top Gun.

More recently years, Ewan McGregor returned to television in the series Fargo, inspired by the 1996 cult classic film. The show helped him land his first Golden Globe award. Today, you can find him staring in the live action Winnie the Pooh film, Christopher Robin. Though you can still spot him wearing one of the IWC pieces from his collection, you might also see him sporting a Rolex. His model of choice is the classic Submariner.

Check out more Profiles in time, like Robert Redford.

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