Bare es­sen­tials

De­spite his track record, Scot­tish-born ac­tor Ewan McGre­gor isn’t al­ways a fan of get­ting his kit off, writes HOLLY BYRNES

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

FOR the record, as proud of his 45-year-old body as Ewan McGre­gor is, he would like it known he does not have a clause in his con­tracts to make nude scenes com­pul­sory.

Fans of the Scot­tish-born ac­tor, who have seen plenty of McGre­gor in the raw, over his 25-year ca­reer – in­clud­ing films Trainspot­ting, Vel­vet Gold­mine and Pil­low Book – might be sur­prised at this de­nial.

Still, in his new TV role – play­ing two broth­ers, Ray and Em­mit Stussy, in the third sea­son of FX se­ries Fargo – it doesn’t take long be­fore McGre­gor’s bare bot­tom is filling the small screen again.

It’s all for the story, the cheeky star in­sists, play­ing pa­role of­fi­cer Ray, who leaps from a bath he’s en­joy­ing with a co-star, half-way through episode one.

Devo­tees will also note he’s more out of shape as the mid­dle-aged Min­nesota man, pack­ing on the weight to play Ray.

Be­sides the phys­i­cal and cre­ative chal­lenge of tack­ling the two parts (he also plays Ray’s more suc­cess­ful sib­ling and park­ing lot en­trepeneur Em­mit, pic­tured above), McGre­gor rel­ished adding the inches to his waist­line.

“I’d been wait­ing for years to get that note ‘put on weight’ as op­posed to take it off,” McGre­gor says.

“It’s eas­ier to do than say my role in Son of a Gun when I had to be su­per mus­cly and fit … that takes ef­fort. The only ef­fort with this was mov­ing my jaw, eat­ing … so I just did that a lot.”

Ap­pear­ances aside, the movie star’s turn in Fargo’s 10-episode sea­son is a tour de force. While a fan of the film, made fa­mous by Billy Bob Thor­ton, McGre­gor had never seen the TV adap­ta­tion (star­ring Martin Free­man and Kirsten Dunst) “be­cause I thought it was a silly idea to make a tele­vi­sion se­ries of a movie we all know and love”.

“Then I bumped into one of [ Fargo’s] pro­duc­ers when I was ski­ing and sat down and had lunch with him and we were talk­ing about shows on FX that I loved,” he says.

“I loved Bas­kets with Zac Gal­i­fi­anakis and any­thing with Louis CK I re­ally en­joy. He asked if I’d seen Fargo and I said I hadn’t and he said, ‘You should watch and check it out be­cause we’re cast­ing the third sea­son now and we’re look­ing for some­one to play two broth­ers’.”

De­spite watch­ing them out of or­der, sea­son two be­fore one, he was hooked and im­pressed at how creator Noah Haw­ley had man­aged to cap­ture the flavour, tone and look of the Coen Broth­ers film. “I was very ex­cited to try to cre­ate two unique peo­ple, broth­ers, who are very dif­fer­ent personalities, dif­fer­ent physiques,” McGre­gor says.

“Some of my favourite ac­tors have done that, like Alec Guin­ness, and I’ve al­ways thought it was a mark of some­thing as an ac­tor to have the au­di­ence for­get you are play­ing ei­ther char­ac­ter.”

He would make the men­tal shift between the two, between scenes, mostly in the make-up chair – with Ray’s bald­ing look and ex­ag­ger­ated nose re­quir­ing two-and-a-half hours’ work.

With film­ing of the se­ries fin­ish­ing just last month, McGre­gor prom­ises it won’t be the last we see of him – naked or not – in TV: “I cer­tainly hope to do it again be­cause I like it. I came away feel­ing com­pletely sat­is­fied cre­atively, it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.” ANDY Ryan knows his place when it comes to his TV mar­riage to Mi­randa Tapsell.

As the Love Child favourite who plays ju­nior doc­tor War­ren ex­plains: “I play Mr Martha Bowditch, that’s what I call him” – a nod to his em­pow­ered on-screen wife, played by Tapsell.

The ac­tors’ re­la­tion­ship off-air is as re­spect­ful, al­beit more your spar­ring sib­lings than lovers, he tells TV Guide.

“We’re the best of friends,” he says. “We stitch each other up all the time. We’re al­ways mak­ing fun of each other and mak­ing jokes.

“Last year we had a re­ally cool bet, where the loser of the State of Ori­gin had to wear the win­ner’s jersey. I’m a diehard Queens­land fan, so she posed up in my jersey…it was ab­so­lutely swim­ming on her.”

The strength of their chem­istry has paid off in work terms for Ryan, who be­gan on the Chan­nel 9 drama in its sec­ond sea­son with a small role that has only built as fans follow their love story.

“I ac­tu­ally got this role just af­ter [the INXS tele­movie] Never Tear Us Apart had aired so I was grate­ful just to get some work,” he says.

“I started off in the sec­ond sea­son, I think I had some­thing like 20 days work and I was over the moon with that. Then the sea­son af­ter, they dou­bled the quan­tity of my role. This year I’ve come back with a full sea­son, so I’ve had a lot to sink my teeth into which is re­ally good, I’m re­ally happy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.