Ewan Mcgregor on playing two brothers in Fargo and getting a helping hand from the US President...
WEDNESDAY / C4
It was our pleasure to talk to my fellow Scot, Ewan Mcgregor, about playing siblings in series three. He’s barely recognisable as down-on-his-luck Ray, who plans to steal a rare stamp from his rich brother Emmit.
WEDNESDAY / C4 / 10.00Pm
Ewan Mcgregor is usually seen on the big screen, starring in hit movies such as Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge! and the Star Wars prequels, but this week he can be seen on TV as Fargo returns to C4 for a third series. And as he leads the cast of the US murder-mystery drama, the 46-year-old Scot appears in not one, but two, very different roles.
Set in 2010, the 10-episode run sees Ewan play warring brothers – real-estate magnate Emmit and parole officer Ray – alongside a new-look cast, including Harry Potter actor David Thewlis. When Emmit refuses to give him the money to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring, Ray plans to steal a stamp but things quickly go awry. Here, Ewan tells
TV Times more… You look very different as Ray, how did you transform yourself? We used prosthetics to give me a double chin and widen my nose. Because he’s so down on his luck, it felt right to give him long hair and a receding hairline. It’s interesting how shallow people are on social media – my pictures had comments like, “They’ve made you so ugly”.
But I say don’t judge a book by its cover. I think he looks amazing. Ray’s a classic dude! Were you a fan of the series?
I hadn’t seen it because I thought it was a silly idea to make a TV show based on a much-loved movie. I just didn’t get it. But I was talking to a producer about an idea I had for a TV show when he said
I should check out Fargo because they were casting season three. I went home and watched the first two seasons out of order by accident, but I ate them up!
How different are Emmit and Ray? Ray’s complicated. He’s mean to the convicts he works with, but he’s different with his girlfriend, Nikki. Emmit is colder. His life has been about making money, but in this time of conservatism and Donald Trump, it’s been interesting to play someone like that and I feel I’m channeling Trump. As Emmit’s life starts to fall apart, he’s quick to blame others, like Trump does!
The series is set in Minnesota, but filmed in Calgary – how did you cope with the extreme cold?
We started shooting in January and it was -29C, so properly freezing! I’ve really fallen for Calgary, but I have a funny relationship with the place because I was almost killed there when I was filming Long Way Round! I was rear-ended by a kid in the fast lane on the highway. It’s the nearest to death I’ve ever been and reminded me how lucky I am.
Will we see you in a British Tv show next perhaps?
I’d love to be in Catastrophe! I love the characters, especially Chris [Mark Bonnar]. It’s my favourite British TV show, and another example of great writing. Season three has already finished, though, so I might have missed the boat…
fargo is PREVIEWED on pages 64-65
Ewan used Trump to mould the character of Ray
Sibling rivalry: Ewan as Emmit (left) and Ray
Ewan and wife Eve at a screening of
Fargo in New York