Ewan McGregor turns in an emotionally powerful performance in The Impossible, a movie which dares to recreate the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. In the film, McGregor plays Henry, a man vacationing with his wife Maria and their three boys in Thailand when the tsunami hits. His family is torn away from him and he spends the film desperately trying to find his loved ones.
Recently, McGregor attended the film’s press day in Los Angeles and spoke about his experience making such an emotional film. He spoke about why he was attracted to the film, meeting the real life person that his character was based on and he even touches on a possible return to the Star Wars series.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: What made you want to do this movie?
Ewan McGregor: The script was an amazing read. I didn’t know that it was a true story when I read it but I was grabbed by how there was something very honest and true about it. So when I found out that it was a true story, it wasn’t a surprise. Some of the lines of dialogue were very extraordinarily accurate and powerful.
We Got This Covered: Did you meet the husband that your character was based on?
Ewan McGregor: Yeah I just met him a minute ago actually, he’s in the corridor (laughs). I didn’t get a chance to meet him before (shooting began), but I met him when the family came to where we were shooting after maybe a month of our filming there. I did meet some other survivors too and I learnt a lot from them.
We Got This Covered: Was this your most challenging role physically and emotionally?
Ewan McGregor: No, it wasn’t physically challenging for me because I’m not in the water. I think for Naomi (Watts) and Tom (Holland) the actual sequence with the wave was pretty brutal, but for me not so much.
We Got This Covered: You have four children of your own. Did you ever go to that place of what if it was me and my kids?
Ewan McGregor: Well I suppose you’re always acting from two things: your imagination and your experience in life. But it’s not very nice to think about those things and I tried not to make myself think about my kids because I wouldn’t do that. But I had these great little boys, these three fantastic kids that Naomi and I were lucky to work with. I was able to think about them and we created this family that I believed in, and it felt that there was a reality to what we created that I was able to use. I just thought about them really and how desperate it would be to be in that situation. This was the first real exploration of parenthood in my work because I haven’t played a dad before.
We Got This Covered: We do have to ask you about Star Wars. Why do you think there’s this rabid attention to the possibility of another Star Wars film?
Ewan McGregor: There’s massive interest in the films themselves because they’re massive films, aren’t they? They’re big, legendary movies. The original idea was that there would always be nine stories, and George (Lucas) told me that he wasn’t going to make the last three. So everyone assumed that it would just be those six films, so I think people are excited that they will all now be completed.
We Got This Covered: Would you be open to returning to the series as Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Ewan McGregor: I’ll be there if they want me to be (laughs). I wouldn’t want to see somebody else playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sir Alec Guinness isn’t available.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Ewan very much for talking with us. Be sure to check out The Impossible, in theatres December 21st.