Ewan McGregor, the 43-year-old Scottish actor who is most famously known for portraying Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars trilogy, is set to take a step in a new direction in the movie business by trying his hand at directing his very first movie. McGregor has been an incredibly successful actor for years after being cast in the 1996 film Trainspotting, winning himself two BAFTA awards which set the ball rolling, finally landing the lead role in the ever-famous Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Since then he has been nominated for numerous awards and won several throughout his acting career, proving his art and talent for his work in front of the camera. Can Ewan McGregor be just as successful behind the camera in his directional debut?
McGregor is set to direct the upcoming movie American Pastoral, an adaptation of Phillip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. He had already been attached to the movie along with actresses Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Connelly for some time, but now he is to add an extra workload to his part in the movie. The project with a script penned by John Romano has been passed around between different directors including Fisher Stevens and Phillip Noyce (director of Salt) before being handed to McGregor to direct, whilst still remaining as the lead actor in the film – a big task for anyone. However, he remains excited about the project and remarked that “I had wanted to direct for years and wanted to wait until I found a story that I just ‘had’ to tell, and in this script I knew I had found that story.” He also said “It’s a great privilege to be working with Lakeshore on Phillip Roth’s astounding novel, American Pastorial.” It is a big job for McGregor and will be fascinating to see come to the big screens. Filming on the movie is expected to begin in Pittsburgh in September.
American Pastoral is a story set during the Vietnam War era following Seymore ‘Swede’ Levov, played by McGregor, a previous high-school athlete who, together with his beauty queen wife (Connelly), succeeds in his father’s business after inheriting it. His happy and content life makes a devastating and life-changing turn when his daughter Merry (Fanning) signs herself up as a revolutionary and commits a deadly act of political violence and terrorism which throws their previous happy life into chaos.