Thursday, November 13, 2008

Being patient - and a pleading letter to Ewan McGregor

I've started work on The Heartstoppers, my U.S.-set comedy horror and it's going well. The reason - and the thing that's changed my screenwriting life - is that I sat down first and wrote a ten-page treatment for it. Never again will I try to write a script without a treatment. Therein lies madness! And a lot of frustration and pacing up and down....

After some good news about my Irish thriller Summer Tide, things seem to have gone quiet again. However, I'm trying to learn to be patient about these scriptwriting go-slows so I'm cracking on with other projects and leaving all that to percolate, at least for a while.

I haven't seen any films in the theatre since Easy Virtue, which is shocking. However, I see Ewan McGregor is in cinemas with another complete turkey, i.e. Incendiary. What's happened?? He used to be one of my favorite actors . I've sat through some humdingers in the past few years because he was in them and I figured they couldn't be that bad (I was wrong).

In the spirit of Empire's hilarious open letter to Mark Walhlberg (, I'm writing a letter to Ewan to ask him to get his act together already:

Dear Ewan McGregor,

I'm been a fan of yours since I saw Shallow Grave 15 years ago. You immediately endeared yourself to me with your great acting, adventurous role choices and willingness to get your kit off at every opportunity. You were jaw-dropping in Trainspotting (I'm ignoring Blue Juice), great in Emma and lovable in Brassed Off and if A Life Less Ordinary was less than brilliant, it wasn't really your fault. Up to 2004 I'd have defended you to anyone who criticised you but in the last four years you have made it seriously difficult to be your fan.

First of all, your film choices have been more and more random. I still can't believe I paid good money to see The Island. What a load of crap. You looked silly, you had no chemistry with Scarlett Johansson and frankly, Steve Buscemi acted you off the screen. The latest crime against movies that you participated in (that I've seen anyway), was Deception. Yes, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams should be ashamed of themselves too, but at least they gave it their all. You looked like you were thinking of the bike trip you were going to fund with your fee.

I think the rot started with Star Wars. For some reason George Lucas is able to take perfectly good actors and suck all the life out of them and that's what happened in this case. You were supposed to be heroic and I just wanted to smack you. Please, whatever George says to you on the phone, no more Obi Wan.

The other big mistake was teaming up with Charley Boorman to do that stupid TV series. Every group of male friends seems to include someone like Charley Boorman and he's usually the guy all the female partners wish would disappear. When I watch this show I feel for Mrs. McGregor, at home with the kids while two self indulgent idiots with too much money and time on their hands faff around the world on their penis-extension machines. Ewan, sometimes it's nice to maintain some mystery, and letting all your fans see you at your macho worst wasn't the best move.

It's not too late - you can get back to doing what you do best and take on brave, brilliant parts. But please, Ewan, sooner rather than later. I want to be able to go to the cinema and NOT come out cringing or annoyed. I want to be blown away again - and I know you can do it.



No comments: