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7 Essential Ewan McGregor Roles That Aren’t Obi-Wan

Ewan McGregor has delivered several memorable performances beyond the Star Wars universe.

Following the success of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, Lucasfilm strikes again with another Star Wars original series: Obi-Wan Kenobi. The six-episode Disney+ miniseries sees the return of many faces familiar to the franchise. But most importantly, Scottish actor Ewan McGregor is back in the role of Jedi Master Kenobi.

To celebrate McGregor’s Star Wars comeback, we’re looking back at his seven most essential roles that have nothing to do with a galaxy far, far away.

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Alex Law (Shallow Grave)

McGregor’s breakthrough film role came in Danny Boyle’s directorial debut, Shallow Grave. The dark comedy follows Alex Law (McGregor) and his two friends who discover their newest roommate lying dead alongside a suitcase packed with cash. From there, the three navigate a grim, twisted tale that puts each friend’s morality to the test.

Mark Renton (Trainspotting)

Let’s face it. McGregor made a big splash in the 90s. But until The Phantom Menace in 1999, there was nothing more significant than his turn as Mark Renton in Trainspotting.

Marketed as the next Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting deals with drug addiction and poverty in a high-energy, visceral kind of way. And McGregor shines, even during the film’s darkest moments.

If you like what you see, you won’t want to miss the 2017 sequel, T2 Trainspotting, which is available to stream for free on Tubi.

Christian (Moulin Rouge!)

In 2001, McGregor portrayed the poetic heartthrob Christian in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! It’s a complete 180 from what we saw in Trainspotting, but the film features a similarly vibrant fusion of sound and vision.

Edward Bloom (Big Fish)

Some of the best actors are fortunate enough to work with the most renowned filmmakers. In 2003, McGregor was cast in director Tim Burton’s adaptation of Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace. It’s an epic tale that’s equal parts fantastical and sentimental, and McGregor carries the film with his charming portrayal of young Edward Bloom.

Pro tip: If you want more Ewan McGregor, we recommend checking out his and Charley Boorman’s motorcycle docuseries Long Way Round. It follows the two real-life friends as they travel eastward from London to New York City on BMW motorcycles, and you can stream it on Apple TV+ along with its two follow-up series, Long Way Down and Long Way Up.

Oliver Fields (Beginners)

After a decade of mostly big-budget films, McGregor shifted gears for Beginners. The 2010 romantic dramedy brought the Scottish actor back to a more intimate creative setting. And the result is an emotionally sincere film that explores themes of love and loss.

Henry Bennett (The Impossible)

Both McGregor and Naomi Watts excel in director J. A. Bayona’s The Impossible—one of the most harrowing disaster dramas ever put on screen. The film tells the story of a family’s experience vacationing when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit Thailand. While it may be a difficult film to watch, we recommend seeing it at least once.

Emmit & Ray Stussy (Fargo season 3)

McGregor took a page out of Hayley Mills’ playbook when he played the role of two siblings in Fargo season 3. But as Emmit and Ray Stussy, McGregor brought two unique and quirky characters to life. Sure, it must be hard work to act in two starring roles—especially in a 10-episode series. But McGregor pulls it off in a way that fits seamlessly into the Fargo universe.

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