Everyone remembers their first movie star crush. Ewan McGregor wasn’t my first love, but certainly was an early obsession. Today on his fiftieth birthday, we celebrate a movie star who still hasn’t lost his good looks, effervescent glow and boundless energy.
READER NOTE: Some of McGregor’s roles have included adult situations that might not be appropriate for work. In a few cases we have included those we felt were essential to telling this story.
Ewan McGregor was born on March 31st, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. In his nearly three decades of work as an actor, McGregor has been a swoon-worthy leading man, a Jedi, and, most importantly, a juicy snack. His performances have sparked the sexual awakening of so many millennial gay men and women, including yours truly. It helps when he either sings or gets naked in every one of his movies. He can do anything (except get that Oscar nomination that has eluded him for so long). True stars only get better with age, and Ewan is no exception. What follows, some of the thirstiest Ewan McGregor moments
The Ghost Writer (2010)
They say never sleep with the enemy. However, Ewan McGregor’s ghost writer is too adorable not to fall for. We should give thanks for Olivia Williams for luring McGregor to bed so we can get a great shot of his beautiful booty.
We wouldn’t kick him out of bed.
Mike Mills’ Beginners earned rave reviews for Christopher Plummer’s Oscar winning turn as a septuagenarian who comes out late in life. However, Ewan McGregor anchors the film with a soulful performance as Oliver, the sullen son of Plummer’s Hal. Though he embarks on a relationship with Melanie Laurent’s Anna, he has the most chemistry with Arthur, the Jack Russell terrier.
Previously on Towleroad
I Love You, Phillip Morris (2009)
If going to jail earned me the love of my life in the form of Ewan McGregor, I’d say lock me up. Jim Carrey plays Steven Jay Russell, a con man who lives a lavish gay lifestyle that gets him thrown in jail. While there, he falls for Phillip Morris (McGregor). When Steven gets out of prison, he starts multiple cons to get Phillip free so they could be together. We understand the feeling. Who wouldn’t move heaven and Earth to be with Ewan?
Birds of Prey or the Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)
He’s still got it. As a nightclub owner and mob boss, McGregor oozes smarmy charisma. You want to cuddle up with him just as much as you want to run from him. He’s the type of guy your friends warn you about. His smile wins hearts and breaks them instantaneously. Bonus Points: Can we get a spinoff where Roman and his henchman Victor get to live their truth and have a happy gay life together?
Being Friends With Jude Law (1997 – Current)
It’s always dangerous to have hot friends. There’s always the danger that they will show you up. Few people could out-hunk Ewan McGregor, but 2004 It-Boy Jude Law is one of the few who could. Still, these photoshoots of the two UK friends deserve to be resurfaced at any opportunity possible. Thanks to Jason Adams at My New Plaid Pants for chronicling the shoot and all thirsty topics around Hollywood’s leading men.
It takes a lot to make debilitating heroin addiction sexy. Leave it to Ewan McGregor to shatter our expectations, and look good doing it. He emerged as an up and coming star with his performance as Renton. With a shaved head and thin frame, McGregor still managed to fill the entire frame with his enviable charisma and livewire, frenetic energy. A star was born. Plus, if all else fails, take it all off and flash your goods.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
How can you not fall in love with the beaming, idealistic Christian. When I first saw the movie, my eyes twinkled like Nicole Kidman’s when McGregor started belting “Your Song” and “Elephant Love Medley.” He leans into the melodrama, making us believe that “love is like oxygen” for his penniless writer.
Chemistry with Nicole Kidman, on and off screen (2001 – 2017)
Why did Moulin Rouge work so well? Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor had limitless wells of chemistry. Their star crossed lovers were the things of movie star dreams. This magnetism continued to apply to their photo shoots as well. No matter how much time passes, we love to see them in the same picture together.
Previously on Towleroad
Young Adam (2003)
Tilda Swinton doesn’t just have good taste in projects, she also has great taste in men. In David Mackenzie’s crime drama, McGregor stars as a suspicious drifter named Joe who ends up working on a barge. While there, he embarks on an affair with his boss’ wife, Ella (Swinton).
The Pillow Book (1996)
Ewan McGregor went full frontal not once, but twice in his first major year as a global star. He stars in The Pillow Book as Jerome, a British translator who becomes a literal object of desire for Nagiko (Vivian Wu), a woman with a body writing fetish. After seeing the movie, we can completely understand.
Down with Love (2003)
Few movies pump pure seratonin into the mind quite like Peyton Reed’s romantic comedy, Down with Love. Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor do their best Doris Day-Rock Hudson as an advice columnist and playboy that fall in love. Romantic entaglements are joyously fun in this light, effervescent and charming romp. More than anything, McGregor gets the sex appeal that old school movie stars used to have to exude. It’s all about the power of suggestion. Let’s just say we buy him as a winking lothario and just wish he would pick us up at a club.
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
The main character of Velvet Goldmine is Todd Haynes himself. The writer/director paints a beautiful, sumptuous and grand portrait of the queer, pop, punk scene of the 60s and 70s in England. The entire cast inhabits the tone that gets continually heightened by Sandy Powell’s clothes and Christopher Hobbs production design. We spend the most time with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers’ Buddy Slade and his ascent in the music business thanks to his bewitching voice and Bowie-esque androgeny. The only person to truly gobsmack him is the ferile wild child, Curt Wild (McGregor). Once the two start collaborating, the sex appeal is off the charts. McGregor is larger than life in the role, fully realizing his star potential as both a matinee idol and a live wire liability. It’s thrilling work that, yes, once again involves him stripping down.
What is your favorite Ewan McGregor performance? Which one is his sexiest? Let us know in the comments below.
This piece first appeared in The Film Experience.