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Scottish actor Ewan McGregor first received worldwide acclaim with his role in Trainspotting, and has since played Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
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In 1998, Ewan McGregor landed the largest role of his career when he signed on as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. McGregor already had a connection with the iconic movie series as his uncle, Denis Lawson, appeared as Wedge Antilles in the original three films. McGregor first hit the screen as Kenobi in 1999, with Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace, to much commercial success. The next two installments of the trilogy would follow years later.
Also in 1999,
McGregor acted in Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine, as a 1970s-era glam rocker in the mode of Iggy Pop.
In the early 21st century, Ewan McGregor started his own production company called Natural Nylon. He founded it with fellow actors Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee. The group's first movie was the Pat Murphy biopic Nora in 2000, which was co-produced by Wim Wenders' production company and Metropolitan Pictures. The film dramatized the real-life relationship between Irish author James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. McGregor was the star of the movie as Joyce and he played opposite Susan Lynch as Barnacle.
Following Nora in 2001, McGregor took on another challenging role in Baz Luhrmann's musical Moulin Rouge!, which was set in Paris in 1899. McGregor starred as the young poet Christian, who carries on a tumultuous relationship with Nicole Kidman's character throughout the film. McGregor was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role in the film and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. Later that same year, Black Hawk Down (2001) was released with McGregor playing one of the ensemble casts' main characters, Grimes.
In 2002, Ewan McGregor continued his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the second film of the trilogy, Star Wars: Episode II–Attack of the Clones. Another commercial success, McGregor was able to parlay his popularity into many more films.
In his early years as an actor, a magazine told Ewan McGregor that he had a very close resemblance to Albert Finney when he was a young man. So, in 2003, when Tim Burton was looking for someone in McGregor's age range to play Albert Finney as a young man in the fantasy film Big Fish, he was given the part. The film was a critical and commercial success as well. That same year, McGregor also starred in the erotic drama Young Adam, which was directed by David Mackenzie and originally screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. McGregor played Joe Taylor, one of two barge workers who pull up the corpse of a young woman from a river. Also that year, McGregor and Renée Zellweger starred opposite each other in director Peyton Reed's homage to 1960s romantic comedies in a film called Down With Love.
During 2004, McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman created a documentary about riding their motorcycles from London to New York. The pair traveled east through Europe and Asia, and then flew to Alaska to finish the journey to New York.
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