Ewan McGregor Jokingly Reveals He's Been 'Lying' When Asked About Playing Obi-Wan Again (Exclusive)
By Scott Baumgartner
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Ewan McGregor is relieved to finally being able to talk about returning to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
ET's Ash Crossan sat down with the actor on Monday at the press day for his new film, Doctor Sleep, where he discussed years of guarding a possible return to the Star Wars universe.
"Well, it's a really awkward situation to be in because the studios and the franchises, they want absolute secrecy and you have to respect that, but the trouble is that when you're the person being asked...you're having to lie about it really and I don't like that," he lamented. "I'd rather not lie about things, so when you're asked about it, you have to go, 'Well, if they want to give me a call, I'd be happy to play the roll again' and all the while you think, 'Well, we've been talking about it for a while,' but they don't want me to say that."
"I looked like I was trying to get the job and… people would send me stuff from online where people were going, 'They better not cast someone else!' and 'They're thinking of someone else!' and I was thinking, 'You know, there isn't somebody else,'" he added.
In August at the D23 Expo, fans learned that an Obi-Wan series starring McGregor is in the works for Disney's forthcoming platform. Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi, a Jedi master, was first introduced into Star Wars canon with the late Alec Guinness in 1977's A New Hope, before McGregor took over the role in the prequel series, The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). He returned to the role for a voice cameo in 2015's The Force Awakens.
In Doctor Sleep, the 48-year-old actor plays Danny Torrance, the son of Jack Torrance, Jack Nicholson's character in the classic film, The Shining. In the new film, also adapted from a novel by Stephen King, Danny returns to the haunted Overlook Hotel, which has since been abandoned. So, many of the sets look almost exactly like they did in The Shining, including the bathroom door, where Jack uttered the iconic line, "Here's Johnny!"
"It's odd in a way because you have to sort of ignore them," McGregor told ET of the new film's familiar hotel. "There are sort of filmmaker moments where we're remembering the original movie. But my character's not, unless he's remembering a moment of his past in there, which, of course, Danny had."
"But looking through the door, for instance, is an example where I have to sort of forget that this is an iconic moment from The Shining and, of course, it's an image of Jack Nicholson that we see on T-shirts and posters and all over the world, all my life, of him looking through that door," he continued. "And now, I've got to now look through it as his son, as Danny, and try not to let it bother me."
"I'm gonna wait and let you see him, it's quite difficult to describe, actually," he said of the role. "But it was an amazing, good, fun, experience to make that film. And I haven't seen it, yet. I'm looking forward to it."