Ewan McGregor 'turned into his grandad' in new role

From Trainspotting to Star Wars, Ewan McGregor is a man with a career that spans galaxies.

But his latest role takes him back in time.

Almost unrecognisable with a massive moustache and a fright of curly hair, he fronts new Paramount Plus series A Gentleman in Moscow as Count Alexander Rostov.

We join the glossy period production in 1921 Moscow, four years after the Russian revolution.

The country's aristocracy faces summary trials and executions. But Rostov - known as Sasha to his friends - is spared death because he wrote a poem that revolutionaries found inspirational.

He is placed under indefinite house arrest in Moscow's Grand Hotel Metropol and spends the next 32 years living in an attic room under the threat of death if he ever sets foot outside.

The series is an adaptation of the 2016 bestseller from Amor Towles by showrunner and executive producer Ben Vanstone, who worked on The Last Kingdom.

'A treat'

It is directed by Emmy nominee Sam Miller of I May Destroy You fame.

"The novel is a treat," said McGregor. "And it gave me everything I needed to know about how to play him."

While the story progressed through three decades, the actor was aged accordingly. And as the years went onto his appearance, he was surprised that the face of his grandfather emerged.

He told BBC Scotland's The Edit: "It was all my own moustache and I had a perm - I wanted to have mad curly hair.

"As he gets older my hair becomes more swept back and my moustache gets narrower and I sort of became my grandfather, Laurie Lawson."

Lawrence Lawson was a jeweller in McGregor's home town of Crieff in Perthshire.

He moved there after learning his trade in Glasgow and was at one point in charge of making sure the town clock kept the right time.

He also kept the town's watches going. he died in 1981, aged 63.

"People in Crieff will remember him," said McGregor.

"I became very like him in this piece. Toward the end of the shoot when I was at my oldest as the Count, I would look in the mirror and I really felt like him."

Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Ewan McGregor stars alongside his wife, Mary Elizabeth Winstead [Getty Images]

There was more than one family link in the production.

McGregor stars with his wife, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Winstead plays the Count's love interest Anna Urbanova and the role reflected the pair's loved-up mood.

McGregor said: "I love being with her so much that to go to work with her is the best thing in the world.

"Sometimes you have to get up awful early and you're getting in the car at 04:30 in the morning and we'd be sitting there holding hands on the way to work and it was lovely.

"We'd get to spend all day playing these amazing characters. "

The pair have been married since 2020 after meeting on the set of TV series Fargo and have a son.

"We met when we were working together we have always been very instinctive actors together.

"When we met during Fargo in series three, we would have these big scenes to play and we would come on and do it without discussing it.

"We'd be ready to go - there's something about us working together that's not a mystery."

The new show is not the movie star's first TV series.

As well as Fargo, the actor recently reprised his role of Star Wars stalwart Obi-Wan Kenobi after almost two decades for the self-titled Disney+ TV series after starring in three Star Wars prequels since 1999.

A Gentleman in Moscow starts on Paramount plus on Friday 29 March.

Watch the full interview with Ewan McGregor in The Edit, Saturday at 19:15 on the BBC Scotland channel.