American Pastoral helped Ewan McGregor deal with daughter flying the nest to uni


Actor Ewan McGregor has said that directing the film in which he loses his on screen daughter to terrorism helped prepare him for losing his own eldest daughter to university.

In the crime drama, based on Philip Roth's 1997 novel, his character Seymour Levov's daughter, played by Dakota Fanning, becomes disillusioned with her father's world of business and becomes embroiled in terrorist protest.

Speaking to The Andrew Marr Show about his directorial debut - released on November 11 - on Sunday, Ewan said: "The relationship with the daughter is definitely what grabbed me. It's like a death without a death.

Meet the Levovs: mum, dad and daughter.
Meet the Levovs: mum, dad and daughter (Charles Sykes/AP/PA)

"My oldest, Clara, was 15 when I started this so I must have been preparing myself for the loss of her to university and out of the home."

On the subject of nostalgia, the father-of-four, 45, also spoke of his nerves in starring in T2, the revisit of 1996 cult favourite Trainspotting.

Stepping back into the (scuffed Adidas) shoes of his character, Renton, he said: "It was quite nerve-racking. I thought, 'what if I can't find Renton?'

"But once I started it was like meeting an old friend again."

The Scottish-born star added that it was while he was on the T2 set that he discovered the result of the EU referendum, and claimed that it would have "absolutely" encouraged him to vote for Scottish independence.

He told Andrew: "By the time I got home, I switched the television on and there's (Nigel) Farage doing his victory speech and I thought, 'He's made a terrible mistake, he's going to be embarrassed because he's announced his victory too soon'.

"I thought he'd made a mistake but of course it wasn't to be the case.

"That next day I would have voted absolutely for Scotland to leave, I really would have done."

"The truth is I didn't want Scotland to be independent in 2014. I didn't understand how it was going to work. I was worried that Scotland would flounder if it was on its own and I believed in the union and I felt like we were stronger together.

"Then Brexit's happened. Now I'm totally confused."

You and the rest of us, Ewan...