I remember auditioning with a number of different actors, younger actors, for the role. One of them was Heath Ledger, another was Jake Gyllenhaal. That would have been a different way to go, but I remember Baz saying, “There’s also someone else I’m considering and that’s Ewan McGregor. He can’t come over here to audition but I’ve heard him sing and he’s amazing.”
I had met Ewan once (He was wearing a kilt.) I think it was at a theater event when I was doing The Blue Room in London and I just clicked with him. I love his humor. I just went, wow, to be able to act opposite Ewan McGregor in THIS film would be such a dream. He has that poetic quality, yet he has that mischievous quality. He’s just very, very unique. He was already a huge star in England so I was like, I don’t know, will he do it? And Baz was like, “Yes. Yes. He’ll do it.”
I remember we met for the first time in Australia when we went there to do this 8-week rehearsal workshop process. I took one look at him and I heard him sing Elton John’s Your Song and I just thought, oh my gosh, you’re going to be amazing in this film. Every time he sang Your Song to me, and I mean, because of all the rehearsals and all the shooting, and it was a long shoot, I must have heard him sing that to me well over 500 times and I still get tingles. That’s how powerful the song is. But it’s also how powerful Ewan is singing it. I think he’s so beautiful in the film and I would love to work with him again.