Ewan McGregor had to lie 'for years' about 'Star Wars' return

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Credit: Fox/Lucasfilm)
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Credit: Fox/Lucasfilm)

By Megan Johnson

Ewan McGregor is relieved the truth is out about reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. But that doesn't mean he's saying much.

The actor, 50, told CBS Sunday Morning that while he's now allowed to say that he will participate in an upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series, he had to avoid frequent questions from fans and journalists for years.

"What's interesting is that, for a while you had to sit on even saying that you were coming back?" said Tracy Smith during the sit-down portion of the interview. "I mean, people have been asking you about this for almost two decades."

"That was annoying," replied McGregor, who last portrayed the famed Jedi in 2005's Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Read more: 'Game of Thrones' star joins 'Star Wars' series 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

"Every interview I ever did for, you know, years, people would say, 'Well, are the rumours true?' And I'd have to sort of, I'd have to lie. I'd have to say, 'Well, you know, I don't know. I'd be happy to play him one day again.' I'd have to just keep saying … It started looking like I was sort of asking Disney for a job!

Ewan Mcgregor & George Lucas Attend The 'Star Wars Episode Iii: Revenge Of The Sith' Uk Film Premiere At The Odeon Cinema In London'S Leicester Square. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
Ewan Mcgregor & George Lucas Attend The 'Star Wars Episode Iii: Revenge Of The Sith' Uk Film Premiere (Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)

"Like, every interview I was asked that. 'Well, I'd be happy to play him again, you know,' and it was just a way of, like, trying not to be dishonest, but at the same time not telling the truth."

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When Smith said it must be a "relief" that he can talk about his role, McGregor said "It's nice. The cat is out the bag!"

Ewan McGregor is a guest on
Ewan McGregor was a guest on "Good Morning America" in 2020 (Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) EWAN MCGREGOR

But of course, that doesn't mean he's be giving away too many details. When asked by Smith what it felt like to "put on the cloaks" once again, McGregor cryptically replied that "there might not be cloaks."

"You can't even say that?" said Smith in return.

"There may, or may not, be cloaks. I'm not saying anything!" laughed McGregor. "But to come back to play him again, Obi-Wan Kenobi, has been absolutely brilliant. I'm really enjoying it."

The title treatment for Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney)
The title treatment for Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney)

But it's McGregor's current role in the five-part Netflix series Halston that's currently making waves. In the series, McGregor plays the famed American fashion designer, who rose to fame at the helm of an international fashion brand. But McGregor admitted that in Halston's story he saw shades of himself. Born Roy Halston Frowick, the late designer dealt with drug addiction and alcoholism that ultimately threatened his career. It's a battle McGregor is familiar with, having gotten sober years ago.

"The last time we spoke, you spoke about your sobriety," Smith said to McGregor. "And I'm wondering, watching Halston, too, do you think that your sobriety has helped you see these people who are struggling with drug use in a different way, understand them a little bit more?"

Ewan McGregor in Halston (Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)
Ewan McGregor in Halston (Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)

"I understand them, yeah," he responded. "I understand it, addiction. And I'm not judgmental about it, you know? Because I've walked that path for so many years, and it's very cunning and you will absolutely live in denial, you know? People can't see it. So, there's Halston going to Studio 54 every night and doing coke and his business is in terrible trouble. And yet he still goes, 'I don't have a problem. I could stop any time I like, you know?' I understand that, yeah."

Now with many years of sobriety under his belt, McGregor said he's "very satisfied" and even "likes" being famous.

"I like it. So in that side of things, you learn that that's actually what makes you happy, is striving to do the best job you can at work and not feeling like you're sort of dogging it or phoning it in," he said. "And then, that feels pretty good."

Halston is now streaming on Netflix

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