Ewan McGregor stars in the new film, "Beginners," which is about a young man whose father comes out as gay late in life.
The film was released on Friday, June 3. Director Mike Mills ("Thumbsucker") wrote the script, which is based on his late father, who came out as a gay man at age 75.
McGregor plays Oliver, who helps his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) with his new-found freedom and must deal with the fact that his father has terminal cancer. When Hal passes away, Oliver takes in his beloved dog and falls in love with a beautiful woman (Melanie Laurent).
"I play Oliver in the film 'Beginners,' who is a graphic artist," McGregor said in an interview provided by Focus Features. "We see him in the studio designing record covers and his mother has passed away 2 or 3 years before and his father, Hal, who is 75 years old, comes out of the closet and tells him he's gay and always has been and his wife knew. So, Oliver is really looking at his childhood, questioning, although he's really accepting of his father's sexuality."
To prepare for the role, Mills wanted McGregor and Laurent to go on a roller coaster ride in order to prepare them for the ups-and-downs of a relationship. He also had the actor and Plummer buy a scarf at the department store Barneys as part of a father-son bonding exercise.
"Mike said, okay, I want you to go to Barneys and here's $200, I want you to buy Christopher a scarf and Christopher, now you're gay and you want to look fabulous in your scarf," McGregor said. "He was sort of dismissive, thinking 'What is this, going to Barneys to buy a scarf,' but then he went 'What are those?' and he looked at my jeans and I said 'They're just black jeans, Christopher' and he said 'They're very tight' and I said, 'Well, they're skinny jeans, you would call them skinny jeans.' So when we went to Barneys, he had his mind set on skinny jeans."
McGregor also bonded with his canine co-star and even bought a dog after filming ended.
"I always thought that 'adamant' meant don't work with children or animals because they're difficult to work with and they don't do what they're told, but I realize now, it's just purely a vanity thing," McGregor said. "You shouldn't work with children or animals because nobody will be looking at you in the scene. And it's true. But he's a brilliant little actor, that dog."
McGregor is a Scottish actor who rose to fame after starring in movies like "Trainspotting" and "Moulin Rouge." He has been married to wife Eve since 1995. They have three children.
Watch a trailer for "Beginners" below.