Ewan McGregor: I don't want my girls to think skinny is perfect

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Ewan McGregor: I don't want my girls to think skinny is perfect
Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor has battled Darth Vader, Somali warlords and a killer tsunami but it's the fight against body demons that has him rattled.

Ewan has four young daughters and the family live in image-obsessed LA, where children as young as three are diagnosed with eating disorders and 81 per cent of 10-year-olds are on a diet.

They're scary statistics and something Ewan and his wife Eve Mavrakis think about every day.

"It's something we've always try to be very, very aware of," Ewan told The Weekly when we sat down with him in Sydney's exclusive Darling Point in May.

"We live in LA and it's everywhere — the idea that skinny is seen as right and ideal. It's just so ridiculous. We are always very careful to make sure our kids know that's not the truth.

"It's just not true that we find one type of shape attractive as men. It's about who you are you — that's what is attractive about someone, not what shape they are. Take it from me."

That Ewan has any children, let alone four, might come as a surprise to some readers.

The girls — Clara, 17, Jamyan, 12, Esther, 11 and two-year-old Annouk — are adopted but unlike other celebrities, like Angelina Jolie and Madonna, Ewan never talks about it.

But while he won't be drawn on the specifics of the girls' adoptions, the proud father is happy to talk about the girls themselves.

"I love my girls and I love having girls," he says. "I couldn't be happier. It's a lovely relationship between a father and his daughter."

You might wonder how Ewan has managed to keep his bevy of beautiful daughters under the radar in the current celebrity-obsessed era — and it's something that's got him puzzled too.

He isn't sure why the paparazzi largely leave him and his family alone, but is very glad they do.

"I'm very lucky," he says. "I think I'm not very interesting to them because I've been married for a very long time and I have children. My life is not that exciting.

"And that's great. Long may it continue, because whenever I have had trouble with them it's always to do with me and my children.

"I find it unacceptable that they are allowed to harass people with their kids and it makes you see red. It's very difficult to keep yourself together."

Ewan hasn't always been settled and "boring". When he first found fame in 1996 cult hit Trainspotting, he, like many other young stars, let it go to his head.

Before long, he was an alcoholic. Looking back, he can't quite believe he made it out of that era alive.

"It was a huge, heady time and there were many people who didn't come out of it alright," he says. "I could have been one of those people, for sure."

After four years of heavy partying, Ewan stopped drinking in 2000 and hasn't touched alcohol since.

"Somewhere along the line I realised that work is the most important thing," he says. "Acting is what gives me the most pleasure and joy but the minute you become more interested in what goes along with it — the parties — it doesn't give you the same sort of satisfaction.

"I realised that and I changed my lifestyle. I stopped drinking and all of that stuff a long time ago and it has made me a happier person."

Ewan was in Sydney to launch LG's new home entertainment range. It might seem like an unusual partnership, but it's a cause very close to Ewan's heart.

"I love my TV — it's where I catch up on a lot of movies. With work and the family I don't see all the movies I would like to see at the cinema so having a great home cinema is really important to me.

"I've also spent a lot of my life waiting on film sets for everything to be just right. It takes a lot of time and a great deal of skill to make things look a certain way and on most TVs, all of that is just lost.

"These new LG TVs show things exactly as the filmmaker wants them to be seen so for me, that's really satisfying."

Ewan McGregor is brand ambassador for LG's 2013 Home Entertainment range across Australia and New Zealand. For more information visit LG's website.

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