Ewan McGregor had just spent the previous 24 hours flying in from London and then hosting a Q&A for his film, AMERICAN PASTORAL, at the Mill Valley Film Festival, but adrenalin got the better of fatigue when I spoke with him on October 10, 2016.
The film charts the life of a Jewish-American golden boy whose life falls apart when his daughter becomes radicalized by the political turmoil of the 1960s. It was only natural for me to ask McGregor, the father of four daughters, about the mystery children can be to their parents, the contentious politics of the 1960s, and why a shot of the Twin Towers under construction was included in the film.
Based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, it is the story of the Swede, played by McGregor, whose charmed existence of achieving the American Dream falls apart when his only daughter, Merry, becomes radicalized by the turmoil of the 1960s. As Merry becomes more and more estranged, her rebellion and protest put a strain on the Swede’s marriage, while the protests outside his factory threaten his livelihood, and both situations cause him to call into question everything he had up until then taken for granted. The film co-stars Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, Peter Riegert, Rupert Evans. Uzo Aduba, Valorie Curry, Molly Parker, and David Strathairn. McGregor directed from a script by John Romano and it is his directorial debut. His previous work includes saving the Federation in the Star Wars prequels, bringing a new sport to the desert in SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, and a stunning turn in TRAINSPOTTING.