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Ewan McGregor 'totally confused' about Scottish independence after Brexit vote

Published 30/10/2016

Ewan McGregor has said he was ready to vote for Scotland to leave the EU in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote
Ewan McGregor has said he was ready to vote for Scotland to leave the EU in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote

Ewan McGregor has said he is "totally confused" over the issue of Scottish independence in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

The Scots actor favoured his home country remaining part of the UK when the Scottish independence vote took place in 2014.

But he admitted he "absolutely" would have opted for Scotland to leave the 300-year-old union in the immediate aftermath of the UK's Brexit vote.

The film star told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show that he tried hard to stay out of the independence debate in 2014 because he did not have a vote in the Scottish referendum and has not lived in the country since he was 17.

But he told the show: "The truth is I didn't want Scotland to be independent in 2014. I didn't understand how it was going to work. I was worried that Scotland would flounder if it was on its own and I believed in the union and I felt like we were stronger together.

"Then Brexit's happened. Now I'm totally confused."

He told how he was shooting Trainspotting 2 on the streets of Scotland the night the EU referendum results poured in and had been telling colleagues the count would swing back in favour of Remain.

He went on: "By the time I got home, I switched the television on and there's (Nigel) Farage doing his victory speech and I thought, 'He's made a terrible mistake, he's going to be embarrassed because he's announced his victory too soon'.

"I thought he'd made a mistake but of course it wasn't to be the case.

"That next day I would have voted absolutely for Scotland to leave, I really would have done."

The actor also described how nerve-wracking it was for him to film Trainspotting 2, the sequel to the original 1996 movie which first made his name around the globe.

But he said reprising his role as heroin addict Mark Renton ended up being "like meeting an old friend".

McGregor told the show: "It was a very strange and wonderful experience to come back to characters 20 years later, and I have to say quite nerve-wracking, I was quite nervous about it.

"I started maybe a week or two after (co-stars) Ewen Bremner and Jonny Lee Miller and Bobby Carlyle did so I came in and they were already up to speed.

"I met Ewen Bremner in a lunch queue and said, 'I'm a bit nervous, what if I can't find Renton?'

"He said, 'Look we all felt like that, but wait till you've done your first scene, you'll see. And I did, because of course Renton is me and I am Renton and there's something very sort of meta about the whole thing.

"So once we started it was like meeting an old friend again, it was great."

The actor is currently promoting his 1960s-set directorial debut, American Pastoral, an adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

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