Ewan McGregor Says ‘The Impossible’ Gave Him His First Chance On-Screen to ‘Explore What it Means to Be a Parent’ (VIDEO)

By: Todd Gilchrist / December 17, 2012

Watts' 'Impossible' Attire
The actress walks the red carpet at the film's premiere.
Ewan McGregor is best-known on screen for playing bachelors – or at least, bachelors embarking on big relationships – but The Impossible gave him his first-ever opportunity to really play a parent.

Although technically he portrayed a father in Tim Burton’s 2003 film Big Fish, McGregor said that his turn as a father trying to keep his family together in the wake of tsunami offered him some unique challenges that hit close to home.

“It doesn’t change the way that I see my family,” McGregor said of his role in the film. “But the fact that I’m used to that relationship with my children – I know exactly and intimately what that feels like and what that means, to be a father.”

“This is the first time I’ve been able to explore what it means to be a parent, albeit in an extraordinarily different situation,” he continued. “I drew of course on my experience as a dad to play this part, although I never made myself think about my children before scenes, or I tried never to think, well, what would it be like it that was my daughter. I couldn’t do that.”

Oddly, the verisimilitude of the story itself was what McGregor found more troubling initially – if only because he wasn’t aware that The Impossible’s story was based on true events.

“I read the script thinking it was a film about the tsunami in 2004,” he recalled. “And I was a bit dubious about that – that if someone made up a story and set it in a real-life disaster, I think that would be something that you wouldn’t want to be part of.”

“And then I discovered afterward it was a true story when I spoke to my agent, and it made perfect sense – all of the details in the script are so personal.”

The Impossible opens in theaters nationwide on December 21. Watch Celebuzz’ interview with McGregor’s co-star, Naomi Watts, below.

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