Star spotlight: Ewan McGregor

Mar 6, 2012 at 4:29 p.m. ET

From Trainspotting to Emma, and Star Wars to Moulin Rouge!, Ewan McGregor likes to take risks -- both on and off screen. Check out your favorite Scottish actor as Ewan McGregor steps into the Star Spotlight!

Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor is one great Scot. With a nearly 20-year career garnering over a dozen award nominations and wins -- including, but by no means limited to: BAFTAs, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards, this multi-faceted performer has been attracting huge notice from the start.

Trainspotting was one of the most raw and talked about films of the '90s, and McGregor was the star as Renton, an undecided drug addict who bounces back and forth between hating and loving life. Voted the best Scottish film of all time in a public poll, the movie catapulted McGregor to fame.

Vital stats

Height:5 feet 10 inches

Birthday: March 31, 1971

Astrological sign: Aries

Hometown: Crieff, Scotland

Family: Wife Eve Mavrakis and four kids: Clara Mathilde, Esther Rose, Jamiyan and another daughter whose name hasn't been released

Hobbies: Motorcycles, singing

Critically acclaimed film after film followed, with McGregor often releasing several per year. Roles in fan favorites such as Emma, Moulin Rouge! -- in which he played the romantic hero (complete with song) to Nicole Kidman's tragic figure -- and Star Wars as the legendary Obi-Wan Kenobi cemented his place in pop culture and the Hollywood stratosphere.

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In between such blockbusters, McGregor chooses films that are just plain interesting -- like 2005's Stay with Ryan Gosling and Beginners with Christopher Plummer. He chooses roles based on being someone new and even turned down a chance to play James Bond in Casino Royale for fear of being typecast.

One game he's happy to repeat is his epic motorcycle trips turned documentaries. In 2004 he traveled from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Russia (including Siberia), Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Canada, riding as much of the trip as possible on a BMW bike with his bestie Charlie Boorman and cameraman Claudio von Planta. It was an adventure captured in the book and TV series, Long Way Round. They revamped their journey in 2007 with a ride from Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa in Long Way Down.

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These days McGregor is gearing up for his next flick, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, costarring Emily Blunt. Based on the novel by the same name, the film features McGregor as a British scientist who finds himself reluctantly involved in a plan to introduce, well, salmon fishing in Yemen.

After nearly 20 years, does the actor have any plans to slow down? Not likely. McGregor has films lined up for release through 2013.

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Photo credit: Drew Altizer/