Ewan McGregor on the Appeal of Exploring Sobriety & Recovery in ‘Doctor Sleep’

     November 6, 2019

Ewan McGregor is no stranger to bringing unforgettable characters back to screen; he did so with Renton in T2 Trainspotting in 2017 and is gearing up to play Obi-Wan Kenobi again in the new Star Wars Disney+ series, a role he took over from Alec Guinness.  Doctor Sleep, however, is a unique challenge for one big reason; not only is Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining a classic all on its own, but it greatly differs from the iconic Stephen King source material.

In Doctor Sleep, McGregor takes over for Danny Lloyd who played Danny Torrance in the 1980 Kubrick film. Dan is all grown up, struggling with addiction (much like his father), and is also still trying to cope with what he experienced at The Overlook Hotel and the horrors that followed him. On top of that, Dan also encounters a new formidable foe, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and the True Knot, a group that survives by killing those who shine.


Image via Warner Bros.

One of the burning questions regarding McGregor’s interpretation of the role is, who is this Dan Torrance? Is he the older version of the King character or Kubrick’s rendition? I recently got the chance to sit down with McGregor and he told me all about that balancing act, what it was like working with director Mike Flanagan, and also about how the themes of addiction and recovery drew him to the project. You can give it all a watch for yourself in the video interview at the top of this article. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for more Doctor Sleep interviews with Ferguson and Kyliegh Curran, as well as a little spoiler talk with McGregor and Flanagan coming soon!

Doctor Sleep hits theaters nationwide on November 8th. You can give the Collider Video review of the movie a watch right here.

Ewan McGregor:

  • What made Doctor Sleep a must for McGregor.
  • What was it like working with a director who has an editorial background like Flanagan?
  • Did McGregor feel the pressure to find the balance between the Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick versions of The Shining?

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