Ewan McGregor on Doctor Sleep: ‘I know my character better than Stephen King does’
Scottish actor who stars in The Shining sequel says he does not always agree with the way master horror author King wrote his character Danny Torrance – Jack Nicholson’s son in the 1980 film. There’s also a plot change, he teases
Taking on a well-known film character and playing him at a different age is something Ewan McGregor is very familiar with.
The actor famous for portraying a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels is preparing to take on the role of the now-grown Danny Torrance, who was introduced in 1980’s The Shining as Jack Nicholson’s son. The sequel, planned for release in January 2020, is called Doctor Sleep and adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name.
“I don’t think I saw [The Shining] for quite a long time, until I was older. I knew it was so scary, and it is,” says McGregor, while discussing his new movie Christopher Robin (in Hong Kong cinemas today). “I can’t wait to.”
McGregor plans to rewatch the classic Stanley Kubrick horror film, but right now, he’s reading both King books.
He does not always agree with the way the character is written. “There are points where Stephen has written a bit, and I’m going ‘Oh, that’s not right.’ … I’m already thinking, ‘He hasn’t nailed it there.’ ”
McGregor recalls a passage of Doctor Sleep where Danny references “Victoria’s Secret models” to describe something unbelievable, like “discovering the cure for cancer”. (We looked up the passage.
Here’s what Danny thinks on page 189: “Sure, and maybe a cabal of Victoria’s Secret lingerie models would crack the secret of hydrogen fusion.”)
“I thought, ‘I don’t think that’s quite him,’ ” McGregor says, laughing. “Like, now I’m already thinking I know the character more than Stephen King.”
The actor hasn’t met King, but hopes to. McGregor will be working with writer-director Mike Flanagan, who did another film adaptation of King’s work, last year’s Netflix movie Gerald’s Game.
“Stephen King notoriously didn’t like The Shining. He didn’t like the fact that they didn’t end the movie the way he ended his novel. I think he felt it wasn’t a faithful adaptation,” McGregor says. “Our script is very faithful to his novel. But for one thing. And I’m not going to give anything away.”