This winsome, stage-trained Scotsman rose to prominence after roles in two movies directed by Danny Boyle: the 1994 comic thriller Shallow Grave and the 1996 heroin-addiction tale Trainspotting. In both films, McGregor captivated with his portrayals of two very flawed yet undeniably charming characters. His career flourished after he won widespread attention as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the much-ballyhooed reboot of the Star Wars trilogy. The blockbuster franchise continued to keep him busy between 1999 and 2005. As his fame quickly grew, he found time to appear in a number of more offbeat projects. He portrayed legendary Irish author James Joyce in Nora (2000), flexed his vocal chords opposite Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge (2001), spun seductive Southern tales in Big Fish (2003), and explored adultery in Young Adam (2003). In 2007, he embarked on a motorcycle trip through Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi for a documentary called Long Way Down. His travels helped raise awareness of the humanitarian efforts of UNICEF. After his charitable journey ended, he returned to his stage roots, impressing London theatergoers in West End's revival of Guys and Dolls and a Donmar Warehouse's production of Othello. Soon back to work on the silver screen, he resumed choosing films that fell across a wide range of genres. Off-screen, the heartthrob eschews the typical Hollywood party lifestyle and leads a private life with his wife, production designer Eve Mavrakis, and their children.
- Jude Law was a former roommate.
- One of the cofounders of the independent production company Natural Nylon (along with Law, Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller and others).
- Presented with an honorary doctorate in 2001 from the University of Ulster at a graduation ceremony in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- Believed that the set of 2001' s Black Hawk Down was too violent and refused to allow his children or wife to visit him while shooting.
- Completed a 2004 trip from London to New York on a motorcycle in 115 days, traveling through Europe, Mongolia, Russia, Alaska and Canada. Actor Charley Boorman accompanied him.
- In 2009, he romanced Jim Carrey in the film I Love You Phillip Morris, donned religious attire for the thriller Angels & Demons, and portrayed Gene Vidal in Amelia.
- Named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's New Year Honours list in 2013.
- 1997, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2013, Goya Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
- 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2001, Australian Film Institute Awards — Best Lead Actor: Nominee
- 2002, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
- 2013, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Nominee
- Eve Mavrakis — Wife
- Jamyan McGregor — Daughter
- Anouk McGregor — Daughter
- Colin McGregor — Brother
- Esther Rose McGregor — Daughter
- James McGregor — Father
- Carol McGregor — Mother
- Denis Lawson — Uncle
- Clara Mathilde McGregor — Daughter
- Attended Kirkcaldy College of Technology, Kirkcaldy, Scotland; attended Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, England