Ewan McGregor didn’t know a whole lot about 1960s and ’70s fashion icon Halston before he signed on to play the role in Netflix’s five-part limited series, except maybe that he was best friends with Liza Minnelli. That would be because Halston not only made a huge impact on the fashion world, but also in the social whirl of New York City during his prime years.
McGregor appeared with Ryan Murphy and several other key members of the production during Netflix’s panel on the show at Deadline’s Contenders Television awards-season event.
“I had no knowledge of Halston, but was intrigued by the way [director Dan Minahan] talked about him, the photographs that he showed me, and also the fact that I didn’t know anything about him was intriguing,” he said. “Like, why didn’t I know about this man who was so inordinately famous in his day, and had made such a mark on American, not just fashion, but culture, you know, changed things, changed the way of things. I was fascinated by the complexities of his life, dealing with fame, dealing with addiction. There were just lots of elements in his personality that I thought would be extraordinary to play, and I was right. He was a wonderful man to get to know.”
Ryan Murphy made the series a priority in his wide-ranging deal with Netflix and was anxious to join producers Christine Vachon and Minahan, who had spent 20-plus years trying to get it made.
“I was always very interested in Halston, even as a kid. I grew up in Indiana, and when I was growing up, Halston was from Indiana, so he was always sort of in my rear-view window. I heard a lot about him growing up. He’s sort of a mythical person, and I’ve told this to Dan and Christine, but in 1996, the day I sold my very first script, it was announced in the trades, and there was an article right next to that article about how Dan and Christine had set up Halston,“ he said.
“So, I remember reading that and saying, ‘Oh, I wish I could be a part of that, because I love Halston’. So, when it came back around my way a couple years ago, I just leapt at the choice and the chance to do it with them. You know, my motto with this project is, how can I support you, how can we get it made? It was a hard one to get made. It was expensive, it looks expensive, and I just loved what it was about, and I loved Ewan, who was attached to play Halston when it came to me. It really is about one of the greatest designers of all time, and I felt it was a very modern story, because it’s about one of our greatest influencers of all time, who sort of helped create the idea of branding, which I felt was very modern.”
Vachon, Minahan and co-star Krysta Rodriguez who plays Minnelli also joined in the conversation.
Check out the conversation in the video above.
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