Stepping into an iconic role is nothing new for Ewan McGregor. The actor has played legendary Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi numerous times in his career—and will again in a new Disney Plus series—so taking on the challenge of playing Danny Torrance in Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, the next chapter in The Shining story, was right in his wheelhouse.
In Doctor Sleep, McGregor plays Torrance decades after the events of The Shining, finding him at “rock bottom” and trying to ignore the fact that he has special powers.
“We start the movie with a young actor, a little kid, playing Danny, literally a continuation from The Shining,” McGregor told Men’s Journal. “And then it jumps forward in time and we find Danny, when I’m playing him, sort of at his rock bottom. [He’s] living with alcoholism and drinking to try and suppress all his psychic powers—the shining—he just doesn’t want to know about it.”
For McGregor, he was able to understand his arc and his character through King’s writing.
“Then something happens and [Danny] finds his way into sobriety,” McGregor says. “I think Stephen King wrote The Shining novel very much about addiction and Doctor Sleep very much about recovery. So my character arc was quite interesting in that respect, that it starts at a very low point, and he has to accept the fact that he has this ‘shine,’ this psychic ability and bring it into his life. It’s a bit like facing his fears.”
Watch the full video to hear from McGregor about working on Doctor Sleep.
Doctor Sleep hits theaters nationwide on November 8.
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