Ewan McGregor wanted to do the role of villain Iago in Shakespeare’s “Othello” so badly that he will accept the standard London stage minimum wage of $790 per week (US) just to be a part of the production.
The actor, accustomed to bringing home a paycheck amounting in the millions of dollars for such films at the Star Wars sagas, “Island,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Black Hawk Down,” had no problem agreeing to the standard salary.
The 36-year-old actor is probably most known for his role as the younger version of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars films 2 and 3. The late Sir Alec Quinness, another British actor famous for Shakespearean roles, portrayed the aging Obi-Wan in the original three episodes three decades ago.
The stage production will open on December 4, 2007. Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Children of Men,” “Serenity”) will headline as the over jealous Othello, with Kelly Reilly portraying the beautiful, but, but precarious Desdemona. Reilly was nominated for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress in the 2003 stage production of “After Miss Julie.” At age 26, she was the youngest actress to be nominated for that category.