Ewan McGregor has won the Emmy Award for lead actor in a limited series for his role in the Netflix show “Halston.”
McGregor beat out an impressive list of competitors in the category including Paul Bettany for the Disney Plus-Marvel Studios series “WandaVision,” Hugh Grant for HBO’s “The Undoing,” and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. for Disney Plus’ filmed version of “Hamilton.”
Accepting his prize and following fellow Brit Kate Winslet’s exuberant acceptance speech for her Mare Of Easttown win, McGregor quipped, “It’s quite difficult going after you, Kate.”
In his acceptance speech, McGregor thanked the cast and crew of the show.
“I just want to thank our crew first of all because like so many people have said tonight, we shot through the pandemic in New York City and through everybody’s professionalism and passion, kept us all safe. And so we couldn’t have done it without you,” McGregor said. “Ryan Murphy, thanks for championing ‘Halston’ and bringing it to Netflix. Thank you to Netflix.”
This is McGregor’s fourth Emmy nomination overall and his first win. He was previously nominated in the same category for his work in the third season of “Fargo,” in which he played twin brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy. He was nominated that same year for the best narrator for “Highlands: Scotland’s Wild Heart” and was also nominated in 1997 for best guest actor in a drama for his work on “ER.”
Upcoming projects for McGregor include the Obi-Wan Kenobi series at Disney Plus, in which McGregor will reprise the role of the Jedi master he played across the three “Star Wars” prequel films. He is also set for a role in Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson’s stop-motion animated version of “Pinocchio.” McGregor will voice the Talking Cricket in the film.
“Halston” tells the story of the life of the famous designer Halston from the 1960s through the 1980s. The show was based on the book “Simply Halston” by Steven Gaines and was adapted for the screen by Sharr White, with Ryan Murphy executive producing under his Netflix overall deal. The show received five Emmy nominations in total, with the series debuting on Netflix in its entirety back in May 2021.
Halston, the mononymous American fashion designer whose stripped-back, body-freeing take on luxury – kaftans, halter dresses and acres of Ultrasuede – was a defining look of the 70s, continues to fascinate.
Halston’s meteoric rise – like the series’ first episode – began in 1961 with a stroke of luck: Jacqueline Kennedy accessorized her Inauguration Day Oleg Cassini suit with a pillbox hat custom-designed by Bergdorf Goodman milliner Roy Halston Frowick. The hat not only gave the designer’s handiwork international exposure, boosted business at Bergdorf’s, and became a sartorial signature for the incoming first lady, it also spawned a copycat boom. In an interview later in his career, Halston said that a dent in the hat was the result of Mrs. Kennedy’s efforts to hold on to the hat on a windy day, noting that “everybody who copied it put a dent in it, which was so funny”.
Halston had many patrons and celebrity champions over the course of his career – Babe Paley, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger and Anjelica Huston among them – but none was as consistent or as close as Liza Minnelli (played in the Netflix series by Krysta Rodriguez). Although Minnelli wore the designer extensively for decades, her support for her friend was on full display during some of the most important moments of her life, including at the 1973 Academy Awards when she took home the lead actress award for Cabaret in a gold Halston ensemble, and, as recounted in the series, the designer created a custom butter-yellow pantsuit for her 1974 wedding to Jack Haley Jr.
The designer’s public life – and the miniseries – come to a close with the costumes he designed for long-time friend and supporter Martha Graham’s production of The Rite of Spring. While far lesser-known than his career-making looks, the draped costumes bore many of the hallmarks of his style. The show debuted in February 1984. By the fall of that year Halston would officially be gone from the label that bore his name.
Congratulations to Ewan McGregor whose performance was on point. It is a great series with a wonderful cast and the best throwback dance tunes to keep you on your toes.