Toronto: Ewan McGregor Gets a Nod of Approval from Philip Roth for 'American Pastoral'

McGregor, who directed and stars in the latest big-screen adaptation of Roth's work, fills THR in on the legendary novelist's reaction to it.
Courtesy of Lakeshore Entertainment
Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connelly in 'American Pastoral'

"We heard from Philip Roth," Ewan McGregor, the director and star of American Pastoral (the latest adaptation of the legendary author's work), told me with glee as he headed into Saturday afternoon's Toronto International Film Festival press conference. "He congratulated us and said the film is terrific."

Six other novels by Roth, a famously tough critic, have been made into movies — Goodbye, Columbus; Portnoy's Complaint; The Human Stain; The Dying Animal (which became Elegy); The Humbling; and, most recently, James SchamusIndignation — and the author has not been a fan of all of them.

But McGregor, who made his directorial debut on American Pastoral, was thrilled and relieved to learn that American Pastoral had received the ultimate endorsement for which it could hope. "We were humbled when he said that we captured the essence of his book on screen," he said. "He applauded our choices and John Romano's clever writing, and was glad we did not compromise or soften the integrity of the material."