Is Ewan McGregor’s Mustache in A Gentleman in Moscow Real or Fake?

Image Credit: Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

Showtime’s ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ brings Amor Towles’ novel to the screen, bringing to life Count Alexander Rostov and his fellow guests at the Metropol Hotel. A lot of the story depends upon the character rather than his situation, and with the Count being the colorful person he is, things often end up being entertaining if they aren’t already dangerous. Scottish actor Ewan McGregor brings the Russian Count to life with a likable fervor, getting all parts of his personality right, including the mustache, which might make one question if it is fake or real.

Ewan McGregor Grew a Real Moustache for Count Rostov

Over the course of his career, Ewan McGregor has played all kinds of roles and has often donned different sorts of facial hair in them. Going in and out of character requires actors to use wigs and fake beards and mustaches, and McGregor has had his fair share of wearing the fake stuff. For the most part, filming doesn’t last long enough for any role to create too many problems, but filming a series requires a longer time period than a film. McGregor didn’t want to be inhibited by a fake mustache while playing Count Rostov, so he decided to grow a real one.

Image Credits: Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

Explaining his choice not to use a fake mustache in ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ he explained that the process of putting on and removing fake mustaches is often uncomfortable. It requires actors to shave over the area before the fake mustache is applied with glue, which tends to cause discomfort. Moreover, with a fake mustache, there are chances of it tipping to one side or the glue coming off. So, the actors tend to be conscious of the mustache and are sometimes asked not to move the facial muscles too much.

Had it been for a few weeks, McGregor would have gone forward with a fake mustache. But with ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ he knew that filming would go on for months, and he couldn’t afford the discomfort of a fake mustache for so long. Moreover, he didn’t want it to inhibit his performance as Count Rostov, and found it better to grow a real mustache as it would not only be much less uncomfortable, but it would also give him complete freedom over his facial movement, without the fear of his mustache falling off.

The actor succeeded in growing a mustache befitting the count, and as filming moved forward and each episode brought him further into the Count’s life, the mustache was trimmed accordingly to keep pace with the changing times around the character. What was supposed to be a few months stretched to more than a year and a half as filming was halted for a while. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, his wife and co-star on the Showtime series, joked that she liked the mustache for the first couple of weeks but not so much after. Whatever the discomfort may have been for the actors, it worked out quite well on the show and really added to Rostov’s character.

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