By Ryan Turrin

His name built an empire. His style defined an era. American fashion designer Halston skyrocketed to fame before his life starts to spin out of control.

The limited series Halston follows the legendary fashion designer, played by Ewan McGregor, as he leverages his single, invented name into a worldwide fashion empire that’s synonymous with luxury, sex, status and fame, literally defining the era he lives in, 1970’s and ‘80’s New York — until a hostile takeover forces him to battle for control of his most precious asset… the name Halston itself. The series is Executive Produced by Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ewan McGregor, Daniel Minahan, Eric Kovtun, Sharr White, and Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler of Killer Films. Minahan also serves as the series director. Series premieres May 14, 2021 on Netflix

Ewan McGregor defends his casting as gay fashion designer Halston

The Trainspotting star will star in Halston as the titular influential designer best known for designing the pillbox hat worn by Jackie Kennedy at her husband’s inauguration. He died in 1990 of Aids-related cancer.

Admitting that he was concerned that performing such a role in the limited series could cause a backlash, McGregor said: “I hear the discussion and I respect both sides of it, I really do.

“I don’t know what it’s like to lose out on parts when you might feel it’s to do with your sexuality. So I can only respect that point of view.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor addressed comments made by Pose star Billy Porter in 2019 that it was “enraging” seeing straight men praised for playing LGBTQ+ characters when gay men were rarely cast in the other direction.

The issue of whether straight actors should play gay roles on screen has been hotly debated for years. Russell T Davies, creator of the British series Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin, who has casted mostly gay actors in his series adds, “I’m trying to avenge hundreds of years of inequality,” Davies told The Independent. “The series has also unashamedly cast gay people in straight roles. I think that’s fine because, believe you me, from the age of eight we are studying straight people and how to fit in with them.”

McGregor adds, “But in the case of this role, and I don’t want to sound like I’m worming out of this, because it’s something I did think a lot about – I suppose ultimately I felt like it was just one part of who Halston was.”