Edinburgh Film Festival: Have you spotted Ewan McGregor, Kate Winslett, Clint Eastwood or Kylie in Edinburgh?

One of the highlights of living in Edinburgh for many is the opportunity to star spot as filmmakers from as far afield as Hollywood and Bollywood plump for the Capital as their location of choice.
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Take a walk through any local park and never know who you're going to see, as those who spotted Doctor Who David Tennant filming in Inverleith recently discovered. Even just popping into your local pub can bring a surprise encounter, Whoopi Goldberg popping into the Cafe Royal for a bite to eat for example.

Of course, there's no better time to star spot than during Edinburgh's many festival seasons when, over the years, the great and the good of the literary, theatrical and cinematic worlds have descended upon the city either to perform, collect an award, attend a premiere or just have a holiday.

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The Festival season is arguably the time of year that attracts the biggest names. August 2022 will see Sir Ian McKellen return to the Fringe while the Television Festival will bring Succession star Brian Cox back to Edinburgh. We have yet to discover who will be attracted to the Film Festival this year, but going by the event's past record there are sure to be some selfie-worthy names.

Kate Winslet makes her way through the rain to attend the after-party at the National Museum of Scotland following the premiere of Enigma in Edinburgh in 2001   Pic: Paul ChappellsKate Winslet makes her way through the rain to attend the after-party at the National Museum of Scotland following the premiere of Enigma in Edinburgh in 2001   Pic: Paul Chappells
Kate Winslet makes her way through the rain to attend the after-party at the National Museum of Scotland following the premiere of Enigma in Edinburgh in 2001 Pic: Paul Chappells

Names like Ewan McGregor who was snapped by the News in 1998 at the premiere of his film Velvet Goldmine, a musical drama set during the glam rock era of the early 1970s and telling the story of a fictional pop star, Brian Slade, played by McGregor.

At least he stayed dry, unlike Kate Winslet who had to make her way through the rain to get to the National Museum of Scotland in order to attend the after-party following the premiere of her movie Enigma in 2001. An espionage thriller adapted from the 1995 novel of the same name by Robert Harris, it explored the Enigma code-breakers of Bletchley Park in the Second World War.

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In 2002, McGregor's Trainspotting co-star Ewen Bremner was home for the premiere of Morvern Callar, a dark psychological drama starring Samantha Morton as the titular character, which was unveiled at the Odeon Cinema.

Ewan McGregor at the premiere of Velvet Goldmine at the Odeon, Edinburgh in 1998   Jon SavageEwan McGregor at the premiere of Velvet Goldmine at the Odeon, Edinburgh in 1998   Jon Savage
Ewan McGregor at the premiere of Velvet Goldmine at the Odeon, Edinburgh in 1998 Jon Savage
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Four years later it was Alien actress Sigourney Weaver who came to town, this time with co-star Alan Rickman for the premiere of Snow Cake. The romantic comedy drama was screened at the Dominion Cinema.

One of the biggest names to capture hearts at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, however, has to be Clint Eastwood who attended the 1990 Edition, taking part in a press conference before the premiere of White Hunter, Black Heart, which he directed as well as starring in.

Kylie Minogue, meanwhile, left the crowds spinning around when the stars walked down the red carpet for the opening premiere of that year's film festival, at the Odeon Cinema. There’s nothing like one of the biggest names in pop to make heads turn.

Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg, over the years the EIFF has welcomed a huge number of guests, including John Huston, Gene Kelly, Jacques Tati, Jennifer Lawrence, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle, David Cronenberg, Cate Blanchett, and Sir Sean Connery.