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Where do you start with Donald Sutherland?

Where do you start with Donald Sutherland?

For me, it was his role as the trench-coated health inspector in Philip Kaufman’s thrilling 1978 remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The ending of that movie kept me awake at night for the better part of a week, giving me plenty of time to think about pod people—and this actor who had so mesmerized me. Wait … he played Hawkeye in “MASH”? There was a “MASH” movie? Who’s this Robert Altman guy?

Years later, I took my daughter to see “The Hunger Games.” Before the film started, I told her to pay particular attention to the actor playing President Snow. He’s one of the greats. And indeed, he was.

I’m Glenn Whipp, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter. What was your introduction to Donald Sutherland? And which of his movies will you be rewatching this weekend?

Ewan McGregor Wouldn’t Shave Off Any Years. That Mustache? Another Story.

Ewan McGregor is swiping through his camera roll, looking for the picture that explains why he will never grow another mustache—unless a job requires it. And even then, he’d probably argue that the character should be clean-shaven. Dalí without a mustache? Surreal.

Before our conversation, I had resolved not to ask McGregor anything about facial hair. It seems that most of the interviews he’s done to promote his terrific Paramount+ With Showtime limited series “A Gentleman in Moscow” have spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on the mustache he grew to play Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a Russian nobleman sentenced to house arrest in a luxurious hotel following the 1917 revolution. Over four decades (and eight episodes), the good gentleman learns to let go of formalities, appreciate simple pleasures, and embrace family.

But he never shaves off that damn mustache.

I spoke with McGregor not too long ago from the set of “Flowervale Street,” a movie so secret that when he mentions its name, he immediately panics. “Oh, no. I’m worried that I just blew the title.” When I tell him it’s out there, he’s relieved. He wrapped shooting at 6:30 that morning, and here he was with me on Zoom, 4½ hours later. “I’m somewhat upside down, but it’s all good,” he says.

It was all good. He’s a delightful hang, and we covered the waterfront—but not “Flowervale Street.”

When I tell him that all I know about “Flowervale Street” is that David Robert Mitchell (“It Follows,” “Under the Silver Lake”) wrote and directed it, and that it’s a mystery, and it might be set in the 1980s and that it might have dinosaurs, he says, smiling:

“Well, I’m not at liberty to discuss that in any way, so it could be in the ’70s with, you know, rodents. But it’s great fun.”

As was the interview.