The two actors, who married last year, each have a long history with the Star Wars galaxy: McGregor, of course, starred in the three prequel films as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and now, Winstead has joined him in a different part of the Star Wars universe, starring as Rebel general Hera Syndulla on Ahsoka.
Speaking to EW in an interview conducted prior to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Winstead opened up about their familial connection to a galaxy far, far away. The actress explains that long before she was cast as Hera, she would often visit McGregor on the set of his own recent Disney+ show, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"I remember coming in with our little newborn boy," Winstead, 38, says. "Once he was ready to be out in the world, that was one of the first places he ever went to, the Obi-Wan set. So, he has definitely become familiar with the Star Wars world, even if he doesn't fully understand it yet. He's got Star Wars friends all over the place — like Grogu dolls everywhere that he's obsessed with. It's been a part of our lives for a while now."
Jesse Grant/Getty Images Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor at 'Star Wars' Celebration
In fact, Winstead suspects that it was those visits to the Obi-Wan set — and her conversations with Obi-Wan director Deborah Chow — that helped land her a role in Ahsoka. "I think there was an influence there," Winstead says. "I got to know Deb from being around the Obi-Wan set, and I think she was sort of poking Dave [Filoni] and Jon [Favreau], going, 'Hey! She'd be a really good Hera!'"
Now that her and McGregor's son Laurie is 2, Winstead says he's got lots of Star Wars gifts and action figures "peppered around" the house. (She jokes that she never intended for her son's closet to include so many Star Wars T-shirts, but it "sort of naturally just happened.")
"In terms of our son's favorite toys, he's got his Grogu," Winstead adds. "He's got Lola from the Obi-Wan series. There's a lot of Dadas around from various different eras of Obi-Wan. If he sees any sort of Obi-Wan figure around, that's Dada. That's what he knows it as right now."
Lucasfilm Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla on 'Ahsoka'
Winstead stars on Ahsoka as the green-skinned Twi'lek captain Hera, a brilliant Rebel general and the mother of young son Jacen Syndulla (played by Evan Whitten). To prepare for the role, Winstead binged episodes of Star Wars Rebels, and she says she particularly connected with Hera's warmth and resilience.
"What I love about her is that she's such a strong leader and fighter, and she's also so maternal and nurturing," Winstead explains. "We don't often see that depicted on screen. We see army generals being these very masculine, hard figures. And Hera has that, but she also has this softness to her. She really wants her crew to be loved and looked after, and at the same time, she's pushing them to be better."
Ahsoka airs Tuesdays on Disney+.
To hear our entire interview with Winstead — as well as episode recaps of Ahsoka — check out the latest episode of EW's Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.