Inside Scoop: Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, and Jonny Lee Miller Talk Trainspotting 2

After two decades, Danny Boyle is back with a sequel to his cult hit Trainspotting

Last week, we had a chance to sit in on a call with the cast when they chatted at length about bringing the characters back to the cinema and how it felt to return after such a long hiatus from roles that helped define their careers. It was interesting to hear how easily they got back into character and how they thought it was a second chance for them to connect as friends. 

When asked about Porno, returning to Trainspotting, bringing the characters back and what the purpose behind the return was, Mr. Boyle had this to say:

"We tried ten years ago when there was an obvious prompt because Irvine Welsh published a book, Porno, which was a ten years later sequel to his original novel, and so we had a go at it, and it was not very good.  I’m sure it was fine because it was John Hodge, the same screenwriter and me and we were working on it, but when you read it you thought, I didn’t even bother sending it to the actors because it didn’t feel there was a real reason to do it. 

(cont) Because obviously there’s an onus on you when you return to something with the impact that the first film had, if you’re going to update it you’ve got to have a reason.  And it didn’t feel like there was a reason.  It was just a caper again.  

And also the actors didn’t really feel any different, they didn’t look any different. I’m sure they would have felt different, but they didn’t look any different ten years ago, not really.  They’re all smirking at me now.  But actually we did used to joke at the time that they looked after themselves so well that basically they still looked in their early '20s."

Sitting through the nearly twenty minute call session, it became quite apparent how all four main actors have a connection and loved acting together again. Ewen seemed to sum up the film and the aging process very well:

"Age is cruel, and you don’t realize that until you get to this point in your life.  In the first film we were full of exuberance and potency, and we thought we were invincible.  And it took us 20 years to realize that we’re just running on the spot and time is flying by.  

So, when Danny asked us to come back together and find out who these guys were after 20 years, we had an opportunity that is unparalleled, that never comes along for actors, to think of a character 20 years later and to run with it, because Danny lets you really run with every idea and he feeds you full of fantastic ideas to play with.  So, we just had a bagful of opportunities and the prospect of jumping on this film again. " 

Ewan continued on the same thread, stating more on the importance of the friendships from the film and how part two was a revelation for him:

"So, we’re getting back together again and our relationships were founded working on Trainspotting, and I think this idea that we were all fucked up all the time and it was a party all the time, but it wasn’t.  We had a short space of time to make that movie, I think we shot it in seven weeks, six weeks, and we worked really hard on it, and we were also all aware that we were doing something really special and important, and so we were giving it our all.  And so to come back together and find each other again under the same conditions, if you like, and with the same responsibility for this film was just fantastic, and it just felt like coming home.  And it wasn’t until the very end, and quite late on in the shooting, where the four of us were actually on set at the same time, and that was extra special really."  

When Jonny was asked about playing their characters two decades later, he summed up their new journey with an interesting response:

"I think the second film really reflects that very well about your attitude, your confidence maybe disappears a little bit.  It’s not your confidence, it’s your brash attitude to life, you don’t feel invincible anymore, your mortality is more evident to you perhaps, either subconsciously or consciously,  you’re either aware of that or you’re not.  You feel more anxiety perhaps.  I know I’m rambling, but I don’t care."  

Having seen the film, but limiting my commentary on it until next week's release, Trainspotting 2 is a heartfelt continuation of where these four men might be twenty years after the original. Danny Boyle had the luck of assembling a talented cast that's back for more dark comedic fun in this latest film. 

Trainspotting 2 expands to all domestic theaters on March 31st.