“T2 Trainspotting” Only Possible After Danny Boyle Apologised To Ewan McGregor Over “The Beach” Fall-Out
The stars of Danny Boyle’s much anticipated sequel to 1996’s cult hit Trainspotting have been talking to Empire magazine about the film ahead of its release in UK cinemas January 27. The film reunites the director with star Ewan McGregor who famously fell out over the casting of The Beach. Boyle discusses the fall-out for the first time…Perhaps the biggest obstacle dictating whether or not Trainspotting got a sequel wasn’t a lack of creative ambition or ideas to take the story forward but settling the rift that had formed between director Danny Boyle and star Ewan McGregor.
Bridges were burnt over the casting of Boyle’s The Beach which saw Leonardo DiCaprio end up with the role originally promised to McGregor. I was “Danny Boyle’s actor” said McGregor to The Times earlier this year, having turned in some of his best early-career performances in Boyle’s Shallow Grave, A Life Less Ordinary and, of course, Trainspotting.
But Boyle’s own stardom as a filmmaker allowed him increased creative freedom and the potential to cast a bonafide Hollywood star in his 2000 film The Beach. The director also says DiCaprio helped the film capture much-needed investment. So he chucked McGregor for DiCaprio (whose fame, and box office appeal, had grown significantly courtesy of Titanic released a couple of years earlier). This was despite McGregor landing the plump role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’ prequel to Star Wars which came out a year before The Beach.
“[It was] my understanding that I was playing the [lead] role. To discover that I wasn’t, came as a bit of a shock”, McGregor said in an interview with The Times. “It wasn’t just not getting that role. It was [the way] it was handled that wasn’t very clever. It did knock me a little bit.”
In his interview with Empire magazine, Danny Boyle has talked about the breakdown of their relationship for the first time. He accepts that he wasn’t very “respectful” towards McGregor. “We met and talked and I said how sorry I was, the way we had treated him. And it rebuilt from there.”
Of course, the chance to return to not only a film that transformed his career but the place he called home throughout his childhood (he was born in Perth, Scotland) had its own appeal. There was also something alluring about playing his Trainspottintg character Renton again, partly because of parallels between his own life and Renton’s fictional one.
“I hadn’t seen Danny for all those years. He f*cked off, and I f*cked off. I haven’t lived in Scotland since I was 17. He’s coming back, I was coming back. There were an awful lot of parallels you might say,” he told Empire.