Despite the fact that his excrement-flinging moment of glory in director Danny Boyle's flamboyant adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel -Trainspotting would forever leave an impression on adventurous filmgoers, and regardless of subsequent appearances alongside such Hollywood heavies as Ben Affleck in high-profile Hollywood releases like Pearl Harbor, actor Ewen Bremner has yet to achieve the level of success of Trainspotting cohorts Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle. An Edinburgh native whose art teacher parents actively supported his creative pursuits, Bremner first received widespread exposure when, at age 17, the theater workshop play in which he appeared transferred from Scotland to London's Royal Court. Subsequently making his feature debut with the U.K. television drama Heavenly Pursuits (1985), Bremner would take on supporting roles in Prince of Jutland (1994) and Judge Dredd (1995) before being catapulted into the international limelight as the hapless "Spud" in Trainspotting. Despite having essayed the lead as Renton in the popular stage adaptation of -Trainspotting, Bremner no doubt made quite an impression with audiences in the key supporting role, his alternately pathetic and sympathetic put-upon character offering some of the film's finest comic moments. The following year, Bremner attempted to bypass the hype by taking some time off and pondering his future as an actor. Though such subsequent films as The Life of Stuff (1997) and The Acid House (1998, again adapted from the works of Welsh) contained Trainspotting's edgy humor, their attempts to be "hip" were notably strained, and neither film fared well at the box office. Bremner's role as the titular character in eccentric wonder-boy director Harmony Korine's Julien Donkey-Boy found him again overlooked when the film failed to click with critics and audiences, but the undaunted Bremner would soon crack up audiences with his supporting role as "Mullet" in Guy Ritchie's stylized follow-up to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch (2000). With his role in director Michael Bay's high-profile 2001 war film Pearl Harbor, the talented actor proved his versatility once and for all by essaying the role of a wholeheartedly patriotic American soldier fighting in WWII. When Bremner stepped back into fatigues the very next year for a supporting role in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, it appeared as if he might finally be achieving the success that had previously eluded him. The next year, he appeared as none other than legendary surrealist Salvador Dali in the U.K. television drama Surrealissimo: The Trial of Salvador Dali, and in the following few years, he would balance such high-profile Hollywood releases as The Rundown (2003) and Around the World in 80 Days (also 2003) with such foreign gems as the Swedish film Sweet Dreams.
Robert Carlyle/Jonny Lee Miller
Born April 14, 1961, in Glasgow, Carlyle was raised by his father after his mother walked out when the actor was four years old. The elder Carlyle was, according to his son, a disciple of the tune in, turn on, drop out mentality, and the younger Carlyle led an itinerant bohemian existence. Carlyle dropped out of school at 16, and according to his own accounts, had a fairly disastrous stay in England before returning to Glasgow. It was there that he enrolled in acting classes at the Glasgow Arts Centre after finding inspiration in Arthur Miller's +The Crucible. This led to a stint at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he studied for a term before becoming disenchanted with the institution. He found work in various television and stage productions, winning a coveted Actor's Equity card with his turn as Oberon in The Royal Scottish Orchestra's production of +A Midsummer Night's Dream. Film audiences first became aware of the actor in Ken Loach's Riff Raff (1991), the story of the trials and tribulations of a group of construction workers. Carlyle won favorable notices, which in turn led to more work, first in the 1993 film Safe and then in 1994's Priest, the critically acclaimed and very controversial story of the moral struggles of a gay priest, in which he played the priest's lover. He went on to a very different role in the next year's Go Now, in which he played a man suffering from multiple sclerosis. The same year, he also found a place in the hearts of many a Scottish TV viewer with his portrayal of the title character on Hamish MacBeth. The show, which cast him as a kindhearted Highlands police constable, made him something of a star in his native country.
Ironically, it was his turn as a character of a completely different stripe that won Carlyle international attention. As the drunken, raving psychotic Begbie in Trainspotting (1996), Carlyle was one of the more disturbing aspects of a relentlessly disturbing film, as he invested in Begbie the type of rage that made many filmgoers unable to separate the character from the actor who gave him life. The film was the object of both critical adulation and controversy, and made a star out of at least one of its actors, the charmingly rough-edged Ewan McGregor.
In 2007, just as The Scotsman reported that the entire Trainspotting cast would be reuniting for the Boyle-directed sequel Porno, Carlyle would be reunited with Gunpowder, Treason & Plot co-star Catherine McCormack in 28 Weeks Later -- director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's sequel to 2002 horror hit 28 Days Later (directed by none other than Danny Boyle).
Robert Carlyle would love to star in the Trainspotting sequel Porno, so he would be more than happy to see that Ewan McGregor and director Danny Boyle try to settle their feud.
The sequel plans for Trainspotting have been shelved after director Danny Boyle and actor Ewan McGregor had some clash over Leo DiCaprio's part in The Beach.
Jonny Lee Miller (sometimes credited with an H) was born on November 15, 1972, in Kingston, England, UK. After appearing in many high school plays at his selective state grammar school, Johnny dropped out at 17, to pursue acting full time. Although he was reportedly quiet and shy in high school, he certainly expresses himself well in all his films. His very first popular film was Hackers (1995), alongside Angelina Jolie and Matthew Lillard. Later his co-star Angelina became his wife. They were divorced 4 years later. Interesting fact is that his entire family is well into acting, all the way back to his grandparents. He has a partnership in the production company, Natural Nylon, which also includes Ewan McGregor and Jude Law.
Ewan Gordon McGregor (pronounced /ˌjuːən məˈɡrɛɡər/; born 31 March 1971) is a Scottish actor, singer, and adventurer who has had success in mainstream, indie and art house films. He is perhaps best known for Danny Boyle's 1996 film Trainspotting, his portrayal of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, his role as the romantic penniless writer Christian in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, his role opposite Renée Zellweger in Down with Love (2003) and his motorcycle adventures with friend Charley Boorman in Long Way Round and Long Way Down.
He is due to appear in the upcoming films I Love You Phillip Morris and Amelia and portrayed the Camerlengo Patrick McKenna in the film adaption of Angels & Demons, released in May 2009. Aside from his film work, McGregor has starred in theatre productions of Guys and Dolls. He also appeared in television series such as The Scarlet and the Black, Lipstick On Your Collar, Tales from the Crypt, and ER.
Director: Danny Boyle
Boyle made his feature film directorial debut with Shallow Grave. The film was the most commercially successful British film of 1995 and led to the production of Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Working with writer John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald, Shallow Grave earned Boyle the Best Newcomer Award from the 1996 London Film Critics Circle. Shallow Grave and Trainspotting were two films that revitalised British cinema. Andrew Macdonald, producer of Trainspotting, said:
"Boyle takes a subject that you've often seen portrayed realistically, in a politically correct way, whether it's junkies or slum orphans, and he has managed to make it realistic but also incredibly uplifting and joyful."
He then moved to Hollywood and sought a production deal with a major US studio. He declined an offer to direct the fourth film of the Alien franchise, instead making A Life Less Ordinary using British finance.
Boyle's next project was an adaptation of the cult novel The Beach. Filmed in Thailand with Leonardo DiCaprio in a starring role, casting of the film led to a feud with Ewan McGregor, star of his first two films. He then collaborated with author Alex Garland on the post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later.
He also directed a short film Alien Love Triangle (starring Kenneth Branagh), and was intended to be one of three shorts within a feature film. However the project was cancelled after the two other shorts were made into feature films: Mimic starring Mira Sorvino and Impostor starring Gary Sinise.
In 2004 Boyle directed Millions,, scripted by Frank Cottrell Boyce. His next collaboration with Alex Garland was the science-fiction film Sunshine, starring 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy, was released in 2007.
Boyle at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival
In 2008 he directed Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished child (Dev Patel) on the streets of Mumbai who competes on India's variant of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, for which Boyle won an Academy Award. The film won eight Academy Awards in total.
"To be a film-maker...you have to lead. You have to be psychotic in your desire to do something. People always like the easy route. You have to push very hard to get something unusual, something different."
Boyle is to direct Ponte Tower, about a girl moving into South Africa's famed fifty-four story skyscraper near the end of the apartheid-era only to fall under the influence of a drug lord, as well as the film Solomon Grundy, about a baby who experiences an entire lifetime in just 6 days.
Written by: Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh was born in the great city of Edinburgh, Scotland. He can't quite recall if it was Simpson's or Elsie Inglis maternity pavilions. In fact he remembers little of the birth, though his mother assured him later that it was fairly routine. This selective memory at key points in his life would continue. What he seems quite certain of is that his family moved from their tenement home in Leith, to the prefabs in West Pilton, and then onto Muirhouse's maisonette flats.
Welsh left Ainslie Park Secondary School when he was sixteen and had various jobs, but didn't really like work any more than he did school. However, he was very fortunate to meet some exceptionally decent people at both, most of whom tolerated him. London called in the late seventies and he tried to catch up on some of education he'd missed on while daydreaming about more interesting things, as enjoyed the London punk scene. The jobs got better and he got on the property ladder and made some money, but in the good Scots tradition, he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Cleaning up his act, and, in keeping with another great tradition, 'finding a nice lassie and settling doon', Welsh eventually returned to Edinburgh where he worked for the city council in the housing department. He went on to study for an MBA at Heriot Watt University.
Welsh regards himself as very fortunate to be back in his home town when Kevin Williamson, Duncan McLean, Barry Graham, Alan Warner, Paul Reekie and Rodney Relax were all doing their thing. Energised by the rave scene, he started to write and his paths crossed with the above. Digging out some old diaries, Welsh did a draft of what would become Trainspotting. Welsh published parts this from 1991 onwards in DOG, the West Coast Magazine, and New Writing Scotland. Duncan McLean published parts of the novel in two Clocktower pamphlets, A Parcel of Rogues and Past Tense: Four Stories from a Novel. Meanwhile Kevin Williamson, a member of Duncan McLean’s Muirhouse writers’ group, published sections of Trainspotting in the literary magazine Rebel Inc. Duncan McLean recommended Welsh to Robin Robertson, then editorial director of Secker & Warburg, who decided to publish Trainspotting, despite believing that it was unlikely to sell.
When Trainspotting was published in 1993 Irvine Welsh shot to fame. According to Lord Gowrie, the chairman of the panel, the novel was rejected for the Booker Prize shortlist after offending the sensibilities of two female judges. Despite this unease from the critical establishment, Welsh’s novel received as many good reviews as ones swathed in disgust and outrage - establishing a tradition that continues to this day. Harry Gibson’s stage adaptation of the novel was premiered at the Glasgow Mayfest in April 1994 and went on to be staged at the Edinburgh Festival and in London before touring the UK. In August 1995, Irvine Welsh gave up his day job.
Since Danny Boyle’s film adaptation of Trainspotting was released in February 1996 Irvine Welsh has remained a controversial figure, whose novels, stage and screen plays, novellas and short stories have proved difficult for literary critics to assimilate, a difficulty made only more noticeable by Welsh’s continued commercial success. More books have followed, Ecstasy becoming the first paperback original to go straight in at No1 on the Sunday Times best-sellers list, a feat emulated by Filth, which became Welsh's highest selling book after Trainspotting. His first novel has now sold almost 1 million copies in the UK alone and is a worldwide phenomenon. Books such as Glue, Porno and recent The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs have seen him increase his profile in America and Canada.
He has recently branched into film and is a partner in two film production companies. He joined Four Ways films, which was founded by Antonia Bird, Robert Carlyle and Mark Cousins, and has recently set up Jawbone films with his screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh, and Phil John and Jon Lewis Owen.