It’s not like Ewen Bremner has been wasting the days away. The 45-year-old Scotsman, best known to U.S. audiences for the playing the scraggy heroine junkie Spud in Trainspotting, has been working consistently since Danny Boyle’s 1996 cult classic, with credits that include Snatch, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Match Point, and Snowpiercer. In March, he reprised the role of the down-and-out Spud in the long-awaited sequel T2: Trainspotting.
“Choose life” became a motto for the 1996 film Trainspotting after its fast-living (and fast-running) lead character Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) championed the phrase while sprinting through the streets in Edinburgh in the movie’s iconic opening sequence.
Many qualities bind the eclectic films of Danny Boyle: highly stylized aesthetics, great soundtracks, the introduction of future stars (Ewan McGregor, Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Dev Patel), and, perhaps above all, constant pulses of energy. Boyle had a heap of U.K. theater productions and TV movies to his credit when he attained international acclaim with the 1994 black comedy-thriller Shallow Grave. While the Hitchcockian murder tale (which Boyle admitted was “stolen from the Coen brothers'” breakout Blood Simple) put him on the map, it was the 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting — about a group of heroin addicts living the high life in Edinburgh — that truly established the director’s style.
In oral history of the 1996 hit for The Hollywood Reporter, actor says he considered it as research for his character, but was dissuaded when he met real-life addicts in Glasgow
A Trainspotting sequel had been rumored for years, but according to cast members, it wasn’t until they reunited at a secret meeting in London in 2015 that it felt like the project was truly going to happen. “There, for the first time, we were all back together again, in 20 years,” says Ewan McGregor in an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the upcoming T2: Trainspotting. In addition to McGregor (who played Renton), the meeting included Johnny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Ewen Bremner (Spud), Robert Carlyle (Begbie), and director Danny Boyle.