or Rents‘s /ealous pursuit of his opium sttl‘l‘lisitoi‘ies down the l'-hend of ‘the most horrible toilet in Scotland'.
‘l)anny has a very clear idea of how he wants the film to look.‘ says liwan McGregor who plays Renton. ‘He has a scrap-book filled with images so that you have a good idea of what testnre he wants the film to have and how he’s going to shoot it; lots of very low and very high angles. lots of feet and leg shots. Working with Danny he makes you feel almost as though the film's already been made and we just have to find it.‘
Apart from rollerskating bonding sessions for
the before filming hegan. Boyle's preparatory methods included showing the actors films like (iiiiit/l'cl/as and A (Vac/(walk the momentum and
Orange to demonstrate ‘Renton is often observing. There’s a lot of him that just goes along passively with what everybody else is doing but he almost always has a critical edge about things in his mind.’
visual punch he sought. ‘You can see that it’s an alter/intuit}i/i of the book.‘ says Bremner. "fhe characters in the novel are more [Edinburgh folk but the characters in the film were shaped tip into standard goodies and haddies and love interest.‘
Renton. the most intelligent of Welsh‘s characters. is more of a linchpin in the film than in the hook. .\s well as creating a charismatic portrayal of Rents as an articulate young man who falls into heroin abuse for kicks. McGregor also provides the voiceover. a unifying device which communicates the wit and insight of the lit)\'c‘l.
‘Renton is often observing] iil‘lic‘l‘e‘s Lt lttt tit' lillll tltttt
says McUregor. just goes along
passively with what everybody else is doing but he almost always has a critical edge about things in his mind. expressed iii the voiceover. But if he cant come to a conclusion he‘ll just dismiss cverything.‘
The film has no space to develop the supporting characters beyond their most salient traits. Tommy's descent from outdoor enthusiast to housebound heroin casualty is the only major transformation. Begbie remains a psycho and Sickboy an opportunist. Spud. however. has redeeming qualities. not least that his friendship with Rents is the only one that would survive if you subtracted drugs and hoozing from the social equation. He also provides the best of the film's comic moments with his amphetamine- enhanced job interview and the infamous ‘soiled sheets‘ scenario.
‘l-le‘s the character I was endeared towards while reading the hook.‘ says Bremner. lie was also the only one I was creasing myself over. There‘s a side of Renton that really appreciates the qualities of Spud — his peacefulness and his innocence — and there's a part of Spud that really appreciates Renton‘s vigour and bravery.‘
Preparation for the roles meant drawing on the experiences of reformed addicts btit for McGregor it also involved some trainspotting of his own: ‘When I was in luxembourg. I used to go to the train station on Sundays and hang around watching this really obvious group of junkies. I got some of my look from them and some physical ideas. In one of the first scenes I used this stooped posture which is an exact rip- off of a guy I saw in Luxembourg.‘
In these times of high-profile drug initiatives. 'Ii'ains/mtmig has a lot to contribute to the debate. not because. of any didactic tendencies but becatise of its candid portrayal of the cycle of heroin abuse. Ultimately. as Hremner points out. ‘the drugs in the film are set up to he knocked down.‘
However. 'Ii‘airis/maing is so much more than ajunkie‘s masterclass. In the weeks. months and years to come. its scenes will he enthusiastically dissected. its characters discussed and its script quoted with the regularity of ll'a/iiiai'l (Q l or Tarantino. So get those notebooks out now, trainspotters.
'Ii'ai/ispaIIi/ig goes on ge/Iera/ re/ease an Fla/av 23 February.
Spottedziﬁwen Bremner (left) and Ewan McGregor
TR Al NSPOTTING FEATURE
You‘ve met Renton and Spud: now shake hands with the other characters and actors who form the Trainspotting posse.
I Diane :\ cool and sophisticated beatin who catches Renton's eye in a nightclub. Diane's not quite so tnature and worldly-wise in the cold light of day. Seventeen- year-old Kelly Macdonald was chosen from hundreds of newcomers by director Danny Boyle. who placed adverts and leaflets around Glasgow 's clubs and hairdressers asking ‘Arc you the new Kate Moss or l’atricia .-\rtjuette'."
I Begbie The hard ntan of the group. with a back catalogue of heroic anecdotes and had pullovers. Francis Begbie scorns junkies. but will happily make an illegal buck or two from an unexpected drug deal. Robert (‘arlyle has played the psycho before (in Safe and ('rat'kt'r). but he‘s just about to reprise his cuddly Highland cop in Hahn's/i .l/(tt‘lu'l/l
I Sick Boy Like his idol Sean Connery. Sick Boy is a master of seduction who keeps his works hidden in the heel of his shoe. Hot young Iinglish actor Jonny Lee Miller also played .1 Scot in the TV film Meal. but is just as convincing as an American computer whiz/kid in the torthcoming Hackers. llis character's Bond ohsession is apt. since his grandfather was Bernard l.ee. best known for his role as ‘M’.
I Tommy When he's chucked by Lil/y. the love of his life. the naive Tommy reckons it‘s time tojoin in with his mates and try his first hit but lllV is lurking around the corner. Born in lilgin and a drama graduate of Editibtii‘glis Queen .\1ai‘garet College. Kevin McKidd will he seen in April in (iillics Mackinnon‘s award- winning Small l'tlt't’X.
I Mikey The supplier of the suppositories that soon have Renton scrambling about in a shit-gorged toilet bowl. Mikey Forrester also manages to stumble on the heroin that might provide the boys with a deal to get them out of their financial troubles. Novelist lrvine Welsh provides the catneo: ‘lt destroys my stereotype that I had about actors being a bit kind ofeffeminate.‘
I Swanney ‘\\'e called him Mother Superior because of the length of his habit.‘ With a tight grey suedehead and a black leather vest. Swaimey doles out the chemical goodies to the neighbourhood. Actor Peter Mullan's most recent short film as director. l-‘ral‘ec. is
currently snapping up awards across the world.
The List 9-22 Feb I906 9