FEATURE IRVINE WELSH
And then there were lights, camera, action . . .
Before Trainspotting was a glint in film director Danny Boyle’s eye, there were plans to put Irvine Welsh’s The Acid House on television. Fiona Shepherd sees another Welsh cameo role in the making.
oab Coyle woke up one morning to discover he'd
tuned into a large bluebottle. But that‘s what
happens after you've lost your place in the Granton Star team ((‘hurches League Division Three). been coerced out of your parental abode. been chucked by your long—standing girlfriend and lost your job all in the space of 24 hours. then met God over a quick pint in the pub. In an Irvine Welsh short story.
The (int/tum Star Cause is one of the more astounding tales in The xlt'ft/ House. It is the ﬁrst of three Welsh short stories to be ﬁlmed for Channel 4 — A Soft Touch and The .‘lUt/ House itself will follow.
Associate producer ("arolyn Sinclair points to ‘its visual potential. The storyline is superb. It's like a really bizarre surreal lie/amtir/iliosis with bad language.~ .\'ot least coming from God. whom Boab encounters as an old iakcy in a bar. As God points out. He is however anyone imagines Him. So the team behind The (Iran/mi Star ( ’ause have imagined him as Maurice Roeves.
Sinclair first approached Channel 4‘s Stuart Cosgrovc with the idea of adapting some Welsh material before Trainspotting was a glint in Danny Boyle‘s eye. Getting Irvine Welsh on board for screenwriting duties was not a chore.
‘I think it was maybe the alcohol,‘ says Sinclair. ‘We had some cheap happy hour cocktails in a
Elaetlce Lelttletd New Order leer Pop Prlmal Scream Pulp
TrinpOti "“ l
Country and Western bar in Edinburgh.‘
The script remains fairly true to the original story. but in each of the three ﬁlms Welsh has written in a cameo role for himself. doubtless inspired by his foray into movie stardom in Trains/wrung. In The (iramon Star ('ause he plays a parkie. a job he has personal experience of. Entirely coincidentally. the parkie‘s bothy being used for ﬁlming is the very one Welsh used to work in.
Filming began this week in Edinburgh and Glasgow under the auspices of director Paul McGuigan. who has previously worked on Cosgrove‘s Walk On The Wild Side and on promos for the likes of Radio I. To accommodate the special effects. much ofthe ﬁlming will be done on purpose-built sets with some location shooting in Granton.
‘WVre not going for that slum woe-me Iook.’ cautions McGuigan. ‘because the ﬁlm‘s not about that. It's a romp ~ rock 'n‘ roll telly. It's going to be
‘Everyone tells us about Irvine as being this guru, but we have never had a relationship with Irvine where we think that everything he writes is sacrosanct.’
very in-your-face. lots of music. montages. very stylised. lots of really high colour, not like 'I'ramspo/rmg‘s low-key colour. We're going to try to make Edinburgh look like South LA. unlike the (lull way it usually is. It‘s going to be shot in high summer and all the shagging scenes are going to be during the day. none of this Iighting-through-Venetian-blinds shit.‘
The upfront soundtrack includes a fair share of Scottish acts like Teenage Fanclub and The Pastels
Gary Sweeney: the star at Small Faces should top up the hip quotient of The Granton Star Cause
and McGuigan hints at big names doing covers of Tom Jones and Glen Campbell standards. Coupled with a funky cast including newcomer Stephen McCall as Boab and Gary Sweeney (Sloane in Small Faces) as his mate Kev. The (frail/on Star ('ause can only top up the hip quotient of the Irvine Welsh Cause.
‘Everyone tells us about Irvine as being this guru.’ says McGuigan. 'but we have never had a relationship with Irvine where we think that everything he writes is sacrosanct. It‘s a thin line between farce and black humour and it‘s important we don’t play it for laughs because it‘s laughable enough as it is. In these schemes people behind closed doors do the strangest things...‘
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