bastard!" — and by the end of it I felt fucked. I just felt . . . I'm not doing this anymore.”
Consequently. Bremner has spent the past year turning down offers. Apart from a brief return to Irvine Welsh territory. to appear in The Acid House (due in cinemas later this year). he’s been burying himself in music. playing guitar and writing with a band called Make. which is fronted by his girlfriend.
‘Being an actor isn‘t my idea of heaven.‘ he admits. ‘But I'm looking at new directions. I want to have opportunities to do other things.‘ Offers that don’t involve either victimisation or wild eccentricity (his other speciality) have been few. but there are one or two possibilities in the pipeline.
Bremner‘s career caution can be partly put down to his experiences as co-star of the film version of Trainspotting. which he readily identifies as the turning point in his career. Born and raised in Edinburgh. he made his debut in 1986 as a schoolboy in the film Heavenly Pursuits. He made steady career progress. moving to London in the late 80s when his role in the Traverse Theatre production of Conquest Of The South Pole won him an agent. Later. he played a bigger role in Gillies Mackinnon‘s film version. and had a memorable cameo in Mike Leigh‘s Naked.
Bremner returned to Scotland in I994. becoming the first actor to play Renton in the stage version of Trainspotting. When he heard about the film. naturally his ears pricked up. ‘I thought. I really want to be in that.’ he recalls. ‘I read the script and it suddenly dawned on me that it was written for Ewan McGregor. His name hadn‘t been mentioned. but just from reading the script I thought . . . oh right. So initially I felt a bit deflated. I thought I would be bored doing the part of Spud. but when we actually got on the case the energy of the group was so encouraging. It was very easy. but it was also a lot of fun.‘
Trainspotting's publicity budget famously outgrew its production budget. and the actors found themselves at the eye of a PR hurricane. ‘It was a real education.‘ says Bremner thoughtfully. ‘You‘re suddenly thrown into this other world — the world of marketing and selling the product. They don‘t want to hear. “Yeah. it was all right”. You‘ve got to make things up to say about it. to put it in some sort of context. They sent me on a tour round America. to a different city every day. doing interviews all day. and I got completely stressed out. My hair started falling out and my skin went all funny.’
Difficult times. but nothing compared to what happens to Skinny Luke. Bremner’s character in Mojo. Jez Butterworth‘s film is a sweaty white-knuckler about petty crooks on speed. trying to grab a slice of the pie when they discover a fledgling rock ‘n‘ roll star in their midst. During a night of the long knives. a gang war escalates steadily towards a bitter conclusion. Needless to say. Luke doesn‘t exactly come out on top.
So. Mr Bremner. remind us — why was it you didn’t want to play this kind of part any more?
Mojo opens on Fri Jul 10. See review, page 29.
'They sent me on a tour round America, to a different city every day, doing interviews all day, and I got completely stressed out. My hair started falling out and my skin went all funny.’
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