you talkin’ to me?
Film quotes pose as questions. Film stars try to cope.
You talkin’ to me?
I am talking to you, and only you. I’m in my apartment in Edinburgh and I’m looking over the hills, over the ocean, to Fife.
Do you feel lucky, punk?
I feel very lucky, punk. Yeah, I feel very fortunate to be part of the extraordinary phenomenon that Trainspotting has proven itself to be. It’s opened many doors for me in the world that I want to work in, so I feel very lucky, punk. I feel lucky to be a punk.
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
I always dance with the devil in the pale moonlight. Every day. I like to dance close to the edge. That’s something that defines my work. I need to feel that sense of danger; I need to know where the edge is, and that I’m in danger of going over the edge. Then I feel happy about my work. If I feel too safe, if I feel something’s too straightforward or too comfortable or without risk, then I feel I’m in the wrong place. I need to feel I could fall over the edge.
You talk the talk; do you walk the walk?
I aspire to walk the walk that I talk. I always aspire to do that. That’s important for me.
What’s the last thing that you do remember?
In life? Putting down the toilet seat? I recently finished this thing for TNT called Will, which is about young William Shakespeare. I’m playing the evilest man in England, doing the most disgusting, despicable things to almost every character I come across. So I’ve been torturing people mercilessly, and turning torture into an art form.
Why so serious?
I always take comedy very seriously. I think as an actor, when I go to America, I get approached by people who say, “Oh, you’re that comedian!” I cannot tell a joke to save my life.
If I tell a joke, it’s going to be a disaster. There’s no way I could get to the end of a joke remembering all the important elements that are going to pay off in the punchline. So I am, in no way, a comedian.
What’s your favourite scary movie?
I’d say it’s probably Funny Games by Michael Haneke. He also did another film called Time Of The Wolf, which is a great scary movie as well. I like it because it’s very believable. They’re both very believable films about the world that we know tumbling down around us, and you’re suddenly staring into the abyss, into the void.
If you could change something in your life, anything at all, what would it be?
I would become a tidy, organised, efficient, non-procrastinating paragon of excellence. That’s my number one mission. Actually, I’m going to make it my number two mission, because it sounds like too much work, and I love to procrastinate.
Do you like what you do for a living, these things that you see?
Yeah, I love it. I think it’s important, whatever work you’re engaged in, I think it’s important to try to find a way to enjoy it. And that might not be very easy, but it’s the easiest thing in the world to complain or to moan. Actors are the worst for that.
What would you do if you knew you had less than one minute to live?
Take a deep breath. I’d take a deep breath and… yeah, try to keep calm. Look out over Fife, maybe.
Well, what did you think I would do with them? I’m a fucking junkie.
Ah. It’s a rhetorical question. Doing T2, I was pleased Spud had as much fight in him as he did, because in the Porno novel that Irvine had written, Spud was like an academic in outsider artist terms, writing a history of Leith. It’s a hard thing to sell to an audience, that here you have someone who is writing a story which is history. Memory becomes fiction, which becomes history, which then becomes the original Trainspotting movie, which is based on a novel, which then becomes the original book. It’s like a snake eating its tail. JF
ETA | OUT 5 june / T2 Trainspot ing is out on DVD and Blu-ray this month. read our rev iew on page 100.
‘I need to kn ow where the ed ge is , that I’m in dan ger of goin g over the ed ge’
JACKET SPUD Ewen Bremner heads for the hills in T2 Trainspotting.