After a lengthy absence of working together, director Danny Boyle and actor Ewan McGregor have rekindled their once strong relationship for ‘T2: Trainspotting’.
But things have been anything but rosy over the last decades, which saw the pair part ways after a trio of movies together.
The 1990s saw Boyle, an emerging director, and McGregor, a fresh-faced actor to the industry, team up for ‘Shallow Grave’, ‘Trainspotting’, and ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ between 1994 to 1997. However, when Boyle’s fourth film, ‘The Beach’ came about, McGregor was angry that up-and-comer Leonardo DiCaprio was picked over him.
But while the pair were on ‘T2: Trainspotting’ promo duties this past week, Graham Norton asked the pair about and they both rather humbly cleared things up.
“It was over a film, a misunderstanding,” McGregor began. “It’s a big regret of mine that it went on for so long, and a real shame we didn’t work together all those years. Not because of any particular film, and it didn’t really matter about ‘The Beach,’ it was never about ‘The Beach.’ It was about our friendship.”
McGregor went on to say that, as mentioned above, the Scottish actor was in Boyle’s opening three movies but snubbed for the fourth – and he didn’t know why. “And then I wasn’t in the fourth and it made me a bit rudderless. I didn’t quite get it and we didn’t speak for a long time, which is such a waste.”
Without going into specifics, it seems like Boyle wanted to branch out but in the process, and inadvertently so, pushed his collaborative partner to one side for a new face. McGregor no doubt saw this as a snub and took it personally. In fact, the director was gracious in holding up his hands: “I handled it very badly and I’ve apologised to [Ewan]. And I kind of feel ashamed about it.”
However, the turning point in the pair’s friendship happened when McGregor was approached to present his one-time director with an Oscar for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in 2009. It was a film that saw Boyle win Best Director and the film go on to nab a further seven Academy Awards, including Best Film, Cinematography, and Adapted Screenplay.
Boyle revealed he was told about McGregor being the one to present the award, and he recalls the emotional night: “And he did it, and made this amazing speech, and I was in tears backstage.”
Watch the full interview below.
‘T2: Trainspotting’ is in UK cinemas now.