20 years ago today, Trainspotting began winning over audiences on its way to becoming a breakout British hit. The film, about drug addiction in Edinburgh, was released in the U.K. and Ireland on this day in 1996, and a U.S. release followed that summer.
The film launched Ewan McGregor into international stardom – he was cast in the Star Wars prequels shortly afterward. Trainspotting was his second team-up with director Danny Boyle, following Boyle”s feature debut, Shallow Grave. Boyle went on to earn Oscar attention for Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours.
Diane, the teenager McGregor”s character becomes entangled with, was played by Kelly Macdonald, who turned 20 on the day of Trainspotting“s U.K./Ireland release.
Boyle is currently working on a Trainspotting sequel that he plans to shoot later this year.
Other notable February 23 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1939: At the 11th Academy Awards, Frank Capra film You Can”t Take It With You won Best Picture (then called Outstanding Production). Bette Davis earned the Best Actress statuette for Jezebel.
• 1964: The Beatles became the third-ever band to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show three times – on this date Sullivan broadcast a performance recorded for the February 9 show.