In 1996, Scottish actor Ewen Bremner shot to fame playing the role of Spud in director Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, based on the acclaimed novel by Irvine Welsh. A goofy, enduring junkie who kept trying (and failing) to do the right thing, Spud served as the film’s affable comic relief. More than two decades later, Bremner reprised his role in T2: Trainspotting, Boyle’s follow-up, which muses on the idea of young punks now making their way into middle-age. While few of the film’s characters find themselves better off, Spud once more tries to do what’s right, and arguably becomes the film’s central character in the process. Bremmer can also currently be seen in Wonder Woman and we spoke to him about what it was like to reprise the role of Spud, as well as revisiting the world of Trainspotting.
What was it like returning to the character of Spud after 20 years?
It really was a pleasure. Of course, I felt concerned that I did justice to the writing, the character, the original film, my fellow actors. You know, we were all trying to do our best work and give our best work and I felt that I wanted to give Danny [Boyle] what he needed. The pressure was fairly high but it felt like a real privilege to have the opportunity to deliver. Danny lets you explore and experiment as an actor and I ran with that just as much this time round as I did when we worked together 21 years before. So, yeah. I can’t say anything negative about it, even if I wanted to. There is nothing negative for me about that whole experience. It’s all been positive. I feel very fortunate.
What was the mood like on the set? Was it similar to the first film?
It was really electric, you know. It was really buzzing. Every day we all felt just excited to be on set. We all felt really curious just to see what was being filmed. Even if we weren’t in the scenes we were hanging round the monitor trying to get a peek in and see what we were doing on there. Every day that passed felt happy and sad. Sad, because it was one less day that we were going to get to spend together and we felt like we’d been given this amazing gift to share that time together again. It felt precious this time round. We didn’t take it for granted like we did maybe the first time.