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I nearly said no to Spud after lead role snub; TRAINSPOTTING'S EWEN BREMNER REVEALS HOW HE ALMOST MISSED OUT ON HIS BIG BREAKTHROUGH; Star's life-changing decision.

Byline: George Mair

Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner has revealed he almost turned down the part of Spud after being overlooked for the lead role.

Ewen, 45, played Renton in the original stage production of Irvine Welsh's debut novel - but when the film was cast, it was Ewan McGregor who landed the part.

The Edinburgh-born actor revealed that when he was offered the role of addict Daniel "Spud" Murphy instead, he agonised with the decision.

And he even asked his agent if there was anything else he could do rather than take the part.

But now Ewen says he was being a snob to consider turning his nose up at the chance offered by director Danny Boyle and producer Andrew Macdonald.

He said: "There was a brief period where I wrestled with that.

"They were interested in me for that part [Spud] and I felt it was similar to stuff that I'd done before.

"I didn't really appreciate I wouldn't have a chance to even be considered for Renton because the casting on that part had already been done.

"We were still doing the play, going on stage every night, and all of us actors were aware of the movie being cast.

"Then we heard Danny and Andrew were coming to the theatre so it was definitely on our minds. I was hoping that I'd have the opportunity to be considered for Renton.

"There was no way I expected I had any right to the part - but I wanted to put up a little bit of a fight for it.

"There was a little bit of time once they asked me to play Spud and I remember saying to my agent at the time, 'Look, is there anything else I could possibly do?' "I may as well have said, 'Could I just shoot myself in both feet please?' "To pass that up? I was a bit of a snob but you've only got your own sense of judgment as an actor.

"It definitely was a moment when I went with a decision that I might not have done and it was life-changing."

Ewen, who reprised his role in the sequel T2, says he is delighted with the opportunities playing Spud have afforded him. But he did not want to be typecast and has turned down lots of similar roles.

He added: "That's kind of my battle as an actor - to be able to play on as diverse a playing field as possible.

"I get to play lots of different kinds of parts these days.

"The only real control you've got as an actor is to say no. I've turned down plenty of parts like Spud."

Spud is the Trainspotting character most viewers would like to see come out on top - and in T2 he reveals a hidden talent for story writing.

Ewen describes the struggling drug addict as "a really sincere guy" who "wants to make everything all right and make everybody happy".

But he revealed he campaigned with Boyle to capture Spud's "rage" in the sequel. He said: "I didn't want Spud to just be a gentle jokey kind of guy, which is easy to do.

"Maybe in the original script for T2 they were a bit less tough with him. I pushed Danny towards articulating some of the rage Spud has from his 20 years of struggling and failing.

"Spud is a comic character but there are people living that life and for me it's important it's not just an easy joke."

Ewen says Boyle's reputation was riding on the success of the film because the original had made such an impact.

He added: "The public response has been so passionate. It's definitely been a relief because anything else would have been a disappointment. We delivered a film that has something to say and honours the original and does justice to the characters."

And he refuses to rule out another return for Spud, Renton, Sick Boy and Begbie, possibly in a reworked version of The Blade Artist, Welsh's novel that picks up Begbie's story after his release from prison.

He said: "This film has been the gift that kept on giving for all of us. I'm sure none of us would run away from the opportunity to work with each other again."

Boyle, speaking about Ewen in a special feature on the newly released DVD, said: "I went to see him in the play and thought of him as Spud. He was lovely the way he understood that. And the rest is history."

I'm sure none of us would run away from a chance to work together again

CAPTION(S):

back on track Making the sequel with director Boyle

pals With co-stars Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle in 1996

NEW CHAPTER Star Ewen in T2
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 11, 2017
Words:796
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