Ewan Bremner Interview
Probably best known for his unforgettable role as Spud in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, Scottish actor Ewan Bremner has also featured in a variety of TV shows and films including Snatch, Pearl Harbour, Black Hawk Down, Around the World in 80 Days, Hallam Foe, and the forthcoming Jack the Giant Killer.

Reunited with his fellow Scottish actor Ewan McGregor in the futuristic thriller Perfect Sense, he spoke to View’s Matthew Turner about his acting career, working with director David McKenzie, and catching up with his old Trainspotting buddies.
Do you have any lasting memories of Julien Donkey-Boy before we get onto Perfect Sense?

Ewan Bremner

Quite a lot, I suppose. My memory's pretty terrible. It's the kind of film that I'll probably never ever have the opportunity to make a film like that again, of that ambition and that quality. It was a very unconventional film shoot and a very unconventional director. I wish that I would have that opportunity again but it's a really rare experience for me.
Have you kept up with Harmony's career since then? At the time of Julien Donkey-Boy he was saying that he wanted his next film to be called Fight Harmony and he'd basically film himself annoying bouncers outside nightclubs and getting beaten up.

Ewan Bremner

He actually shot quite a lot of it, but he said that the fights were over so quickly that for the kind of film that he wanted it to be, he'd have to have like 90 fights to make a feature film. The fight is over like that [slaps hand]. At the time it feels like it goes on forever and it's absolutely terrifying. But he had about nine fights.
He could have done them all in slow-motion ...

Ewan Bremner

But I don't think he wanted it like that – I think he wanted it to be just like fight to fight to fight to fight to fight. So it's just like an hour of him fighting. But I think, physically it would have killed him.
What attracted you to Perfect Sense and how did you get involved?

Ewan Bremner

I just got a call from David Mackenzie to say that he had a script that he'd written and there was a part in it that he thought I'd be good for. I really liked the script. It was a very unconventional script as well – it was written by a Danish writer and then translated into English so it had a kind of poetic feel to the language. I think that happens a lot with translations, in that they gain a kind of poetic quality, the way people speak to each other is slightly not quite how it is in real life but there's something very sort of allegorical about it. It's a bit poetic and I think what he was trying to do was very ambitious but exciting as well. And I felt it was a really difficult film to pull off, stylistically and the scope of the emotional impact. I was really pleasantly surprised and relieved to see how it came off. It's a film to be reckoned with, I think.
Had you worked with Ewan McGregor since Trainspotting?

Ewan Bremner

I worked with him on Black Hawk Down and I worked with him on Perfect Sense and I'm working with him just now on Jack the Giant Killer.
There's a good eight or nine years between Black Hawk Down and Perfect Sense, so what was it like working with Ewan again?

Ewan Bremner

Great. He's a lovely guy and he's a great actor and really easy to work with and really good to work with. He's very responsive and generous and as an actor those are all things that you want.
Do you see each other socially?

Ewan Bremner

Not really, but it's kind of impractical to maintain some sort of social life with someone like that, where if he's not working in one corner of the world, he's promoting another movie in a different corner of the world. I mean, his career's been absolutely stellar, so ...
So there's no unofficial Trainspotting reunions or anything like that?

Ewan Bremner

Actually, we're filming at Elstree Studios just now and my friend Kevin McKidd was wrapping a film there, just last week. And I bumped into him just in the studio, 'Oh, come on up ...' and we all hung out on our set for a bit.
Prank-called Robert Carlyle?

Ewan Bremner

Oh, we should have done, yes!
Do you have a favourite scene in Perfect Sense?

Ewan Bremner

There's quite a few scenes that I really liked. The soap-eating scene, with Ewan and Eva in the bath, I really liked.
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Content updated: 26/10/2011 07:31

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