It's been 21 years since the first Trainspotting hit theaters, and now its sequel, T2 Trainspotting, is nearly here. All the original actors, directors, and writers returned for the second go-around, but coming back wasn't an easy decision for some. For example, Ewan McGregor was worried about reprising his role as Renton. It's been so long since he played he first played the character, and he wasn't even sure that he was still Scottish enough to do it.
Ewan McGregor spoke with the Guardian about his long career as an actor. And among the many things he discusses, T2 Trainspotting comes to the forefront. The movie begins with McGregor's character Renton, returning for the first time in 20 years to Leith, Edinburgh. This mirrors McGregor's own life, having formerly lived in Scotland, but now only visiting annually. His lifestyle change has made him a bit anxious about taking on the role, because he might not be as connected to his Scottish roots as he was in 1996.
I felt like Renton, going back. I had these feelings like, 'Shit, I haven't lived in Scotland since I was 17.' I moved to London to go to drama school, and I go home every year, because my parents are there, and my brother and his family, and I love it, but I haven't lived there, and ... of all the characters I've played who've been Scots, Renton is the most Scottish of them all. And I suddenly thought, 'fuck! What if I can't do it? What if I'm not Scottish enough any more?
Ewan McGregor obviously decided that he was still Scottish enough to play the role, seeing as how he's a prominent character in the movie. It's understandable to be nervous about returning to anything after 20 years, especially for an actor. To rediscover all the emotions, physicality, and vocal style of a long forgotten character is probably hard, but at least the plot for T2 helped to make it easier. Trainspotting ended with Renton running away, and now he returns 20 years later to re-explore his old friendships and relationships. That mirrors McGregor's real life enough that it made it easier to once again find the character and step into Renton's mindset.
Check out this trailer for T2, where you can hear a little of the former Star Wars actor's Scottish accent.
We'll be able to see how Scottish McGregor still is when T2 Trainspotting hits theaters later this month on January 27.