Actor Ewan McGregor and director, producer and screenwriter Danny Boyle apparently didn’t speak for years after an argument, or a ‘misunderstanding’ as McGregor put it, over a film — ‘The Beach‘. An argument the pair talked about on the latest episode of The Graham Norton Show this weekend.
The problem started when McGregor, who had been in the first three Danny Boyle directed films — ‘Shallow Grave‘, ‘Trainspotting‘ and ‘A Life Less Ordinary‘ — found out he was not going to be in the fourth film ‘The Beach‘, which he discovered when he had lunch with Boyle. (Which you must admit is a little odd, as actors are rarely continually cast by the same director, so he was lucky to have even been in Boyle’s first three films).
“I was in the first three movies,” said McGregor, ” and then I wasn’t in the fourth. And I was a bit, maybe a bit rudderless. I didn’t quite get it. And we didn’t speak for a long time, which is such a waste.”
“It began with a lunch, was it? Which was when you told him he wasn’t going to be in ‘The Beach‘?” asked Graham Norton.
“Yeah,” responded Danny Boyle. “And I think I handled it very very badly. And I’ve apologized to Ewan about it. I kind of feel ashamed about it. You know, it’s one of the things weirdly that the film is about (Trainspotting 2) — trying to express emotions — and I felt a great shame about it really. I was not proud of the way I handled it. And he (McGregor), actually, handled it with enormous grace. Because you see these actors and they do big things, and you hear stories about them. And he handles all his world with enormous grace. And courage actually, which is the definition of grace. They say courage is grace under pressure”.
Boyle went on to say “And we had this film, ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘, which was doing amazing. Picking up all these amazing things, and somebody asked him if he would present these promotional award to me, which is one of the things you do en route to the Oscars. And he did. He stood up on stage, and he made this amazing speech, and I was like in tears backstage. So, yeah, I’m very grateful to him”.
Graham Norton then went on to ask the ‘Trainspotting 2‘ cast, who were also on the couch with McGregor and Boyle, if they had tried to fix the situation.
And, of course, it being Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Ewen Bremner, they had nothing but glib or funny comments to make about the situation.
Watch them below.