Ewan McGregor says he regrets the way his relationship with Danny Boyle was tarnished for over 10 years, and the fact they missed opportunities to make more films together because of it.
The actor, who starred in the 1996 Boyle-directed film Trainspotting as well as Shallow Grave and A Life Less Ordinary said relations soured between the pair after he was led to believe he would play the lead role in the 2000 film The Beach, a role which went to Leonardo DiCaprio.
“It was almost nothing to do with The Beach,” Mcgregor told The Times. “I mean, of course, it was all over The Beach and my understanding that I was playing the role. To discover that I wasn’t, came as a bit of a shock. It wasn’t just not getting that role. It was [the way] it was handled that wasn’t very clever. I did knock me a little bit.”
The actor said he had prided himself as being “Danny Boyle’s actor” so was disappointed when the director chose someone else, however now regrets the potential opportunities they could have had working together.
“I put so much importance in being their actor. It defined me as an actor. I felt like it was a badge on my sleeve: I am Danny Boyle’s actor. It felt like it was the most important thing of my career […] Eighteen years since that point, I just regret all the films that we didn’t make together, me and Danny.
“I was arrogant when I was young. Now I get nervous about every role,” he said.
Describing the numerous times they bumped into each other, McGregor said it was like “meeting an old lover or something. Ultimately, it was nice to see him, always”.
The pair have since repaired their relationship and McGregor, along with Dev Patel presented him with an award at a BAFTA ceremony in Los Angeles in 2009.
In 2013, Boyle said he had apologised to McGregor, telling Jonathan Ross: “We didn’t treat him very well, I’ve got to be honest about it, we didn’t behave at our best.
“You learn and we’ve apologised. We made this film called The Beach and we gave Ewan the impression we were going to cast him in it and we didn’t cast him in it, we cast another actor, a wonderful actor called Leonardo DiCaprio who was a lovely guy, they’re both wonderful.”
McGregor and Boyle are currently working on the sequel to Trainspotting which starts filming this month.
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