Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Ever since he owned the screen in Trainspotting, Robert Carlyle has been a favorite actor for a lot of us. But matching a role and performance like the psychopathic Francis Begbie is difficult, so it’s no surprise to hear that the actor would jump at the chance to revisit it. While that still seems like a distant possibility, Carlyle is talking it up anyway. In addition, he is featured in a five-minute commercial for Johnnie Walker whiskey, and his one-take recitation of the brand’s history is definitely worth a look.
In case you haven’t heard the long and winding story of the Trainspotting sequel, here’s the quick recap. Original author Irvine Welsh wrote a sequel novel called Porno, which picks up with the surviving characters ten years later. The book is more of a straight caper story than the original tale was, but director Danny Boyle evidently likes the idea of reuniting the original cast when they’re old enough to really put some visual separation between the Trainspotting and Porno versions of the characters. The holdout has been Ewan McGregor, who (correctly, I think) feels like it’s a bad idea to go back to the well, and that Welsh’s novel isn’t strong enough to warrant the film.
Fast-forward to now, months after Boyle has talked up Porno to no real effect. Carlyle told the BBC (likely in an interview to promote his work on Stargate), “for me personally, I would jump through hoops of fire backwards for Danny Boyle. I would do Porno tomorrow for nothing.” What does that mean for the film? Probably nothing, even though he’s quite correct when he explains Begbie is a character worth revisiting (“probably the only character I would ever want to revisit,” is the actual quote) “because I do believe that there’s an awful lot more mileage there in Begbie.”
Meanwhile, here’s the Johnnie Walker advert, which first came to my attention at Hollywood Elsewhere. Carlyle strolls through the Scottish Highlands, interacting with a few props as he tells the story of Johnnie Walker and how his whiskey became one of the world’s dominant brands. Yeah, it’s a commercial, but the craft here is pretty great. And it’s wonderful to hear Carlyle speaking in his native accent once again; it’s almost like Begbie went straight.