Back to IndieWire

Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle Reveal Why They Didn’t Speak for Years

McGregor had starred in Boyle's first three films and then Leonardo DiCaprio took over as leading man in the director's fourth picture.

ewan mcgregor danny boyle Graham Norton

The Graham Norton Show/YouTube

Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle were a ‘90s indie film dynamic duo, with the actor starring in the director’s first three films: “Shallow Grave,” “Trainspotting” and “A Life Less Ordinary.” McGregor, who prided himself as being “Danny Boyle’s actor,” then had a dramatic breakup and parted ways with the filmmaker after Leonardo DiCaprio, coming from his “Titanic” stardom, was chosen as the lead in 2000’s “The Beach” and not him. The two didn’t speak to each other until nine years later in 2009.

Now, McGregor and Boyle have reunited in the upcoming “Trainspotting” sequel “T2,” and while on “The Graham Norton Show” the host brought up the decade-long feud.

“It was over a film, a misunderstanding,” McGregor explained. “It’s a big regret of mine that it went on for so long, and a real shame we didn’t work together all those years. Not because of any particular film, and it didn’t really matter about ‘The Beach,’ it was never about ‘The Beach.’ It was about our friendship.”

The actor continued by explaining how he was in Boyle’s first three films, “And then I wasn’t in the fourth and it made me a bit rudderless,” he expressed. “I didn’t quite get it and we didn’t speak for a long time, which is such a waste.”

READ MORE: ‘T2 Trainspotting’ Exclusive: How the Screenplay Convinced Danny Boyle to Resurrect a Cult Classic — Watch

“I handled it very badly and I’ve apologized to [Ewan],” Boyle added. “And I kind of feel ashamed about it.”

There was a silent trip to Shanghai in first class when the two almost reconciled and then came McGregor’s 2009 introduction speech during the Oscars when Boyle won the Best Director award for “Slumdog Millionaire” that changed everything.

“Someone asked him to present an award to me,” Boyle told Norton, “And he did it, and made this amazing speech, and I was in tears backstage.”

READ MORE: ‘T2: Trainspotting’ International Trailer: Ewan McGregor and the Rest of the Boys Are Back in Town

Check out the full interview below. “T2 Trainspotting” arrives in theaters on March 17.

Stay on top of the latest film and TV news! Sign up for our email newsletters here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox