Danny Boyle tells of shame at lengthy fall-out with Ewan McGregor

Danny Boyle tells of shame at lengthy fall-out with Ewan McGregor

Danny Boyle has said he feels a “great shame” over his 10-year fall-out with Ewan McGregor, and that he is very grateful to the actor for presenting him with a prestigious award after burying the hatchet.

The T2 Trainspotting director’s rift with the actor over 15 years ago was caused by him not casting Ewan in his film The Beach, which saw the leading role go to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Ewan, 45, felt “rudderless” to have missed out on the part, after appearing in Danny’s first three films, he reveals on the Graham Norton Show on Friday.

Graham Norton Show
The Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)


But he said he regrets the years they missed out on working together while feuding.

“It was a misunderstanding and a mishandling of a situation,” McGregor said.

“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.

Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor
Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor (Isabel Infantes /PA)


“I had been in Danny’s first three films and then I wasn’t asked to be in his fourth – The Beach – but it wasn’t really about the film, it was about our friendship.”

Danny and Ewan first worked together on 1994′s Shallow Grave before they reunited for 1996′s Trainspotting and then A Life Less Ordinary in 1997.

Ewan added: “You can only fall out with someone you love.”

Graham Norton Show
Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)


Danny, 60, said: “I handled it very badly and I’ve apologised to Ewan. I feel a great shame about it that is difficult to explain.

“He handled it with enormous grace and courage. Someone asked him to present an award to me for Slumdog Millionaire and he did it and made this amazing speech and I was in tears back stage. I’m very grateful to him.”

Ewan handed Danny a Bafta at a ceremony in Los Angeles in 2009 for Slumdog, alongside its leading star Dev Patel.

Prior to their reconciliation, the frequent collaborators revealed they had another chance to make up, although neither had taken the plunge.

Graham Norton Show
Ewan McGregor (Isabel Infantes/PA)


Ewan said: “We had both been in Shanghai for some awards and were returning on a flight together. Danny, my wife and I were the only three people in first class.

“Eventually my wife went to sleep and I saw Danny up ahead with his light on and I thought, ‘this is it, this is the moment we get it all out’.

“But we couldn’t so we both just sat there with our lights burning.”

Danny and Ewan have reunited with the rest of the cast of the first Trainspotting film – Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller – for the sequel, set 20 years after the original.