IRVINE WELSH'S ECSTASY

Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy
Comments

IRVINE WELSH'S ECSTASY



Written by Charlotte Wigham
15 Sunday 15th April 2012

Contemporary Scottish writer Irvine Welsh is best known for his novel, Trainspotting, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, achieved cult status following the global success of Danny Boyle's 1996 film adaptation and made a star out of Ewan McGregor. Since then Welsh has enjoyed continued commercial success with his novels, stage plays and screenplays. We caught up with him to talk love, rom-coms and DJing, and to discover more about the forthcoming film adaptations of his work.

Your first novel, Trainspotting is on the Waterstones/C4 Top 100 Books of the 20th Century list, the film took $72 million worldwide, and Ecstasy was a bestseller in 20 countries, not to mention the success of your other works. What’s the secret?
 
I’ve read stuff written about me where I’ve been accused of being this ignorant, weird savage who’s written a memoir and lucked out; and a clever businessman who saw a gap in the market and sold their culture down the line to develop this ‘product’. I wish I had been like that; I would have written the Da Vinci Code! Fact is, I don’t know what will work commercially. Some books do well and others are just kind of forgotten about. I mean, Marabou Stork Nightmares is probably the book I’m most proud of; lots of people love it and think it’s my bestbook, but it doesn’t have the profile of Trainspotting.
 
 
And now another film. What’s Ecstasy about?
 
It’s basically about two people who are lost. Lloyd is having too much of a good time, and Heather’s not having a good time at all. They get it together, but don’t know how much of it is down to the drug scene, and if the relationship can survive outside of that.
 
I was raving in the 90’s and have seen that: where you go straight from A to Z with a relationship and don’t get a chance to hit all the stops. Sometimes it’s the stops that determine the strength of a relationship and create that bond. People say all you need is love. You do need love, but it’s not all you need. It’s necessary, but it’s not enough.
 
The film’s been described as a ‘rom com’- not generally a term associated with you..
 
I was surprised when I saw it. It is a rom com. It’s kind of sexy as well because of all the music and the shagging. It’s nice to see younger people in a romantic comedy that isn’t cheesy. With something like Sex And The City, I think, who wants to see 50 year old birds, the same age as me, bowling around pretending they don’t know anything about relationships? I mean if you’ve not figured it out by then, you’re never going to figure it out. Ecstasy is a youth movie, but I think it might also attract older, settled-down ravers, and anyone looking for a romantic story.
 
 
Speaking of settled-down ravers, where’s home for you now? Also, are you DJing at the Ecstasy premiere at Ministry of Sound?
 
I live in Chicago and Miami now. I love it. Nobody understands a fucking word I say. But actually it’s the same back home. I’ve got an apartment in the new town in Edinburgh. Everybody talks really posh there, and they don’t understand meeither.
 
I used to DJ but now I only do it at home. To be a good DJ you have to be down the record shops all the time, and I don’t have time. Also, I’m too old! Playing in a club at my age, you’re just some sleazy old guy who’s kind of hanging around with a bunch of records.
 
Have you said that to Greg Wilson, Pete Tong, etc.?
 
(Laughs) Yeah, I keep forgetting they’re all old as well now. I mean, my heart goes out to them, but the last thing I want to do now is go to a club.
 
Irvine Welsh with director Rob Heydon
 
Tell us about the upcoming film adaptation of your novel Filth.
 
We wrapped it up a few weeks ago. It’s going to be fucking incredible. James McAvoy plays the lead, and I’ll go on record as saying he is actually better than De Niro in Taxi Driver! He’s so charismatic. He plays this incendiary outsider, but he doesn’t just do ‘twisted psycho’; he puts all this pathos into it as well. Jamie Bell who plays his sidekick is absolutely phenomenal, and Jim Broadbent and Gary Lewis provide amazing support. I’m also in it, if my part’s not cut! [he had a
cameo in Ecstasy but the scene didn’t make the final cut.]
 
What’s next for Irvine Welsh?
 
More books; more films. I’m working on a new novel set in Miami about two women, an artist and a personal trainer, who become obsessed with each other. I’ve been working on a play, Trainspotting USA, where we’ve relocated Trainspotting to Kansas. There’s a musical, and a project with Iggy Pop and others, and I’ve done a pilot for HBO about two feuding families in East Kentucky with the guys who did Eastbound and Down. We are just waiting to see what HBO thinks. I hope they like it as much as we do.
 
 
Ecstasy the movie is in cinemas nationwide from Friday 20th April. Skagboys, the prequel to Trainspotting, is out in September.
www.irvinewelsh.netYour first novel, Trainspotting is on the Waterstones/C4 Top 100 Books of
the 20th Century list, the film took $72 million worldwide, and Ecstasy was
a bestseller in 20 countries, not to mention the success of your other works.
What’s the secret?
 
I’ve read stuff written about me where I’ve been accused of being this ignorant,
weird savage who’s written a memoir and lucked out; and a clever businessman
who saw a gap in the market and sold their culture down the line to develop
this ‘product’. I wish I had been like that; I would have written the Da Vinci Code!
Fact is, I don’t know what will work commercially. Some books do well and
others are just kind of forgotten about. I mean, Marabou Stork Nightmares is
probably the book I’m most proud of; lots of people love it and think it’s my best
book, but it doesn’t have the profile of Trainspotting.
 
And now another film. What’s Ecstasy about?
 
It’s basically about two people who are lost. Lloyd is having too much of a good
time, and Heather’s not having a good time at all. They get it together, but don’t
know how much of it is down to the drug scene, and if the relationship can
survive outside of that.
 
I was raving in the 90’s and have seen that: where you go straight from A to Z
with a relationship and don’t get a chance to hit all the stops. Sometimes it’s the
stops that determine the strength of a relationship and create that bond. People
say all you need is love. You do need love, but it’s not all you need. It’s necessary,
but it’s not enough.
 
The film’s been described as a ‘rom com’- not generally a term associated
with you..
 
I was surprised when I saw it. It is a rom com. It’s kind of sexy as well because
of all the music and the shagging. It’s nice to see younger people in a romantic
comedy that isn’t cheesy. With something like Sex And The City, I think, who
wants to see 50 year old birds, the same age as me, bowling around pretending
they don’t know anything about relationships? I mean if you’ve not figured it out
by then, you’re never going to figure it out. Ecstasy is a youth movie, but I think it
might also attract older, settled-down ravers, and anyone looking for a romantic
story.
 
Speaking of settled-down ravers, where’s home for you now? Also, are you
DJing at the Ecstasy premiere at Ministry of Sound?
 
I live in Chicago and Miami now. I love it. Nobody understands a fucking word I
say. But actually it’s the same back home. I’ve got an apartment in the new town
 
in Edinburgh. Everybody talks really posh there, and they don’t understand me
either.
 
I used to DJ but now I only do it at home. To be a good DJ you have to be down
the record shops all the time, and I don’t have time. Also, I’m too old! To play in
a club now, you’re just some sleazy old guy who’s kind of hanging around with a
bunch of records.
 
Have you said that to Greg Wilson, Pete Tong, etc.?
 
(Laughs) Yeah, I keep forgetting they’re all old as well now. I mean, my heart
goes out to them, but the last thing I want to do now is go to a club.
 
Tell us about the film of your novel Filth.
 
We wrapped it up a few weeks ago. It’s going to be fucking incredible. James
McAvoy plays the lead, and I’ll go on record as saying he is actually better than
De Niro in Taxi Driver! He’s so charismatic. He plays this incendiary outsider, but
he doesn’t just do ‘twisted psycho’; he puts all this pathos into it as well. Jamie
Bell who plays his sidekick is absolutely phenomenal, and Jim Broadbent and
Gary Lewis provide amazing support. I’m also in it, if my part’s not cut! (he had a
cameo in Ecstasy but the scene didn’t make the final cut).
 
What’s next for Irvine Welsh?
 
More books; more films. I’m working on a new novel set in Miami about two
women, an artist and a personal trainer, who become obsessed with each
other. I’ve been working on a play, Trainspotting USA, where we’ve relocated
Trainspotting to Kansas. There’s a musical, and a project with Iggy Pop and
others, and I’ve done a pilot for HBO about two feuding families in East Kentucky
with the guys who did Eastbound and Down. We are just waiting to see what
HBO thinks. I hope they like it as much as we do.
 
Ecstasy the movie is in cinemas nationwide from Friday 20th April. Skagboys,
the prequel to Trainspotting, is out in September.
 
www.irvinewelsh.netthe 20th Century list, the film took $72 million worldwide, and Ecstasy was
a bestseller in 20 countries, not to mention the success of your other works.
What’s the secret?
 
I’ve read stuff written about me where I’ve been accused of being this ignorant,
weird savage who’s written a memoir and lucked out; and a clever businessman
who saw a gap in the market and sold their culture down the line to develop
this ‘product’. I wish I had been like that; I would have written the Da Vinci Code!
Fact is, I don’t know what will work commercially. Some books do well and
others are just kind of forgotten about. I mean, Marabou Stork Nightmares is
probably the book I’m most proud of; lots of people love it and think it’s my best
book, but it doesn’t have the profile of Trainspotting.
 
And now another film. What’s Ecstasy about?
 
It’s basically about two people who are lost. Lloyd is having too much of a good
time, and Heather’s not having a good time at all. They get it together, but don’t
know how much of it is down to the drug scene, and if the relationship can
survive outside of that.
 
I was raving in the 90’s and have seen that: where you go straight from A to Z
with a relationship and don’t get a chance to hit all the stops. Sometimes it’s the
stops that determine the strength of a relationship and create that bond. People
say all you need is love. You do need love, but it’s not all you need. It’s necessary,
but it’s not enough.
 
The film’s been described as a ‘rom com’- not generally a term associated
with you..
 
I was surprised when I saw it. It is a rom com. It’s kind of sexy as well because
of all the music and the shagging. It’s nice to see younger people in a romantic
comedy that isn’t cheesy. With something like Sex And The City, I think, who
wants to see 50 year old birds, the same age as me, bowling around pretending
they don’t know anything about relationships? I mean if you’ve not figured it out
by then, you’re never going to figure it out. Ecstasy is a youth movie, but I think it
might also attract older, settled-down ravers, and anyone looking for a romantic
story.
 
Speaking of settled-down ravers, where’s home for you now? Also, are you
DJing at the Ecstasy premiere at Ministry of Sound?
 
I live in Chicago and Miami now. I love it. Nobody understands a fucking word I
say. But actually it’s the same back home. I’ve got an apartment in the new town
 
in Edinburgh. Everybody talks really posh there, and they don’t understand me
either.
 
I used to DJ but now I only do it at home. To be a good DJ you have to be down
the record shops all the time, and I don’t have time. Also, I’m too old! To play in
a club now, you’re just some sleazy old guy who’s kind of hanging around with a
bunch of records.
 
Have you said that to Greg Wilson, Pete Tong, etc.?
 
(Laughs) Yeah, I keep forgetting they’re all old as well now. I mean, my heart
goes out to them, but the last thing I want to do now is go to a club.
 
Tell us about the film of your novel Filth.
 
We wrapped it up a few weeks ago. It’s going to be fucking incredible. James
McAvoy plays the lead, and I’ll go on record as saying he is actually better than
De Niro in Taxi Driver! He’s so charismatic. He plays this incendiary outsider, but
he doesn’t just do ‘twisted psycho’; he puts all this pathos into it as well. Jamie
Bell who plays his sidekick is absolutely phenomenal, and Jim Broadbent and
Gary Lewis provide amazing support. I’m also in it, if my part’s not cut! (he had a
cameo in Ecstasy but the scene didn’t make the final cut).
 
What’s next for Irvine Welsh?
 
More books; more films. I’m working on a new novel set in Miami about two
women, an artist and a personal trainer, who become obsessed with each
other. I’ve been working on a play, Trainspotting USA, where we’ve relocated
Trainspotting to Kansas. There’s a musical, and a project with Iggy Pop and
others, and I’ve done a pilot for HBO about two feuding families in East Kentucky
with the guys who did Eastbound and Down. We are just waiting to see what
HBO thinks. I hope they like it as much as we do.
 
Ecstasy the movie is in cinemas nationwide from Friday 20th April. Skagboys,
the prequel to Trainspotting, is out in September.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.



Comments

  • Guest: m.sillito
    Mon 16 - Apr - 2012, 22:18
    Enjoyed the article, which really added to other things I've read about him recently.
  • Guest: emmasmallwood
    Mon 16 - Apr - 2012, 21:56
    Fab interview, Irvine is a legend, the film looks amazing.
  • Guest: J
    Mon 16 - Apr - 2012, 21:44
    Awesome article, really well interviewed and written! A really good insight!
  • Guest: john.cuthell
    Mon 16 - Apr - 2012, 20:14
    An interesting interview that conceals more than it reveals. Is Skagboys really out in September? I've been reading lots of reviews in the past ten days.

MORE FROM DON'T PANIC