by Richard Luck

There’s so much about Trainspotting that’s memorable. The opening monologue, the voyage around the u-bend, the cold turkey sequence, the stuff about it being sh**e to be Scottish – Danny Boyle’s tale of the Edinburgh underworld is packed with unforgettable movie moments.

Equally memorable was the promotional poster campaign. The black-and-white portraits, the orange typeface, the railway station-mimicking taglines – the images would find a place in the country’s collective conscience as well as upon the walls of students everywhere from St Andrews to Exeter. Look at the images again, however, and you might notice something. For while Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Kelly Macdonald and Robert Carlyle are all present and correct, where, oh where is Kevin McKidd?

Now recognized the world over for his performances in Dog Soldiers, Rome and Grey’s Anatomy, Kevin McKidd was at the very beginning on his screen acting career when he was cast as Tommy, the doomed late-flowering junkie. “I think it was the fact I was quite fresh-faced that appealed to Danny Boyle” explains the actor. “Tommy’s technically the good guy of the piece, and because of how he ends up, he has to win the audience’s sympathy very quickly. Society tends to ignore the death of people like him but this death had to really hit home. He’s a lamb to the slaughter, Tommy. I clearly had a doomed quality that Danny liked.”

Since he’s utterly heart-breaking in the part, you’d have thought McKidd would feature heavily in Trainspotting’s promotional material. But as the actor readily admits, he has only himself to blame for not making it to the historic photo shoot.


Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

The Firm (1989)

“Before Trainspotting, it’d been a while since I’d had a holiday. I’d been working in theatre for some time and the wages weren’t the best, so now that I had my ‘big movie star pay cheque’ I decided to head for the sun. It wasn’t that exotic a trip actually, just a 250 quid package deal to Tunisia. So while I was getting burnt over there, Ewan, Jonny and the guys were at the studio having their photos taken. Then, when I got back to Britain, it was as if their images were absolutely everywhere! You couldn’t go out without running into those posters. So not only did I feel like an idiot for having gone away, I was reminded of the fact every time I went into town!”

If he still has regrets about his ill-timed vacation, McKidd is under no illusions that Trainspotting changed his life for the better. “My father was a plumber and, in all honesty, I thought that’s where my life would take me. As for acting, I’ve always loved it but I never dreamt it would take me as far as it has. Before Trainspotting, I thought that if I made it as far as London, I’d be very lucky indeed.”

Return to the Scotts Menswear shop here

1 Comment Show Comments ×

  1. If you can’t find a place for Marco Boogers then there’s no way I can take your listicle seriously (although redeeming points are gained for the whole disco/Nicola thing).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *