'I was treated as some kind of pop star': Irvine Welsh reveals how Trainspotting changed his life

Author Irvine Welsh discusses the success of his novel-turned-film Trainspotting, and how it feels now to revisit those characters in the sequel, T2 Trainspotting.
Author Irvine Welsh's popular book-turned-film Trainspotting returns for its long-awaited sequel, T2 Trainspotting, this month. (Getty Images)

Irvine Welsh doesn't like looking back or looking ahead — he's very much, as he says, "a creature of the present." So, when time came for his famous novel-turned-film, Trainspotting, to make its return with a sequel this year, he was conflicted. 

"I tend to not reflect much," he says. But he does point out that the Trainspotting characters now felt like "old friends," and he enjoys having them back in his life. 

This film marked a turning point for Welsh in 1996, one that he discusses in depth today with Tom Power. "The whole Trainspotting thing crossed with the Brit-pop thing," he says, setting the scene 20 years ago. "It was almost like I was treated as some kind of pop star rather than a writer, it was a very strange time for me, personally."

T2 Trainspotting comes out in select theatres across Canada on March 17.

— Produced by Ben Edwards


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