The actor, who played violent thug Begbie in Danny Boyle’s big-screen adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Edinburgh-set novel, admitted he was hesitant about returning to the role despite the Oscar-winning director being involved once more.
Boyle revealed in March that he was hoping to reunite the original actors and make a sequel “very loosely based” on Welsh’s own follow-up, Porno, in time for a release in 2016, 20 years after the original.
Ewan McGregor, who had previously expressed opposition to getting involved in any kind of Trainspotting sequel, signalled a change of heart last month, during a Q&A after a charity screening of the film.
Yesterday, Carlyle said it would be “fantastic” to be reunited with the rest of the cast, which also included Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Kelly Macdonald. He was speaking during a visit to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, of which he is a patron.
McGregor, who played Renton, said last month: “I’m totally up for it. I’d be so chuffed to be back on set with everybody and it would be an extraordinary experience.”
Carlyle told his film festival audience: “The benefit screening in London was the first time I had heard Danny Boyle actually speak about it as a real thing, but it just depends on the script now. It obviously has to be good. It is not a done deal. I can’t speak for the rest of the actors. For me, I would work with Danny Boyle any day of the week, but it is important the script is good.
“The previous film was so popular and such a massive cultural thing, particularly here in Scotland, that it would be ridiculous to do something that would undercut it in any way.
“But if anybody can pull it off, Danny Boyle is the man.”
Carlyle added: “It would be fantastic to see the guys together again all these years down the line. I would be a liar if I said I was not [hesitant]. At the moment it is still too far away to be thinking about it properly but when it has come into my mind I’ve thought, ‘Am I doing the right thing here?’ Begbie was such a massive character for me.
“If you think about it, Trainspotting has no real story. It is about four guys, that is about it. John Hodge did a wonderful job with the screenplay to actually make it into anything at all. Irvine Welsh would tell you that himself.”
Carlyle said: “I never really saw Begbie as being necessarily real. Irvine Welsh had told me he was a composite of about four or five guys that he knew. He was big, he was massive.
“When the costume fittings came up the designer had brought up combat trousers, leather jackets and bovver boots, but I didn’t see him like that.
“Back at that time there was the dreadful ‘Inter City Firm’ who would dress up very smart, get on trains to go to football matches and smash up towns.
“I thought that was the kind of guy he was – the brighter the colours of his clothes, the better for him. He wasn’t cartoon or even a caricature, but he was certainly a heightened figure. I don’t he was someone that you would necessarily see in the streets of Edinburgh or Glasgow. He wouldn’t last ten minutes.
“Begbie should be exactly where he should be – either in the nick, or dead.”