Danny Boyle directed Trainspotting, your favorite movie about heroin, and shortly thereafter you became a junkie. How's that working out for you, shakes? Well Boyle's got a new movie, Millions, coming out this week, so get off the horse and go see this bitch before the need for a fix destroys everything.
One of the opening scenes of Millions depicts St. Francis of Assisi smoking a joint. Did you take any flack for that?
Would it be better if she smokes a Marlboro? It would be worse off if she smokes a Marlboro because you'd be encouraging kids to smoke cigarettes and also promoting the products of Phillip Morris.
In England, you are allowed to smoke marijuana in the privacy of your own home? Didn't they decriminalize marijuana?
Now, it's a Class C drug. So, if you get caught with it, mind you if it's your own supply, you just get let off.
So, is growing it illegal?
Growing it has never been illegal. What you can't do is obviously "trade" it. It's the dealers who they are really after.
Can you discuss your unique depiction of saints in the film?
They are not like fantasies or hallucinations. They are real people; real flesh and blood. One saint swears a bit, one smokes a joint. Joseph is a great guy, because if you think about Joseph, he's the big stepfather of Jesus, when the father is God. That is an incredibly difficult job to carry out in life. He must have been a pretty cool guy, so we made him pretty easy-going.
What about old Saint Nick speaking in Latin?
I just love subtitles. I think a lot of people who haven't seen the film and are reading this will be horrified, but within the context of the movie it is all funny.
Why did you film the movie in Manchester rather than in Hollywood?
I don't know anything about America. There are so many movies about kids growing up in America. I don't know anything about that. In Britain, I know what kind of car a character would drive. I can say, "Look, he's going to drive this kind of car." Here, I'd have to check. Similarly, it's like making a film through somebody else. It's different if you relocate to space. For example, my next movie takes place in space.
So, you're filming in space for that one?
We're filming that one in a studio in London. You could film that one literally anywhere. It's like when there are movies about baseball, I don't understand baseball.
I don't understand cricket.
Exactly, if you tried to make a movie about cricket you'd be completely lost. You'd constantly be asking somebody else for advice, and you might as well let them make the film.
Did you know that they recently made a list of the 100 scariest scenes in cinema and a scene from 28 Days Later made the list?
That's great. What position were we?
No, that's not good. What was number one?
Jaws...I mean it wasn't the entire film they were evaluating, just the scariest scene. People really like that opening scene where she gets pulled under the water.
Did Alien make the list?
Yeah, that was number two, when the Alien pumps out his chest.
And The Exorcist?
Yup, that was number three. Anyway, can you describe your involvement with charitable organizations the collection boxes that will be present at every screening of Millions?
Almost 40 percent of the people in Africa still don't have access to clean water. There's this charity called WaterAid who helped us with the film. They dig wells in Africa and provide people with clean water.
Have you donated a percentage of the profits from your other films?
In Trainspotting we were helped by a group called Calton Athletic, a drug recovery group. Calton uses athletics as a substitute for drugs. Many addicts are obsessive. Rather than be obsessive with drugs, addicts can turn to sport. In The Beach, we used a lot of the money to make sure the island that we filmed on was protected so it wasn't overrun by tourism. Unfortunately, the island was completely destroyed by the tsunami.