7 Questions with <i>Trainspotting</i> Director Danny Boyle


Director Danny Boyle has covered it all: druggies in Trainspotting, enlightenment in Millions, zombies in 28 Days Later and in his latest cinematic work he tackles astronauts venturing to the sun in Sunshine.

Boyle has long been one of my favorite directors, always tackling gritty subjects, loading his movies up with smart dialog, the big screen always full of surprises. He is a fearless director, never afraid to try something new.

If you have never seen any of Danny Boyle's flicks, here’s a list of my faves.

1. Trainspotting
2. Shallow Grave
3. 28 Days Later
4. Millions
5. The Beach

courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

In Sunshine, Boyle boldly ventures to a place he hasn't been to before: space. And he told me it's unlikely he will head there again. However, you should check out Sunshine for yourself. I will reserve my judgment. The movie has already opened in Europe. It opens here on Friday.

Yesterday, Mr. Danny Boyle took some time out to answer seven questions for 7x7sf.com.


1. First, what was the movie that changed your life?
Danny Boyle: I'm a twin; I have a twin sister, and this will give you an idea of my gender upbringing. The first movie I ever went to was on our seventh or eighth birthday. My mom took my sister to The Sound of Music, and my dad took me to The Battle of the Bulge, a war-time movie.
Liam Mayclem (laughs): Oh, interesting.
DB: Yeah, so there you go.
LM: And, have you watched it many times since?
DB (laughs): No not much at all. I can't remember a thing about it apart from the fact of going to it and thinking, why is [my sister] going to a different one?
LM (laughs): Yeah, do you feel cheated?
DB (laughs): I have seen The Sound of Music—a very good film.

2. What's your perfect Sunday?
DB: Oh, it's in the park really … Sunday in the park. I live in the East End of London, and there’s a nice park, which was actually given to the people of east London by Queen Victoria, and it's called Victoria Park. [The government] tried quite recently to put a bypass through the middle of it and they couldn't because by law she put in this clause ...
LM: Back in 1800?
DB: Whenever it was, that if anybody wanted to change the park, they have to consult all the people of the East End.
LM (laughs): And now of course …
DB: Well, there are millions of us, and nobody knows who we are, what defines it, so it's impossible to change our park. So it will always be there, which I am very grateful for.
LM: Somebody has to do a lot of door knocking, 'Hello, we're calling about the park, we want to know if ..."
DB (laughs): And what do you feel about a bypass through your park?
LM: Yes, exactly. Yeah, I think the answer will be no.

3. Favorite seat in a movie theater?
DB: Oh, favorite seat: right at the back.
LM: Right at the back?
DB: Yeah, but also, I love going to cinemas and matinees when they’re empty. You get that big screen, and there are only a few people in there. I love that really.
LM: The matinee right in the back. Look out for Danny Boyle.

4. You're on a desert island. You can take just one film with you. What would it be?
DB: Oh, that's easy: Apocalypse Now.

5. And what would the CD be?
DB: The CD would actually be the new White Stripes album. That's my favorite album at the moment, Icky Thump.
LM: Right, it's a good one.
DB: I love that album.

6. Favorite sound?
DB: Ooh, I think birds really, they disappeared a bit from our cities, particularly in London all the sparrows are gone. There is nowhere for them to nest anymore in modern buildings, but the sound of birds is just wonderful.
LM: Pigeon right above you there.
DB: (laughs)

7. And finally, Mr. Danny Boy, you make movies because?
DB: ’Cause I couldn't be a train driver. I would’ve liked to be a train driver, but it didn't work out, so I ended up making movies.
LM: Well, stick with the movies. You're doing grand.
DB: (laughs)
LM: Thanks, Danny.
DB: Thank you very much.
LM: Good to see you, sir.
DB: That was fun.
LM: Agreed.

That's a wrap.

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