Three Questions With GFOP Irvine Welsh

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Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting” is one of MiB’s formative tomes. The book inspired the iconic 1996 film by the same name and introduced many on American shores to the notion of “glassing.” Last year, after we learned the film’s cast was reuniting for a sequel, we had the pleasure of speaking to Welsh for a Pod special about “T2 Trainspotting,” his career, and his beloved West Ham. LISTEN HERE. Fast forward a year and the film is now out in theaters in America, and the Scottish scribe’s beloved Irons are dangerously close to the drop zone (five points clear, as of this writing). We caught up with him via phone to ask how he’s experienced Rents’ return to his life, just as Dimitri Payet exited.

MiB: You delivered one of our favorite Tweets this football season when you said, “The Payet saga at @WestHamUtd feels like a girl you've fallen madly in love with telling you to 'grow up, it was just a holiday shag.'” Was it worth it, Irvine, to experience the genius of a player like Payet, only to have it snatched away?

IW: Of course it was worth it. But you can see that Payet has obviously got issues. He would play for Barcelona or Real Madrid if his temperament was great, but it’s not so he plays at West Ham. He’s a major talent, but these guys can bust so you have to enjoy them while you have them. Ultimately though, the West Ham fans want somebody like Mark Noble who would die for the jersey.

MiB: You fell in love with West Ham at the Boleyn Ground, a venue at which the likes of your character Begbie might fit right in. How have you experienced watching your club at the new London Stadium?

IW: I’ve only been twice. And its crap, you know? It’s just not the same. You’re too far away from the pitch. It doesn’t feel like a professional football stadium. It feels like one of these big horrible American stadiums. It’s not a football ground at all. I think it’s hard for a fan who’s been around for awhile and put his soul into the club to see a change like this.

MiB: T2 Trainspotting arrives some 30 years after you created Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud. What do you think of the types of people they turned into in this film?

IW: The characters are always where I envisioned them to be. The interest comes from seeing them go from the page to the screen, and how that plays for the audience. The first film is about friendship and betrayal, and I think the second one is about revenge as well. It’s something that you kind of try to work out together, how the cinematic journey is going to be different from the literature journey.