Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of 'Trainspotting' With These 20 Facts

Read on for how the Beastie Boys inspired the movie's opening scene.
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July 19th marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. premiere of Trainspotting, director Danny Boyle's druggy breakout hit about heroin-addicted Scottish petty criminals that made Ewan McGregor a star before he ever played a young Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Here, 20 facts you probably didn't know about his stone-cold cult classic. 

1. Ewan McGregor cut dairy and alcohol from his diet for only two months to get his heroin-addicted character's skinny, beaten-up look.

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2. The film took just a month and a half to shoot.

Due to the film's relatively small $2 million budget, everything had to be done in six weeks.

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3. The scene of Renton (McGregor) being hit by a car took 20 takes to complete.

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4. Kelly Macdonald accidentally invited her family to watch the shooting of her topless sex scene.

Awkward!

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5. Twins were used to film the part of the baby.

Taking a note straight out of Full House's book, twins to play the infamous drug house baby. We assume neither twin was actually able to turn its head 360 degrees, though. 

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6. The shit in the "worst toilet in Scotland" scene was just chocolate.

Apparently, it smelled delicious.

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7. Director Danny Boyle had his actors prepare for the role by watching The Exorcist and A Clockwork Orange.

He wanted his cast to study the way rebellious (and apparently demon-possessed) youth acted in these classics.

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8. One of the BB gun scenes was originally slated to have music from Mission Impossible playing in the background.

9. Trainspotting may have died but for its vibrant marketing campaign.

£800,000—just over a million dollars in U.S. currency—was spent on posters detailing who the characters were across the United Kingdom.

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10. The first 20 minutes of the film was re-dubbed for American audiences because the Scottish accents were considered too heavy.

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11. Ewan McGregor learned how to make heroin for the role and even considered trying it.

He used a glucose formula instead of the actual drug, however.

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12. The role of Begbie nearly went to Christopher Eccleston.

The Doctor Who star was heavily considered for the role before it went to Robert Carlyle.

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13. There's no actual train spotting in the film.

Boyle called it a metaphor. Just as people who don't train spot can't understand the hobby, people who don't use heroin can't understand abusing it.

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14. The Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" music video inspired the opening scene.

15. A prosthetic arm was used for the close up shots of heroin injection.

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16. Red and green colors were used thematically to illustrate the difference between a 'pure' life and a life of drug abuse.

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17. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) was played as a closeted gay man.

After reading the scene where the psychopathic brawler Begbie hooks up with a transgender woman, Carlyle interpreted the character as a gay man who was aggressive because of his repressed sexuality. Irvine Welsh, who wrote the book the film is based on, agreed.

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18. Kelly Macdonald blew away the rest of the actresses who auditioned for her role.

Then 19, she was said to have stood out from a crowd of actresses during the open casting for her character of seductive school girl Diane.

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19. Diane and Renton's sex scene was cut by one second for the film's American release. 
It was so the movie could get an R-rating. 

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20. There's going to be a sequel.

h/t IMDb