Cheat Sheet: Danny Boyle
Name: Danny Boyle
Date of birth: 20th October 1956
Place of birth: Lancashire, UK
Special move Directing
Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Millions, Sunshine, The Beach, Slumdog Millionnaire and 127 Hours .
What you probably already know:
Danny Boyle isn’t a man to shy away from a wide range of challenges. Give him any setting you fancy; 90s Edinburgh, the slums of Mumbai, a disease-ravaged London, freaking SPACE motherf*ckers – he’s not only made a film about it, he’s made a film that’s better than ANYTHING YOU WILL EVER ACHIEVE about it. He’s famed for his wildly differing projects, his stunning visuals and his desire to make his films vivacious and celebratory even in the bleakest of circumstances. He bagged himself an Best Director Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, which went on to win 34 (ish) other Oscars (which we love partially cos its ace and partially because it really pissed off everyone involved in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Considering his wide scope of subject matter, when it comes to his actors he can be surprisingly frugal. Like many directors, there are certain creatures he likes to work with over and over again; Ewan McGregor starred in his first three films – Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary, Robert Carlyle rocked up in Trainspotting, The Beach and 28 Weeks Later . Cillian Murphy and Rose Byrne who both appeared in the 28 Days saga at some point climbed back aboard for Sunshine. But, that’s not to say his teacher’s pet mania ever gets to that of Tim Burton proportions; rumour has it that he and Ewan McGregor quarrelled after Danny Boyle decided to cast Leonardo Di Caprio over him in The Beach . We say you go Danny Boyle, you save Leonardo Di Caprio from almost certain obscurity.
What you might not know:
Danny Boyle was originally not meant to grace our screens, but our churches. Brought up in a strict Catholic family, it was his mother’s fondest wish that he would grow up to become a priest, an ambition that Boyle shared until the age of 14, when he was dissuaded from the profession by a priest by the name of Father Conway. “Whether he was saving me from the priesthood or the priesthood from me, I don’t know” added Boyle in an recent interview on the subject. Wherever you are, Father Conway, we thank you. God bless you Father Conway, without your divine intervention we may have never known the joys of watching Ewan Mcgregor crawl into a shit-splattered toilet.
Mr Boyle is currently taking a break from film directing and returning to his first love – the stage. Having directed many critically acclaimed theatre productions in the past (he started out at Joint Stock Theatre company and has directed for the RSC), he is working on a National Theatre production of Frankenstein. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (oh that beautiful bicycle face) and Jonny Lee Miller, the 2011 production will tell the classic Mary Shelley story from the monster’s point of view.
Danny Boyle quote:
“I want my films to be life-affirming, even a film like Trainspotting (1996), which is very dark in many ways. I want people to leave the cinema feeling that something`s been confirmed for them about life.”
What to say at a dinner party:
“I mean, one only has to look at some of his very early stage work – I believe it was he who re-envisaged the immeasurably controversial play Saved, by Edward Bond? – to see that he was always going to embrace a darker kind of optimism.”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“Ohhh Danny Boyyylle… your head, your head is maassive.”
We want him to hurry up and make the Trainspotting sequel, Porno. And so should you.