A newly released deleted scene from hit movie Filth shows Edinburgh-born author Irvine Welsh playing Evening News journalist “Brian Scullion”, who comes off worse from a run-in with James McAvoy’s corrupt cop Bruce Robertson.
And according to director Jon S Baird, the character of the Evening News reporter was the author’s first pick for his cameo appearance.
Mr Baird, who was born in Aberdeen but spent two years studying communications at Napier University, said: “It was Irvine’s idea to do a cameo and he immediately said he wanted to be Evening News journalist Brian Scullion. I don’t think he’s based on any journalist in particular, but obviously if you’re setting something in the Capital it has to be the Evening News – it’s Edinburgh’s paper.
“Perhaps he wanted to play that part because this character is so far away from the one he played in Trainspotting.”
In the 1996 film, which was directed by Danny Boyle, Welsh played a drug dealer named Mikey Forrester, who Ewan McGregor’s character Mark Renton purchases suppositories from, setting up one of the movies most iconic scenes.
However, while Filth’s character may be more clean-cut, it didn’t stop him from ending up on the cutting room floor.
“Why did I cut it? Well, firstly because Irvine isn’t a very good actor! No, the real reason is that Irvine’s character is almost a hallucination, he has that big 1920s camera with the flash, and it was just a bit too surreal a bit too early in the film. Bruce’s breakdown hasn’t really begun at this stage and it just didn’t quite work. The first time we watched the final cut together I was so nervous about what he thought of the film itself and of what he was going to say when he realised he wasn’t in it! The scene he was supposed to be in came and went and he didn’t say a word – I thought he was silently seething.”
But as it turned out, the author could be missing the memory and observational skills required for a career in journalism.
“When the film finished he said he thought it was better than the book! I apologised for having cut him out and he said he’d totally forgotten he was even supposed to be in it.”
Mr Baird, who is now working with fellow Welsh-alumnus Danny Boyle on new Channel 4 series Babylon, says he hopes to work with Welsh again in future, perhaps on an adaptation of the novel Crime, which continues the story of the character played by Jamie Bell in Filth.
Filth is out on DVD today.