Q: Who plays Buttons, the navigator, on "Our Flag Means Death"? He looks so familiar.

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

You must have an eye for faces, since, with his bushy beard and long, scraggly hair, Ewen Bremner looks drastically different in the HBO Max comedy "Our Flag Means Death" than he does in any of his other big roles.

Most notably, he was clean-shaven (on his face and most of his head as well) in "Trainspotting" (1996) and its very late sequel, "T2 Trainspotting" (2017).

In both films, he played Spud, one of the ensemble of Scottish ne'er-do-wells whose friendships and drug addictions form the movies' strangely beautiful hearts. Bremner's a Scot in real life, and his heavy accent is played for laughs in those films, just as it is in "Our Flag Means Death."

But he's not just a funny accent for hire.

You may, for example, know him from the times he played American soldiers in the decidedly unfunny "Pearl Harbor" or "Black Hawk Down" (both released in 2001). He also catered to all his strengths at once in the 2004 action-horror "Alien vs. Predator" and 2017's "Wonder Woman," playing a funny Scottish soldier in both films.

He's also capable of roles in subtle art films, having done a couple of Woody Allen pictures (2010's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" and 2005's "Match Point").

There are plenty of other options as well.

While never (yet) a leading man, Bremner has built a top-notch career as a versatile supporting star and now has more than 100 film and TV roles on his resume.


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.