A native of Dublin, Ireland, Colin Farrell began turning heads in Hollywood when he starred in Joel Schumacher's Tigerland (2000), the story of American soldiers taken to the backwoods of Louisiana in 1971 to play war games in preparation for their first tour of duty in Vietnam. He garnered a Best Actor Award from the Boston Society of Film Critics for his portrayal of Bozz, a roughneck Texan recruit who helps his boot-camp buddies avoid Vietnam combat. Farrell also starred alongside Kevin Spacey in Thaddeus O'Sullivan's Dublin gangster movie Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000). It was Spacey who suggested him for the part after catching Farrell's riveting performance in the play "In a Little World of Our Own" at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
Born on May 31, 1976, Farrell studied acting at the Gaiety School of Drama in Dublin and had established himself as a recognizable talent back home with a starring role in the BBC series "Ballykissangel" (1996) and Deirdre Purcell's miniseries Falling for a Dancer (1998) (TV), in addition to a featured role in Tim Roth's directorial debut, The War Zone (1999). After "Tigerland", Farrell took on the role of Jesse James in American Outlaws (2001). Farrell then had a starring role in Phone Booth (2002), reuniting him with director Schumacher. He also co-starred with Bruce Willis in Hart's War (2002), which was shot on location in Prague, Czech Republic. Along the way Farrell has managed to work with legendary directors such as Steven Spielberg in Minority Report (2002). All this has happened for Colin by the age of 25, making him one of Hollywood's A-list young actors.
Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's best rising stars in Hollywood and abroad today. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history.
Farrell was born on May 31, 1976 in Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland. His father and uncle were both professional athletes, and for a while, it looked like Farrell would follow in their footsteps. Farrell auditioned for a part in the Irish Boy Band, Boyzone, but it didn't work out. After dropping out of The Gaiety School of Acting, Farrell was cast in "Ballykissangel" (1996), a BBC television drama. "Ballykissangel" was not his first role on screen. Farrell had previously been in The War Zone (1999), directed by Tim Roth and had appeared in the independent film Drinking Crude (1997). Farrell was soon to move on to bigger things.
Exchanging his usually thick Dublin accent for a light Texas drawl, Farrell acted in the gritty Tigerland (2000), directed by Joel Schumacher. Starring Farrell amongst a number of other budding young actors, the film portrays a group of new recruits being trained for the war in Vietnam. Farrell played the arrogant soldier Boz, drafted into the army and completely spiteful of authority. The film was praised by critics, but did not make much money at the box office. It was Farrell's first big role on film, and certainly not his last.
Farrell followed up with American Outlaws (2001), where he played the notorious outlaw Jesse James with Scott Caan, son of legendary actor James Caan, in the role of Cole Younger. The film was a box office flop and failure with the critics. Immediately, Farrell returned to the war drama film that had made him famous. Co-starring in the war film Hart's War (2002) opposite Bruce Willis, Farrell played the young officer captured by the enemy. The film was another failure.
Farrell struck gold when he was cast in the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report (2002) that same year. Set in a futuristic time period, Farrell played the character of Danny Witwer, a young member of the Justice Department who is sent after Tom Cruise's character. The film was a smash hit, and praised by critics. Farrell continued this success when he reunited with Joel Schumacher on the successful thriller Phone Booth (2002). Farrell played the role of the victim who is harassed by an unseen killer (Kiefer Sutherland) and is made to reveal his sins to the public.
2003 was a big year for Farrell. He starred in the crime thriller The Recruit (2003) as a young CIA man mentored by an older CIA veteran (Al Pacino). Pacino later stated that Farrell was the best actor of his generation. Farrell certainly continued to be busy that year with Daredevil (2003), which actually allowed him to keep his thick Irish accent. The film was another success for Farrell, as was the crime film S.W.A.T. (2003) where Farrell starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J. Farrell also acted in the Irish black comedy film Intermission (2003) and appeared another Irish film Veronica Guerin (2003) which reunited him with Joel Schumacher once again. The following year, Farrell acted in what is his most infamous film role yet: the title role in the mighty Oliver Stone film epic Alexander (2004), which is a character study of Alexander the Great as he travels across new worlds and conquers all the known world before him. Farrell donned a blond wig and retained his Irish accent, and gave a fine performance as Alexander. However, both he and the film were criticized. Despite being one of the highest grossing films internationally and doing a good job at the DVD sales, Farrell did not come out of the experience without a few hurts.
Farrell attempted to rebound with his historical film The New World (2005). Reuniting with "Alexander" star Christopher Plummer, and also acting with Christian Bale, Farrell played the character of the brave explorer John Smith, who would make first contacts with the Native peoples. The film did not do well at the box office, though critics praised the film's stunning appearance and cinematography. Farrell returned to act in Michael Mann's film Miami Vice (2006) alongside Jamie Foxx. The film was a film adaptation of the famous television series, and did reasonably well at the box office. Farrell also acted in Ask the Dust (2006) with Salma Hayek and Donald Sutherland, though the film did not receive much distribution. The next year, Farrell acted alongside Ewan McGregor in the Woody Allen film Cassandra's Dream (2007) which received mixed reviews from critics.
Farrell followed up with the hilarious black comedy In Bruges (2008). Written and directed by Irish theatre director Martin McDonagh, the film stars Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two Irish hit men whose latest assignment went wrong, leaving them to hide out in Bruges, Belgium. The film has been one of Farrell's most praised work, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe. As well as In Bruges (2008), Farrell acted alongside Edward Norton in the crime film Pride and Glory (2008) which was not as successful as the former film.
As well as working with charity, and speaking at the Special Olympics World Games in 2007, he has donated his salary for Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) to Heath Ledger's little daughter (who was left nothing in a will that had not been updated in time). Ledger had originally been cast in the film and was replaced by Farrell, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law. The film was critical and financial success, and Farrell also played a small role in Crazy Heart (2009) which had the Dubliner playing a country singer. Farrell even sang a few songs for the film's soundtrack.
As well as those small roles, Farrell took the lead role in the war film Triage (2009). Farrell incredibly lost forty-four pounds to play the role of a war photographer who must come to terms with what he has experienced in Kurdistan. While the film was finely made, with excellent performances from all involved, the film has received almost no distribution. Farrell's other leading role that year was in Neil Jordan's Irish film Ondine (2009), which had Farrell playing an imaginative fisherman who thinks he has caught a mermaid in his net.
Since the mid-2000's, Farrell has cleaned up his act, and far from being a Hollywood hell raiser and party animal, Farrell has shown himself to be a respectable and very talented actor.
|Amelia Warner||(17 July 2001 - November 2001) (divorced)|
Violent yet moral characters that are often pragmatic and observant
Son of Irish football player, Eamon Farrell.
Dropped out of the Gaiety Drama School in Dublin and a few months later auditioned for a part in "Ballykissangel" (1996) and was successful.
His sister Claudine Farrell is also his personal assistant.
Ranked #98 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. It is his first appearance on the list.
Named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 2003.
His mother, Rita, forced him to take dancing lessons once his brother, Emmon Farrell Jr., started them. Emmon Jr. also got him into acting by attending an acting school and later recommending it to Colin.
Voted 6th in 'The World's Sexiest Man of 2003' in Company magazine.
His girlfriend, model Kim Bordenave, gave birth to a 7lb. 9oz. baby boy called James Padraig. He was born on Friday September 12th, 2003 in a Los Angeles hospital.
He has suffered from chronic insomnia since he was 12 years old.
One of his favourites books is "When Nietzsche wept" by Irvin D. Yalom.
He says that growing up, one of his childhood idols was Al Pacino. He got the chance to work opposite his hero in The Recruit (2003) (an experience he described as "scary as hell to work opposite a legend," even though he says Pacino was one of the kindest men he'd ever met and says they still hang out together).
On his left ring finger, above the knuckle he has the name "Millie" tattooed. "Millie" was a nickname for his first wife, Amelia Warner.
He has two tattoos on his left forearm. The first one is the words "Carpe Diem" (Latin for "Seize the day"). Beside this tattoo there is a second tattoo, which is a black cross.
Auditioned to become a member of the Irish boyband, Boyzone, but was turned down.
Daredevil (2003) marks the first time he has been able to use his own Irish accent in an American movie.
His idol Al Pacino called him "the best actor of his generation."
Played soccer during his youth.
Treated for exhaustion and dependency on prescription medication in December 2005. The medication was prescribed to the actor after a back injury, publicist Danica Smith said in a written statement, which revealed Farrell had checked himself into an undisclosed treatment center. "No other comments (are) to be made at this time," the statement said.
Was originally considered for the role of Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the 2003 film adaptation of the Daredevil (2003) comic while Ben Affleck, who ultimately played Murdock, was originally considered for the part of Bullseye (Farrell's character).
Was a line dancing instructor in a nightclub in Limerick called Docs (now known as Trinity Rooms).
Resides in Dublin and Los Angeles.
Has twice taken roles meant for Heath Ledger. One of the roles was Alexander (2004), the second role was The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). Farrell, along with Jude Law and Johnny Depp, will play a physically altered form of Ledger's character as he travels through different worlds.
His son James has Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
Considered for the part of James Bond in Casino Royale (2006).
When he and his In Bruges (2008) co-star Brendan Gleeson both got nominated for Golden Globes, he bet Brendan twenty dollars that he [Colin] would win if any of them won at all. Farrell indeed won the Golden Globe.
He and Alicja Bachleda, became the parents of a son, named Henry Tadeusz, on October 7, 2009 in Los Angeles.
Cedric Gauthier wrote song "I wanna be Colin Farrell".
Split with Alicja Bachleda [October 15, 2010].
Quit smoking on his 34th birthday (May 31, 2010). He mentioned that he smoked an entire pack of cigarettes that day, paying close attention to every puff he took, and even wrote a goodbye letter to cigarettes. He stubbed out his last cigarette at 11:55pm that night and has been smoke-free ever since.
Good friends with Jeremy Renner.
Being Irish is very much a part of who I am. I take it everywhere with me.
(On people who drink tequila) "I tell them, 'When you're at home puking your guts out, I'll be here drinking my Amstel Light.'"
"I couldn't care less about who sees my bits ... My friends asked how I could do scenes like that and not get excited, but it wasn't like that. My bits looked the size of a cashew nut!" (on appearing nude in Tigerland (2000)).
[on physical training for film roles] "I find it the most tedious waste of life. It's so boring. I'd prefer to be sitting in a pub with a few strangers talkin' shit than looking at meself in the mirror runnin' on the treadmill."
It all goes back to [Joel Schumacher]. I wouldn't have done Phone Booth (2002) without him. I wouldn't be doing Hart's War (2002). I probably wouldn't have done American Outlaws (2001) if he hadn't picked me out of obscurity. I've worked, but not at the level or people I'm working with now if he hadn't taken a chance on an Irish kid playing a Texan.
I'm in no hurry to get anywhere. I don't have any plans. I don't have a map. If you did in this business, you'd destroy yourself.
On Hollywood: "I'm not seduced by it all. I swear to God. I'm easily pleased, yeah. Don't get me wrong, I'll indulge in it. I'll be in Los Angeles for two weeks and I'll have a laugh, get battered and have a buzz, but at the end of the day, I'll go home. It's just me earning a few more stories to tell everyone at home and all."
It kind of went downhill, I was smoking a bit of reef. You know, you roll your first joint, drink your first beer and discover the girls and, well, that was it. I loved football, but I couldn't make the training any more" - on his football aspirations as a youth.
I do have the ability to explore life and to be over the moon at the smallest thing - a few pints and a craic in the pub and I'm in heaven. But I have a melancholy side to me as well. Acting allows me to feel things, it kind of buys me human experience. And I don't mean this as acting as higher cause, because it's not, but it does kind of have a higher awareness emotionally.
I work my arse off. I'm never late, ask anyone. I'm only 27. I don't feel like a big star. I feel neither the pressure nor the grandeur of my situation, you know. I think I'm still trying to find my feet as an actor. And I know it ain't brain surgery, but it confuses me and it comes between me and my sleep a lot.
I'm just a true Irish boy at heart. I'm just myself, I stick by my guns and I treat people the way I think they should be treated, regardless of their status. And I just have a laugh.
(On the girl that will interest him) "The usual obvious bullshit. Sense of humour, a bit of danger, good fun. A good heart is a really sexy thing. All women have the potential to be sexy and it's nothing to do with the dress someone wears or the make-up they put on their face, it's the aged-old cliché saying: 'What comes from inside'. God, I've met gorgeous women who I'd fancy and give one to, but at the end of the day they're not particularly sexy because they haven't got much going inside and they are too concerned with themselves. And then I've met women who wouldn't be as nearly as attractive and, because of the sense of fun they have and their joi de vivre, as they say, they'd be much sexier and you'd fall for them in a nanosecond."
I get no kicks from going to the gym. It doesn't do it for me. Never has. Some people enjoy working out. But that's never done it for me. In the past, I'd breathe in heavily between takes. I sucked it in and did a take. That way it doesn't hurt the beer consumption at all.
Anything I am and anything I hope to be, I have my mom to thank. Family Circle, 4-18-06.
I think I was 8 or 9 when I had a f*cking mad thing for Marilyn Monroe. I used to leave Smarties, the Irish equivalent of M&M's, under my pillow with a little note saying, 'I know you're dead, but these are very f*cking tasty, and you should come have a few. I won't tell anyone.'
[on In Bruges (2008)] - When I read it, I said to Martin McDonagh, the director, 'I don't think you should hire me'. I said I come with a certain amount of baggage that has been well-earned through the years and this piece is so pure, I would love the audience to not have too much of a relationship with any of the actors. Thankfully, he didn't listen to me.
[on Miami Vice (2006)] - I didn't like it so much. I thought it was style over substance and I accept a good bit of the responsibility. I think we missed an opportunity. It was never going to be Lethal Weapon (1987), but I think we missed an opportunity to have a friendship that also had some elements of fun.
The ins and outs of what I've been through, even when it comes to rehab, is not a sad story. None of it is a sad story. I had a great time and some amazing memories and lots of good stuff that I've forgotten. I went from being in "Ballykissangel" (1996) to starring opposite Bruce Willis in Hart's War (2002) in the space of two years.
Fame was something that seemed incredibly exotic. It represented the ultimate kind of status. But it eventually became one of those 'be careful what you wish for' things.
I'd like to make big films and small films, mainly because I'm a massive fan of film. The idea of doing an Indiana Jones, or even an Inception (2010) - I love the grandiosity, how sweepingly entertaining films can be. And I think there's a place for films that pry more into the human condition.
Hardship tends to unify.
My Dublin wasn't the Dublin of sing-songs, traditional music, sense of history and place and community. It was kind of more nouveau-riche, competition with the neighbours, a bit more privileged than the Dublin of lore.
[on his vampire character in Fright Night (2011)] He is an incredible observer of human behavior. Human beings are simultaneously a point of fascination and a point of disgust. He is sick of them. They are weak, they are flawed, they feel too much. But he needs them to survive.
[on scathing reviews for his performance in Alexander (2004)] That was fairly defining. I seriously thought of walking away from it all.
When I went to the Oscars for the first time I was gobsmacked and I mean I've been three times. It's huge, it's ridiculous and it's pompous and equally it's exciting and awe-inspiring. It means nothing and it means loads.
(On getting into top shape for Total Recall) I knew it was going to be a physical shoot. So I thought, I'm gonna put on a bit of weight, I'm gonna put on a bit of muscle and I'll get as fit as I've ever been...I did three miles every day on the treadmill, I'd do an hour and a half of weights. I'd go home, have something to eat, go for a two hour hike on the hills. I did that six days a week for three months!
(2012, on quitting drinking) When I knocked the jar on the head seven years ago, it was a BIG life change. You know, you don't just not drink and then act the same way and live the same way. For me, the drink was a huge part of my identity and it was a huge part of who I felt I was as a man. I'd been drinking since I was 14. So when that's gone, your life changes a little bit.
(On getting into yoga) I was suspicious for a bit. I remember thinking about six months into not drinking 'fuck, I bet you I'm going to start doing fucking yoga at some stage. Next thing I'll be a vegan'. I remember feeling embarrassed about this new health buzz that I was getting into bit by bit... I was at home in the garden with a cup of tea and I had nothing to do. Will I go and see a film? No, I'll go and do fucking yoga. For me, walking into a yoga studio was mortifying. It was like walking into a guitar shop or a motor bike shop - instant inferiority complex, when you're not part of the gang. But I took a class and haven't looked back since... You spend so much time in your head in life. And what yoga does is, it asks you to allow your head to be quiet, to allow it to be still, just for an hour and a half. Just deal with your body and your breath. And it's a great workout. I love it.
|American Outlaws (2001)||$2,000,000|
|Hart's War (2002)||$2,500,000|
|Minority Report (2002)||$2,500,000|
|The Recruit (2003)||$5,000,000|
|Miami Vice (2006)||$10,000,000|
(September 2003) Currently filming Oliver Stone's movie Alexander (2004) in Morocco.
(May 2004) Currently filming Ask the Dust (2006) in Cape Town, South Africa.
(September 2004) Filming The New World (2005) in Williamsburg, Virginia.
(February 2005) In Miami filming Miami Vice (2006).
(November 2005) He visited Argentina for two days.
(July 2008) Currently filming Ondine (2009) in S.W. Ireland.
(2000) Release of the biography, "Colin Farrell: Living Dangerously" by Jane Kelly.
(July 2010) Currently filming Fright Night (2011).
(July 2010) Currently filming Horrible Bosses (2011).
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