Colin Farrell (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Colin James Farrell (born 31 May 1976 in Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish film actor. After successfully landing a role on BBC's Ballykissangel in 1998, he quit acting school in Ireland. He made his film debut in the Tim Roth-directed The War Zone (1999) and gained wider fame upon discovery by Joel Schumacher for Tigerland (2000). Farrell subsequently starred in Schumacher's Phone Booth (2002), and thrillers by other American directors S.W.A.T. and The Recruit (both 2003), quickly establishing his international box office bankability. During those same years, he also appeared in Steven Spielberg"s Minority Report (2002) and as the villain in Daredevil (2003). After starring in independent films Intermission (2003) and A Home at the End of the World (2004), he headlined Oliver Stone"s biopic Alexander (2004) and the well-regarded Terrence Malick Pocahontas movie, The New World (2005).
Work in Michael Mann"s Miami Vice, the adaptation of John Fante's Ask the Dust (both 2006), and Woody Allen"s Cassandra's Dream (2007) followed, underscoring Farrell's continued popularity among Hollywood"s important writers and directors, but it was his role in fellow Irishman Martin McDonagh"s In Bruges (2008) by which he received a Golden Globe in 2008. More recently, he co-starred in the Fright Night (2011) and Total Recall (2012) remakes as well as McDonagh's second feature, Seven Psychopaths (2012). He also played the lead opposite Noomi Rapace, in the Niels Arden Oplev-directed action film Dead Man Down (2013). Farrell will star as Peter Lake in Akiva Goldsman's film adaptation of Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale alongside Russell Crowe and Will Smith, as Travers Goff in Saving Mr. Banks, and as Jean opposite Jessica Chastain in Liv Ullmann's adaptation of Miss Julie, among other films.
As well as being a favourite among top film critics such as Roger Ebert, Peter Bradshaw, and Manohla Dargis, in the 2000s, Farrell amassed a reputation as a lothario, dating a range of women from Angelina Jolie to former Playboy playmate Nicole Narain. Around this time he was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2003. He has two young sons, one with model Kim Bordenave, and second with his Ondine costar, Alicja Bachleda-Curu?.
Farrell was born in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Rita (née Monaghan) and Eamon Farrell. His father played football for Shamrock Rovers and ran a health food shop. His uncle, Tommy Farrell, also played for Shamrock Rovers. Farrell was brought up a Roman Catholic.
Farrell has an older brother, Eamon, Jr., and two sisters, Claudine and Catherine: Claudine, his older sister, works as his personal assistant. When Colin was ten, the Farrells moved to Castleknock, a Dublin suburb. Farrell was educated at St. Brigid's National School, followed by secondary school at Castleknock College and Gormanston College. Farrell unsuccessfully auditioned for the Irish music group Boyzone around this time.
Farrell is reported to have been inspired to try acting after being brought to tears while watching E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He attended the Gaiety School of Acting upon his brother's encouragement and dropped out when he was cast in the part of Danny Byrne on Ballykissangel, a BBC television drama that centres around a young English priest who becomes a part of a rural community in Ireland.
Farrell had important parts in television shows and films, including the BBC's Ballykissangel and Falling for a Dancer in 1998 and 1999. He made his film debut in English actor Tim Roth's directorial debut The War Zone, a drama that revolves around an incident of incest starring Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton as parents of a daughter that Farrell's character Nick dates. He also appeared in Ordinary Decent Criminal with Kevin Spacey and Linda Fiorentino, a film loosely based on the life of Martin Cahill. In 2000, Farrell was cast in the lead role of Private Roland Bozz in Tigerland, an under-released film directed by American filmmaker Joel Schumacher. He reportedly got the part on the basis of his charm alone. Emanuel Levy of Variety felt the actor "shines as the subversive yet basically decent lad whose cynicism may be the only sane reaction to an situation." Michael Holden of The Guardian felt that the actor was "too much the hero" to fit the classic rebel archetype properly, but the film's shortcomings didn't lie with him. The film made $139,500.
First box office successes (2001-2003)
Farrell's next American films, American Outlaws (2001) and Hart's War (2002), were not commercially successful, but his 2002-2003 films, including Phone Booth, The Recruit, and S.W.A.T., all thrillers of some kind or another, with the former two his first starring roles, were well received by critics as well as box office successes. Of Phone Booth, Ebert wrote that it is "Farrell's to win or lose, since he's onscreen most of the time, and he shows energy and intensity." Philip French of The Observer also wrote positively about Farrell's performance. In S.W.A.T., the actor starred in an ensemble cast that included Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, Olivier Martinez and Jeremy Renner, the latter whom he befriended. Alan Morrison of Empire wrote, "Farrell can usually be relied upon to bring a spark to the bonfire. That's also true of [this movie]." Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times criticised Farrell's accent, writing that he "employ[ed] a wobbly American accent that makes him sound like an international criminal a step ahead of the authorities." Ebert and the New York Times's A.O. Scott disagreed on the actor's effectiveness in The Recruit, the former noting the actor's likability while the latter felt the actor "spends his time in a caffeinated frenzy, trying to maintain his leading-man sang-froid while registering panic, stress and confusion." Phone Booth garnered a total of $46.6 million, S.W.A.T. $116.9 million, and The Recruit $52.8 million total at the box office.
Farrell's roles as a supporting actor include his performances as an ambitious Justice Department agent opposite Tom Cruise, a potential criminal in Minority Report (2002), and as the skilled villain Bullseye in Daredevil (2003). Matt Damon was originally offered the Minority Report role but he turned it down to appear in Ocean's Eleven. Farrell said "he had no problem" that people knew he was the producer's fall back pick after Damon declined. The character of Bullseye is that of an assassin with perfect accuracy and deep-rooted pride of it. Farrell was attached to this role in December 2001, though initially he was considered for the lead role as Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, until Ben Affleck signed. Farrell was encouraged to keep his Irish accent as this version of Bullseye is from Ireland. Farrell had to read into Frank Miller's Daredevil comics to understand Bullseye "because the expression on the character's faces in the comic books, and just the way they move sometimes, and the exaggerations of the character I'm playing [...] he's so over-the-top that you do draw from that. But it's not exactly a character you can do method acting for... you know, running around New York killing people with paper clips." That year he was voted sixth World's "Sexiest Man" by Company magazine.
From independents to historic epics (2003-2008)
In late 2003, Farrell starred as a criminal who plots a bank heist with Cillian Murphy in the dark comedy Intermission, which held the record as highest-grossing Irish independent film in Irish box office history for three years and remains a cult classic there. In 2004, Farrell appeared in several other independent films that received limited theatrical release in most countries, including A Home at the End of the World, adapted from Michael Cunningham's 1990 novel. Ebert once again praised Farrell in this work, saying that he was "astonishing in the movie, not least because the character is such a departure from everything he has done before". Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle was of a different opinion, however, saying the actor "is keen on making good....The effort is there, but it's a performance you end up rooting for rather than enjoying, because there's no way to just relax and watch."
Farrell appeared in the title role of Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone's 2004 biographical film Alexander, which, while receiving some favourable reviews internationally, was poorly received in the United States. It was marked by controversy for portraying the ancient conqueror as bisexual, and received criticism from some historians for its portrayal of the ancient Persians, though others praised it for its accuracy in these regards. For example, an ancient history scholar at the University of Nebraska wrote:
The movie grossed a total of $167 million worldwide, just exceeding its budget of $155 million.
Farrell's next film was 2005's Academy Award-nominated The New World, his second historical epic. Farrell played the leading role of Captain John Smith, the founder of 17th century colonial Jamestown, Virginia who falls in love with a beautiful Native American princess, Pocahontas, played by Q'Orianka Kilcher. Director Terrence Malick, among other things, went out of his way to keep the two leads apart until it was time for them to be filmed together. Despite being released in only 811 theatres worldwide and having a relatively low box office gross, the film received a large number of positive reviews. Among the four reviews alone from The Guardian, John Patterson described it as a "bottomless movie, almost unspeakably beautiful and formally harmonious."
The New World was followed by Ask the Dust, a romance film set in period Los Angeles based on a John Fante novel and co-starring Salma Hayek. The reviews were mixed with Manohla Dargis of the New York Times writing positively about Farrell's work whereas Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian opined that there was "something a little forced in both lead performances."
It received a very limited theatrical release and was not a financial success. 2006 nevertheless continued to bring further success to the actor's career, as he appeared opposite Jamie Foxx in Michael Mann's action-crime film Miami Vice. The film grossed a total of US$164 million worldwide, albeit on a budget of $135 million, and TimeOut New York ranked it among the top 50 movies of the decade. A. O. Scott was uncharacteristically critical of the actor's work, writing, "Mr. Mann's script has its share of silly, overwrought lines, but they only really sound that way in Mr. Farrell's mouth. (Did he really say, 'I"m a fiend for mojitos'? ¡Dios mío!) When he's not on screen, you don"t miss him, and when he is, you find yourself, before long, looking at someone or something else." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, by contrast, was enthusiastic about Farrell work.
Farrell was next seen in Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, which premiered in 2007 and was distributed in the US in early 2008. Reviews for the film were mixed, with Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide opining that the American director's work was "shallow and unconvincing from beginning to end." and Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle conceding that "It's not as good as Match Point or Crimes and Misdemeanors," but that "taken on its own, it's a fairly impressive piece, a directorially vigorous, well-acted, tightly constructed movie." LaSalle reserves his highest praise for the film for Farrell, continuing "Allen is notorious for not giving his actors explicit instructions, and yet somehow this worked wonders for Farrell, who has never seemed so naked, so clear and so unencumbered as he does here." Dargis concurred adding that he thought he was well-matched with co-star Ewan McGregor.
Farrell's next film, Martin McDonagh's first full-length feature In Bruges opened the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. While the New Yorker and TimeOut London''s film critics found co-star Brendan Gleeson's performance to be the stronger of the two, Bradshaw of The Guardian found his work playing hired hitman Ray "absolutely superb: moody and funny, lethally sexy, sometimes heartbreakingly sad and vulnerable like a little boy." Time called the film "the prettiest bloodbath of 2008," and Farrell received his first Golden Globe nomination and win.
Shortly thereafter, he appeared in Kicking It, a documentary following six homeless men from countries such as Kenya, Russia, Afghanistan, Ireland, Spain and the US as they attempt to qualify for the Homeless World Cup. Farrell appeared on screen and provided narration donating his fees to a homeless shelter in Ireland. The film released simultaneously in theatres and television, airing on ESPN2 with a very short window to DVD release. Farrell received positive press for his involvement in the heartwarming true-life tale.
Before the end of 2008, he played brother-in-law to Edward Norton's character in Pride and Glory, a cop drama directed by American Gavin O'Connor. Ebert did not much care for the film, and A. O. Scott felt that the actor "once again indulges his blustery mixture of menace and charm, overdoing both," but Gregory Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly liked Farrell's work.
Recent work (2009-2013)
On 11 January 2009, he won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor: Musical or Comedy for his role in In Bruges, in which he co-starred with Brendan Gleeson. The same year, he appeared in Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which starred Christopher Plummer and Andrew Garfield. He was one of three actors, the others being Johnny Depp and Jude Law, who helped complete the late Heath Ledger's role after he died before filming ended. They all played "Imaginarium" versions of Ledger's character Tony, and all donated their fees to Ledger's daughter Matilda.
Farrell also starred that year in Triage about the travails of a war correspondent, directed by Oscar-winning Bosnian screenwriter and director Danis Tanovi?, and he lost 30 pounds for the role. The actor's work was described as "dedicated" by Variety's Todd McCarthy, and Julian Sancton of Vanity Fair wrote that the film was "a hell of a lot more insightful than other movies that deal with a similar topic." However, the film was not widely distributed due to the marketing challenge posed by its difficult topics, including PTSD. That year, Farrell also took a supporting role as Tommy Sweet in Crazy Heart, alongside Academy Award-winning Jeff Bridges.
2009 also saw the release of Ondine, a fantasy-drama directed by Neil Jordan, which stars Farrell as a fisherman. Shot in the fishing village of Castletownbere on Ireland's southwest coast, it featured the cinematography of longtime Wong Kar-wai collaborator Christopher Doyle. Mary Pols of Time magazine called the role "tailor made for Farrell" and that the actor gave a "beautifully confident performance." Todd McCarthy of Variety singled out Farrell's efforts noting that he worked well as an ensemble actor "graciously allowing [child star Alison Barry] to steal every scene she's in."
2010 also saw the actor star opposite Keira Knightley in the crime/romance London Boulevard. The film, American William Monahan's first foray into directing"Monahan had written the screenplays for The Departed and Body of Lies"was largely panned by critics. Bradshaw of the Guardian wrote that the film "uses up all its energy, wit and ideas in the first 20 or so minutes, before collapsing into a flurry of boring violence." Leslie Felperin of Variety described it "like a fancy, retro-styled pocket watch that someone accidentally broke and tried to reassemble with only a vague idea of clockwork." The latter thought the work of the two stars was frail writing Farrell was "mostly taciturn and vacuous."
Farrell starred in the 2011 comedy movie Horrible Bosses, with Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis, directed by Seth Gordon. The film focuses on a trio of employees who plot to murder their titular tyrannical supervisors. The London Observer's Mark Kermode wrote that although the film would have benefited from a tighter script, both Jamie Foxx and Farrell were given juicy roles that they "riff with panache". Michael Phillips of the Los Angeles Times thought that Farrell brought "massive, slobby relish" to the role of the cocaine fiend boss to Bateman's character.
Later that year, the actor played the main antagonist in the Fright Night remake. Farrell joined Anton Yelchin, David Tennant, and Toni Collette in this story about a charismatic vampire who moves in next to a high school student and his single mother. The film was released by DreamWorks, with Craig Gillespie (of Lars and the Real Girl) having directed from a script by cult favourite Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon. Sukhdev Sandhu of the Telegraph wrote that Farrell "proves his comedy credentials once more .... utterly seductive as the plushly-eyebrowed carpenter-cum-bloodsucker" while the New York Times's A.O. Scott thought that Farrell played his role with "a wink and a snarl and a feline purr." Logan Hill, of New York magazine, on the other hand was confused by the actor's performance. Nevertheless he concedes "Sure, [it] may not make much sense, but neither do centuries-old vampires living in Nevadan subdivisions. So he goes for it."
Farrell starred in Columbia Pictures' Total Recall (a 2012 remake of the 1990 film, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), with Kate Beckinsale. Filmed from May to September 2011 in Toronto, Canada, and directed by Len Wiseman, the film was a new take on the sci-fi picture about a sleeper agent. Costar Jessica Biel expressed appreciation for her costar's skills, saying that the actor was "surprising and exciting. He just has the ability to be trying different things all the time." Both Ebert and the New York Times, however, opined that although they believed Farrell was the better actor, they thought Schwarzenegger in the original was "more of a movie presence and better suited for the role."
After premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, Seven Psychopaths, the actor's second film with McDonagh was released in October 2012. Farrell starred as a creatively blocked writer Marty in this black comedy with Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken. It broke even at the box office, and reviews of the film were generally good, with David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter writing that Farrell "serves as an excellent foil for Rockwell" and that the actor "is in subdued mode ... his performance largely defined by the endless expressivity of his eyebrows." That same month, he appeared on the cover of Detailsmagazine.
March 2013 saw the release of Dead Man Down, a thriller directed by Niels Arden Oplev which united Farrell with Terrence Howard for the first time since Hart's War ten years ago. Noomi Rapace, star of Oplev's The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, starred as a facially scarred woman who blackmails Farrell's character into kill the man who caused her disfigurations in a car accident. The reviews were mixed with Empire describing the film as "a pleasingly intricate double (or is it triple?) revenge plot anchored by excellent acting" and the Hollywood Reporter opining "[J.H.] Wyman's script and the measured pace don"t lend themselves to the necessary escalating tension that would have resulted in a more rewarding climax." Dargis called the film an outright failure while praising the actor: "Farrell and his sensitive, hardworking eyebrows help keep it from becoming a full-bore lampoon." Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News didn't seem to like the film either, saying it contained "a lot to roll your eyes over" and that while Farrell was commendable he was "as stoic as a statue" in the film.
Forthcoming films (2014-)
Farrell is currently involved in three film adaptations, among other projects: Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale, August Strindberg's Miss Julie, and Flann O'Brien's metafictional novel At Swim-Two-Birds. Winter's Tale, scripted byAkiva Goldsman based on Helprin's 1983 novel, co-stars Jessica Brown-Findlay, Russell Crowe, and Will Smith. Farrell beat out younger actors like Garrett Hedlund, Tom Hiddleston, and Aaron Johnson for the lead. The film was controversially shot only days after Hurricane Sandy in an area in Brooklyn still recovering from the storm.
In 2007, Farrell joined other celebrities to become an official games spokesman for the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China. Farrell has also lent his support to the anti-bullying campaign Stand Up! organised by the Irish LGBT youth organisation BeLonG To in March 2012. He appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show two years earlier to raise awareness on the matter.
Relationships and children
Farrell dated English actress Amelia Warner from July to November 2001. There was speculation that they married, and of the experience the actor has said "Too fast, too young." However, in December 2011, Warner revealed to the British Sun the marriage ceremony was never legal. "We had a ceremony on a beach in Tahiti that was by no means legal and we knew it wasn't... It was just a thing we did on holiday. We went shark feeding and then we did that. We booked them both on the activities desk at the hotel."
Farrell and British-American writer Emma Forrest dated for over a year, an experience she touches upon in depth in her memoir Your Voice in My Head, which focuses on her relationship with her therapist who died unexpectedly. (The book is being made into a movie starring Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci.) According to Forrest, she and Farrell had planned to have a child together, before he ended the relationship. By the end of 2003, he had been linked to singer Britney Spears, Playboy covergirl Nicole Narain, model Josie Maran, and actresses Angelina Jolie, Maeve Quinlan, and Demi Moore.
In the midst of all of this amorous activity, he managed to have a son with American model Kim Bordenave, James Padraig Farrell, born in 2003, in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. In October 2007, Farrell revealed that his son has Angelman syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterised by severe intellectual and developmental delay, lack of speech, and a very happy, excitable demeanor. From 2007 to 2008, he dated Muirann McDonnell, an Irish medical student. Farrell had his second child with his Ondine co-star Alicja Bachleda-Curu?, Henry Tadeusz Farrell, born October 2009. His relationship with the actress ended mid-2010.
Friendship with Elizabeth Taylor
Farrell had reportedly grown very close to actress Elizabeth Taylor shortly before her death (he had reportedly pursued her) and was one of the few non-family members to attend her private funeral. He recited the poem "The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo" by Gerard Manley Hopkins at her funeral, requested by Taylor herself. Farrell said, "It was a tricky poem as well. Even in passing she had me under the thumb, sweating bricks".
In December 2005, Farrell voluntarily checked into a rehabilitation treatment centre for addictions to recreational drugs and painkillers. He spoke plainly about it on the Late Show with David Letterman after he came out of rehab and in the years since. "There was an energy that was created," he says of the time when he was addicted, "a character that was created, that no doubt benefited me. And then there was a stage where it all began to crumble around me."
On 20 July 2006, as Farrell was being interviewed by Jay Leno on the set of The Tonight Show, telephone sex worker Dessarae Bradford evaded security, walked on stage, confronted Farrell, and threw her book on Leno's desk. Farrell escorted her off the stage himself, as she shouted "I'll see you in court," handing her over to NBC security. After being held custody by the Burbank police, she was released. The next day, Farrell obtained a restraining order against Bradford, and the incident was edited out of the aired broadcast.
Bradford had twice attempted to sue Farrell, alleging abusive messages, but the lawsuits were dismissed due to a lack of evidence. She also failed a lie detector test on an i TV program while attempting to support her claims and stories.
In July 2006, Farrell filed a lawsuit against his former girlfriend, Playboy model Nicole Narain, and the Internet Commerce Group (ICG), to whom it was leaked, over the unauthorised public distribution of a 14-minute sex tape that the two made in 2003. The ICG tried to release it publicly. Narain originally said that she would work with Farrell to ensure that the tape remained private, but Farrell said that she was trying to release it to damage his acting career and "make money out of it", which Narain denies. On 16 April, the two reached a settlement with confidential terms. However, Farrell's lawsuit against ICG continued with a trial date set for 21 July 2006.
Ordinary Decent Criminal
Pvt. Roland Bozz
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor London Film Critics Circle Award for Newcomer of the Year