Colin James Farrell (born 31 May 1976) is an Irish actor, who has appeared in such films as Tigerland, Miami Vice, Minority Report, Phone Booth, The Recruit, Alexander andS.W.A.T.. In 2008 he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in In Bruges.
Farrell was born in Dublin, the son of Rita (née Monaghan), a housewife, and Eamon Farrell, a footballer who played for Shamrock Rovers F.C. and owned a company importing and exporting canned goods in Dublin City. He was raised as a Roman Catholic. His uncle Tommy Farrell also played for Rovers. Farrell has two sisters, Claudine (who is his personal assistant) and Catherine, and a brother, Eamon Jr. When he was ten, the Farrells moved to Castleknock, a Dublin suburb. Farrell was educated at St. Brigid’s National School Castleknock followed by Castleknock College and Gormanston College. Farrell unsuccessfully auditioned for the Irish group Boyzone when he was still unknown. Farrell attended The Gaiety School of Acting, but dropped out and was cast in the part of Danny Byrne on Ballykissangel, a BBC television drama. Farrell appeared on the show seven times from 1998 to 1999. He was inspired to try acting after being brought to tears while watching E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Farrell had small parts in television shows and films, including the BBC drama Ballykissangel in 1998, and his film debut in Tim Roth’s The War Zone.In 2000, he was cast in the lead role of Private Roland Bozz in Tigerland, an American film directed by Joel Schumacher. Farrell’s next American films, American Outlaws (2001) and Hart’s War (2002), were not commercially successful, but his 2003 films, including Phone Booth, S.W.A.T., and The Recruit were well-received box office successes. Although he has a pronounced Irish accent, Farrell uses an American accent in some of his films including American Outlaws and his breakthrough role, Tigerland.
Farrell roles as a supporting actor include his performances as an ambitious cop who chases after a potential criminal, played by actor Tom Cruise, 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.”
In late 2003, Farrell starred as a criminal who plots a bank heist with Cillian Murphy in the comedy Intermission, which held the record as highest-grossing Irish independent film in Irish box office history until 2006.In 2004, Farrell appeared in several independent films that received only a limited theatrical release in most countries, including A Home at the End of the World, which received some positive reviews. Farrell appeared in the title role of Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone’s 2004 biopic Alexander, which, while receiving some favorable 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 as well. The movie grossed a total of $167 million worldwide, despite its poor showing within the United States, just exceeding its budget of $155 million.
Farrell’s next film was 2005’s Academy Award-nominated The New World, also a historical epic that was met with mixed reviews. Farrell played the leading role of Captain John Smith, the founder of 17th century colonialJamestown, Virginia who falls in love with a beautiful Native American princess, Pocahontas, played by Q’Orianka Kilcher. The film received positive reviews, despite being released in only 811 theaters worldwide and having a relatively low box office gross.
The New World was followed by Ask the Dust, a romance film set in period Los Angeles and co-starring Salma Hayek. It received a very limited theatrical release and was not a financial success. 2006 brought more success in Farrell’s career, as he appeared opposite Jamie Foxx in Michael Mann’s action-crime film Miami Vice. The film was a box office success grossing a total of US $164 million worldwide. Farrell was next seen in Woody Allen’sCassandra’s Dream, which premiered in 2007 and was distributed in the U.S. in early 2008. Farrell’s next film, Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, opened the Sundance Film Festival in 2008; Farrell received his first Golden Globenomination and win for his role as Ray, a hired hitman. Shortly thereafter, he appeared in Kicking It, a documentary following six homeless men from different countries as they attempt to qualify for the Homeless World Cup. Farrell appeared on screen and provided narration. The film released simultaneously in theaters 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, and enthusiastic reviews for the two dramatic roles that preceded it.
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 starred in Terry Gilliam’s film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, alongside Christopher Plummer. He was one of the actors, along with 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. He also took a supporting role as Tommy Sweet in Crazy Heart, alongside Academy Award-winning Jeff Bridges.
2010 saw the release of Ondine, a fantasy-drama directed by Neil Jordan, which stars Farrell as a fisherman. It also saw him star opposite Keira Knightley in the crime / romance London Boulevard. The film was directed byWilliam Monahan, screenplay writer of The Departed and Body of Lies.
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. Later that year, Farrell played the lead role 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. The film was released by Dreamworks, with Craig Gillespie having directed.
Farrell is involved in a film adaptation of Flann O’Brien’s metafictional novel At Swim-Two-Birds alongside Cillian Murphy and Gabriel Byrne. Actor Brendan Gleeson will direct the film, which was scheduled for release in 2010. In October 2009, however, Gleeson expressed fear that, should the Irish Film Board be abolished as planned by the Irish State, the production may fall through.
Additionally, Farrell stars in Columbia Pictures’ remake of Total Recall which filmed from May to September 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Directed by Len Wiseman, the film is a new take on the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi picture about a sleeper agent who is compelled to travel to a colony on Mars. Kurt Wimmer (Salt) wrote the script, which like the original is based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.”
Colin Farrell was reportedly married to English actress Amelia Warner from July 2001 to November 2001. However, in December 2011, Amelia Warner said that the marriage ceremony was not legal.
Colin and British writer Emma Forrest dated for over a year, an experience she discusses in depth in her memoir Your Voice In My Head. According to Forrest, they had planned to have a child together, before he ended the relationship.
Colin and US model Kim Bordenave became parents of 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 characterized by intellectual and developmental delay.
Farrell and Ondine co-star Alicja Bachleda-Curus have a son, Henry Tadeusz Farrell, born in October 2009 One year after the birth of their son, Alicja Bachleda Curus and Colin Farrell decided to end their relationship.