Farrell much busier than most rogues

Canadian paper scores an interview with Bullseye himself. I'm beginning to think that Colin isn't exactly a role model for our youth. But hell, who is these days!
LOS ANGELES—Colin Farrell may not be exactly the kind of guy you'd want your sister to date. He drinks like a fish, cusses like a sailor and already has a divorce behind him.

Then again, he's one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, with three movies set to debut in the next 90 days — including the spy-thriller The Recruit with Al Pacino, opening Friday — and a determination not to conform to the trappings of stardom.

At 2 p.m., the 26-year-old Dubliner who once dreamt of becoming a professional football player, is planted on a sofa in his luxury hotel suite, feet propped on a coffee table, with a bottle of Corona in one hand and a half-smoked Camel Light in the other. "This is how I f---ing relax," he says with an unapologetic smile.

Farrell's "work hard, play harder" lifestyle is the product of strong Irish roots. "Where I come from the boys go out for pints of beer every night. I come here and have two pints at lunch and all of a sudden I'm edgy.'"

That's one reason Farrell has been reluctant to settle down on this side of the Atlantic. "I don't mind staying in hotels," says the frequent quest of Santa Monica's trendy Casa Del Mar or The Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip. "I have room service, I get my room cleaned and there is a bar in the lobby!"

Farrell's real home is a small cottage in Rings End, a half-mile outside of Dublin and steps from his favourite local pub, Clark's. He has been a regular there for years, but insists the locals offer no star treatment.

"Dublin's not a place where they pull out the red carpet for you," he says. "They're wary of me getting too big for my boots, so it's probably a good thing that I live there. There won't ever be a limo waiting for me at Dublin airport, that's for f---ing sure!"

Still, Farrell makes no bones about his longing to be back in Ireland. His parents, Eamon, a former pro footballer who now owns a health-food store, and Rita, a homemaker, live there. So does his openly gay brother, also named Eamon, and sister Catherine.

Farrell's other sister Claudia is his personal assistant, and often travels with the actor.

"She worries about me like any sister would," he says. "She worries about things like `Are you getting enough sleep?' But she knows me and she lets me do my thing."

So far, Farrell's "thing" hasn't gotten in the way of a promising movie career. He'll appear next month in Daredevil, with Ben Affleck, and again in March in the delayed release, Phone Booth.

Farrell's strong personality lets him get away with quite a bit, says Recruit director Roger Donaldson. He hand-picked Farrell for the role of James Clayton, a CIA trainee who suspects his instructor (Pacino) may be a double agent. "Sometimes Colin would party too late into the night, but he would always be there on time and know his lines and look great."

It's a reputation that has followed Farrell from his early days on the Irish TV series Ballykissangel to such high-profile American films as Hart's War and Minority Report.

And as for that bad-boy image?

`I don't smoke and

I don't want to be pulling

somebody out of a bar

at 5 in the morning.'

Bridget Moynahan on why she'll

never date co-star Colin Farrell


"The roguish male is still somebody we are all interested in," says Fred Schruers, senior editor at Premiere magazine. "It doesn't have to be a part of your resume to be a church-going, clean-living citizen as long as you turn up often enough to convey excitement onscreen. If he were a model citizen, he might be less interesting to the public."

Some of his colleagues, however, are not as easily impressed.

Co-star Bridget Moynahan says the two actors became great friends last year shooting The Recruit in Toronto, but she would never want to date a man as wild as Farrell. "I would never consider it for my real life," she says with a laugh. "I don't smoke and I don't want to be pulling somebody out of a bar at 5 in the morning."

While Farrell downplays the dangers of his high-octane party schedule — "I have a car but there aren't too many sober moments for me to be driving," he says, jokingly — he does admit there was a time when he needed to dry out for a while.

"I stopped drinking when I was 19 for about 10 months," he remembers, denying rumors of a stint in rehab. "I did it by myself. I was drinking way too much and I was miserable."

Farrell seems less concerned with kicking the two-pack-a-day smoking habit he started at age 14, while a student at Castleknock College, one of Ireland's top private boarding schools.

The blue blazer and gray trousers he wore to class each day don't exactly mesh with his current bad-boy style. "He might portray himself now as this Irish rebel, but there was nothing rebellious about him when he was in school," former classmate Ritchie Molloy revealed last year.

Today, friends at O'Brien's Pub in Santa Monica say Farrell isn't the least bit concerned with image when he stops by for a few pints of Carlsberg, his favourite brew. Says one employee: "He's extremely fun-loving and generous."

Not to mention a bit sentimental.

In 2001, Farrell impulsively decided to tie the knot with British actress Amelia Warner. The marriage lasted only four months, but he still keeps her name tattooed on his left ring finger.

"It is a part of who I am and where I have been in my life," Farrell says. "I loved her so much and I don't want her to ever think I'm not in her life or not there at the end of the phone."

The couple remain friends, but haven't spoken in nearly eight months. Meanwhile, Farrell says he is "not looking" for a new romance. "I've been in two deadly relationships in my life — and by deadly I mean good," he shares. "For someone my age to have been in love twice is enough for now."

Besides, there's not much time for dating with production already underway on S.W.A.T. He'll earn $9 million to play officer Jim Street in the big-screen adaptation of the classic 1960s TV series, due in theatres next winter.

But you won't find Farrell complaining about the pressures of impending fame.

"Pressure is having four kids and earning 200 quid a week," he says. "I'm not under any bloody pressure! I've had an amazing few years and if it all gets taken away tomorrow, I'll have some great stories to tell, and I have money in the bank, so I'll open a pub."
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Toronto Star