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Long Distance Information? | Colin Farrell
an emily blunt interview




Colin Farrell hit American film like a f***ing Tasmanian Devil with an Irish lilt! He's been working in Dublin for years, but now we're all getting turned on by, er, onto him.

I adored his f***ing performance in Hart's War. and his latest venue, Phone Booth, contains yet another (perhaps his finest to date) mesmerizing performance by the lad. Just brilliant and so intense. And while I wanted to get violent over that horrid Daredevil film faux pas he was involved in, I remember bits like Minority Report and remind myself my distaste for a film is never due to his performance. Time and f****ing time again he shines in a heap of generic crapshit. That's talent.

The guy likes drinkin' women and swearing (hence the lame attempt at humor above...) in no particular order - but manly man alpha male exponents aside - he's also one of the most talented blokes to be imported in years. It is no secret he's waiting to become a daddy as we speak - so sorry gals - he's tied up for a while.

We gathered for his latest film Phone Booth . He's a real person not afraid to speak his f***ing mind so I was buckled in. He reminds me of Russell Crowe so much it's weird. Same kind of intensity and lust for life that's as exciting as it is addictive. I've met him a coupla times at parties, even shared a beer, but this was all professional and stuff...

E: Wow what a piece of work- I mean your performance! And you shot in twelve days. Was it as intense as it seemed -even for a pro like you?

C: I hit it fairly hard because I was under the lash. I had a load of drinks at night because I had to unwind. My head was nearly destroyed. There was nearly gray matter pouring out of my ears at the end of every day. I nearly wanted to cry at the end. It was the toughest job I ever took by a mile just to be in that phone booth. There wasn’t a relaxed moment in the film after the first few minutes walking down the street.

E: Obviously this was intense - one scene for you really. Was it reminiscent of a play?

C: Yes, absolutely. As well, we rehearsed for two weeks and read and talked through the script. Anything we found confusing we tried to sort out, then we went and shot it and shot in continuity so the whole thing was like a dream to me and it was over like that. Usually, on a film, you’re there for three or four months. This was twelve f***ing days. It was so fast.

E: How'd you get so good at American accents?

C: It boils down to I grew up on American television, T.J. Hooker, Chips, A-Team, you name it, I grew up watching it. I have American sounds in my ear all the time. Americans try to do an Irish accent you grew up with [Irish accent] “Ah, have a look at me Lucky Charms’.

E: Blue stars green clovers! [laughter]

C: [laughter] Yeah! It’s impossible. It’s a bit tricky but I don’t think I’ve done it justice once. People tell me I’m great but I don’t want to hear it. I f***ing don’t think I’ve done it right. But it’s another part of the gig and another angle into the character. Like Texan is a bit lazier and New York has a bit more of this. It’s a tap in for the character as well.

E: What do you think about "Stu's" confession. Did it help him- or even you?

C: Well, I hope every confession I do in the film had nothing to do with me. I hope I’m not that asshole. But, there’s lot to be said for a good chat. When you have a friend or lover or family member and you’re having problems and you spit it out… and this was the ultimate confession. The ultimate cathartic splurge of self-realization. This fella had shut off that, not third eye but third ear that we do have. Because we all do hear with we say and think and he shook that off for a while. Then he was under the gun literally and he had no choice and had to spit it out. So in that sense, for Stu, it might be good later in life. He might be a good dad or husband. The shooter, basically does him a big favor. Not a disservice at all. He’s not evil, Stu, but he’s on the precipice of that, just pull you back and remind you what you are. Change it. That’s why it’s good when he comes out and says, remember, I’ll be watching you.

E: Have you met guys like this?

C: Yeah. But they’ve served me a burger at Burger King or they’ve been in a bank working. You can meet bastard publicists, agents, actors, everything. A bastard is a bastard whatever job he has. But it was a great backdrop because his inclination is to be selfish, self-loving and narcissistic as he is was completely fed. At the end of the day he’s a better fella. He needs a wake-up call.

E: Did being in that confined space help the effect in your mind? Or your performance?

C: Yeah, totally. There were a lot of aids. Having Joe (Schumacher) there was a great help for me. I love him so much and he creates a great environment for me where it’s okay to fail. You have to do some shit before you can do something half decent. Then there was the continuity and being in the phone booth. It was so frustrating. It really did help. I had such nervous tension on that gig. I was always boiling and I used to pace outside the booth. The first A.D. would pick up a megaphone and say, ‘You got Stu?’ I go in, close the door and pick up the phone. That was the gig, nine to five.

E: So would you have the same enthusiasm for Daredevil as for this? [eyebrow raised in a telling of my distaste for that piece of f***ing trash...]

C: No because I wouldn’t have the passion with the character. But I’d work as hard. Bullseye is one dimensional, killer, mercenary. You work your hardest at it but you don’t go on the emotional journey I went on in Phone Booth. There’s no replacing that.

E: Is it getting harder to live with all the attention you are getting?

C: Not really because I still live at home, you know. I’m very lucky coming from where I come from. I have a totally different life. I doesn’t matter to anyone back home if I have eight million dollars for a film and I go to a premiere and am (sleeping with) some lovely looking girl. It doesn’t matter. They know what are the important things in life.. It’s being good and bold. It’s not harder. My life, from the outside, if you looked in would seem to have changed but, on the inside, it hasn’t. I’m doing the same job, just with more money and bigger names.

Here's another actor that in a short time has worked with some huge stars - I just had to ask...

E: Did you learn anything about the fame game from Tom Cruise or Al Pacino?

C: Tom’s the loveliest fella. The most affable, loveliest man and you would learn that he has so much respect for every human being he meets and I’ve learned things from watching him on the set but it’s hard to pinpoint what you learn from people but you learn from everyone. Like Bruce [Willis] you learn to learn your lines. Bruce is dead on but he couldn’t remember a line to save his life on Hart’s War. I teased him and said you better go home and get an early night. You have a word to learn tomorrow. He’d look up and go f you, you Irish prick.. all in good fun. What I learned from Pacino, was after 40 years of being an amazing actor and icon, he’s well-read and so smart, he’s still hungry to get it right and he’s still pulling his hair out because he doesn’t know if he got it right. He’s still not sleeping at night because he loves his job as much as he does. That was a huge lesson for me. I could get lazy, just wait for the limo and not give a shit but I love my job. Pacino was brilliant.

[ a vision of Colin swearing away as the limo is stuck in crosstown traffic make me start to giggle....focus ....focus....]

E: I adore Al. So, do you see any real difference between say " Hollywood" actors and Dublin actors?

C: I’ve worked with actors in television at home before anyone ever heard my name and I’ve worked with fellas who have put four kids through college by doing theater and a bit part in television. That’s the deal. I’m 26 and I have a limo. There are guys who have done 300 plays 25 parts in t.v. and film. That’s life. That’s important and real. That’s providing because you love. They wouldn’t take any of my shit.

E: Well you've certainly come along way. Did you ever expect to come as far as you have?

C: No, no. You’d leave yourself for a big fall every day if you were looking for that because you wouldn’t get it the next day. I always hope I get a call back, hope I get the part each gig. It gets harder but it is important. I’m chasing something I’ll never catch with this job but that’s okay. I don’t want to catch it. It’s okay.

E: Are you getting a giggle outta the eight thousand gossip columns buzzin' about with different "Colin" stories?

C: Yeah, my sister bought this National Enquirer thing. It said that in a Von’s in Los Angeles, everyone was pissed because I kept a line of people waiting because I was looking for my food stamps.[laughter]

E: Food stamps? [laughter]

C: That’s what it said. It was hilarious. You have to have a laugh.

E: I just saw you on Conan or something not a swear word to be heard!

C: [laughter]

E:You're pretty well behaved on TV - with the swearing - how do you manage it?

C: [laughter] I have to think! I have to actually go, "Don’t curse! Don’t curse!" I don’t curse in a violent way. It’s just the way I talk.


So there you have it Colin's charming, honest and one hell of a talent. See Hart's War if you have not already. Phone Booth is remarkable for his performance alone - the rest is tre' generic. Sure he's evil sexy in that bad-boy-wanna-play-kiss-the-bare-Blarney-stone-hidden-down-here way...but he's also very taken so on with the next smit.


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