Colin James Farrell (born 31 May 1976) is an Irish actor, who has appeared in films including Tigerland, Daredevil, Miami Vice, Minority Report, Phone Booth, The Recruit, Alexander, S.W.A.T., and 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 FC (Rovers) and owned a company importing and exporting canned goods in Dublin City. He was raised 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 auditioned for the Irish group Boyzone when he was still unknown, but was unsuccessful. 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 7 times from 1998 to 1999.
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 as a bisexual character in A Home at the End of the World.
Farrell at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. Farrell appeared in the title role of Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone's 2004 biopic Alexander, which, while receiving some favorable reviews internationally, received mostly mediocre and negative reviews 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 colonial Jamestown, 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's Cassandra'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 Globe nomination 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 an uncredited 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. Farrell's upcoming project will be 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 be directing the film, which will be released 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. Farrell is scheduled to play the lead role in the upcoming Fright Night remake. Farrell joins Anton Yelchin, David Tennant, and Toni Collette in this story about a charismatic vampire who moves in next to a film obsessed high school student. The film will be released by Dreamworks, with Craig Gillespie directing. Farrell will also join a comedy movie with Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Paul Rudd, titled Horrible Bosses, directed by Seth Gordon. The film focuses on a trio of employees who plot to murder their titular tyrannical supervisors. Additionally, Farrell and Marion Cotillard are both starring in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, based on a Don DeLillo novel of the same name. The film focuses on Colin Farrell's character, Eric Packer, a young billionaire on a journey through Manhattan to get a haircut. David Cronenberg will film Cosmopolis in New York and Toronto in 2011.
Farrell has mentioned in interviews that he is uncircumcised, and also that he is against circumcision. Farrell was married to English actress Amelia Warner from July 2001 to November 2001. Farrell has a son, James Padraig (born 12 September 2003), with US model Kim Bordenave. In October 2007, Farrell revealed that his son has Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterised by intellectual and developmental delay, speech impediment, sleep disturbance, seizures, hand flapping movements, and frequent laughter/smiling. In December 2005, Farrell voluntarily checked into a rehabilitation treatment center for addictions to recreational drugs and painkillers. His publicist commented that Farrell had started taking painkillers due to a back injury. He was released in January 2006. In May 2006, Farrell started attending rehabilitation meetings. It was announced on 14 September 2009, that Farrell and his Ondine co-star Alicja Bachleda-Curuś were expecting a child together. Their son, Henry Tadeusz Farrell, was born on 7 October 2009 and was baptised in the Catholic Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Krakow, Poland. It was reported on 15 October 2010 that the couple had split up. Farrell was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2003. He was also voted sixth in the World's "Sexiest Man" contest by Company magazine that same year. In 2007, Farrell joined other celebrities including Bruce Willis, Muhammad Ali, Eva Mendes, Vanessa L. Williams and Arnold Schwarzenegger to become an official games spokesman for the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China.