Colin Farrell And The Tangled Life He Created

Colin Farrell ... ah, what a dream boat. The A-list Irish actor gained fame and recognition for his performances in many critically acclaimed films and TV shows; but it wasn't an easy road to success. Farrell's upbringing in Ireland has played a major role in shaping his personality, values, and career, according to Irish Central. Farrell always wanted to come off as a "rough and tumble" Irishman, but it was in fact, the opposite. Farrell hails from an affluent suburb in Dublin called Casteknock. His father, Eamon Farrell, was a "footballer" (best known in the USA as a soccer player) for the "Shamrock Rovers" and a small business owner, and his mother, Rita Farrell, worked as a homemaker. Farrell has three siblings; one older brother- Eamon Jr., and two sisters, Claudine and Catherine. Interestingly enough, his sister Catherine was his personal assistant at one point in his career. We love that he used his success to provide a job for his sister.

It also may come as a surprise to many, given the nature of his once crazy antics, but Colin Farrell has an extensive education, attending some of the best schools  that Ireland has to offer. Growing up, he attended elementary at the prestigious St. Brigid's National School, and eventually attended Gormanston College (a Catholic school) in Dublin. Farrell didn't always dream of being an actor; in fact, he encountered a few hurdles on his rise to the top. The drugs, the women, the parties ... oh my!

He dreamt of playing soccer, but wasn't good enough...

Colin Farrell's love for football dates back to his childhood, where he grew up playing the sport with friends, and watching his father and uncle play professionally for the "Shamrock Rovers." He dreamt one day of making it as a professional player, like his FAI Cup Winning dad. Farrell also loved watching the sport every Sunday with childhood friends. Despite his success as an actor, he has never lost sight of his passion for the sport and has continued to play regularly just for fun.

"I wanted to be a footballer, but I wasn't good enough. Certainly, when I was 13 or 14, I knew for sure that I'd dropped the ball, so to speak. I mean, my dad was kicking a punctured tennis ball up against the wall in his back garden from the time he was four, on his own, six hours a day," Farrell told RTE Entertainment.  

He goes onto explain that his father used to tell him that he wasn't hungry enough to be a professional footballer; he didn't have the discipline to hone his craft with non-stop practicing, the way he himself had done. Not to mention, Farrell simply wasn't that good. He concludes with, "I was obviously hungry enough to get on a plane to LA.” Moviegoers are certainly glad he did, as he truly became one of the greatest and most successful actors of our time.

Colin Farrell almost joined a boy band in Ireland

It may come as a surprise to some (or not!), but Colin Farrell, was once on the verge of joining a boy band in Ireland before he found success in Hollywood. In the late 1990s, Farrell was a struggling actor in Dublin, trying to make ends meet by working various odd jobs. It was during this time that he was approached by a talent scout who was putting together a boy band called "Boyzone"  The talent scout/music manager Louis Walsh who approached Farrell noticed him while both were out clubbing in Ireland. Walsh initially was drawn to Farrell's good looks and physicality, before even knowing if he was able to carry a tune.

Farrell was initially interested in the opportunity and went to an audition, where he was able to skip the long queue of boyband hopefuls and go straight to the audition room – he said on Ireland's RTE "Late, Late Show," that he auditioned with a George Michael song and absolutely "murdered" it. Ouch. He went on to say that it was so bad, they actually asked him to sing it a second time to ensure their ears did not deceive them. Unfortunately, it was just as poor the second time around, and Farrell didn't book the gig. Funnily enough, Boyzone went on to be one of the most popular boy bands in Ireland!

Colin Farrell was once a suspect in a murder case

It's hard to believe, but Colin Farrell was indeed once a suspect in an attempted murder case when he was much younger. In 1994, while visiting Australia with some friends, Farrell found himself in some serious hot water. He had not yet achieved international fame and the story remained fairly mum until Farrell himself told it in 2015 while promoting the HBO show, "True Detective" on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." Farrell was initially brought in for questioning of an attempted murder by the police in Sydney as he looked very similar to the perpetrator. "I saw a photofit of the guy who actually did the crime, and it looked remarkably like me. And for a second, because I had had a blackout that night, I wondered, 'Could I have done such a thing?' The suspect had bushy eyebrows, a mole on his face, spoke even in two dimensions with an Irish accent." Yikes .. that does sound like Colin Farrell!

Farrell reveals he was terrified and in custody for over five hours, before realizing that his travel companion's journaling would actually be his alibi and saving grace. His friend had been documenting their Australia trip daily, and revealed that on the night of the attempted murder, the two friends were off on a bender. Whew, talk about being "Saved by the Journal!"

Colin Farrell gets his big acting break in Joel Schumacher's Tigerland

Colin Farrell had landed some small roles (mainly in TV movies and flop films) before legendary director Joel Schumacher cast the unknown Farrell in his Vietnam war drama "Tigerland" in 2000. This turned out to be his big break into the film industry; his performance was praised by critics and audiences alike. Farrell's intensity and focus on screen impressed many, and he quickly became one of the hottest new talents in Hollywood.

"Tigerland" is a war drama set in the United States and follows a group of young soldiers as they undergo rigorous training before heading off to fight in the Vietnam War. Farrell played the lead role of "Private Roland Bozz," a rebellious soldier who questions authority and becomes a leader and mentor to the other soldiers – such a sexy role for him! After "Tigerland," Farrell went on to star in a number of successful films including "Minority Report," "Phone Booth," and "Daredevil." He quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after movie actors in the business. Farrell also widely credits Schumacher with giving him his big break, and is not shy about stating how grateful he still is to the director for recognizing his potential.

Colin Farrell becomes known as a Hollywood bad boy

Once Colin Farrell became a household name in Hollywood, it was plain to see how one could easily head down a path of destruction. After the Irish actor's success in "Tigerland," he very quickly quickly gained a reputation for his wild antics, hard-partying lifestyle, and controversial behavior. Farrell's image as a Hollywood bad boy was fueled in part by his love of partying and his well-documented struggles with addiction.

However, Farrell's bad boy image wasn't just limited to his personal life. He also gained a reputation for being cast in edgy roles, often playing characters with a rebellious streak and a disregard for authority..cue Jesse James in American Outlaws. Farrell once told the Daily Mail, "There were a lot of parties in hotel rooms all around the world, because I had money and I was working on films, so I had a certain amount of recognition. It wasn't hard to find 20 strangers who wanted to go back to my hotel room till 8 o'clock in the morning. I often had rooms filled with people – I had no idea who they were." He continued, "For years and years I ran up massive hotel bills and I just lived to the full." This was just the beginning of Colin Farrell's wild ways and seriously unhealthy behavior.

He's totally out of control in the media

On the cusp of his partying, Colin Farrell made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he kissed a female reporter during a red carpet interview at the 2003 premiere of his film "SWAT" in Los Angeles. The interview appears to be pretty standard at first, before Farrell tells the interviewer that she "looks great by the way," before leaning in, grabbing her head and kissing her. The reporter doesn't seem bothered and even kisses back (let's file this in the folder called, "something that would never happen in 2023"). In a 2017 interview with the New York Times when asked about the infamous kiss, Farrell appeared to not recall the kiss due to his incessant partying and blackouts. "Did I? Who? Which one? I swear to God, I lost so much time," he said.

Farrell also received some negative attention when he sat down with Playboy Magazine in 2004. Per Independent, Farrell made the incredulous statement that "heroin is fine in moderation," and later revealed that the interview and the statement he made about heroin was one of his biggest regrets. In the magazine, Farrell also openly discussed his sexual conquests, his partying, getting into brawls, and other things that really should not be published in a magazine for the world to read.

Colin Farrell is a total playboy

With copious amounts of partying, comes copious amounts of women! As he rose to fame and became known as the infamous Hollywood "bad boy," the revolving door of beautiful women in his life did not falter. Throughout his career, he has been linked to various women in the entertainment industry – ranging from former pop princess Britney Spears (though neither party actually confirmed it), to Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie, his co-star in the film "Alexander." Perhaps one of the most shocking was his affair with Elizabeth Taylor, who would have been almost 44 years his senior.

One of Farrell's earliest high-profile relationships was with British actress Amelia Warner. The two started dating in 2001 and got married in a private, non-legally binding ceremony in Tahiti that year. However, their marriage was short-lived and they separated just four months later and their divorce was finalized in 2002.

Farrell went on to date a slew of other famous women after he split from Warner, including: Lindsay Lohan, Lake Bell, Carmen Electra, model Kim Bordenave (baby mama #1), Alicja Bachleda (baby mama #2), plus Playboy Bunny Nicole Narraine, and singer Rihanna. He began an off and on relationship in 2017 with U2 personal assistant, Kelly McNamara. Today, Farrell is very private about his personal and dating life. At one point he and McNamara hadn't been photographed together since 2021, but many speculate they are in a serious relationship.

He fathers two children with two different women

In 2003, Farrell began seriously dating model Kim Bordenave. The two had a son together, James Padraig Farrell, who was born in September of that year. However, their relationship eventually came to an end, and they split up in 2006. Becoming a father appeared to change Farrell for the better. He told the Irish Examiner, "I adore him and I will always be in his life forever. He'll always know who his dad is. Fatherhood for me is the ultimate success." Farrell and Bordenave have been open about their son James' neurogenetic disorder called Angleman Syndrome, which affects the nervous system. He told People Magazine that watching his son James, truly inspires him. "Things like walking and talking and eating and feeding himself, all those things that so many of us naturally take for granted because they come so easily, to James, they come somewhat harder."

Farrell's second son, Henry Tadeusz Farrell, was born in 2009 to Polish actress Alicja Bachleda-Curus. Farrell and Bachleda-Curus met while filming the movie "Ondine" together in 2008 and began dating shortly after. Although their relationship didn't last, they remain co-parents to Henry and have shared custody of him. Farrell brought his son Henry as his date to the 2023 Oscars, where the two were the most adorable father/son duo in their matching suits.

Colin Farrell chooses sobriety in 2006

It wasn't an easy decision or road to recovery; but Colin Farrell's hard partying ways finally caught up to him and he became sober in 2006. Farrell had a well-documented history of substance abuse, including alcohol, cocaine, and prescription drugs. According to The Irish Examiner, Farrell was becoming depressed, and a therapist had asked him to write down the amount of drugs and alcohol he was abusing on a weekly basis. It was then that Colin Farrell decided to check himself into rehab and live a sober lifestyle, for his health and for his son

"To come home and not to have the buffer support of a few drinks just to calm the nerves, it was a really amazing thing. And I remember being more nervous, and being more uncomfortable initially at the film festival than any others because I didn't have any booze," he stated at the Virgin Media International Film Festival, per the Irish Times. Additionally, Farrell made headlines in 2018 for checking himself into rehab again, as a preemptive measure to ensure his sobriety is strong and unwavering. So much, respect Colin!

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Colin Farrell earns his first ever Oscar nomination in 2023

Though Colin Farrell has starred in in several critically acclaimed movies such as "In Bruges," "The Killing of a Sacred Deer," and "Minority Report," it wasn't until 2022 that Farrell received his first Oscar nomination for best actor. His role of Padraic in "Banshees of Inisherin" captured the attention of audiences and the Academy alike.  "Banshees" was nominated for nine Academy Awards, but unfortunately came out empty handed. Don't cry for Colin Farrell, though. He proudly won his first Golden Globe for the role. The gritty film was directed by Irish director Martin McDonagh (who Farrell had worked with on "Seven Psychopaths" and "In Bruges"), who also got a nod for best director (and like Farrell, won at the Golden Globes), and also starred Farrell's pal Brendan Gleeson, who got a nod for Best Actor in a Supporting Role but lost to fan favorite Ke Huy Quan

Farrell told IndieWire of his nomination, "I've been really just present in enjoying it, knowing that I'm very privileged, number one, to be working as an actor. There are so many actors and so few jobs on stage, television, and film. So just to be a working actor is brilliant. And then to have the privilege of the last few months has been an extraordinary thing." We couldn't be happier for Colin Farrell; his success at life, love and his craft.