Hollywood star Colin Farrell has spoken of his regret that an interview in which he admitted taking heroin later influenced one of his fans to start taking drugs.
In 2004, Farrell told Playboy magazine that he had taken heroin, saying: “it seemed like a good idea at the time”.
Nearly ten years on, in an interview with GQ magazine, Farrell told the story of an encounter he had with a fan that still haunts him to this day.
Farrell said: “You have to be careful, because you know in Playboy I talked about a particular drug I had used once. I wasn’t saying that it was ever a good idea, but years later I bumped into a gentleman who was without a home, living on the streets.
“And he said to me, ‘Colin Farrell? Oh man, big fan. You’re the reason I did…’ – and he mentioned the drug.
“He wasn’t angry with me. He just said ‘I read a Playboy interview you did and you said it seemed like a good idea at the time’.
”I remember getting into my car and going, I know we all say ‘I don’t want to be an example’ and I certainly would never hold myself up as an example, but to not know that at times people are going to get swayed anyway.”
The Dublin born star added that he is determined not to fall into the common trap for Hollywood actors of spending too much time on the road and missing out on time with his family:
“Just be there. In being there you can make loads of mistakes – any mistakes you make as a parent are pretty much fine, but the worst mistake you can make is to not be there. I have to be careful to not just spend my life in hotels.
“I’ve read enough stories and I’ve heard voiced from certain children of actors in the past, ‘Well, they weren’t really around.
“And I’ll be f***** if that’s going to happen to me. I say that not as judgment – I see how it can happen, because you get into a habit of working and you want to make hay while the sun shines.
“But I think at the same time, regardless of what you do or how busy you may be, if you just turn up that’s a huge thing.”
Farrell is arguably the most successful Irish born actor in Hollywood, having starred in films such as Phone Booth and Minority Report. His latest role is in Saving Mr Banks, a story about Walt Disney’s 20-year struggle to buy the rights to Mary Poppins.