Colin Farrell in his most open interview ever
Irish movie star Colin Farrell has given his most honest interview ever in which he opens up about addiction, God, fatherhood and much more.
Farrell was talking to the Irish Independent and discussed his latest film The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which sees him star opposite Nicole Kidman as a surgeon cursed by the son of a patient who died on his operating table after he went into surgery after a couple of drinks.
Farrell laughed: “You should never have a few drinks when you are doing heart surgery. I think we can all agree on that!”
The film features a plot that carries more than a passing resemblance to the bible story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Farrell explained his thoughts: “We have always looked for context in mythology, and the Bible to me is one of the great mythological books that has ever been written.
“The idea of sacrifice has always been a huge theme in the human experience, and there is no greater sacrifice than in this case the father taking the life of his child in the belief that there would be some resultant purification.
“I don’t align myself with any particular religion, or any particular philosophy on it. I have a mishmash of this and the other. But I tried very hard years and years ago to be an atheist, because I thought it was more interesting or I thought it had more intellectual validity or worth – and I couldn’t quite cross the bridge.
“I couldn’t quite make it to the other side. I do believe in something that is bigger than us. To someone who is atheist they would say that is a cop out. But I think there are other realms. I think there are greater things than the eye can see or the brain can even comprehend, especially when we are only using 10pc of the brain’s capability. So we can only comprehend what we can comprehend.
“Having said that, I don’t find science and religion to be a dividing force. I think they can go hand in hand.”
Farrell went on to talk about how his career has evolved, and how he dealt with the tougher times after some of his movies flopped.
“I feel that I am doing work that is more challenging to me as an actor and to me as a man. The work I am doing now is less physical. It is deeper.
“I rose very quickly through the ranks and had a lot of commercial success very early and couldn’t make head nor tail of it.
“Even through the years when I was doing big films, I was still doing Intermission or A Home At The End Of The World and still trying to do smaller films and sometimes it didn’t work that way.
One of Farrell’s most iconic roles was as a guilt-ridden hitman in the Martin McDonagh directed In Bruges.
The role came after two of Farrell’s big money movies Alexander and Miami Vice had been roundly criticised by the press.
“I always wanted to do In Bruges. I was feeling low enough on myself to allow that internal malaise to result in me saying to Martin: ‘Look, man. People are going to come into the cinema – if they come in, that is; they might stay away! – with a load of baggage from the last few films I’ve done’,”
Farrell suffered a dark time during that period and said in a 2009 interview in GQ magazine: “I didn’t want to die. But I didn’t want to live.”
“It is certainly not abnormal what I went through, sadly. It is pretty much a garden variety tale of an addict, I suppose. And having an addiction and not knowing as a man what to do in a male-dominated society that puts worth and high value on emotions of alpha behaviour and pack mentalities and such.”
After filming Miami Vice, Farrell checked himself into rehab.
“I had just had it, man. I was done. For a long time I put the brakes on. For a long time. I could go mad for three, six months, and then I could pull back for a few months to try to re-enter the atmosphere. I couldn’t find the handbrake.
“When I came out of rehab that was the best sleep my mother had in 15 years!”
Farrell now spends his time raising his two sons, and talked about his lifestyle now.
“Run around. Whatever. Go up on hikes. I go into nature a lot, man. I go into nature a lot. I find nature pulls the steam out of you and f***s it over its own shoulder. I go on road trips and go to the cinema and hang out with my kids.
“I put on a bit of music. I just live. I just live it without being poison the way I was poison for years.”
“Los Angeles is a very forgiving city. You can be whatever you want. It is actually a good place to reinvent yourself. Los Angeles is an incredible place and there are incredible support groups. There are alternative ways of looking at things. There are people from all over the world. So there is not one particular behaviour that’s followed.
“In every aspect of life, no matter what you do, whether you are coaching a football club or you are the head of a Fortune 500 company or what people might refer to as a movie star – whatever you may be – you just have to try and figure out what the true value of living is; and to have a fulfilling and decent life. I am not saying I’m there, by the way.
“If you move in the right direction, however slow you move, once it is the right direction that is a good thing. I have yet to meet a person whose sobriety has made their life worse. I have yet to. But I am open to it.”