Colin Farrell is magnetic: Indeed, there is something about his energy that seems to attract the metal of life — intensely good , at times intensely bad, and sometimes a little random.
Having mistaken Farrell and me for a couple, he performs a darshan blessing to calculate our compatibility — apparently, I am very good for him. I wonder what the karmic sentence is for killing a swami. It is safe to say that it is a book that would once have not been on his reading list.
Despina Spyrou But Farrell the diehard sensualist, who seemed in constant orgiastic motion in tabloid photographs, is long gone; now 39, he is a dedicated convert to green juice and yoga. Yet rehab 10 years ago, seven years of sobriety and five of singledom have not made him anodyne. If he has evolved into a new man through a decade of abstention, he appears to be, in his freewheeling bonhomie at least, refreshingly unchanged. It is easy to see how, when magnified exponentially by stimulants, this could have got him into trouble.
When, aged 22, he moved from Dublin to Hollywood, he was notorious not only for his frenzied devouring of narcotics, whisky and women , but also for his refusal to modify himself for the sterilising publicity machine. He vomited forth the unedited details of his antics to journalists — as if the priests of his confessions.
He was quoted on porn, prostitutes and on one occasion heroin. And so any subtleties of the man were drowned out by his soundbites. They read, after all, rather like a classical parable.
Nadav Kander The fall from grace was premature and precipitous. He rose from the ashes of rehab a dedicated father to his son James with model Kim Bordenave , born in , who was diagnosed with the developmental disorder Angelman syndrome. I made James mine. Something in me wanted to live, that was louder — albeit locked away screaming in a room — than I knew back then.
He is clearly a man who has spent a decade staring himself in the eye. He is still a deep well of charm, but now the storm clouds have gone, it is easier to see the sensitivities beneath: With his J immy Stewart -style sweep-over flopping on to his forehead at the height of his verbal paroxysms, there is a tenderness to him.
He is a bundle of paternal instincts: I became a parody. What would his younger self think? His patriotic identity became his life raft, crystallised in a self-styled version of a riotous tinker in the face of polite LA.
So the smokescreen [I created] was magnified: That was like a cancer after a while. If you build a dam, water becomes a bigger version of itself.
Was I smart or dumb? Was I a good lover, son, father, actor? In he won a best actor Golden Globe for his suicidal hitman in In Bruges, after which he took on a mix of small, thoughtful films Ondine, Shell Shock , unlikely cameos Crazy Heart, Horrible Bosses and the odd grandiose affair Total Recall.
His portrayal of Ray Velcoro, an amoral detective clinging to his son as his last hope of redemption, is the shining light of the second season of True Detective. Farrell says he was fond of Ray. This surrealist comedy, which imagines a totalitarian state in which singles are given 45 days to find a partner or be turned into an animal, is inspired.
Once, Farrell would have hardly been the ideal casting for an awkward, pot-bellied divorcee, but his turn is bleak, touching and hilarious. Single and on the brink of 40, does he feel an outcast? His last serious girlfriend was his Ondine co-star Alicja Bachleda-Curus, the mother of his second son, Henry, born in The pair dated whilst both in turbulent periods of their lives. Getty Images He is more cautious now. I scoff a little. Forrest wrote about him, albeit thinly veiled, in her memoir Your Voice In My Head; he was plagued by a stalker; then there was the sex tape with Playboy model Nicole Nairain, which was leaked in despite a multimillion-dollar lawsuit — all of which he is a good sport about.
Even without trust issues, things must be more complicated now with the clear sight of sobriety. He has had to adjust to love in the cold light of day: I have loads of fears [about being with someone again].
He grew up the youngest of four children in Castleknock , a moneyed suburb of Dublin, the son of Rita and Eamon, a debonair footballer who, with his brother Tommy, played for Shamrock Rovers.
But then he began to rebel. Farrell eschewed training for beers in the local park. I grew up being told that I was very fortunate, but being unable to feel the good fortune for years. So I created difficulty for myself. I was in love with self-propagated pain, darkness, Dostoevsky, lonely nights howling at the moon, writing bad poetry. By then he had been expelled from school for threatening a teacher and had moved to a bohemian quarter of Dublin to live out his fantasies in a multitude of pubs.
By the time he was cast by Schumacher, he says, 'Spinning out of control was preordained. You see these little moments of innocence, the apple fall off the tree. He is too self-aware these days, he assures me. He also practises slow-burning affairs of the heart, without physical consummation — his last with Elizabeth Taylor during the remaining years of her life.
What a titanic existence! He remains an unashamed romantic: I hope it gets worse with age.