Sunday 18 November 2018

Colin Farrell: 'I'm sick I wasn't at home to celebrate marriage vote'

Team Ireland ambassadors Claudine Keane and Colin Farrell at a Special Olympics Ireland reception
Team Ireland ambassadors Claudine Keane and Colin Farrell at a Special Olympics Ireland reception
Team Ireland's Nathan Finney, a member of Sporting Fingal Special Olympics, from Ballymun, Dublin, Darren Bevins, a member of Bray Lakers Special Olympics Club, from Cabra, Dublin 7,Francis Bilardi, a member of Cheeverstown Special Olympics Club, from Tallaght, Dublin, and Anthony Clarke, a member of Bray Lakers Special Olympics Club, from Leixlip, Co Kildare, during the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Summer Games. LA Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, United States
Team Ireland's Ashleigh O'Hagan, a member of Lisnagry Special Olympics Club, from Limerick City, with Garda sargent Michaela Moloney, from Henry Stree station, Limerick,

AFTER 10 years in Hollywood Colin Farrell feels he has become "a bit of a bore" now that he is a fully fledged Los Angeles resident.

The Dublin-born actor, who is currently making headlines Stateside for his performances in the hit TV series True Detective, says life has changed a lot since his days of all-night parties and model girlfriends.

Most of his family now live close to him in LA and he is concentrating on his two sons, James (12) and Henry (5).

"People ask do you miss home but the answer is not as clear as it once was. That's because home came over here and I've made my own home here as well," he said.


But the Hollywood star's Irishness will never be in question, he told the Herald at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

"The depth of our cultural complexities, our music, literature, community and the pain that we share means that I could be away from there for 50 years and I wouldn't feel any less Irish," he said.

Colin's based in LA now with his mother, two sisters and a niece all making the permanent move Stateside as well.

"It's amazing having family here. Bit by bit the Farrells have migrated west," he said.

"I love it here. Then I get home and I realise that Ireland makes sense to me in a way that no other place in the world ever will. Just because of my deep understanding and depth of love for the place that I come from.

"I just don't get to go home as much as I used to with the kids here now," he said.

"Ireland's not a country that you can walk from. You carry it in you."

Asked about this favourite LA things he replies, "good cheeseburgers".

"That's one of the cultural mainstays I find. That's my gateway drug now. The next thing is pizza and Doritos at four o'clock in the morning on my own with a can of coke.

"I mix it up. I balance. Chips one day and then binge the next," he says, laughing.

His brother Eamon still lives in Dublin where he plans to marry his partner Stephen Mannion next year.

Farrell decided to make an impassioned plea for people to vote 'Yes' during May's marriage referendum.

He now says that he feels "sick" he didn't actually travel to be with his brother and friends in Dublin for the celebrations in the aftermath of the result.

"If I'm honest, selfishly I'm sick I wasn't at home. It nearly took the joy out of it for me," he said.

"I was happy for everybody else but I was looking at the pictures online of Dublin Castle and was sick. I think in life sometimes you just want to be around good stuff.

"You want to be around people that are up for the craic," the In Bruges star said.

He plans to be best man at his brother's wedding, which is likely to take place next year once the legislation allowing same-sex marriage has been passed.

The couple were originally married in Vancouver in 2009 but hope to have an Irish ceremony.

"I have to talk to him about when that is. We have to organise it because so many of the family are over here now," Colin said.

Farrell broke down in fits of laughter as he recalled seeing a photograph of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and drag queen Panti Bliss on the day the votes were counted.

"I was looking at the pictures online and seeing Gerry Adams and Panti doing a selfie. Seriously it was one of the most beautiful, ridiculous pictures I've ever seen," he laughed.

He compares the feeling he got on the day of the marriage referendum count to his involvement with Special Olympics in terms of feel good factor.

"Since 2003, when we hosted the Games at home in Ireland, it's been something that has lived in me," he said.

"What Eunice Kennedy Shriver did all those years ago in setting up these games was an incredible thing.


"She has given voice and purpose to some many people who for so long were polarised and lived in the dark," he said.

"They didn't have a way to be connected to society or to feel like their potential was allowed to be realised or have the fullest expression of itself.

"I remember in 2003 how the country nearly fell apart under the weight of its own compassion and feelings of love and joy, and competition."

However he added that the athletes "aren't messing around".

"They'd take your head off just to get ahead of you and get the medal," he joked.

Farrell's name is on the rise in Hollywood again with the success of True Detective which has split the critics but very much pleased him.

Last Thursday he was accosted by a 'fan' who tried to sniff him while appearing on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the series.

Despite some speculation that it was a stunt, Farrell says it definitely wasn't staged but was "a weird one".

He described True Detective, in which he plays a Californian cop with serious personal problems, as "a very divisive thing and it's great".

"People are taking about it and there are three more episodes left. I had a blast working on it. We shot it all over Los Angeles so it was great to be able to at home.

"When I'm shooting in Ireland I say it's great to be home as well, because I very much have two homes.

"I've one place that formed me in this world for 20 years before I left and I've one that offered me the opportunity to make some changes in my life and to try and figure out what it is to be a man."

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