Born: May 31, 1976
Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
We're all too happy to suspend disbelief when Farrell takes on a challenging movie role — especially if said role involves him taking his shirt off.
In fact, Farrell has stepped into the shoes of figures from the past (Alexander the Great and Jamestown, Virginia founder John Smith), the future (a cop who chases Tom Cruise in Minority Report) and an age of pure fantasy (the superhero Bullseye in Daredevil and filling in for the late Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus).
His dark-and-handsome good looks really do transcend time!
What does Farrell think of playing so many different types of men? "I've been very fortunate in my life, and I've had a chance to design where I want to go or what questions I want to ask or what issues I want to take a look at, just personal issues or human issues or existential issues in my own sort of way," he told Manhattan Movie Magazine. "So, with that in mind, the work is really interesting. I don't do it for therapeutic reasons at all. I would be a basket case if I did, like if it was therapy. But it is interesting to approach the idea of walking in another man's shoes."
Critics loved his performance as a brooding Irish hitman in 2008's In Bruges the best — he won a Golden Globe in 2009 for the role.
Farrell can be serious and silly, which he proves in this summer's Horrible Bosses, in which he plays Bobby Pellitt, a cocaine-addicted chemical company manager who (among other things) tells employee Jason Sudeikis to fire all the overweight and disabled people at the office. Farrell himself suggested the character's over-the-top costume, including a combover and pot belly.
"This guy thinks he's God's gift to women, God's gift to intellect, to humor, to the club scene, to everything," Farrell said in the film's production notes. "It's all part of his grandiose sense of self-esteem, which is probably masking a deeper sense of being a disappointment to his father and being riddled with envy over the relationship his father had with Kurt, and all kinds of other things. With Pellit, [director] Seth [Gordon] gave me complete license to act as pathologically screwed up as possible."
Even with a bad combover, we're into him!
One of Colin's two sons, James Padraig Farrell, 7, was diagnosed with a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome (characterized by frequent smiling and hand-flapping). Since revealing his son's diagnosis in 2007, Farrell has used his position to provide support for finding a cure. In 2007, he became an official spokesman for the Special Olympics World Games in China.
Just this month, on the Late Show with David Letterman, he talked about his son and encouraged viewers to visit CureAngelman.org. "Less and less and less do I see his condition," he told USA TODAY. "I'm just keenly aware of his personality. He's really cool."
Farrell is perhaps most famous for his fling with Britney Spears back in early 2003 and the sex tape he made in late 2003 with Playboy model Nicole Narain. But his more serious relationships have come with commitments: He was married to actress Amelia Warner for four months in 2001 (he tattooed "Millie" on his left ring finger); he had son James with model Kim Bordenave in 2003 and he had son Henry in 2009 with Ondine costar Alicja Bachleda-Curus, though they are no longer together. We like the thought of Farrell single — and we love the thought of him being a family man even more!
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