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Phone Booth - Colin Farrell Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

AFTER riding high at both the US and UK Box Office with The Recruit, Colin Farrell is once again receiving plaudits for his performance in Phone Booth. Here, he discusses the making of the movie and the 'pressures' of celebrity.

Q Are you pleased with the film?
A
I like it, yeah. I do. I'm always a bit weird about watching myself. But did you like it? You did. That's cool.

Q The character you play in Phone Booth is a bit of a chancer, to put it mildly. Did you base him on anyone you had met?
A
I've met a lot of those kind of people in my life and they haven't all been publicists by any means. In fact, most of them haven't, actually, probably less than half, but I haven't met that many publicists, I have my own of course.
I've met a lot of producers and directors and actors and agents that just believe in their own hype too much, and just take themselves far too seriously so I had a lot to draw on.
But you meet assholes like that everywhere, they work in a bank, they work at Burger King, they are everywhere in the world, so there wasn't one single person that I singled out.
But I'm glad if people think he rings true.

Q You obviously get along very well with Joel Schumacher. What is it that you like about him so much?
A
I love him. I fucking do. He's as fucking honest as they come. And what a life he's lived, he really has to do a biography.

Q How important is he to you?
A Oh, very important, he's very much a friend and a mentor to me, you know? He's someone I know that if I didn't see him for 10 years, and I was in a bit of trouble, stuck in a back alley with a syringe in me arm, I could call him and he would go 'come on over babe, it will be OK' and you don't come by people that are like that very often.
I should come up with some deep and profound answer, but I just get on really well with Joel, really well with him.
He is a cool, cool man and a straight-shooter and so cool and generous. I really couldn't say enough good things about him.
I actually love the man very much, not in that Hollywood way, and thank God I got the second chance to work with him on Phone Booth. It's because Tigerland got good enough reviews and people at Fox said, 'OK, you can cast the kid again if you want..' And he asked me to do it, and I didn't think twice and I would work with him again in a second.

Q Stu Shepherd is quite a complex character in a way and obviously he's placed in an extraordinary situation...
A
Yeah, he is. It's a thriller but there's more to it than that really. I mean, he's in a life and death situation, but the guy has to reexamine his whole life and all the bad things he has done, to his wife and things like that, so it's complex.
I just loved the script the first time I read it, and with Joel directing there was no decision to make, really.

Q Joel says that it was a very demanding shoot. How was it for you?
A It was fucking hard. You know, you are on camera the whole time and there's a lot of dialogue, which is great, but it's a lot to do. And we shot it really fast. So every day, for like 10 hours a day, I would be in that phone box.
Man, I smoked a lot of cigarettes between takes I can tell you.

Q And how did you get on with the rest of the cast?
A
Oh man, they were sweet. Really sweet. No problems there. Nice people, you know.

Q You were filming back in Dublin recently. How was it being back home?
A
Yeah, I just finished a gig recently, a thing called Intermission, it was fucking great fun, it really was. Low budget, four million dollars I'd say, and a bunch of Irish actors and Irish crew that I'd worked with on television and stuff back home, so crazy to see all of them again.
It was the first time I'd worked at home since Ordinary Decent Criminal, which was four years ago, so it was great to be back home, great to be back in Ireland, great piece. A bunch of good Irish actors.
It's a real, what do you call it, ensemble piece, you know contemporary set in Dublin, about a bunch of different characters, some are looking for love, some are looking for the last hit as a petty criminal.

Q In Phone Booth you do another American accent and you've done that in most of your films of late. Is it hard getting it right.
A
Doing the accents is good fun. And it helps when you get a good dialect coach, I mean I can still hear bits and pieces when I see anything that I do. But I enjoy doing it, I really do. But I had a great dialect coach on Phone Booth, and he was in my ear between every fucking take, pissing me off, saying 'your Rs are too heavy...' (laughs). He's great though.

Q What are the benefits of the success you are experiencing now?
A
The fact that I have the scope to choose what I want to do and what I don't want to do. I still find it insane but the fact is it's true. I can pick stuff that I think is good.

Q How do you decide?
A
I go for what I like, what affects me, it's that simple. Like with Phone Booth, it's a page turner of a script and I was right in there immediately. But you can never know whether something is going to work or be a hit, there are far too many factors involved about what is going to make a good film, or a beautiful film, but you can decide what you like and what affects you.

 

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