'He's a funny bastard!' - Farrell on Pacino

Feature by Jack Foley

WHEN Irish actor, Colin Farrell, describes himself as a ‘26-year-old man trying to find his way in the world’, who doesn’t really care about how people perceive what he has to say, it smacks of a refreshing honesty not usually associated with the politically-correct Hollywood elite.

So when he goes on to describe Al Pacino, his latest co-star, as both ‘a funny bastard’ and a ‘quirky little fella’, it should come as little surprise.

Much has been written about Farrell in recent months, concerning his high-profile relationships, his wild boy antics, and his outspoken nature. The Sun has even dubbed him ‘the lusty leprechaun’ - a label he admits he loves.

Yet one thing is clear from spending time in his company - he has neither the time, nor the concern, to deal with such things, opting to remain refreshingly honest in his approach to the industry.

Roger Donaldson, who directs him alongside Pacino in CIA thriller, The Recruit, notes that it is this, as much as anything, which makes people want to work with him. "What you see is what you get," he told journalists at The Dorchester Hotel. "He doesn’t brown-nose people."

And it is an apt description. Scruffy, unshaven and smoking a cigarette throughout the 30-minute gathering, Farrell looks like someone who genuinely doesn’t care what people think. Yet he exudes an air of confidence (not arrogance) that is infectious.

When asked whether he ever regretted saying some of the things he has said, he states: "If I think it, it passes pretty quick. I could think, ‘what the fuck…’ again, my mouth… But, you know what? Who gives… who cares..? And if somebody does, then that’s their prerogative and fine.

"Opinions change all the time, people change, and I’m just a 26-year-old man trying to find my way in the world, and I have opinions on certain things… If I start mannering myself, and start worrying about everything I say, I’m screwed, I will lose myself really fast in all this madness.

"I’m not looking for shock tactics, I just want to keep spilling stuff out of my mouth off the top of my head."

He also dismisses any notion that he deserves praise for maintaining his approach, maintaining that he don't see why he should have to brown-nose anyone.

"It's much more simple than I'm given credit for. It shows you, actually, what has happened to some people in my position, and it's kind of a statement on the business, that I get fucking kudos for being decent and down to earth and respecting people.

"I shouldn't get kudos for it, you don't get kudos for it. It's just the way I was brought up."

With this in mind, he won’t go out of his way to bad-mouth anyone, either, and appears quite content to allow the tabloids to write what they like about him, dismissing it as an inevitable part of his celebrity.

When asked what the most bizarre thing he had read about himself was, he recounts the story of coming to the aid of a broken down vehicle while on his way to a party in Malibu, getting covered in oil, and then being surrounded by women at the party because he was a stud.

Then he pauses, pulls a look of bemusement, and adds: "I couldn’t fix a toaster! You know, you read some stuff and wonder where the fuck did they get that from? Where out of the sky did they pluck it?"

In fact, Farrell finds it less of a ‘pressure’ to deal with such stories than he finds the burden of delivering a hit movie, stating that it is important to him to deliver a success and justify the enormous sums of money he is being paid.

He adds: "I know that when you've had the luck that I've had, particularly over the last three and a half years, and these companies are giving me these large sums of money, it should be justified in Box Office return.

"So, without feeling the pressure to be what various people have said I'm gonna be, I feel a very self-aware pressure that there should be a return if I'm going to get that stuff."

And as for his co-stars? What was working with the great Al Pacino really like, aside from being a ‘funny bastard’…

"It was amazing working with Pacino, amazing," he said. "He's been an idol of mine for as long as I can remember, from the time I started watching movies as a kid.

"Every bit of work that I've seen him do, he's just incredible. He has such a command of character and of his own performance, so to be able to share some space on a set with him... he was just really good company to be around."

Rather like Mr Farrell himself then…

RELATED STORIES: Click here for a review of the movie...
Click here for a Q&A with Colin Farrell...
Click here for a Q&A with Roger Donaldson...
Click here for the US reaction...

RELATED LINKS: Click here for The Recruit website...