Born: 31 March 1976 (Age: 35)
Where: Dublin, Ireland
Height: 5' 9"
Awards: Won 1 Golden Globe
The rise of film stars is often described as meteoric and, usually, the term's not really accurate. So many have toiled for years as child stars and theatre stalwarts before receiving their big Hollywood break. For Colin Farrell's ascent, though, the word is absolutely apt. Within a mere 3 years of his American movie debut in 2000, he had co-starred alongside Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and Al Pacino (all in different pictures). He'd stolen the show in hit comic-flick Daredevil, and worked with Steven Spielberg, Joel Schumacher and Roger Donaldson. He'd even appeared as Oliver Stone's Alexander the Great. Beyond this, his Devil-may-care attitude to drink, drugs and sex made him the centre of a near-constant tabloid furore. Incredible - from a minor role in a cute Sunday night soap opera to $8 million pay-days in no time at all. Along with Vin Diesel, Farrell was the first new bona fide superstar of the new millennium. And, unlike Diesel's, his star kept rising.
He was born Colin James Farrell in the Castleknock area of Dublin, at the edge of Phoenix Park, on March 31st, 1976. The place was fairly well-to-do, a new money suburb, but Colin came from resolutely working-class stock. His mother Rita's father was a chauffeur, while Colin's father Eamon and his uncle Tommy both played football for Shamrock Rovers. At their Sixties peak they were the Manchester United of Ireland, a crowd of over 30,000 watching them defeat Red Star Belgrade in 1961. Colin was the youngest of four, his brother Eamon now running a performing arts school in Dublin, while sisters Catherine and Claudine have both popped up in Colin's movie productions, Claudine also working as Colin's assistant and companion.
It was Catherine who first drew Colin towards acting. She'd stay up late watching old movies, and her younger brother would sit with her, revelling in the efforts and attitudes of Brando, Newman, Clift and, interestingly, Ernest Borgnine. His first big crush was on Marilyn Monroe. At 8 or 9, totally besotted with the dead goddess, he'd leave some of his precious Smarties under his pillow along with a note inviting her to come down from Heaven to share them with him. Catherine also provided him with his first experience of stage performance when, at age 12, he watched her play Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. When Eamon Jr took up dance lessons, young Colin was also forced by his mother to attend.