Colin Farrell: On Overcoming Addiction To Booze And Drugs
Moviegoers and fans of former Hollywood bad boy Colin Farrell may be somewhat surprised to see a different side of the actor apart from his trademark shaggy eyebrows and thick Irish brogue.
While promoting his latest movie, Seven Psychopaths, the 36-year-old Dublin native took time to sit down with Details magazine, opening up about his life now that he’s given up alcohol and drugs.
Clean and sober for the past seven years, Farrell is still the mischievous, irrepressible and impossibly charming individual that causes women to swoon and men to want to be like him. Fame and money and loads of talent will do that.
But getting to this point where life is good and precious and not to be wasted is a far cry from the old days. Though he would much rather not talk about it, the subject is constantly raised in interviews. How could it not be, given how obsessively the actor pursued his twin addictions to alcohol and drugs for so many years?
Just 28 when his first son, James was born, Farrell said he made a conscious decision not to change. He was going to be James’ friend. “Like a —-ing 28-year-old drug-addicted drunk fiend is exactly what my six-week son needs,” Farrell told the magazine. After drinking and drugging for two more years of being a father, Farrell wondered why he was resisting getting clean and sober.
Of his years of hard-partying and bad-boy exploits, not to mention his serial lying, Farrell says, “The amount of energy you have to put in and the amount of lies you have to tell to keep a drug habit alive, it’s fairly significant. Your whole life is a lie.”
What prompted the abrupt change? “The bottom line is I ended up miserable,” Farrell explains. “I’d done enough of a job of flagrantly abandoning myself in a very loud and public way that I began to fall apart, you know?”
Farrell checked himself into rehab in New York in 2006, as Details says, “fat-faced and exhausted and ill from good fortune and bad choices.”
The benefits of being clear-headed are many and varied, but most of all, he’s present for his two sons (including his second-born son, Henry, now two). There’s also the gift of time, another rather unfamiliar commodity for the actor.
“I’ve got eight hours a day now that I didn’t have before when I was drinking for 18 years,” Farrell muses, adding, “I’m just grateful I’m actually alive.”
So, what’s ahead for the popular actor? Besides taking an enthusiastic role as a doting father, Farrell has just wrapped filming Saving Mr. Banks with Emma Thompson and will head off to New York in November to begin shooting the adaptation of Mark Helprin’s supernatural novel Winter’s Tale, also starring Russell Crowe and Will Smith.
In addition, Farrell, by all accounts, is committed to staying clean and sober – for his two sons and himself, of course.