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Playboy Interview: Colin Farrell
  • April 05, 2009 : 00:04
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Playboy: Have you met her since?

Farrell: I have, yeah, but I haven't told her. There was Linda Fiorentino, too. I used to fucking whack off to her, especially in The Last Seduction. When I met her, I told her.

Playboy: How did that go?

Farrell: She quite liked the idea. I didn't get a slap in the face, so I think she took it as all right.

Playboy: Have you ever called a phone sex line?

Farrell: Christ Jesus, yeah man, and they're terrible fucking things. When I was about 16 or 17, I remember calling them from the downstairs living room of my parents' house, trying to whack off. When it didn't work, I had to hang up, go upstairs, grab a fucking porno mag and finish it off with that. You'd want to be in some kind of funky place in your head for a sex line to get you off, knowing you're probably talking to some bird with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth, filing her nails and looking nothing like she's saying she looks. I never really got off on the fucking thing.

Playboy: What about porn movies?

Farrell: Yeah, I love porn movies. I always have. They're great, great fun. I've been buying porn movies since I was 14 and found a shop in London and then went to Soho for the first time. I was like, "Oh, my God -- sex everywhere. This is great." I thought I was in heaven.

Playboy: Any favorite titles, either past or present?

Farrell: No, they're in constant rotation.

Playboy: You grew up in a fairly cushy Dublin suburb called Castleknock. What sort of trouble did you get into there?

Farrell: Just the usual little bits and pieces that kids get involved in -- you know, dabbling in a couple of substances I shouldn't have been doing or getting caught smoking joints, stealing a couple of cans of Coke and 10 packs of cigarettes from a shop. I got arrested for drunk driving and spent a night in the clanger. The typical cliché growing-up things.

Playboy: When did you start dabbling in illegal substances?

Farrell: I think I was 14. The first time was at a friend's house and we had made a concoction of fucking booze -- Cointreau, gin, vodka -- put it in a tankard and got sick as fucking dogs. Then, my friend's brother came home with this lump of fucking brown stuff. We knew it was hash and, at 14, oh the fear it gave you that you were, for all intents and purposes, smoking heroin. Anyway, he put the hash in a Bic pen, burned it, and we sucked it and were out of our fucking minds. But I probably didn't start buying hash until I was about 15 or so.

Playboy: Where did you get your money back then?

Farrell: I worked in bits and pieces. I was the youngest of four kids and my mother was always fucking great. She let me get away with murder. I come from real working-class stock. My mom's dad was a chauffeur -- and I'm not talking about a fucking stretch limo, either, but a nice Bentley or a Jaguar. My mom's mom made all the kids' school uniforms in the parlor of the house. Eventually, my father did very well for himself with various jobs, although he didn't start out like that. We're a very simple family. We work hard and we play hard. We like to drink and have a good time. I don't come from stock that sits around breaking things down and analyzing life that much.

Playboy: Your father, Eamonn, and your Uncle Tommy were well-known football players for the Shamrock Rovers in the Sixties. Did you have to live up to that or live it down?

Farrell: Geez, I wish I had a fucking penny for every time I said to someone in a bar, "My dad's Eamonn Farrell and he used to play for the Shamrock Rovers," and they didn't know what the fuck I was talking about. It wasn't like he was a major superstar, but within the right circles, at certain pubs and certain areas of Dublin, you'd go in and the old guys would have seen him play football live in a crowd of 40,000. I have a big scrapbook of newspaper clippings and his jersey with three shamrocks on the back, in mothballs.

Playboy: How has your mother, Rita, shaped your life?

Farrell: With strong fucking hands. She is a firm believer in whatever fucking makes you happy. She instilled in us all the idea that we could be whatever we wanted to be if we did it for the right reason, out of love or complete hunger for that thing. She'd say she wanted me to be a lawyer, but at the end of the day, you've got to live with yourself. It doesn't matter if you've got a big fucking car and you're getting invited to all the fucking charity balls in the world if you're not happy.

Playboy: You had a hard time in school and got booted out at 17. What was the big offense?

Farrell: I wasn't going to many classes, I was taking three-hour lunches and getting caught with my friend Eliot and all the lads in the pool hall having a couple of pints, then going back to class. I'm sure people could smell the beer off our breath. The last school I was in was particularly strict, really a bunch of fascists. They had security cameras in the fucking study hall and we'd wire ourselves with our stereos, put our hands over our ears and go to sleep. A study supervisor grabbed me one day and I threw him up against the wall, saying, "If you ever touch me again, I'll rip your fucking head off." I'll never forget packing my bags and walking out of the school feeling like a fucking rock star. I'd been fucking looking forward to getting kicked out of school for a long time.

Playboy: Did you ever worry you'd never find your way?

Farrell: I was never really worried about it, though my mother worried about it for years. I mean, I never really knew I'd fucking be sitting up here on the balcony of a fine hotel, having a drink with you and knowing in the morning I'm going back to shooting a movie with Samuel L. Jackson. But I knew I would be all right.

Playboy: What happened when you told your father you wanted to be an actor?

Farrell: He laughed hard and he laughed long, and he said, "What do you want to be, a fucking play actor?" Then the first paycheck came in, and he slapped me on the back and said, "That was a great idea, son." My mother was, from day one, "Well, if that's what you want to do, try it." I had been depressed, just up and down and all over the place. My mother was a nervous wreck. Apart from acting being a big thing for me, it was kind of a relief for her because I'd found something that I actually liked, that I could throw my energy into.

Playboy: Success found you pretty quickly.

Farrell: I had four or five great years over there, you know? I was lucky enough to work in Dublin with great actors and on some TV shows. It was like a day job. I'd go to work at eight A.M., shoot the show Ballykissangel, we'd wrap at five or six, I would come home at the same time the lads had finished installing kitchens and working in the clothes shop and we'd all go to the pub. It wasn't like a big "Wow, you're an actor, man" type affair.

Playboy: Any problems for you appearing naked on camera in Tigerland?

Farrell: There were just two girls, two boys, three crew members and Joel. We were all just sitting around naked as fuck, having a laugh. It was not a very sexy environment, man. They say the camera puts on 10 pounds. Not in the fucking nether region. I had a dick like a cashew nut, man. If I could walk around naked all the time, though, I would. The first thing I do when I come home is rip off all the clothes and just plop myself into bed. Not a fucking problem, man.

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