Colin Farrell
Irish Bad Boy
Ray Velcoro in HBO's True Detective
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Height: 5' 9"
Birth Name: Colin James Farrell
Birth Date: May 31, 1976
Birth Place: Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland

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    Colin Farrell In Negotiations For ‘Dumbo’ At Disney

    Colin Farrell is in negotiations to join Tim Burton’s Dumbo, the live-action adaptation of the 1941 animated classic for Disney, which is casting up now. Should the deal make, he’ll play the role of Holt, the widowed father of two kids from Kentucky and he’ll join Eva Green and Danny Devito in the project, which is edging closer towards a production start.

    Farrell has a track record at Disney, having played the fun-loving father of the young Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, which took $117.9M worldwide after it was released in 2013. Green is in talks to take on the role of Colette, a French trapeze artist who works for evil top circus villain Vandemere (which is still looking to be cast) while DeVito would play Medici, the man who runs a smaller circus that gets acquired by Vandemere.

    The live-action remake of Dumbo is written by Ehren Kruger, who produces with Justin Springer (Tron: Legacy). Disney’s original version focussed on a big-eared, loveable circus elephant, who is mocked for his large ears but learns to use them as wings to fly.

    It’s the latest in Disney’s long line of reboots following this month’s box office smash Beauty and the Beast. That latest live-action version of the 1991 animated classic is set to cross $500M at the global box office today. Emma Stone is set to star as villainess Cruella De Vil in the upcoming 101 Dalmations prequel Cruella. The studio has had huge success with reinventions of classic animated fares like Angelina Jolie starrer Maleficent and Johnny Depp’s Alice In Wonderland, the latter of which was directed by Burton. Those pics earned $758.5M and $1.02B worldwide respectively. It’s 2015 reboot of Cinderella with Lily James took $543.5M worldwide.

    Farrell is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.

    Colin Farrell to Play Oliver North in Amazon's Iran-Contra Miniseries

    Colin Farrell is ready to testify: The actor will play Oliver North in an Amazon miniseries about the Iran-Contra scandal.

    According to our sister site Variety, who broke the news, Farrell has signed on to star as the disgraced former Marine who famously testified before Congress during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, admitting that he lied under oath. Farrell’s The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos will direct the untitled limited series, which is currently in development.

    The Iran-Contra scandal was one of the biggest blemishes on Ronald Reagan’s presidency, where his administration was accused of illegally selling arms to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages in Lebanon, then using the funds to finance the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Amazon’s series will focus on this scandal, and North’s involvement in it. (North, currently a Fox News host, was a member of Reagan’s National Security Council staff at the time.)

    This marks a return to the small screen for Farrell, following his starring role as homicide cop Ray Velcoro on Season 2 of HBO’s True Detective. He’ll also appear alongside Nicole Kidman in Lanthimos’ next film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

    74th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

    The Golden Globes ceremony is set for Sunday, January 8 at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET live on NBC hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
    Colin Farrell, THE LOBSTER
    Ryan Gosling, LA LA LAND
    Hugh Grant, FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
    Jonah Hill, WAR DOGS
    Ryan Reynolds, DEADPOOL

    Hollywood Turns Out To Help Find Cure For Angelman Syndrome

    Hollywood celebrities will be out in force tomorrow at a Chicago gala to help raise awareness and money for the debilitating disorder, Angelman syndrome.

    Actors Colin Farrell, Jai Courtney, Josh Peck, Retta, Zachary Levi and Jesse Lee Soffer are among those expected to attend the event benefiting the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST). Each of the actors has strong personal ties to an individual with Angelman syndrome and actively works to support FAST. Farrell’s son James was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome at age two. Previous attendees have included Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosie Perez, Wilmer Valderrama, Jesse and Richard Marx.

    FAST is led by Paula Evans, the mother of a young girl with Angelman syndrome. Evans is credited with inspiring more than two dozen scientists from multiple universities and pharmaceutical companies to join the effort, all focused on a path to a cure. Evans and the scientific team have begun a two-year plan to bring about human clinical testing of four potential treatments for Angelman syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder that affects roughly one in 15,000 people and about 490,000 people worldwide. FAST is trying to raise $2.5 million by the end of the year to fund the next critical phase of research involving gene therapy. The weekend gala and related two-day FAST Global Summit is expected to draw more than 1,000 people from around the world.

    To contribute, go to the FAST website at CureAngelman.org/donate.

    ‘Solace’ Trailer: Anthony Hopkins & Jeffrey Dean Morgan Venture Into The Mind Of A Killer

    (Video) “I can’t stop him, which begs a more important question — is he really worth stopping?” Lionsgate has dropped the trailer for its upcoming psychological thriller Solace. Directed by Afonso Poyart with a script from Sean Bailey and Ted Griffin, the pic stars Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish and Colin Farrell.

    The plot: When FBI Special Agent Joe Merriwether (Morgan) is unable to solve a series of homicides, he decides to enlist the help of his former colleague Dr. John Clancy (Hopkins), a retired physician with psychic powers. The reclusive Clancy, who wants nothing to do with the case, changes his mind after seeing disturbingly violent visions of the ultimate demise of Joe’s partner, FBI Special Agent Katherine Cowles (Cornish). When Clancy’s exceptional intuitive powers put him on the trail of a suspect, Charles Ambrose (Farrell), the doctor soon realizes his abilities are no match against the extraordinary powers of this vicious murderer on a mission.

    Solace was produced by Beau Flynn, Thomas Augsberger, Tripp Vinson, Matthias Emcke, and Claudia Bluemhuber. Executive producers are Bailey, Jacob Pechenik, Gerd Schepers, and Anthony Hopkins.

    The film has already grossed $22M internationally but it was stalled in the U.S., one of several caught in the bankruptcy woes of Relativity. Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment recently picked up U.S. distribution rights and Lionsgate Premiere will release the film in theaters and on demand December 16.

    Peep the trailer above.

    How Colin Farrell explained Trump’s lewd comments to son

    Colin Farrell‘s son Henry isn’t old enough to vote, but he’s no fan of the Republican nominee.

    As the Irish actor said Thursday on “Ellen,” his politically savvy 7-year-old has kept up with the happenings on the campaign trail, including the allegations piling up against Donald Trump for his crude comments toward women. Fortunately for Farrell, he found a PG-rated way to explain the situation.

    “He wasn’t a huge fan of [Donald] Trump initially. A little bit because of his hair, maybe,” Farrell joked. “Now he can’t stand Trump because I had to explain to him why Trump keeps on being mean to kittens. He just keeps grabbing those kittens.”

    A tape of Trump and Billy Bush engaged in a lewd 2005 conversation about women, including then-“Access Hollywood” host Nancy O’Dell, was released last week.

    How Colin Farrell Gained – and Lost! – 40 lbs. for His New Role

    Colin Farrell says it wasn't hard to gain 40 lbs. in just two months for his new role as a father of two in the satirical comedy The Lobster– it just meant he had zero portion control.

    "I just ate and didn't move for a while," Farrell, 39, tells PEOPLE of how he packed on the pounds. "It was stuff I normally eat, but just a lot more of it. People talk about portion control – there was no control!"

    As soon as the film wrapped, Farrell dedicated himself to losing the extra weight.

    "It took me two months to lose it," he says. "I'm bit demented that way, discipline-wise. If I have a goal, that is. I can actually be a bit undisciplined with my life stuff. Unless I have something to task myself with!"

    The film, which is playing now, is set in a city where single people must fall in love within 45 days or else be turned into an animal and released into the forest.

    "I was confounded by it," Farrell says of the storyline. "It's exploring very real themes within the world we live in.

    So if he had to turn into an animal? "I'd be a bird," he says. Either a falcon or a seagull, depending on if I want to be an apex predator or just something that lives near the shoreline."

    Colin Farrell To Reteam With Yorgos Lanthimos On ‘The Killing Of A Sacred Deer’ – Cannes

    Colin Farrell is set to reteam with The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos on The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, which starts production in the U.S. in August. Casting of the other main roles is underway. The film will be produced by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe’s Element Pictures, who were among the producers of Lanthimos’s last film The Lobster along with Scarlet Films. The project is written by Lanthimos and his regular collaborator Efthymis Fillipou.

    The film is fully-financed by Film4 and New Sparta Films under a partnership arrangement brokered by Hanway Films. The project was developed by Element Pictures and Film4. HanWay has boarded as worldwide sales agent here at Cannes.

    The story follows a young man that needs to take revenge, a doctor that has to make a decision, and his family that must survive. The Lobster won the Cannes Jury Prize in 2015 and Lanthimos’ Dogtooth won Cannes’ Prix Un Certain Regard in 2009.

    Farrell will next be seen in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. He is repped by LBI Entertainment and CAA. Lanthimos is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Sayle Screen.

    Review: Deadpan satire 'The Lobster' skewers marriage

    Does anything break through the glum satire and unremitting deadpan that cover "The Lobster" like the gray Irish skies that hover over it?

    Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' first English-language film begins with a distraught woman driving through the rain. She gets out on a remote plain, walks up to a donkey and shoots it right in the face. It's a brutal announcement of the absurdity to come. This is a film for neither lovers nor animal lovers.

    In "The Lobster," a "Saturday Night Live" sketch carried out with the severity of Antonioni, singlehood is outlawed. The lonely and divorced are rounded up in white vans and brought to a country resort where they have 45 days to meet a mate or they will then be turned into an animal of their choosing.

    The questions at check-in go like this: "Have you ever been on your own before? Are you allergic to any foods?" Rules include that volleyball and tennis courts are reserved for couples only, and that crossbreeding species — a wolf and a penguin, a camel and a hippo — isn't allowed. "That would be absurd," says the hotel manager (Olivia Colman).

    The style here is at once gleefully bonkers and grimly banal. Though "The Lobster" has been called a dystopia, there are no fantastical elements besides its extreme conceit, a savage parody of our coupling obsession.

    At the hotel, people pair off based on only the most superficial commonalities like robotic Tinder users. John C. Reilly is identified only as the Lisping Man; Ben Wishaw as the Limping Man. They seek others with the same characteristic. When the Limping Man meets a woman who suffers from nosebleeds, he takes to smacking his head against tables.

    Successful couples speak of vacations together — the ultimate prize for a "happy" couple — with awe-inspiring pride. In between awkward courtships and punitive tactics (masturbation is punished by putting the perpetrator's hand in a toaster) are hunting excursions into the woods to shoot "loners."

    David (Colin Farrell) is brought to the hotel after his wife leaves him. Lanthimos has drained away almost all of Farrell's charisma (he's here a little heavier, with glasses and a mustache) leaving just his fragility. Should he fail, he chooses a lobster, he explains, because they will live over 100 years, are blue-blooded "like aristocrats" and stay fertile all their lives. "I also like the sea very much," he says.

    If all of this didn't yet sound strange enough, there's also an arch, literary narration (Rachel Weisz, who turns up later) and heavy jabs of Beethoven and Shostakovich throughout. When David finds a band of rebel loners hiding out in the woods, they turn out to be no less militaristic.

    In "The Lobster," Lanthimos brings his unique blend of macabre and satire to love and marriage, just as he did to family in the Oscar-nominated "Dogtooth" and to death in "Alps." In the latter, a business's employees impersonate the dead to aid mourners in their grief.

    His commitment to his high-concept tragicomedies is extraordinary. A large part of the entertainment of "The Lobster" comes from marveling at a director having the audacity to stretch such absurdity so far until, well, there's Colin Farrell kicking a child. The ideas are built into the impersonal filmmaking, too; the characters are intentionally detached and speak monotonously — automatons in a rigid system of courtship.

    There is, though, a feeling of a thesis being laid out, a joke (albeit an astute and meaningful one) stretched too long, with no deeper level to be found, just a series of heavy-handed shocks. The final scene scratches at something — that these characters are capable of love but they're too trapped in its social conventions to find it.

    Still, perhaps Chris Rock said it better and more succinctly: "You can be married and bored or single and lonely. Ain't no happiness nowhere."

    "The Lobster," an A24 release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "sexual content including dialogue, and some violence." Running time: 118 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

    James Corden Plays Hide-and-Seek at a Fan's House With Colin Farrell, Demi Lovato and More

    James Corden Plays Hide-and-Seek at a Fan's House With Colin Farrell, Demi Lovato and More: Video.

    Celebrities urge world leaders to fight for girls and women

    A number of high-profile entertainers — including Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Charlize Theron and Meryl Streep — have signed an open letter calling on world leaders to fight for gender equality across the globe.

    The letter released Sunday states that some 62 million girls around the world are denied the right to education, 500 million women can't read and 155 countries have laws that discriminate against women.

    "Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere," the letter states. "The fight for gender equality is global."

    Signers also include Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Amy Poehler, Colin Farrell, Danai Gurira, Connie Britton, Elton John, Patricia Arquette, Muhammed Ali, Sheryl Sandberg and Sean Parker. The push is organized by the ONE Campaign, co-founded by Irish rocker Bono to end extreme poverty and disease.

    "We still living in a time period where the most impoverished and disadvantaged people in the world are, without question, women and girls," said Gurira, the playwright of the Broadway show "Eclipsed," in an interview. "The light and the potential of women and girls in the world today is being blocked."

    The letter comes a few days before International Women's Day, which is Tuesday. It calls on leaders to help girls and women fight HIV and malnutrition and support female economic empowerment.

    Gurira, who also plays a sword-wielding zombie assassin on AMC's "The Walking Dead," has long been an advocate for women and will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress on Tuesday.

    "Enough is enough. We have to close this gap, and we have to make a concerted, focused effort and that requires speaking directly to the global leaders who have the power to make change," Gurira said. "It's an extension of myself to fight for and, as much as I can, give voice to those who are in systems of oppression based on their gender."

    An accompanying report called "Poverty Is Sexist 2016" reads: "In too many countries, being born poor and female means a life sentence of inequality, oppression and poverty — and in too many cases also a death sentence."

    Last year, Streep and singers Beyonce and Lady Gaga signed an open letter saying empowering women was the key to fighting the world's inequalities and poverty.

    ‘The Lobster’ Trailer: Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz In Offbeat Near-Future Love Story

    ‘The Lobster’ Trailer: Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz In Offbeat Near-Future Love Story: Video.

    The ninth edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s "Mean Tweets"

    (Video) The ninth edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s "Mean Tweets" did not disappoint.

    In Wednesday's episode of the ABC late-night program, Jimmy Kimmel recruited the likes of celebrities Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sean Penn, Liv Tyler, Elizabeth Banks, Daniel Radcliffe, Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Michael B. Jordan, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Julianna Margulies, Colin Farrell, Jordana Brewster, Kurt Russell, Viola Davis, Matthew Perry, Lake Bell and Sarah Paulson to read some of the rude things people have written about them on Twitter.

    "The internet is such a great thing," Louis-Dreyfus said.

    The Veep actress then laughed as she read a tweet from @GxxxxxxMartxxxz: "F--king Julia Louis-Dreyfus 50 year old ass still on TV and winning awards and s--t. Bitch, you NEED to retire."

    "OK," the 54-year-old Emmy winner responded. "I'll retire."

    Thanks to @MartinBeyond, Radcliffe learned that he is "one of God's most unattractive creations since the aardvark." Dunst, meanwhile, learned that her teeth "bother the f--k" out of @YolieTheJew. "They look like a s--tload of tictacs throwing gang signs." Jordan's appearance was also criticized, courtesy of @wearethetre, who wrote, "I swear on Crip, if I see Michael B Jordan Imma slap that mini feather duster he calls a mustache off his lip bruh." Meanwhile, @Brock_toon said Russell's face "is made of aged denim." He replied, "I couldn't agree more." Not everyone laughed at being dissed, however. Perry was stonefaced after reading a tweet from @willfernch: "I have Matthew Perry syndrome – I'm a sarcastic loser with a giant head."

    Some stars, like Farrell, couldn't read a mean tweet without laughing.

    Perhaps the best response came from American Horror Story: Hotel's Paulson, in response to @ThePeter for that she "is annoying when she yells...or cries...or talks...or exists." The actress replied, "Bite me, motherf--ker. That's how I feel about that. Bite me in the f--king a--hole."

    London Critics' Circle Film Awards Nominations

    The awards will be handed out on January 17.

    BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
    Michael Caine – Kingsman: The Secret Service, Youth
    Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation, Second Coming
    Colin Farrell – The Lobster, Miss Julie
    Michael Fassbender – Macbeth Slow West, Steve Jobs,
    Tom Hardy – Legend, London Roa, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenantd.

    Colin Farrell: Hot and Sweaty for Yoga

    (Pic) Exhibit A for dudes to get into a yoga class -- Colin Farrell dripping sweat after getting his tree pose on ... probably some downward dog too.

    Colin air-dried on his way out of class Monday in West Hollywood. Yoga seems to be his workout of choice lately -- he's been spotted leaving classes all year.

    We'd say he needs a towel, and maybe a shirt ... but why ruin a good thing?

    European Film Award Nominations

    The EFAs are given out in Berlin on December 12.

    EUROPEAN ACTOR 2015
    Michael Caine in YOUTH
    Tom Courtenay in 45 YEARS
    Colin Farrell in THE LOBSTER
    Christian Friedel in 13 MINUTES
    Vincent Lindon in THE MEASURE OF A MAN

    You Won't Believe the Wacky Way Colin Farrell Finally Quit Smoking

    (Cover) Colin Farrell went to some seriously great lengths to quit his smoking habit.

    The True Detective actor opened up to Men's Health about how he eventually stopped himself from picking up another cigarette and revealed his rather untraditional method to ditch the vice.

    "I wrote a breakup letter to the Spirit of Tobacco," he told the mag. "I got a frying pan and tossed the letter with a load of tobacco, put some paraffin over it, and lit a match that sent a big, wallowing cloud up into the sky. Then I didn't have a cigarette for another two years." Well, whatever works…

    The Irish star also opened up about how raising his two sons, James, 11, and Henry, 5, has taken priority over his career and dating life in recent years.

    "It's not that I don't get lonely sometimes, but I'm okay about it," Farrell shared when asked how he feels about being single for five years.

    "The most significant aspect of my life lives far away from anywhere that a camera is needed. You play the part and do interviews but don't overextend yourself or put on a mask or change your name."

    He added, "When you get home, the only thing that matters is your son is not eating his turkey sandwiches and he's not into avocado anymore, so you have to find something new that he'll eat for lunch."

    Colin Farrell joins ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

    Colin Farrell is transitioning from a true detective to a wizard. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s been cast in the new “Harry Potter” spinoff series “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

    According to the site, the “True Detective” star will play Graves, a wizard who Eddie Redmayne’s character Newt Scamander meets in New York. The film is intended to launch a new series for Warner Bros. that tells Newt’s wizarding world adventures.

    Author J.K. Rowling wrote the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” script based on her standalone “Potter” companion book of the same name. Former “Harry Potter” director David Yates will helm the project.

    “Fantastic Beasts” has brought together a strong cast beyond Redmayne and Farrell. Also starring in the film are Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol.

    This story is set 70 years before the “Harry Potter” series, and takes place in the United States. Rowling recently teased on Twitter that there would be a United States wizarding school introduced. Newt Scamander is a Hogwarts alum, and “Potter” fans know his book “Fantastic Beasts” became required reading material at the school.

    “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is scheduled for a November 18, 2016 release, with two sequels slated for 2018 and 2020 releases.

    Colin Farrell ‘freed up’ by caring less about fame

    Colin Farrell may have never reached the career heights once expected of him, but he’s learned to accept that.

    As Gawker points out, the “True Detective” star, 39, opened up about the meaning of stardom and failure on Monday night’s episode of “The Tavis Smiley Show.”

    “Well, I was about as close to an overnight success in regards to the commercial stuff that came early on … it all happened really, really fast,” the Irish actor told the host about his fast rise in Hollywood in the early ‘00s thanks to roles in movies like “Tigerland” and “Phone Booth.”

    But it soon came to a halt, after two of his more hyped films, 2004’s “Alexander” and 2006’s “Miami Vice,” were met with a collective shrug from both audiences and critics. Suddenly, as people were quick to tell the actor, the projects he was headlining “weren’t working.”

    “So I can’t believe in the lie that’s being presented to me anymore: that I’m a movie star and that everything is great,” he said. “I have this No. 1 movie, that one. Everyone is telling me now that that’s gone. So it was kind of like, ugh … all of it’s a delusion. Telling me it’s gone is a delusion. Ever believing that it was there in the first place is a delusion.”

    But in the decade since, the actor has taken on lower-profile (but critically acclaimed) roles in movies like “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths,” and stopped worrying about expectations as much as he once did.

    Yes, as Farrell makes clear, he still wants his work to find an audience, but being less concerned with fame has allowed him to be happier and do better work.

    “When I used to go, ‘I don’t care about any of it,’ I really cared then. I just didn’t know how to acknowledge it or express my caring,” he said. “I didn’t understand it. Now, I still care, but I care less, really. And it’s freed me up. That’s the irony, it’s freed me up.”

    Who's who on 'True Detective' Season 2

    The wait is over. "True Detective" Season 2 has premiered and viewers have been introduced to this season's players as well as the mystery that will continue to unfold throughout the second installment.

    Here's what is to be remembered from "True Detective's" second season premiere about the new major characters.

    Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell)

    No one wants to be on Velcoro's bad side. Even though he currently works for the Vinci police department, he put in eight years before that for the Los Angeles Sheriff's department. After his then-wife was raped, he made it his mission to find the man who did it. Velcoro is also the kind of man who stepped up the plate and raised his wife's son no questions asked even though the rapist may be the boy's actual father. Velcoro is a tough cookie who has been on Frank Semyon's private detective payroll since the incident.

    Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams)

    Even though Ventura County Detective Bezzerides is undoubtedly strong, underneath the rough exterior is a young woman with some serious daddy issues. She never got over the pain of losing her mother at a young age, and it doesn't seem like her sister did either -- unless anyone thinks webcam porn is a viable career option. Bezzerides has been married before, but since that failed she prefers to keep things really casual when it comes to the opposite sex. She doesn't really seem to have a soft spot for anyone, not even her father. However, that could change as the season goes on.

    Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch)

    Woodrugh is definitely the character to keep an eye on. The cute California Highway patrol officer who may or may not have hooked up with an actress so she could avoid getting a ticket has some major skeletons in his closet. He is clearly dealing with a lot more than recovering from his military experience because he has some un-Army related scars on his shoulder that need an explanation. Woodrugh loves the thrill of being on his motorcycle and the open road and prefers to sleep alone even though he seems to love his girlfriend. As the person who finds Casper's body, he will most certainly be at the center of everything this season.

    Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn)

    Even though viewers see a lot of Semyon in the season premiere, he is still a bit of a mystery. Casper dying is leaving him in a terrible position, as he was to help fund a multimillion dollar land development deal Semyon was heading up. Frank has Velcoro on his payroll to do his dirty work, but it is unknown exactly how high the stakes are between the two. Velcoro obviously feels in debt to Frank, but Frank seems to have some major power over him. Yet at home, his wife seems to be calling the shots.

    "True Detective" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

    'True Detective' returns, staying true to its powerful past

    "True Detective" could drive you to drink. Its second season (Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on HBO) arrives under cover of such darkness and psychic pain it seems to beg its audience to keep a bottle close by in a display of unity with its hard-drinking protagonists.

    "You tying one on?" asks Frank Semyon (series star Vince Vaughn), an enterprising but beleaguered mobster, as he sits across from tormented Detective Ray Velcoro (co-star Colin Farrell) and watches him drain glass after glass of Frank's pricey Johnny Walker Blue.

    "Not particularly," grunts Velcoro, filling his glass again.

    Of course, if you were to tie one on while watching "True Detective" you might realize you're not the sort of high-functioning alcoholic represented by Detective Velcoro, who serves the city of Vinci, a corrupt, industrially ravaged neighbor of Los Angeles. Or by Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), a hard-bitten Ventura County sheriff's detective.

    Stick to soft drinks. "True Detective" this season, even more than last, demands a viewer's full attention to absorb the twisting, multilayered puzzle taunting Ray and Ani, along with Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), a troubled war veteran and California Highway Patrol motorcycle cop, as well as Frank, whose make-or-break-him real-estate deal is thrown in jeopardy, as they all converge on a pivotal event: the eerie murder of a Vinci city official.

    That, in a nutshell, is what this season's "True Detective" encompasses: law-enforcement officers (the series title still applies) and attempts to find answers to a crime whose search is complicated by ulterior motives. (Hear Ray addressing a superior in a future episode: "One question. Am I supposed to solve this or not?")

    But what "True Detective" is this season may be no more important than how it differs from last season, which, of course, was a triumph starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as they tackled, in effect, not one but two roles apiece: former Louisiana State Police detectives being interrogated in 2012 about a homicide case that they were seen, in flashbacks, working in 1995.

    Although Vaughn and Farrell are the nominal co-leads this season, and excellent, the new saga doesn't call for last year's two-man actors' showcase in a dual time frame. These co-stars are fused into this season's larger ensemble, in the present tense.

    What truly ties the "True Detective" seasons together: the voice and vision of Nic Pizzolatto. He created the series, wrote all last year's episodes and has repeated that feat for the upcoming eight hours. And he apparently has never heard the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," having ditched the buddy-drama format that worked so well to do his thing in other, different ways this time.

    How he's done it should become increasingly evident beyond the three episodes made available for preview. But he has clearly retained last year's "weird fiction" atmospherics of the Louisiana bayou despite relocating to an urban world. In this factory-and-refinery-choked corner of L.A., the macabre is in evidence, even in the interstitial aerial shots of tangled freeways, where cars look like corpuscles coursing through blood vessels.

    As before, Pizzolatto's characters seem fated to be cruelly denied whatever they want most.

    Frank wants a child with his lovely, supportive wife, Jordan (Kelly Reilly).

    Paul, the highway patrolman, wants to be returned to duty as a motorcycle cop, but that seems unlikely after he gets into a scrape.

    Ray wants a comfortable relationship with his young son, which seems as far out of reach as this unmet dream: "I used to want to be an astronaut," he says. "But astronauts don't even go to the moon anymore."

    Yet another way "True Detective" stays true to its past: its darkness.

    Even darker than last year, this season sets out on one very black journey, both visually and tonally. A key scene in the season premiere occurs in a bar, perhaps the dimmest bar in TV history, where the entertainer — a wan young woman with a guitar — sings maybe the most melancholy song ever heard. Its refrain: "This is my least favorite life."

    Ahead, "True Detective" is absorbed with least favorite lives, which makes it just as fascinating, if not more so, than ever. But be warned: You may long for a flashlight.

    Everything You Need to Know About True Detective Season 2

    There's pretty much only one question to be answered by the second season of HBO's True Detective: Can the show that grabbed the zeitgeist by the throat a little more than a year ago do the same without the grand monologues of Matthew McConaughey?

    But the answer to that question is a little harder to come by. The anthology series' first season debuted with zero expectations. Thanks to a creepy, occult mystery set in the rarely-seen-on-TV Louisiana bayou and the aforementioned wide-eyed philosophical musings of McConaughey's Rust Cohle, the show quickly became the topic of watercooler conversation and the catnip of Internet theorists on every corner of the web. And while those crucial elements are absent in Season 2, so is the element of surprise. The result is a season that, in some ways, feels markedly different, but also a little too familiar.

    The familiarity is owed to creator Nic Pizzolatto, who once again wrote every episode of Season 2 and is the one common thread between the two seasons. Pizzolatto is still obsessed with violence and cynical, hardened cops who prefer to spend car rides with their partners in silence and their nights slouched in a booth in the back of a dive bar. That said, the first three episodes HBO made available for review remain totally watchable, if maybe slightly less addictive than a year ago.

    So, if you're ready to give Season 2 a shot (and, despite our reservations, you should), here's what you need to know:

    1. The performances are still top-notch. Season 2 stars Vince Vaughn shedding his funnyman persona as Frank Semyon, a career criminal who is just on the verge of going legitimate with a huge land deal when one of his business partners is found murdered with his eyes burned out and his genitals shot off. On the case is a trio of cops: Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), a dirty detective in the town of Vinci, a fictional L.A. suburb; Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), a Ventura County sheriff's deputy with family issues and a love of knives; and Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), a brooding Army vet-turned-highway patrolman recently embroiled in scandal.

    McAdams is probably the standout as she goes against type from her Mean Girls and The Notebook roles, but everyone sinks their teeth into their characters' bleak lives and hard-boiled dialogue. (We're less sure about Kitsch's arc, though an Episode 3 revelation could either change that opinion or confirm our fears.) And it's a particularly good look for Farrell, even when his character goes a bit too far with the noir tough-guy clichés. (Seriously, the way Velcoro deals with a kid bullying his son will not win him any Father of the Year awards.) The supporting cast is also filled with familiar faces: Kelly Reilly plays Semyon's wife Jordan, Abigail Spencer is Velcoro's ex, Ritchie Coster plays the perpetually drunk Vinci mayor and James Frain pops up as Farrell's commanding officer.

    2. It's a slow burn. Because the cast is larger -- and the show rightfully tries to develop all the characters -- it takes a while for the action to kick in. Aside from Semyon and Velcoro, who share a checkered past, none of the main characters cross paths until the closing moments of the first episode, when all of the cops are called to the scene of the crime. We appreciate a show that takes its time, but when there's only eight episodes in a season, the deliberate opening chapters might make some viewers antsy.

    3. The women have more to do this time around. Or at least McAdams does. One of the biggest criticisms of the show's first season was the way that none of the female characters were developed in equal measure to leading men Woody Harrelson and McConaughey. (To be fair, none of the supporting characters were that well-drawn, irrespective of gender.) But Pizzolatto seems to be making an effort this time around, even if McAdams' character shows the exact same destructive tendencies (booze, meaningless sex) as the male cops she works alongside. The distinction between men and women, she reasons, is that men can kill another with their bare hands. So that's why she carries all those knives!

    4. It's decidedly less weird. Sorry, in the early going, there is no mystical boogeyman like The Yellow King, and there's no philosophical talk of flat circles. (One character does have a copy of Hagaruke lying around.) But there is still plenty of existential dread, and the way in which the victim was killed (and the kinky things he left behind in his home) suggest there is still some oddness to go around. Even so, this plays like a much more straightforward potboiler, which while disappointing those viewers who like to "solve" their TV shows, might attract others put off by the first season's pretensions.

    5. There's more than one director. Just as the story gets more conventional, so does the way the show looks. Season 1 was directed entirely by Cary Fukunaga, but that immense workload is being shared this time around. The Fast and Furious franchise's Justin Lin helms the first two episodes, and while he tries to recreate Fukunaga's style, swapping in shots of L.A.'s twisty freeway system for the rolling vistas of the bayou doesn't have quite the same impact. Later episodes will be directed by Janus Metz Pedersen, Miguel Sapochnik, and Daniel Attias.

    6. Colin Farrell has a great mustache. Seriously, it belongs in the hall of fame. And it matches his bolo tie perfectly.

    True Detective airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

    Colin Farrell Admits He Was Once a (Mistaken) Attempted Murder Suspect

    Colin Farrell was once a suspect in an attempted-murder case: True or False?

    The actor confessed his terrifying ordeal Thursday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon during a game called "True Confessions." Farrell's True Detective season 2 costar, Vince Vaughn, then grilled him for answers.

    As part of the game, each actor was given two envelopes – one with a truth and one with a lie. One envelope was chosen, and the person had to read what was written inside in the form of a statement while the other players had exactly one minute to ask questions and decide if they were telling the truth.

    "Is it true?" Fallon asked.

    "Yeah, yeah," Farrell, 39, replied.

    "It had to be an uncomfortable moment," Vaughn told him.

    "Very," Farrell said. "Yeah, and I was supposed to bring my mother to the airport. I was in Sydney, Australia, and I was pulled in by the cops and they showed me a photofit of a pencil sketch of the guy that ... had attempted to murder this other gentleman, had beat him up and left him in his own apartment and set the apartment on fire and split, thereby leaving the guy to burn to death and it was 'me.' They said, 'What do you think about that picture?' And I went, 'I, I, I think I'm in trouble.' "

    At the time, Farrell was just a teen who liked to party. He had been out that night, so he had an alibi. "I was there for about six hours and then, thankfully, a friend of mine had kept a journal, and that particular night and that particular time, we were at a party on the other side of town, doing ecstasy."

    As for the others, Fallon admitted that when he was younger, he'd get his head stuck in a fence and his grandma had to use mayonnaise to squeeze him out.

    Vaughn revealed that he played the king in The King and I early in his career. He was made to prove it by singing part of "Getting to Know You," which he did.

    You can watch Farrell and Vaughn on True Detective season 2 when it premieres on HBO this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

    'True Detective' returns, staying true to its powerful past

    "True Detective" could drive you to drink. Its second season (Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on HBO) arrives under cover of such darkness and psychic pain it seems to beg its audience to keep a bottle close by in a display of unity with its hard-drinking protagonists.

    "You tying one on?" asks Frank Semyon (series star Vince Vaughn), an enterprising but beleaguered mobster, as he sits across from tormented Detective Ray Velcoro (co-star Colin Farrell) and watches him drain glass after glass of Frank's pricey Johnny Walker Blue.

    "Not particularly," grunts Velcoro, filling his glass again.

    Of course, if you were to tie one on while watching "True Detective" you might realize you're not the sort of high-functioning alcoholic represented by Detective Velcoro, who serves the city of Vinci, a corrupt, industrially ravaged neighbor of Los Angeles. Or by Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), a hard-bitten Ventura County sheriff's detective.

    Stick to soft drinks. "True Detective" this season, even more than last, demands a viewer's full attention to absorb the twisting, multilayered puzzle taunting Ray and Ani, along with Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), a troubled war veteran and California Highway Patrol motorcycle cop, as well as Frank, whose make-or-break-him real-estate deal is thrown in jeopardy, as they all converge on a pivotal event: the eerie murder of a Vinci city official.

    That, in a nutshell, is what this season's "True Detective" encompasses: law-enforcement officers (the series title still applies) and attempts to find answers to a crime whose search is complicated by ulterior motives. (Hear Ray addressing a superior in a future episode: "One question. Am I supposed to solve this or not?")

    But what "True Detective" is this season may be no more important than how it differs from last season, which, of course, was a triumph starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as they tackled, in effect, not one but two roles apiece: former Louisiana State Police detectives being interrogated in 2012 about a homicide case that they were seen, in flashbacks, working in 1995.

    Although Vaughn and Farrell are the nominal co-leads this season, and excellent, the new saga doesn't call for last year's two-man actors' showcase in a dual time frame. These co-stars are fused into this season's larger ensemble, in the present tense.

    What truly ties the "True Detective" seasons together: the voice and vision of Nic Pizzolatto. He created the series, wrote all last year's episodes and has repeated that feat for the upcoming eight hours. And he apparently has never heard the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," having ditched the buddy-drama format that worked so well to do his thing in other, different ways this time.

    How he's done it should become increasingly evident beyond the three episodes made available for preview. But he has clearly retained last year's "weird fiction" atmospherics of the Louisiana bayou despite relocating to an urban world. In this factory-and-refinery-choked corner of L.A., the macabre is in evidence, even in the interstitial aerial shots of tangled freeways, where cars look like corpuscles coursing through blood vessels.

    As before, Pizzolatto's characters seem fated to be cruelly denied whatever they want most.

    Frank wants a child with his lovely, supportive wife, Jordan (Kelly Reilly).

    Paul, the highway patrolman, wants to be returned to duty as a motorcycle cop, but that seems unlikely after he gets into a scrape.

    Ray wants a comfortable relationship with his young son, which seems as far out of reach as this unmet dream: "I used to want to be an astronaut," he says. "But astronauts don't even go to the moon anymore."

    Yet another way "True Detective" stays true to its past: its darkness.

    Even darker than last year, this season sets out on one very black journey, both visually and tonally. A key scene in the season premiere occurs in a bar, perhaps the dimmest bar in TV history, where the entertainer — a wan young woman with a guitar — sings maybe the most melancholy song ever heard. Its refrain: "This is my least favorite life."

    Ahead, "True Detective" is absorbed with least favorite lives, which makes it just as fascinating, if not more so, than ever. But be warned: You may long for a flashlight.

    Colin Farrell Mocks Catholic Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage

    Colin Farrell says the Catholic Church had it all wrong when same-sex marriage recently became legal in Ireland.

    "It was really funny because one of the arguments when the vote went through was that the church came out and said, 'You know, this was a dark day for Ireland,' and all you could see was literally rainbows everywhere, posters of rainbows, T-shirts of rainbows, men and women hugging, men and men hugging, women and women hugging, and yet cut to, 'This is a dark day in the history of [Ireland],'" the True Detective star told E! News exclusively at the Maui Film Festival, where he was honored with this year's Navigator Award. "A dark day in the history of a country is internal civil conflict and war and bloodshed...It was a great day."

    Farrell star has been an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights, especially so after his gay brother Eamon had to leave the country to legally marry his husband Steven.

    "He campaigned very and he himself out there," Farrell said of his sibling's gay rights activism. "I mean, I was a bit concerned about him, he put himself on the line greatly for a cause that he believes in and a message that he wanted to see brought to the point of being a constitutional change and I'm sure he will be married [in Ireland] within the next year. He got married in Vancouver seven or eights years ago to his husband, but I think it's time he'll enjoy a home grown celebration."

    Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote on May 22 when a majority of more than three millions voters said yes to marriage equality.

    "Today Ireland has opened up her heart in a way that the whole world will feel," Farrell told E! News shortly after the vote results were announced. "How we have changed our fortune in 24 hours, how we have lit the way, how we have guaranteed a brighter and more loving future for all who call this beautiful land home. Bravo citizens of Ireland."

    Here Are Two New True Detective Teasers to Salivate Over

    As if we weren't already excited for the return ofTrue Detective, HBO released two new teasers for the anticipated second season.

    Colin Farrell's mustache aside, both the previews look great. There's a lot of moody music, fire, dark lighting, breaking of things, tormented faces, etc. Basically everything we've come to expect from the anthology series.

    Check out both teasers: Vid1, Vid2.

    True Detective returns Sunday, June 21 at 9/8c on HBO.

    Hollywood stars celebrate U2

    U2 was celebrated by Hollywood stars from Sean Penn to Jack Nicholson and Colin Farrell after they played a show for just 500 people at the Roxy.

    Kate Hudson and new boyfriend Derek Hough were also seen making out at the bash on Thursday night.

    U2 played the gig as a makeup show for one they had to cancel last year after Bono’s bike accident. The band played the tiny gig in the midst of performing for five nights in LA at the 17,500-capacity Forum.

    After the show, in which U2 played many rare, early tracks, usually subdued Penn was spotted at On the Rox — the intimate club above the Roxy — grabbing Bono and “jumping in excitement” with the singer.

    DJ Lyfgrds, aka Jamieson Hill, and Charan Andreas spun tunes all night at the starry bash, where “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul was “deep in conversation” with The Edge.

    Hudson was at the bar, where spies said she was kissing Hough. “They were looking cozy, and multiple kisses were exchanged,” said a source.

    Also at the U2 celebration: Danny DeVito and Sean Lennon.

    Colin Farrell Praises Ireland Voters for Legalizing Gay Marriage

    Colin Farrell is one very proud Irishman today.

    The actor is praising Ireland for becoming the world's first country to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote.

    "Today Ireland has opened up her heart in a way that the whole world will feel," Farrell tells me exclusively. "How we have changed our fortune in 24 hours, how we have lit the way, how we have guaranteed a brighter and more loving future for all who call this beautiful land home. Bravo citizens of Ireland."

    While the official results haven't been announced yet, most major news outlets are reporting that a majority of Ireland's more than three million voters said yes to marriage equality.

    In November, Farrell wrote a letter in the Sunday World calling for Ireland voters to support gay rights.

    The fight has been a personal one for the True Detective star because his brother is gay.

    "My brother Eamon didn't choose to be gay," Farrell wrote. "But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative. Even when others were casting him out with fists and ridicule and the laughter of pure loathsome derision, he maintained an integrity and dignity that flew in the face of the cruelty that befell him."

    He revealed that Eamon had to go to Canada to legally marry his husband. "How often do we get to make history in our lives?" Farrell asked readers. "Not just personal history. Familial. Social. Communal. Global. The world will be watching. We will lead by example. Let's lead toward light."

    Farrell also took his support to television, appearing on RTÉ's Claire Byrne Live in January to make the case for gay marriage.

    He said, "I support this vote with every fiber of my being."

    NO FIX-UPS FOR COLIN

    In his new sci-fi movie "The Lobster," Colin Farrell plays a single man desperate to get into a committed relationship or risk being transformed into an animal. In real life, though, he's unattached — and in no rush to change his status.

    "In my life I've had relationships with women that weren't in the public eye that have been pulled into the public eye as a result of the nonsense of celebrity and being close to me, and I hate that and I hated that for them," he said in an interview last week. "And so that would be just another thing that would lead into my reticence to being in a relationship."

    Farrell is in Cannes to promote "The Lobster," which is competing for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

    The film is about single people who are forced to stay in a hotel until they find a mate. They have 45 days to find a partner or face being transformed into an animal and be released into the woods.

    The 38-year-old actor said being in a relationship isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    "I have one friend who just broke up and he's been in a relationship for six years, and before that he was married for 15 years, and he just broke up and our other shared friends who are in relationships are doggedly pursuing him — 'I have this person you have to meet,'" he said. "But I'm just like, 'Just let him (rest.)' And part of me goes, 'Is that misery loves company?'

    Colin Farrell Deconstructs Absurdist Comedy 'The Lobster'

    Colin Farrell Deconstructs Absurdist Comedy 'The Lobster': Video.

    The shellfish giant: 'The Lobster' makes a big Cannes splash

    Yorgos Lanthimos has people in Cannes imagining themselves as animals.

    The Greek director has set the Croisette abuzz with his film "The Lobster," which puts Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in a couples-dominated world where single people are given 45 days to find a mate, or be turned into the animal of their choice. Farrell's sad-sack central character chooses a lobster, in part because the crustaceans mate for life.

    Lanthimos' sharp satirical surrealism has sparked anthropomorphic musing up and down the Croisette. A dog? A cat? What beast is best?

    "I'd be a bird," Lanthimos said in response to the inevitable question. "I dream a lot about flying."

    Lanthimos can plan to do a lot more flying as a rising star on the international cinema circuit.

    "The Lobster" has been gobbled up by Cannes critics and audiences. Farrell — unrecognizable behind glasses, moustache and unflattering paunch — is considered a contender for the festival's best-actor prize when awards are announced May 24.

    The film's absurd, disturbing world and deadpan tone will be no surprise to fans of Lanthimos, who made the Oscar-nominated reality-show dystopia "Dogtooth."

    "The Lobster" is set in a strange but fully realized world, just far enough away from reality to make viewers question the social rules we accept as normal.

    Lanthimos thinks reality is an overrated quality in movies.

    "I don't find that interesting to do as a film, just to represent real life," he told The Associated Press.

    "There is no realism in film anyway. Even if it is pretend realism, it is still pretend."

    "The Lobster" is the first film Lanthimos has made outside Greece, and his first in English. It was shot in Ireland with an international cast that includes Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux and John C. Reilly.

    Farrell told reporters at a press conference that the screenplay "was by far the most unique and particular script that I had ever read. I didn't understand it either, and I'm not sure that I still do."

    The script may be elusive, but Lanthimos said all the cast members instinctively understood where he was coming from.

    "They all got it immediately," he said. "They held it together, and it helped a lot. Because even if I'd had the slightest problem with the cast and at the same time I had to cope with making a film in a different country (where) it's a very different experience and a different way of making films — I'm not sure if I would have gotten through it if I didn't have such absolute support from them."

    "The Lobster" is the most expensive film Lanthimos has made, and should guarantee his next budget is bigger still. For the director, now based in Britain, that prospect is both frustrating and exciting.

    "The films that I made in Greece were extremely small films made with five friends," he said. "It's a very different way of working when you enter a film-industry environment and there are very strict rules. People don't feel comfortable breaking those rules and people are not maybe equally passionate as your friends."

    On the positive side, "you have a proper structure and people are very professional and they know what they're doing."

    "You have a little bit more financing, you're certain you're going to be able to finish the film," he said. In Greece — still coping with severe financial crisis — "you don't even know if you're going to be able to take your film to a festival, because you barely have enough money to produce the film."

    Cannes 2015: Colin Farrell

    (Pic) Hear that? It’s the sound of a million hearts racing over that smize. It’s no wonder Dolce & Gabbana cast Farrell as the face of its cologne, aptly named Intenso. Here he is, looking dapper in a three-piece light gray suit by the designer, with a crisp (unbuttoned!) white shirt and dark pocket square at a photocall for The Lobster.

    'True Detective' Season 2 trailer lets characters speak for themselves

    Video) A second teaser for "True Detective" Season 2 has arrived, and unlike the dialogue-free first trailer, this one lets the characters speak.

    And when they do, the lines they utter serve as quick character sketches from each one. Let's break down what each of those lines says about the person speaking.

    Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn)

    What he says: "Sometimes your worst self ... is your best self."

    What it says about him: "I may be a businessman, but I'm not so removed from my criminal past that I'm above moral relativism. Want proof? Watch me set fire to a room at the 45-second mark."

    Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell)

    What he says: "My strong suspicion is we get the world we deserve."

    What it says about him: "I will be the world-weary philosopher-cop this season, as evidenced by my examination of my scarred knuckles and the fact that my line is on the posters."

    Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch)

    What he says: "This isn't me doin' this. This isn't me."

    What it says about him: "I am a good man, even if I occasionally have to convince myself of that."

    Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams)

    What she says: "This girl's gone missing -- no one cares. The interior's poisoned and suddenly worth billions -- nobody cares?"

    What it says about her: "I will likely be the moral center of this show, but cross me and I will cut you."

    "True Detective" premieres Sunday, June 21 on HBO.

    'True Detective': 5 answers about Season 2 from creator Nic Pizzolatto

    (Poster1, Poster2) HBO has released the key art for "True Detective" Season 2 and with it a Q&A session with creator Nic Pizzolatto. Here are five tidbits he teases ahead of the premiere on Sunday, June 21.

    1. A connection between the seasons?: "There's no relationship between the stories or characters, which was the result of fully committing to something new," says Pizzolatto, "but I do think that the seasons have a deep, close bond in sensibility and vision, a similar soul, though this is a more complex world and field of characters."

    2. The second season has a more grounded story than originally intended: "There's definitely bad men and hard women, but no secret occult history of the U.S. transportation system," Pizzolatto explains, referencing an earlier comment about the occult playing a role in the second season. "That was a comment from very early in the process, and something I ended up discarding in favor of closer character work and a more grounded crime story."

    3. The feel of Season 2 is quite different than Season 1, due in large part to the setting: "The gothic horror suggested by Louisiana's coastal landscape didn't feel appropriate in [Los Angeles]. These new landscapes have their own unique voice and their own unsettling qualities ... there's a disconcerting psychology to this world, and its characters have other kinds of uncanny reality with which to contend."

    4. Season 2 is more linear in structure: "We were conscious of not wanting to repeat ourselves or remake the same album in a different setting ... as the characters multiplied and their individual and group complications grew, a more integrated and linear structure worked best. And there was the conviction that if we were to do something entirely new, then we shouldn't lean on past conceits, but really build from scratch."

    5. About the haunting song in the trailer ...: "That's one of several original songs developed with T-Bone Burnett, as original music plays a much greater role this season. The reasons for that are probably best explained by seeing the show, but these songs will be revealed in full at a later date."

    Colin Farrell Reveals the "Honest Truth" About His Relationships: "I Have Not Dated for Four Years Now"

    Colin Farrell may be single, but he's not exactly ready to mingle.

    In a new interview with The Sunday Times, the 38-year-old actor is opening up about his life as a father. And along the way, he's setting the record straight about his dating life.

    "I have not dated for, ooh, four years now. It's just not happening, what with the work, the kids and my life," he told the U.K. publication. "I know it's not what people expect to hear, but that's the honest truth."

    So what's really holding him back? These days, the Golden Globe winner would rather spend quality time with his two sons who he loves with all of his heart.

    "It's not all about you anymore, which is a relief," Farrell explained. "It's about a bigger world, and helping them find their place in it."

    He continued, "It's not about ‘me, me, me, the loudmouth' any more—and that takes the pressure off me to live up to those old expectations." Farrell is the proud dad to son James, 11, and Henry, 5.

    His latest interview is just another sign that the actor is nowhere close to those "wild years" in Hollywood that featured plenty of rumored romances in the tabloids and late nights out on the town.

    Today, Farrell is excited to star alongside Vince Vaughn in True Detective season two where he will play a "compromised detective" in the industrial City of Vinci in Los Angeles County.

    While the role is quite the big deal in the world of Hollywood, Farrell knows that it's his kids at home that mean the most.

    "I have two boys that I'm so happy with and I adore," he told E! News. It certainly shows!

    'True Detective' Season 2: Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams brood and brawl in first trailer

    'True Detective' Season 2: Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams brood and brawl in first trailer: Video.

    What Does Colin Farrell Smell Like? (And 5 More Things You Were Dying to Know About the Actor)

    The name “Intenso” makes him giggle too: “They’ll have me in a spandex suit with an ‘I’ on my chest,” the actor joked, adding, “It’s musky, it’s not too dense. Honest to God, when I smelled it, I was terribly relieved that I wasn’t appalled.”

    He started wearing cologne at age 8: “I think it was ‘4711,’ probably followed swiftly by Old Spice. Valentine’s Day was a great day for giving $3 perfumes and receiving the same.”

    But now he wears women’s perfume: “I had a friend, Elizabeth Taylor, who used to wear a scent … if I smell ‘Violet Eyes,’ it takes me right back to her and her company. It’s actually the only other perfume I’ve worn outside of ‘Intenso’ in the last a decade.” [Editor’s Note: Colin and Elizabeth had a “pretty extraordinary” friendship.]

    His favorite scent is fresh-cut grass: “It reminds me of summer holidays. It reminds me of playing soccer with boys on random fields in Dublin. And it reminds me of the sound of lawnmowers in the in the neighborhood. Yeah, it’s a very potent one.”

    He had no clue people obsessed over his man bun: “I will throw my hair up in a little scrunchie every now and then just to keep it out of my face. I don’t spend much time daily on personal grooming. I wasn’t aware that it’s such a movement toward the man bun. I’m practical in setting trends.”

    He’s beyond excited for True Detective season 2: “I just have such a love for the script and Nick Pizzolatto’s writing. He’s just an extraordinary writer and creates not only incredible characters, but incredible and very specific worlds. Like regarding the sensibility of a world that the characters inhabit themselves. I’m loving it. We’re halfway through, and it’s all going well so far.”

    Colin Farrell: Ewan McGregor Isn't ''Proud'' Enough of His ''Hung'' Penis!

    It's no secret that Ewan McGregor isn't afraid to bare all on the big screen. In fact, his penis has appeared in films such as Young Adam, Trainspotting, The Pillow Book and I Love You Philip Morris, to name a few.

    And if you've seen one of the aforementioned full-frontal scenes, then you're well aware that the 43-year-old is well-endowed—a fact which Colin Farrell had no trouble pointing out in a recent interview with Nylon magazine.

    "I don't think Ewan is as proud of his penis as most men who are as well hung would—or should—or could be," he joked of his Cassandra's Dream co-star. "I think that's the greatest demonstration of his innate humility, that he doesn't wear it like a badge of honor."

    Nudity aside, McGregor opened up to the publication about his illustrious career, admitting he was terrified to perform dangerous stunts in his recent film Son of a Gun, in which he was required to hang out of a helicopter.

    "We had to wait for ages in the helicopter port," he tells the March issue of the mag. "Suddenly they rushed us out, ‘We're on! We're on! We're on!' I go to roll the door and the door's not there. They go, 'Yeah, the door's not going to be there. OK, go!' Two minutes later, we're 10,000 feet in the air. I've got a f--king machine gun on my legs and some lap strap. I s--t myself. When a helicopter banks, it really banks."

    Despite his impressive career undertakings, the actor, who has been married to wife Eve Mavrakis since 1995, points to his family life—the couple has four daughters—as his most impressive achievement.

    "I've been a dad for 18 years. Your work reflects your life, and the biggest element of my life is that I'm a dad," he said, giving a nod to his film The Impossible. "That's the most important thing of all. And yet it's been relatively unexplored."

    And while McGregor rarely opens up about his family, he did admit he is a bit of a strict dad. "Clara, my eldest, started talking about tattoos. I said, 'Dude, I got my tattoo when I was 30 years old. You're 17? 18? I can assure you that what you think you want on your arm now isn't what you're going to want on your arm when you're my age. Don't do it.'"

    As for whether his daughters ride motorcycles with their dad?

    "No, my wife would absolutely kill me," he confessed.

    In addition to dishing on daddy duty, the thesp also reminisced about his wild younger years with pals Jonny Lee Miller,Angelina Jolie and Jude Law. "Jonny and Angelina were shooting Hackers, Jude had done Shopping. I'd done Shallow Grave. We were all kicking off. It was happening. We were having a right laugh. It's the '90s in London. It was quite fun…," he revealed, staying mum on specifics before adding, "That's all you're getting."

    It was also during this time that McGregor realized he had to get a grip on his ego. "We were so very full of ourselves," he said, referencing the premiere of Trainspotting in Cannes in 1996. "I was arriving at the red carpet after the screening, and I was just feeling like, ‘Has there ever been a bigger movie star?' And I walked up to the hundreds of thousands of photographers, and I took my arrogant stance. And then every single lens in the whole f--king area went whoosh. I turned around and Mick Jagger was getting out of a car. And I realized I had to get over myself."

    Colin Farrell Fights for Gay Marriage in Ireland: 'This Is Personal to Me'

    Colin Farrell is asking his country to support gay rights for one very personal reason: his brother.

    In a letter published in Ireland's Sunday World, the actor recalls how his older brother was bullied as a child for being different – and calls the government out for making it impossible for him to marry in his homeland.

    "My brother Eamon didn't choose to be gay. Yes, he chose to wear eyeliner to school and that probably wasn't the most pragmatic response to the daily torture he experienced at the hands of school bullies," he writes. "But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative."

    The True Detective star explains that Eamon and his now-husband, Steven, wed in Canada due to Ireland's laws.

    "That's why this is personal to me," writes Farrell, 38. "The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE."

    Ireland has seen a huge push to legally recognize same-sex marriage, a move that will be decided by vote in the spring.

    According to an Irish Times poll, 67 percent of the nation's voters are in favor of the referendum.

    Colin Farrell Is the New Face of Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance

    (Pic) Irish hottie Colin Farrell (okay, we suppose he’s an actor too) has just landed a sweet-smelling new gig as the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s latest fragrance, “Intenso.” And judging by the first-look shot from the ad campaign, the direction on set was also “Look INTENSO!” Farrell smolders while gazing over a cliffside sunrise wearing a beaten-up Henley tee and just a hint of stubble.

    Former famous faces of Dolce & Gabbana beauty include Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson, so Farrell is in good company as far as exceedingly good-looking and A-listy spokespeople go. “We are incredibly happy to be working with such a great talent,” say Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in a statement. “When we created this fragrance we immediately thought of Colin. He is the perfect embodiment of male strength and sensuality.”

    They didn’t give us much more to work with than that, so let’s all just take a minute to stare at this handsome photo.

    'True Detective' Season 2: Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn confirmed to star

    After months and months of speculation, Season 2 of "True Detective" has finally nailed down two of its stars.

    Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn, whose names have been part of the rumor mill for some time, are confirmed for lead roles in the show, which is scheduled to start filming later in the fall in California. Justin Lin ("Fast & Furious 6") has also signed on to direct the first two episodes, and creator Nic Pizzolatto is again writing all eight.

    Season 2 will revolve around "three police officers and a career criminal [who] must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder," HBO says. Farrell will play one of the cops, Ray Velcoro, a "compromised" detective caught between his superiors in a corrupt department and "the mobster who owns him."

    Vaughn will play Frank Semyon, a career criminal trying to move into the legitimate world. His plans go sideways, though, when a business partner is killed.

    HBO says it will announce additional casting as it's confirmed; "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss and Taylor Kitsch are among those often mentioned as contenders for the other two detective roles.

    Colin Farrell confirms 'True Detective' Season 2 role

    News broke Sunday (Sept. 21) that Colin Farrell has officially joined "True Detective's" upcoming second season. Rumors have been swirling for months, but Farrell confirmed his casting to the Ireland's Sunday World.

    "I'm doing the second series. I'm so excited," says Farrell. "I know it will be eight episodes and take around four or five months to shoot. I know very little about it, but we're shooting in the environs of Los Angeles which is great. It means I get to stay at home and see the kids."

    Other casting rumors have included Taylor Kitsch, Vince Vaughn and Elisabeth Moss, and also Rachel McAdams, Rosario Dawson, Oona Chaplin, Brit Marling, Kelly Reilly, Jessica Biel, Malin Akerman and Jaimie Alexande. Needless to say, the female lead appears to be rather up in the air as of now.

    "True Detective" Season 2 is slated for an early 2015 premiere.

    Sightings

    Colin Farrell taking his son James for a burger at Umami Valli in Studio City, Calif.

    'True Detective' Season 2: Who Elisabeth Moss, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch might play

    Amid the swirl of reports and rumors about well-known actors attached to Season 2 of "True Detective," some more information has come out about what those famous people might be doing on screen.

    Creator Nic Pizzolatto has previously said a second season will be partly about "the secret occult history of the U.S. transportation system." Based on a casting breakdown The Wrap got its hands on, the new season involves both the occult and transportation, and they may indeed be connected.

    The show would center on three cops investigating the murder of Ben Caspar, a corrupt city manager in California whose body is found with satanic symbols carved into it. The season's primary antagonist -- the role Vince Vaughn is reportedly in talks to play -- is a well-connected businessman who's pushing for a high-speed rail line that would link Northern and Southern California, and make him a hefty profit.

    Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss would play the three detectives investigating the crime, all of whom have rather bleak back stories. The Wrap also reports Michelle Forbes ("The Killing") is up for one of two key roles -- the wife of Vaughn's character or the ex of Farrell's.

    Whether Season 2 will follow the same time-spanning format as Season 1 is unclear. As with all things "True Detective," HBO has declined comment.

    Colin Farrell In Talks For HBO's 'True Detective 2'

    Since the staggering success of HBO’s limited series True Detective with Emmy nominees Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, speculation has been rampant about who might take part in the show’s second season. I can tell you that Colin Farrell is deep in negotiations to play one of what is expected to be three main roles in Season 2. HBO has been mum about cast so far, as rumors have swirled that Jessica Chastain and some others will be one of the other leads. HBO would not confirm any of the potential castings, but I am confident that Farrell will be in the cast.

    Like McConaughey and Harrelson, he seems the ideal movie star to take a leap and immerse himself in writer Nic Pizzolatto’s follow-up to a game-changing first season. Pizzolatto has set a high bar for himself, but the idea of taking movie stars and allowing them to play in this sandbox with such rich character development that isn’t possible with two-hour time constraints, and then go back to their movie careers, is something that will continue to draw big names if the payweb can keep the storytelling bar high.

    CAA reps Farrell, the Irish actor who first caught notice with his turn in the British series Ballykissangel before becoming a Hollywood fixture. Farrell most recently starred in Seven Psychopaths, Saving Mr. Banks and Winter’s Tale.

    Colin Farrell on His "Wild Years" in Hollywood: "I Know People Were Rooting for Me"

    Colin Farrell has made no secret of his hard-partying past, and he's forever grateful his days of drugs and alcohol use did not have a lasting effect on his Hollywood career.

    "Without any self-aggrandizing, the myth had shown itself to be fallacy," the 37-year-old stud tells the Irish Times in a new interview in which he opens up about the consequences following what Farrell calls his lost years.

    "That chapter was pretty much a seven-year block—from going over to America in 2000 to the Miami Vice movie in 2006—and it came crashing down like a house of cards," he says. "It doesn't make a noise but you can see the structure is gone."

    After a string of bad behavior which earned him a less-than-favorable reputation in Tinseltown, the Irish stud decided to clean up his act, entering rehab once he wrapped Miami Vice.

    At the time, he admits he was unaware of his poor standing—"I was never screaming at people or trashing rooms," he says—and is forever grateful for his chance to redeem himself.

    "I'm glad to say I have a bit of goodwill in Hollywood; it might seem a contradiction but it actually exists," he admits. "It's the same in Ireland and other parts of the world: blood beats throughout hearts and people experience stuff like hope and faith and gestures of kindness."

    "I know that people rooted for me during those wild years, and that was lovely to discover after the fact," he added.

    The father of two then rediscovered his passion for acting, which he says "got diluted or a little bit toxic due to the amount of success and fame that came my way," and has since found immense success in Hollywood.

    "After Miami Vice some big films went away from me," he says. "But that was kind of okay because I had other work lined up that provided an opportunity for me to go back to the more simplistic elements of what I was trying to do which were the elements I fell in love with."

    Colin Farrell Is Thankful He Still Had Friends After His 'Wild Years'

    For some reason, in spite of everything, they still liked him.

    Colin Farrell went through a wild period in Hollywood from about 2000 until 2006 – he calls them his lost years – and earned a fairly bad reputation along the way. But luckily, the Irish actor wasn't ostracized entirely, and managed to claw his way back to a respectable career.

    "Without any self-aggrandizing, the myth had shown itself to be fallacy," Farrell, 37, tells the Irish Post of the consequences of his wild-child behavior during that time.

    "That said, I'm glad to say I have a bit of goodwill in Hollywood; it might seem a contradiction, but it actually exists. It's the same in Ireland and other parts of the world: Blood beats throughout hearts, and people experience stuff like hope and faith and gestures of kindness."

    "I know that people rooted for me during those wild years, and that was lovely to discover after the fact."

    His rise and fall, though, were brutal.

    Farrell admits his passion and curiosity for acting "got diluted or a little bit toxic due to the amount of success and fame that came my way." And then his career "came crashing down like a house of cards. It doesn't make a noise, but you can see the structure is gone. Initially, I was fearful – you know, 'Jesus, what's going to happen? The phone isn't ringing.' All of that."

    Eight years later, the father of two – James, 10, with model Kim Bordenave, and Henry, 4, with actress Alicja Bachleda-Curus – has returned to his roots in smaller films. And he couldn't be happier.

    "After Miami Vice, some big films went away from me," he says. "But that was kind of okay because I had other work lined up that provided an opportunity for me to go back to the more simplistic elements of what I was trying to do, which were the elements I fell in love with."

    Colin Farrell Remembers 'Pretty Extraordinary' Friendship with Elizabeth Taylor

    Colin Farrell became close friends with Elizabeth Taylor toward the end of her life, but the usually suave actor says he was a nervous wreck the first time he met her.

    "I had less anxiety waiting for the results of a home pregnancy test," Farrell, 37, cracked to reporters Thursday in Los Angeles about waiting for the late star to greet him at her home. "And that's the truth, that's not just a cheap joke. That's the truth."

    The Winter's Tale leading man spoke at the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Art Auction & Benefit at the Los Angeles Center of Photography, taking the audience behind the scenes of his special relationship with the screen legend.

    He wistfully recounted meeting Taylor's manager in 2009 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where his son was born and where she was having a stent placed into her heart. Farrell asked her manager to give Taylor his regards. Days later, he received orchids and a handwritten note from the screen legend.

    But when Farrell went to meet Taylor, she was fashionably tardy – something she was famous for.

    "[Her manager] was there, he opened the door, he said, 'Come on in. She should be down in a minute.' And seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned back to seconds," Farrell told the crowd. "I was very, very nervous, and I waited for an hour, but Dame Elizabeth … only she could be socially late at her own house. An hour passed and she came out, and we sat and we spoke and I laughed and I had the most bewitching hour of my life, and I left on a cloud."

    As Farrell recounted to Ellen DeGeneres in December, that meeting led to nearly two years of late-night phone calls between the stars before Taylor died in 2011. She was 79.

    "I was allowed in whatever way she would let me, as a friend," Farrell said Thursday. "And it was a pretty extraordinary reality."

    How Colin Farrell and Retta Are Spending Valentine's Day

    Colin Farrell and Retta have some very special Valentine's Day plans.

    No, the movie star and Parks and Recreation funnylady aren't headed out on a romantic date (though we'd kind of love that), but they are working together to bring attention to a cause that affects them both: Angelman syndrome.

    In honor of International Angelman's Day on Feb. 15, celebrities with personal connections to the disease – Farrell's son and Retta's godson both have it – are participating in a video campaign to raise awareness. Angelman syndrome, which affects one in 15,000 births, is an incurable genetic disorder that impairs children's cognitive and developmental growth, often causing seizures, balance disorders and a lack of speech.

    When her godson Brooklyn, now 7, was diagnosed with Angelman's, Retta had never even heard of it. In fact, most children born with the disorder are generally mis-diagnosed as having more common disorders like autism. Brooklyn's parents (dad is L.A. manager Sam Maydew) struggled to find the proper diagnosis, eventually getting the answers they needed from specialists in Chicago.

    Since then, Brooklyn's parents have worked to provide their son with the proper therapy and medication, and Retta has joined the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST), using her star power to spread awareness – and using her hilarious social media feeds, too.

    "Anybody, especially if you're just diagnosed, you feel helpless," she tells PEOPLE. "And if somebody goes to the website, realizes there's a Facebook page, you can tell someone, 'Hey, I know you're struggling, there are people who are struggling, too, and they can help you.'"

    (Retta Video)

    Luckily, there is some hope. "It's very different now when you're diagnosed with Angelman's – especially if your kids are young – than it was just 10 years ago," Retta says. "Now, there are children who can at least communicate … that can say specific words, and they can point out different things to let you know what they want or what they don't want. My godson plays with the iPad, he knows how to turn on the DVD player and that sort of thing."

    Speaking to PEOPLE in October, Farrell expressed similar hope for – and pride in – his son's progress.

    "I remember the days when he couldn't watch 10 minutes of a film because he couldn't sit still," the Winter's Tale actor said of James, 10. "But now he can."

    Watch Retta's video (featuring her adorable godson) above and Farrell's clip below, and to hear from Wilmer Valderrama, Josh Peck and more stars spreading the word, click here. For more information about FAST and Angelman Syndrome, log on to cureangelman.org. (Colin Video)

    Colin Farrell: Having Sex After Getting Sober "Was One of the Most Terrifying Moments of My Life"

    Colin Farrell has a reputation as a ladies man, but he's not always as confident as he sometimes seems.

    The Irish actor, 37, has been sober eight years—and it's been quite an adjustment. "I made love to a woman about two and half years after I got clean, and it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life," he says in the March issue of Elle. "It was in the afternoon. The windows and the curtains were open. It was lovely, and to be crass, it wasn't f--king. She was very gentle. But it was terrifying. Because I was just used to drunkenness and dark rooms and clubs and toilets and wherever."

    He wasn't just concerned about how to make love, however. "I worried I wouldn't be able to talk, full stop," the movie star says. "I hadn't uttered a word sober in about 15 years."

    The single star—who jokes that he's "trying to weed out the gold-diggers"—was famously offered $5 million for his sex tape with Playboy's January 2002 Playmate of the Month, Nicole Narain. He sued her, which prevented the sale, distribution and display of the tape. Still, it was made available online, and the lawsuit was later settled. "It certainly wasn't a validation of my prowess," Farrell says now.

    The whole thing was horrifying," the Winter's Tale star says of the 2005 incident. "You know, Press Record. Taboo. Isn't this interesting. You should have taken the tape with you. I was deposed for four hours explaining why I didn't want it to be released. God forbid it's an on-demand movie in a hotel room and my mother says, 'Oh, I haven't seen this work of my son's,' and hits Purchase."

    Farrell says he "very much" believes in monogamy—he just hasn't met the right woman in quite a long time. "I've had arguments with friends about this. For me, I don't know if it's possible. I'm not saying it's not possible. I have been monogamous in relationships. But I'm not in a relationship now. So they haven't worked. So it wouldn't stand up in court," he tells Elle. "We've all seen people who are 70, 80, 90, who have held each other's hands throughout their lives. But is there a part of man that does want to sow his seed? Absolutely. Does that mean it has to be followed through on? Or does it allow us to ask why and dig a little deeper? I don't know. But I certainly do believe in monogamy. "

    "I don't believe that it's for everyone. I don't believe that marriage is for everyone. So much of life is begging to be chosen how it wants to be lived. Much more than most of us realize."

    Colin Farrell: My Son 'Is an Absolute Stud'

    Like father, like son?

    “[James] is an absolute stud,” Colin Farrell told PEOPLE of his son while attending the Winter’s Tale premiere in New York City on Tuesday.

    James — who is the actor’s son with model Kim Bordenave — lives with Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is known to impair speech, movement and balance.

    The proud father says James, 10, is always reaching new milestones. “Every day, just breaking down boundaries,” Farrell, 37, shares. “He’s an amazing boy.”

    Farrell has said fatherhood was one of the main reasons he checked into rehab for drug and alcohol abuse in 2005, and James has offered his actor dad a lot of inspiration.

    “Everything he’s achieved in his life has come through the presence and the kind of will that is hard work. He’s a lot to be inspired by,” Farrell told PEOPLE in October. “Things like walking and talking and eating and feeding himself, all those things that so many of us naturally take for granted because they come so easily, to James, they come somewhat harder … I remember the days when he couldn’t watch 10 minutes of a film because he couldn’t sit still, but now he can.”

    So have James and his brother Henry, 4 — Farrell’s son with Alicja Bachleda — seen any of their dad’s movies?

    “Epic — [but] they didn’t know it was me, so that was kind of a bummer,” says Farrell, who lent his voice to the 2013 animated film. “They seemed to think it was alright. I don’t think it went to the top of their favorite list of cartoons, which is a bit disappointing.”

    Colin Farrell spins a great 'Tale'

    (Video) There are surly actors. Difficult actors. Withdrawn actors. And just plain weird ones.

    And then there's Colin Farrell, who by way of greeting wraps you in a bear hug and says, "Hi, love! How's your little boy?"

    When told that the boy in question just threw two pairs of shoes at his mom's head, Farrell bursts into laughter. "He sounds just like me! Were they the same pair? No? At least he's creative."

    Farrell is in frigid Manhattan to promote his romance, Winter's Tale, opening Friday. But during a lively chat at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, he has to be continuously nudged toward talking about his film. He'd rather discuss the difficulty of saying no to son Henry, 4, because he wants to be the likable and fun dad. Or how he's always been, and remains, terrified of flying and hitting turbulence. Or most impressively, in an industry that glorifies bad behavior, how he's stayed clean and sober for nearly a decade.

    "It's a huge thing. Eight years. Booze can be rough. All or most of my mates drink and I can be around drunk people. I have no issue with it in that way," says Farrell, 37. "For me, removing booze and drugs from my life freed me up to experience all the fears I had in my life so I could attempt to get over a few of them."

    Part of that has manifested itself in choosing roles not for money or acclaim, but based on his gut. In Tale, the Irish actor plays a thief who falls in love with a consumptive upper-class lass (Jessica Brown Findlay, best-known as Downton Abbey's doomed Lady Sybil Crawley). Farrell's Peter Lake has been abandoned by his parents and seeks a stable, loving place in a turbulent world.

    "Peter is a survivor, but a decent guy. He's not a bad guy. He's somebody who didn't have anyone to lean on, no familial structure, no societal structure. He does only steal from people who can afford it," says Farrell.

    Director Akiva Goldsman cast Farrell precisely because, he says, the actor can convincingly play a troublemaker with inner goodness. "He is somebody who has lived, he has experienced life, light and dark, and he carries that with him. It comes across that he's a good person. That's a rare commodity in our industry."

    Farrell makes no effort to airbrush his life or his reality: his time in rehab in 2005; the rewards and challenges of co-parenting his oldest son James, 10 (with former girlfriend Kim Bordenave), who suffers from Angelman syndrome , a disorder that results in intellectual and developmental disabilities; and the fact that quite often, films he was thrilled to be shooting wound up being less than masterful.

    How does he choose his roles? "Blindfolded! I don't think of stuff conceptually of what is happening in the industry, and maybe I should. I'm leaning more now towards stuff that's more affecting, that stays with me longer," he says. "Guns bore me, guns and politics."

    And while he loves being an actor, he's less than enamored of being away from his boys for months at a time when he could be home in Los Angeles. So he's become a lot more choosy.

    "It took me a long time to stop feeling so beholden in a kind of slouch-shouldered way to my good fortune. I remember the second film I did after Tigerland (2000),I was offered $300,000 for it," recalls Farrell. "And I was like, 'Oh my god!' People are starving and I can't say no to $300,000. But now, if I'm going to go away from home for three months, it better be something I'm drawn to and have an interest in."

    And while Farrell has worked with a Who's Who of directors — Oliver Stone, Woody Allen, Michael Mann — many of the films haven't turned out like he'd hoped. His next project is The Lobster, a science-fiction thriller directed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos that starts shooting in Ireland in March and co-stars Rachel Weisz. "I'd like to have a better strike rate of films that work better than some of the things I've done. It's weird, and you never know," he says.

    Speaking of unexpected, can we please discuss his platonic friendship with Elizabeth Taylor, who died in 2011 at age 79? "I gotta be careful what I say. (Stupid) Internet. Friends were like, 'You were having an affair with Elizabeth Taylor?' I wish. I'd tried. She rebuffed me," Farrell says with a laugh.

    He met her in 2009, she invited him over, and he went to her home, where he sat in her garden. "She kept me waiting, rightly so, for about 15 minutes. She was late for her own funeral. That was in her will. We became friends. I got to know her for the last two years of her life."

    They'd chat on the phone a few nights a week because both were lousy sleepers. "We talked about love and dreams and traveling and a person's place in their own lives in relation to themselves. I had the deepest awe for her as a person. She really was my friend," says Farrell, still seeming to be stunned by the turn of events.

    "If I find myself sitting alone watching the sunset, I can find that romantic and I'm on my own. It was me having a conversation with Elizabeth Taylor at 2 in the morning in my back garden, smoking a cigarette, with the Santa Ana winds. And if that ain't romantic, I'm dead, I'm dead. I haven't got a pulse anymore or I have to go back on the sauce, because sobriety isn't working for me."

    Actually it is, and Farrell says that thanks to his quiet life, he's mostly left alone. But recently he was out with Henry in L.A. (mom is former girlfriend Alicja Bachleda-Curús) when he spotted a photographer.

    "I saw the window come down and the lens come up, and I took Henry and I rushed him the four yards to my car,'' says Farrell. "I thought to myself, 'I'm sending signals to him of fear and anxiety and he has no idea why.' Paparazzi are a pain. But the onus is on me to dilute whatever effect they have on me.

    "The biggest interesting thing about me is, has he had a venti or grande chai latte? I do nothing now. I am so boring. The furthest thing from bored, but so boring, and that's just fine."

    Trailer: 'Winter's Tale'

    Warner Bros has released a new trailer for Winter’s Tale, the adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel that marks Oscar-winning scribe Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut. Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and Colin Farrell star in the mythic tale of the love between a dying woman and a thief, in a time-jumping story that spans more than a century. Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, and Russell Crowe also star. Pic opens wide on February 14: Video.

    Colin Farrell Opens Up About "Romantic Relationship" With Elizabeth Taylor, Reveals He Auditioned for a Boy Band

    Maybe Colin Farrell reminded Elizabeth Taylor of Richard Burton.

    Farrell, who has talked about his friendship with Taylor before, told Ellen DeGeneres on Monday's Ellen that he actually counts the late actress, who was 44 years his senior, as his "last kind-of-romantic relationship."

    "I just adored her," the Saving Mr. Banks star said about the iconic actress, who died in 2011. "She was a spectacular, spectacular woman."

    Farrell never worked with Taylor, but they ended up meeting after the birth of his second child, Henry. Farrell was at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for the birth in 2009 and happened to run into Taylor's manager by the elevator, who informed him that La Liz was there having a stent put in her heart.

    "I said, 'Will you tell her I said hello, she probably won't know who I am.' And they go, 'No, she knows who you are,' and I went, 'Wow, cool. Well, tell her I said hello and I wish her the best,' and they said, 'Will do,'" Farrell recalled happily to Ellen.

    "So I got home a few days later with Henry and I was thinking about Elizabeth and how she was doing, and I called my publicist and I said, 'I bumped into some people of Elizabeth Taylor's...could I send her some flowers?' And my publicist said...'That's funny because I'm looking at an orchid from Elizabeth Taylor for you."

    "I'll say!" Farrell agreed as the audience reacted excitedly. "I said, 'Wow, that's amazing.'"

    "I said, 'Well, send that bad boy over to the house and can I still get the flowers?' And it came with a hand written note from her. I then cheekily about a week later said, 'Listen is there any chance I can go...and see her?'"

    His publicist made some calls and "I got to have an audience with her and that was the beginning of a year and a half or two years of what was a really cool...it was kind of like the last—it feels like in my head, not her, I'm projecting, but the last kind of romantic relationship I had.

    "Which was never consummated," he quickly added.

    But the two, both night owls apparently, did have their share of 2 a.m. phone conversations, and they became great friends.

    "I wanted to be number eight, but we ran out of road," Farrell joked, a reference to the seven men she married over the years (including Burton, whom she married twice).

    And that's not the only time when Farrell's life could have taken an unexpected direction. In fact, it turns out he almost went in a One-Direction direction once!

    Describing it as his "Plan F," Farrell also revealed to Ellen that he auditioned for a boy band when he was 17 or 18 years old.

    "I was dancing in a nightclub in Dublin with a pair of leather pants and a nice rubber black T-shirt as you..."

    "Do we have a picture of that?" Ellen interrupted.

    "Well, we do but..." replied, looking at the audience, "we don't. Maybe I'll bring that next time."

    Colin Farrell -- Crazed Fan Arrested for Creeping Around Actor's House

    Colin Farrell got an unexpected, and unwanted, visitor at his home in Los Angeles this weekend -- and now the guy's been arrested and placed on a psychiatric hold.

    Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... a man showed up to Colin's home Saturday afternoon hoping to catch a glimpse of the actor ... but things got weird when he walked right up to the front door.

    We're told Colin was home at the time and got freaked out ... so he called his assistant who called cops.

    The fan was quickly taken into custody and after cops spoke with him -- they decided to put the suspect on a 5150 psychiatric hold.

    Police haven't released the suspect's name -- but our sources say he is not a U.S. citizen, and one of the reasons he came to L.A. was specifically to see Colin.

    Does Colin Farrell Want More Kids? Find Out His Surprising Answer!

    Is Colin Farrell hoping for another baby in his future?

    As fans prepare to watch the 37-year-old raise a young daughter in Disney's latest film Saving Mr. Banks, we had to ask the proud father of two if his parenting skills on the big screen could extend to his home life one more time.

    "Oh, I don't know man," Farrell told E! News' Ali Fedotowsky while promoting Banks. "I may have tied that particular rope, put a knot on it for now."

    Instead, the actor admits he is perfectly content with his two amazing sons.

    "I have two boys that I'm so happy with and I adore," Farrell said.

    His older son, James, also requires a little bit more love and affection from his dad. The young boy suffers from a condition called Angelman syndrome, a genetic disorder that is characterized by seizures, sleeping problems and developmental disability.

    "His way of processing the world is very particular," Farrell said. [He] is a little more particular than most."

    Colin Farrell: Watching My Son Succeed Inspires Me

    Actor Colin Farrell has a new favorite family activity with sons James, 10, and Henry, 4.

    “I’m trying to introduce Disney into my diet and introduce it into [their] diet for the first time,” Farrell, 37, told PEOPLE at the Ackerman Institute for the Family’s Moving Families Forward Gala in New York City on Monday.

    “We’ve gone old school — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp.”

    And while the films have been a hit, the boys aren’t willing to watch just anything. “I put on Cinderella and the two of them were like … ‘No,’” says Farrell with a laugh.

    This comes as a small victory for James, who suffers from Angelman Syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder which can impair speech, movement and balance.

    “I remember the days when he couldn’t watch 10 minutes of a film because he couldn’t sit easy, but now he can,” explains the proud father, who delights in each and every one of James’ milestones.

    Having previously cited his oldest son — and wanting to be a good father — as part of the reason why he finally went to rehab for drug and alcohol abuse in 2005, Farrell shares he continues to find inspiration in him today.

    “Things like walking and talking and eating and feeding himself, all those things that so many of us naturally take for granted because they come so easily, to James, they come somewhat harder,” he says. “Everything he’s achieved in his life has come through the presence and the kind of will that is hard work. He’s a lot to be inspired by.”

    With James and Henry not spending much time together — the boys see each other a handful of nights a month — the doting dad admits the two are still adjusting.

    “They have two different moms so their crossover time isn’t a lot … so they’re figuring it out,” Farrell says. “They’re good together. They’re funny together. They’re finally getting used to the idea that the other one isn’t leaving anytime soon, that they’re both here to stay.”

    Colin Farrell Talks Drinking, Drugs and Rehab

    Colin Farrell is once again opening up about his hard-partying past, but unlike other actors, the Irish stud admits his addiction started long before he began his career in Hollywood.

    The 37-year-old star revealed on The Late Late Show that his struggles began at an early age, and, at 19, he went to see a counselor because he was feeling "sad," as reported by the Irish Independent.

    But it wasn't until 10 years later after he starred in Miami Vice that the actor decided to receive treatment for his drug and alcohol abuse.

    "Miami Vice wrapped...and I was put on a plane and sent to rehab," he revealed, adding that it was his family who convinced him to seek help.

    "I'd gotten out of control—for years I could indulge in certain things," he confessed, noting he would drink and do "whatever powder" he could get at home. "I had quite a high tolerance for various drugs for years, I thought. It accumulated to the point where I couldn't put my foot on the brake anymore."

    Farrell's struggles only escalated after he moved to the U.S., as drugs and alcohol became more easily accessible, but Colin admits his addiction was "already something that was in" him.

    He also confessed that after Miami Vice, he felt that his body was "dying," and was inspired to go to rehab in order to be a good father to his then 3-year-old son James.

    This isn't the first time Farrell has opened up about his decision to get clean.

    He previously opened up about his "nightmare" experience sobering up when he first entered treatment.

    "I began to come out of the haze that I was in and had burrowed myself into so deeply," he said back in 2008 on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. "Basically, I'd been fairly drunk or high since I was 14. I was very drunk and high for 16 years, so it was a tough life change, and I was dying. I'm one of the lucky ones."

    Legendary Moving Forward With 'Warcraft;' Paula Patton, Colin Farrell In The Mix

    Legendary Pictures and Atlas Entertainment are casting up Warcraft, the movie adaptation of the hit Blizzard video game World Of Warcraft that Duncan Jones will direct. I?m told that Paula Patton is negotiating for a lead role and that another lead has been offered to Colin Farrell. I?m not sure that Farrell is going to make a deal ? sources said it?s 50/50 ? and Jones is testing other actors for the major roles. Production will begin in January and Charles Leavitt wrote the script.

    The role-playing game takes place in a medieval-like setting where players control avatars that take on gryphons, dragons, zombies, werewolves and elves. Time travel and alien worlds also are part of the mix. The project is one of Legendary?s biggest and was supposed to be made at Warner Bros. Since Thomas Tull?s financing/production company moved over to Universal Pictures, I expect the film to be located there as well.

    Patton is the lead in the upcoming Fox Searchlight film Baggage Claim and is coming off the hits 2 Guns and Mission: Impossible ? Ghost Protocol. Farrell stars with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Disney?s upcoming Oscar-season film Saving Mr. Banks and then the Akiva Goldsman-directed adaptation of the Marc Helprin novel Winter?s Tale. Both are repped by CAA and Patton is managed by Medavoy Management?s Brian Medavoy. Stay tuned.

    Sighting

    Colin Farrell walking arm-in-arm with a brunette through the Bellagio in Las Vegas

    'Dead Man Down' keeps viewers engaged

    "Dead Man Down" is an American action thriller with almost no action -- except in the over-the-top climax -- and fewer thrills than the genre usually calls for. What it does have is a pair of great lead characters and two hours of careful character development. That makes this quite interesting, in an odd way, and as much of a drama as it is a thriller.

    This should not have been a surprise. The director is the Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev. He did the first instalment in "The Dragon Tattoo" Trilogy, the Swedish TV and movie series that is absolutely brilliant when you see the original "extended" versions. Meanwhile, the lead actress in Dead Man Down is Sweden's Noomi Rapace, the girl with those dragon tattoos. She also had a yearning for revenge against the cabal of perverts who so abused her. That element of The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy is worth remembering when you watch "Dead Man Down".

    In the new movie, Rapace plays a young beautician with a severely scarred face and a legacy of emotional trauma. Lowlife neighbourhood bullies yell, "Monster!" as she passes. She suffered the lacerations in a car accident. The drunk driver who hit her escaped proper legal punishment. The system failed her. Rapace once again seeks illegal retribution.

    In a stroke of casting genius, Oplev pairs Rapace with Colin Farrell, the mercurial Irish actor who brings such soulful sadness to his best roles. Farrell plays a Hungarian-American. His status as an outsider in the polyglot, multi-national social fabric of New York City is crucial to how Dead Man Down plays out. National loyalty is critical to survival in the Big Apple's underworld. While most of the movie is in English, some scenes are played in French, Albanian, Spanish and Hungarian (with subtitles).

    (Trailer)

    Farrell's tough guy is teamed with Dominic Cooper. They are buddy-thugs in a New York gang run by a dapper mobster (Terrence Howard). Appearances are deceiving. Farrell's character has his own axes to grind. When they are sharpened, heads will roll.

    Dead Man Down is not quite leisurely, but it moves slowly and meticulously to that operatic climax during which all hell-on-Earth breaks loose. That gives the movie time to work on the unsettled and unsettling Rapace-Farrell relationship. Both actors possess the gift of winning our sympathy even when their characters are doing bad, bad things. The moral compass in Dead Man Down is affected by the atmospheric interference they generate together.

    What the movie lacks, however, is scintillating dialogue to match the quality of the character development. The screenplay by producer-writer J.H. Wyman has the plot but not the words. Rapace and Farrell's best moments are silent and not spoken: body postures, longing looks, emotion welling up in the eyes.

    But the most important element is maintained: We care what happens to both of them. You want to watch this movie through to the end.

    "Dead Man Down" review: As plastic as Isabelle Huppert's Tupperware

    "Thank you for returning my Tupperware."

    Somehow, that's not a line you ever thought you'd hear French actress Isabelle Huppert say. But she murmurs exactly that, in her husky, Gallic-accented voice, in "Dead Man Down."

    Pairing Huppert with Tupperware is only the beginning of what this misbegotten revenge thriller gets wrong.

    The actress, known for playing daring roles in provocative films, is cast here as a loving French mother in a humble, New York City high-rise who constantly pushes home-baked cookies and other treats, packed up in plastic Tupperware containers, on visitors.

    And she'd like that Tupperware back, please.

    Huppert's casting (and passion for Tupperware) is only one of the many dissonant notes struck in "Dead Man," a murky action crime drama that marks the American debut of Danish director Niels Arden Oplev, who made the original "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

    Essentially, "Dead Man" is an action film with an art-house sensibility and heart. The end result is lots of moody staring in between extended shootouts.

    Colin Farrell stars as Victor, a rising crewmember working for Alphonse (Terrence Howard), a nasty crime boss. Someone is killing off members of Alphonse's gang and sending him death threats and Alphonse is determined to find out who it is.

    Without giving away too much, suffice it to say that Victor is not who he seems at first and is playing a dangerous game. It grows even more dangerous when he becomes involved with Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), a fellow tenant in his apartment building. She's a beautician whose face was supposedly badly scarred in a car accident-in reality, she has a few red lines near her left eye - and who is playing a risky game of her own.

    Huppert plays Beatrice's mother. She spends her days cooking and smoking in their shared apartment, dressed in a silk wrapper or frilly summer frock. In between packing gourmet delights into Tupperware, she encourages her daughter's tentative romance with Victor. How she came to New York, where and with whom she had Beatrice, and whether she ever held a job, we never learn.

    The movie, based on a screenplay by J.H. Wyman ("The Mexican"), gets so caught up in its excessively complex plotting and attempts to create a gritty yet atmospheric version of New York that its characters never emerge as anything more than hazy conceits. It mostly shuttles between scenes of Farrell brooding or having cryptic conversations with Beatrice and scenes of extreme violence.

    The actors-the cast also includes Dominic Cooper and F. Murray Abrahams - mostly seem at sea here, and a viewer can't blame them. Farrell serves up heaping helpings of intensity mixed with sensitivity but you never for a minute believe that you'd run into Victor on a New York street. Ditto for Rapace's Beatrice and most of the other characters.

    In the end, a viewer can do little more than appreciate "Dead Man's" shimmering look and wish all involved better luck in their next endeavor.

    This one, sadly, is as plastic and opaque as the Tupperware container into which Huppert crams her cookies.

    'Dead Man Down' not exactly uplifting

    As a gritty thriller, Dead Man Down doesn't stand out among its bullet-riddled brethren.

    It's more notable for its weird moments and strange obsessions. Two that jump out are a repeated discussion of Tupperware and packs of exceptionally nasty children who attack a mildly scarred woman and tauntingly call her "Monster."

    Dead Man Down (** out of four; rated R; opening Friday nationwide) is an inert action thriller in which a desire for revenge connects brooding widower Viktor (Colin Farrell) and car accident victim Beatrice (Noomi Rapace).

    The mood grows livelier when the iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert thanks Viktor for bringing back her Tupperware, lamenting how no one ever returns it. Oddly, Huppert's character is described as deaf, but once her malady is introduced, she seems to be able to hear as well as anyone else (even when not wearing her hearing aid).

    Those with even the mildest rodent aversion may want to leave the theater during a scene in which a dozen fat rats are unleashed to feast on a blindfolded man. As a means of torture, those vermin make a more indelible impression than the bevy of ammunition and explosive devices detonated throughout the rest of the drama.

    Director Niels Arden Oplev, the Danish filmmaker who made the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, spins a drab, albeit blood-soaked, tale of vengeance set in contemporary New York City's criminal underworld.

    Viktor is a gangland figure, part of a crime syndicate headed by the ruthless Alfonse (Terrence Howard). But Viktor's got a complicated reason for keeping such bad company. He's single-minded about decimating Alfonse's happy life for reasons we'll refrain from spoiling.

    Beatrice is a lonely woman who lives with her mother (Huppert) in an apartment across from Viktor's. They wave awkwardly at each other, have a stilted conversation on the phone and an equally clumsy first date.

    Seemingly fragile, Beatrice has been choked with rage since a drunken driver hit her, resulting in some not terribly extensive facial scars (which seem to change from scene to scene). Both she and Viktor are grieving lost souls with a bloodthirsty bent. How better to strike up a romance?

    Violent plans are plotted and carried out. Rats scurry over a man's torso, digging into his neck and face. Tupperware-centered conversations ensue.

    Amid all this are points that don't quite track, characters that go undeveloped and far-fetched scenarios that take the viewer out of the film. And there's vengeance — lots of it.

    The screenplay was written by J.H. Wyman, the showrunner for the cult TV show Fringe. The dialogue rings hollow, much like the actors' performances. Suspense never builds as it should. The film feels as if it started in the middle.

    With an impressive international cast, Dead Man Down yearns to be both edgy and action-packed. It comes up short on both counts.

    Farrell doesn't say much, but communicates mightily with his expressive brown eyes. He and Rapace don't have heaps of chemistry, though they play their roles well.

    Dead Man Down seeks to come to a final resting place of redemption. But an attempt at an uplifting ending rings hollow after the antics of voracious rats and scores of ammo sent whizzing.

    Despite a talented international cast, Dead Man Down falls flat.

    Colin Farrell Celebrates His New Film with Diet Soda

    After the premiere of his new film Dead Man Down on Tuesday, Colin Farrell joined his castmates and friends at Lexington Social House in Hollywood.

    Dressed in a Dolce & Gabbana suit, Farrell mingled with the cast and moviegoers for two hours.

    "They complimented him on his performance," an onlooker tells PEOPLE. "He was in great spirits."

    The actor sipped on diet soda as he kicked back and lounged around the outdoor fire pit.

    The movie – a crime drama set in New York City – also stars Terence Howard, Noomi Rapace and Dominic Cooper.

    Colin Farrell Honored at Oscar Wilde U.S.-Ireland Alliance Ceremony

    A very sexy Colin Farrell suited up last night in Santa Monica, Calif., where he was honored at the U.S.-Ireland Alliance Award ceremony.

    Held at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Production studio, the 2013 Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film pre-Oscars event included a slew of Hollywood talent and over 400 guests.

    Partygoers were in great spirits (thanks, in part, to an amazing whiskey tasting bar sponsored by Tullamore D.E.W.!), and the jovial audience laughed and cheered as Farrell, Abrams, Michael Burns and Michele Burke took the podium and spoke during the night.

    "It's lovely! I mean it's better than getting a slap in the face and told you're crap," Farrell joked of his honor on the red carpet. "I don't really understand it, maybe my mother and father should be getting honored instead, it is their fault I am Irish," he added with a smile.

    Later in the night, the Total Recall star took the stage to accept his award after an introduction from director Jim Sheridan, who couldn't help poke fun at Colin's wild-boy past while praising the Irish star, "In Ireland we admire Daniel Day-Lewis, we respect Liam Neeson but we love Colin," he said.

    "In case Donald Trump is here, I brought my birth certificate," Colin quipped as he took the stage.

    So what else when down at the brilliant and boozy Irish bash? Here's the scoop:

    Outdoor Ambiance: Guests braved the Santa Monica winds on the rooftop of Bad Robot at the two-story outdoor event (the ceremony took place up top). Despite dozens of heat lamps, California girls were shaking and shivering in their open-toe shoes, and the alcohol was flowing as guests tried to keep warm.

    Tasty Treats: Stars noshed on mini sandwiches, lamb stew, Irish sliders (a mini beef patty on a sliced potato), cheese, bruschetta and bread, and of course, there was a full bar to complement the hors d'oeuvres. Later in the night, caterers served brownies and cookies with little shot glasses full of milk. Too cute!

    Vacation Giveaways: All guests were eligible to win a free trip to Ireland, and former O.C. actor Peter Gallagher scored the coveted prize. "I never win anything!" he was overheard saying as he stepped up to take his party token.

    Irish Tunes: The event featured performances by up-and-coming Irish musicians, including Julie Feeney, Declan O'Rourke and Heathers. "It's wonderful to perform live in L.A.," Feeney said on the carpet, noting that her music is not yet released in the states. "I definitely want to come here again, there's a totally different energy."

    Who's Who of Hollywood: Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Warren Beatty, and Annette Bening were just a few of the A-list guests. Top talent agents and network execs including HBO president Len Amato, Summit Entertainment CEO Rob Friedman and Irish Film board CEO James Hickey also attended.

    Sighting

    Bono, Colin Farrell, Ed Burns and Christy Turlington dining together Sunday at Quality Meats in Midtown

    Killer Role For Colin Farrell, Joining Anthony Hopkins In 'Solace'

    Colin Farrell is closing a deal to star with Anthony Hopkins in Solace, the supernatural thriller that Afonso Poyart (Two Rabbits) will direct with production to begin in May. The film will be sold at Berlin by FilmNation’s Glen Basner, and domestic distribution rights are also up for grabs and are being repped by UTA.

    The film’s scripted by Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin, James Vanderbilt and Peter Morgan. It has percolating long enough that the film’s first credited writer, Bailey, is currently president of production at Disney. The film originated at New Line but never came together quite right, and producers Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo, Tripp Vinson and Thomas Augsberger. Flynn finally got it back and got the financing through Claudia Bluemhuber’s Silver Reel. Matthias Emcke is exec producer with Bluemhuber, Gerd Scheppers and Jacob Pechenik.

    An FBI detective seeks the help of a retired and reclusive doctor, to try and solve a series of grisly murders. The doctor was a wiz at the murder game, but lost his mojo when his daughter died tragically. Desperate, the detective presses the doctor to come out of retirement for one more case. Farrell will play the serial killer, putting him mano a mano against Hopkins. That should be fun. They’ve yet to cast the detective.

    Farrell, who’s coming off Seven Psychopaths, most recently wrapped the Akiva Goldsman-directed Winter’s Tale. He also was in the John Lee Hancock-directed Saving Mr Banks opposite Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, about Walt Disney’s long courtship of P.L. Travers for the movie rights of Mary Poppins. He next stars in the Liv Ullman-directed Miss Julie, alongside Jessica Chastain. Farrell is repped by CAA. UTA reps Poyart and Hopkins and packaged the film.

    Down-low yoga

    After Bradley Cooper ripped off his shirt at SoulCycle this week, Colin Farrell showed off his abs in public while exercising. Spies saw Farrell at a 60-minute hot- yoga class at Pure Yoga on the Upper East Side yesterday, practicing his downward dog “shirtless, with his hair in a sleek ponytail.” According to an onlooker, Farrell kept to himself in the steamiest part of the studio and was “intently focused” on his technique. The “Winter’s Tale” star managed to slip out of class without being recognized.

    We Hear...

    That Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Connelly are filming “Winter’s Tale” at Michael Wudyka’s East Hampton Studio, where a scaled down replica of the Brooklyn Bridge has been created

    Colin Farrell's Dead Man Down Trailer Pulled Following Sandy Hook Tragedy

    The online trailer for Colin Farrell's upcoming action thriller, Dead Man Down, has been postponed in the wake of the Newtown shooting.

    The movie stars Farrell as a man who, while seeking revenge for the murder of his wife and daughter, meets a woman (Noomi Rapace) who was left disfigured after the car she was driving was hit by a drunk driver.

    The decision by Film District, the studio behind the movie, to pull the trailer came at about the same time entertainment journalists were receiving a mailer promoting the movie. In a case of bad timing, the marketing gimmick was a bullet-shaped thumb drive set in a plain, wooden box inscribed with the words, "Blood Demands Blood."

    Unfortunately, the package was sent before Friday's horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

    Premieres of Django Unchained, Jack Reacher and Parental Guidance were also canceled out of respect for the shooting victims.

    The Discovery Channel announced last night that its reality show about a family in the gun business American Guns will not be back for a third season, although the network did not mention Sandy Hook as a possible reason behind the decision.

    We Hear...

    THAT Colin Farrell’s been downing juices from New York health-food truck The Squeeze while in town.

    'Taken 2,' 'Argo' and 'Sinister' top another strong box office weekend

    Liam Neeson's "Taken 2" raked in $22.5 million to top the weekend box office in its second week and, with a current worldwide total of $220, it's close to topping the original "Taken's" total run of $226.8 million.

    But Ben Affleck's "Argo," the real-life account of six Americans' scheme to escape the Iran hostage crisis by staging production on a fake movie, wasn't close behind, surging to $20 million in its first weekend. Among the other newbies, horror flick "Sinister," starring Ethan Hawke, came in third with $18.2 million, while the Kevin James comedy "Here Comes the Boom" disappointed with $12 million for the No. 5 spot and "Seven Psychopaths" came in ninth with only $4.2 million.

    The weekend's Top 10 movies:
    1. "Taken 2," $22.5 million
    2. "Argo," $20 million
    3. "Sinister," $18.2 million
    4. "Hotel Transylvania," $17.3 million
    5. "Here Comes the Boom," $12 million
    6. "Pitch Perfect," $9.3 million
    7. "Frankenweenie," $7 million
    8. "Looper," $6.3 million
    9. "Seven Psychopaths," $4.2 million
    10. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," $2.1 million

    Ethan Hawke's 'Sinister' scares up surprise win over 'Taken 2' and 'Argo'

    "Sinister," the new horror flick starring Ethan Hawke, was the surprise leader at Friday's (Oct. 12) box office with $7.4 million, just edging out "Taken 2" ($7 million) in its second week. "Argo," Ben Affleck's acclaimed political thriller, debuted in third place with $5.9 million.

    Yet "Taken 2," the Liam Neeson action-thriller sequel, is still predicted to win the overall weekend box office with $22.7 million, for a 10-day total of $90 million.

    "Sinister," "Argo" and Sony's "Hotel Transylvania" -- Friday's fourth-place film with $4.2 million in its third week -- are all expected to be close behind, with predictions of $17-$19 million for each film.

    "Here Comes the Boom," Kevin James' new comedy, opened with only $3.6 million on Friday for a No. 5 spot and isn't expected to take in more than $12 million for the weekend.

    "Seven Psychopaths," the dark comedy starring Colin Farrell and Woody Harrelson, grossed $1.4 million for the No. 9 spot, with "Atlas Shrugged: Part II" in 10th place with $692,000.

    Glad To Be Clean

    Reformed bad boy Colin Farrell says even the birth of his first child in 2003 didn’t slow him down. “I made a decision not to change,” he recalls in Details’ November issue. “I literally said, ‘I’m not changing! I’m gonna be his friend!’ Like a [bleeping] 28-year-old drug-addicted drunk friend is exactly what my 6-week-old son needs.” But, “I’ve got eight hours a day now that I didn’t have before, when I was drinking every day for 18 years . . . It’s honest, it’s real. That’s quite simply the coolest thing.”

    'Psychopaths' not insanely great

    Don't be fooled by the promotional poster for Seven Psychopaths, with its cast members numbered from one through seven. There are more crazies here than meet the eye.

    That's part of the joy in writer/director Martin McDonagh's follow-up to 2008's much-admired In Bruges: nothing is quite what it seems. Until it does become exactly what it seems, at which point Seven Psychopaths becomes maddeningly conventional.

    Colin Farrell is Marty, a struggling L.A. screenwriter whose latest script has a title - Seven Psychopaths - and not much else. Fortunately, his actor friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) is eager to help come up with ideas. And because Billy is involved in a dognapping ring with his associate Hans (Christopher Walken), he's a perfect gateway to the City of Angels' weird, seedy and ultimately explosively violent side.

    Some of that violence is perpetrated by Charlie (Woody Harrelson), a psychotic gangster whose beloved Shih Tzu has been stolen by Billy and Hans. It's Charlie's efforts to recover his dog that propels much the movie's plot, as he pursues the hapless trio across town and out into the desert.

    The exotic locale, firmer plot and more consistent pace of In Bruges (plus the presence of the always amazing Brendan Gleeson) make it the better and more memorable of McDonagh's two feature films, but the cast here is uniformly fine. Rockwell is a standout, and Walken is, well, Walken. But not creepy-weird Walken, more like oblivious-heartfelt Walken. Still not a guy you'd want to mess with, particularly in a graveyard shootout.

    Harrelson, meanwhile, owns the angry psycho shtick, and Tom Waits as a bunny-loving serial killer has an origin story that is equally horrible and heartbreaking. Farrell himself the only occasional weak link, as he's often required to play the bug-eyed straight man to Walken, Harrelson and Rockwell's insanity.

    It's been a while since we've seen anyone attempt to riff on/rip off Quentin Tarantino, which is why Seven Psychopaths feels fresher than it might have, say, a decade ago or two. McDonagh has a different set of sensibilities, of course; it's his mixing of humour and violence, perpetrated by silver-tongued characters, that recalls Tarantino's earlier movies.

    But let's face it, making a movie about making a movie - even if the film is about the process of writing a screenplay - can lead to altogether too clever meta-jokes, and Seven Psychopaths occasionally indulges in these. Yeah, we get it, things said about movies can apply to this very movie we're watching. Stop elbowing us and winking.

    And given McDonagh's great strengths as a writer, it's a little disappointing that Seven Psychopaths fades and dissolves in its final act. The loopy, crazy, convoluted buildup fails to deliver an equally unconventional resolution.

    Still, it's a movie well worth experiencing for the memorable characters, ready laughs and explosive violence. Even if it's not, you know, insanely great.

    'Seven Psychopaths' has your number

    Seven Psychopaths is about seven times more clever than most Hollywood comedies. And way more demented.

    Men in movies are often just overgrown boys, and Seven Psychopaths (*** ½ out of four; rated R; opening Friday nationwide) is out to prove it — in the most twisted, hilarious way possible.

    It's a devilishly smart film that not only sends up the hipster crime genre, but also makes a powerful statement about violence -- in a brilliantly satirical way.

    Think Pulp Fiction with more laughs and cartoonish violence, crossed with an edgier Ocean's Eleven and touches of The Usual Suspects and Smokin' Aces. Then add a choice cast of actors as unhinged characters who could easily be 10-year-old boys -- if those boys were also mental cases.

    Martin (Colin Farrell) is a boozy writer with the bare outlines for a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths. His best buddy Billy (Sam Rockwell) wants to help his friend. He proposes assisting with the writing, but what he really does is far more effective -- if completely whacked out.

    Christopher Walken plays Hans, an older gent who deeply loves his critically ill wife (Linda Bright Clay) and operates a shady business in which he steals dogs in order to collect the rewards. Billy is his dog-napping partner, among other things. When they take Bonny, the beloved Shih Tzu belonging to maniacal gangster Charlie (Woody Harrelson), Billy, Hans and even Martin become wanted men.

    A few more pernicious nutcases skulk around the story's periphery. Tom Waits has a very funny turn as Zachariah, half of a psycho-killing duo who only murder other psycho killers. He shows up on Martin's doorstep, gently cradling a cuddly white bunny.

    Walken has never been funnier, his eccentric delivery consistently comical. Farrell is the perfect straight man. Harrelson and Rockwell go way over the top — in a way that works ideally in this bonkers set-up.

    Writer-director Martin McDonagh is an Irish playwright/filmmaker known for his verbose dark comedies. His distinctive turns of phrases and rapid-fire dialogue add heft to a story that ultimately doesn't quite come together. But it's so fun getting there that it's hard to care about the denouement.

    Seven Psychopaths delves into the writer's struggle between wanting to create something meaningful and spiritually redemptive, and indulging in darker impulses. This plays out in the sagas of a vengeful Vietnamese monk (Long Nguyen) and a grief-addled Quaker (Harry Dean Stanton).

    McDonagh has said his cinematic influences are directors Terrence Malick and Sam Peckinpah, and he seems to be exploring the fusion of those radically different sensibilities. But when not exploring that complex territory, he's a whiz at bizarrely funny, quotable lines: When offered a drink, Walken declines, saying: "I take peyote."

    Seven Psychopaths is insanely witty. Along the way, it also assists in smoking out and identifying psychopathic characters. What could be more educational?

    On the couch with the 'Psychopaths' gang

    Seven Psychopaths. Three unconventional actors. One wickedly smart filmmaker.

    All the elements are in place for a free-wheeling encounter that is anything but routine. Certainly that suits the subject at hand: a dense and dark lark of a movie opening Friday that takes deadpan aim at crime-drama clichés and our society's cultish fascination with serial killers.

    On the hotel floor where the interview is taking place, things already are out of hand. An adorable fair-haired toddler darts through the hallways as if fueled by sugar cookies dunked in Red Bull. Turns out, he's Henry, the nearly 3-year-old son of the film's leading man, Colin Farrell. Henry obviously has inherited his dad's nervous energy.

    Nearby, a different breed of star is sniffing about. That would be Bonny, a 2-year-old rescue pooch who figures prominently in the plot of Seven Psychopaths when a dog-napping caper goes awry. She is a Shih Tzu, Hollywood's go-to canine for cheap jokes — or, as the promotional materials say, "They won't take any Shih Tzu."

    The gathering begins benignly enough as a discussion about the second feature by noted playwright turned filmmaker Martin McDonagh, 42, whose Oscar-nominated script for 2008's In Bruges was similarly steeped in comical crooks and baroque bloodbaths.

    Joining McDonagh, a wily silver-haired fox of an Irishman, are Farrell, 36, whose character is an alcoholic L.A. screenwriter who just happens to be Irish and called Marty; Sam Rockwell, 43, who plays Billy, Marty's hyper best friend; and Christopher Walken, 69, whose Hans is a pensive scam artist who collects rewards for returning "missing" pets to their owners.

    The human AWOL today is Woody Harrelson, whose vicious gangster hunts down Marty and company when his beloved four-legged friend — yes, Bonny — is snatched by Billy. He had to return to New York to tend to his stage farce, A Bullet for Adolf, which he co-wrote and directed.

    Even minus a core member, this is a tight-knit bunch that relishes one another's company. Two years ago, Rockwell and Walken appeared together on Broadway in McDonagh's A Behanding in Spokane. And Farrell's career received a much-needed recharge (after taking a break to enter rehab) with a Golden Globe for his role as a guilt-ridden hitman in In Bruges.

    "I never thought in my life that I would be working with Chris or these guys," says McDonagh, whose Seven Psychopaths also includes cameos by gravel-voiced singer Tom Waits and the still-trucking character actor Harry Dean Stanton. "Chris, I grew up watching on-screen."

    "I feel so old," Walken says with a smile, "because I am."

    Not only was McDonagh able to attract this dream team of actors, but "I got them for really cheap," he says. "That was the great thing about it. I just gave them a back end."

    "I'm not sure if I had any back-end deal," says Walken, a veteran of 100-plus films and TV shows. "I usually get paid in a brown paper bag."

    The reason they all signed on, according to Farrell: "The strength is in the writing. Anyone who ever has a chance to look at anything Martin has written, a play or a script, it's just such good stuff."

    Actually, Farrell tried to talk McDonagh out of hiring him for In Bruges. "Because I came with a certain amount of baggage and thought he should use an unknown. It was a very egocentric way to be unselfish."

    The definition of a psychopath is briefly debated, and two traits are agreed upon: "They don't know the difference between right and wrong," Farrell suggests. Plus, they often seem normal and even charming on the surface.

    As for the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths?

    "Bernie Madoff is a sociopath," Rockwell says. "He didn't kill anyone."

    Suddenly, Farrell takes note of how Walken and Rockwell are each clinging to opposite ends of a couch. "Look at the body language," he says. "The way they are pulled away from each other. They are playing hard to get. They'll have makeup sex after this."

    That is all it takes to launch the conversation into the outer limits of absurdity as Rockwell whips out a pair of tacky gold-rimmed sunglasses and pleads with Walken to put them on. Suddenly, Elvis has entered the room — even if he has nothing to do with Seven Psychopaths.

    "Peanut butter banana sandwich," Walken mumbles after donning the shades. "Fried in lard. Mama mia! That's a spicy meatball."

    Rockwell: "Elvis doing Frank Sinatra."

    Walken: "Thank you very much."

    Once the laughter subsides, it is suggested that all three actors — as well as Harrelson — have impersonated their share of noteworthy psychopaths in their time. Farrell mentions his comic-book villain Bullseye in Daredevil and the deceptively upstanding cop in Pride and Glory.

    For Rockwell, his death row maniac in The Green Mile ranks above any others on his résumé. They all admire Harrelson's tour-de-force nut job in Natural Born Killers.

    For Walken, however, his list of psychopaths is like an infinity pool. It goes on and on, from Bond and Batman villains to his smooth-talking mobster in True Romance. As he says, "With me, it's more just volume."

    Has he ever kept count?

    "You know, one of the best things about me? I can't remember anything.''

    He checks out the eyewear again. "These are good glasses."

    Rockwell: "I got them in Graceland."

    Walken: "They are real Elvis glasses."

    He turns to Farrell: "You've been to Graceland, haven't you?"

    "I had four peanut butter and banana sandwiches fried in lard," Farrell says before turning serious about his visit to the Memphis landmark. "You get to go all around the ground floor. You can go in the basement, where the TV room is. I went there with my sister. It was really (expletive) sad. We were sad for the whole day. ''

    Interjects Walken: "OK, we have to get back to the movie.''

    Rockwell: "Was Elvis a sociopath?"

    Farrell: "He was a lardopath."

    Which actors do they consider to be the gold standard of psychopaths?

    Rockwell: "Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet."

    Walken: "Klaus Kinski. He was the real thing."

    Rockwell, whose Billy turns out to be probably the most likable if unstable of the crazies in Seven Psychopaths, reveals his inspirations for his character: "I watched Kathy Bates in Misery, and Mean Streets, and I actually watched Colin in In Bruges. There are a lot of similarities in our characters, except he has a conscience."

    As McDonagh observes, "From my perspective, none of the guys in the film think they are psychopaths."

    "I watched In Bruges again recently since I'm doing a part that is similar — I kill somebody by accident," Rockwell says of A Single Shot, due next year. "The thing I was struck by is how the guilt is prevalent throughout the movie. You see a glimmer of guilt in Colin that is very deep even early on, before anyone even mentions what he did."

    Turning to Farrell, he asks: "Was that on the page?"

    Farrell: "It's on my birth certificate. Catholic Irish."

    Seven Psychopaths is not just an investigation of the criminal mind, however. It's also a commentary on Hollywood conventions, a movie about making a movie that shares the same title while control of the plot eventually shifts from Marty to Billy. As Walken's character says after reading the script, "I like it — it's got layers."

    The actor volunteers to reveal the real-life origins of that line. Turns out, he borrowed it from one of his upstairs neighbors — "I don't really like them" — after he gave them tickets for a rehearsal performance of A Behanding in Spokane.

    "The next day, on the stairs, I saw the lady and said, 'So, did you go?' That was the performance where I forgot all of my lines. I jumped about 10 pages ahead. She said, 'Oh, yeah, I loved it.' Then she said (he switches to a whispery voice), 'The play — it has so many layers.' "

    He shared her response with McDonagh. His comment?

    "I said, 'No, it doesn't. It doesn't have any layers. It just is what it is.' "

    But for some reason, McDonagh brought it up again during Seven Psychopaths. Says Walken: "We are shooting that scene and he said, 'Why don't you tell them the story about the lot of layers.' It's about the only thing I have in the movie that wasn't in the script."

    Is she still Walken's neighbor?

    "Yes," he says. "I can't stand her."

    'Seven Psychopaths' and one crazy movie

    At a party for the French film Rust and Bone on Thursday evening at Michael's, a new Italian-inspired steakhouse on Simcoe Street in the heart of festival-land, attendees were more than ready to toast star Marion Cotillard with their bottomless glasses of Moet & Chandon champagne. Alas, she was running over an hour late.

    The delay just gave some journalists more time to cry into their bulbous Moet silver goblets while bemoaning not getting to see a special non-festival screening of Seven Psychopaths -- the followup to director/writer Martin McDonagh's 2008 sleeper hit In Bruges that opens Oct. 12 -- on the outskirts of the city.

    But USA TODAY was there in a packed theater that included critic Roger Ebert and wife Chaz. The trailer to the aptly titled crime pastiche promised a giddycrime-committing romp about a struggling L.A. screenwriter (Colin Farrell), a couple of inept dognappers (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) and Woody Harrelson as one of the presumed titular psychos threatening pooch walker Gabbe Sidibe after his beloved Shih Tzu goes missing.

    But the audience often seemed stunned by the screenplay's numerous twist-and-turny layers -- a word that Walken uses to describe a script of Farrell's (who, not coincidentally, is called Marty). It's practically a meta-lasagna. While McDonagh points to Sam Peckinpah (baroquely splattered blood and operatic shootouts) and the Badlands-era Terrence Malick, there some obvious hints of Quentin Tarantino (an opening dialogue between two Mafia hitmen especially is very Pulp Fiction) and the Coen brothers' theater of the absurd.

    If the midnight-movie cult circuit still existed, Seven Psychopaths would play in heavy rotation. Some of the more popular conceits judging by reactions was the notion of a serial killer killer (one notorious never-caught murderer finally gets his due) and when a character cries out, "Put your gun down or the alcoholic gets it."

    Dark Knight Rises Reigns, Total Recall Reboot Defeated

    Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:
    The Dark Knight Rises, $36.4 million
    Total Recall, $26 million (Week 1)
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $14.7 million
    Ice Age: Contiental Drift, $8.4 million
    The Watch, $6.4 million
    Ted, $5.5 million
    Step Up Revolution, $5.3 million
    The Amazing Spider-Man, $4.3 million
    Brave, $2.9 million
    Magic Mike, $1.4 million

    'Total Recall' reboot pure action eye candy

    The studio and filmmakers behind the new "re-imagining" of Total Recall have taken pains to say how different it was going to be from Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1990 musclebound Mars-fest.

    But if you're a fan of Philip K. Dick, whose story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale is the template for both movies, let me disabuse you of any hope that this update would indulge the trippy "what is real" aspects of the story.

    With Underworld's Len Wiseman at the helm? The guy who directs his movies by saying "Ready, set… GO!" instead of "Action"?

    If fact, it's to his credit that the movie pauses for an "is this real?" moment once or thrice in two solid hours of chases and ass-kicking.

    So there's that. This Total Recall is a pure action film that differs from its predecessor mainly in the total removal of Mars from its story, and an absence of Arnold-esque wisecracks (although when Farrell utters lines from the original like, "If I'm not me, then who am I?" I can't help but hear the Governator).

    Still, it's not boring. If anything, this futuristic tale of an "ordinary Joe" factory worker named Doug Quaid -- whose true past is unearthed when he undergoes a mental vacation at a company called Rekall -- bolts off the starting blocks even faster than Paul Verhoeven's original. Quaid's wife (Kate Beckinsale) isn't his wife, but a lethal government operative who'll chase him through the movie like a Terminator.

    Quaid himself is apparently a turncoat agent who's joined forces with anti-government rebels (and has had a romantic relationship with one of their better-looking soldiers, played by Jessica Biel).

    The most impressive thing about the movie is arguably its set design. This future world is an environmental disaster area with only two livable zones -- a rich area called the United Federation of Britain and a grimy lumpenproletarian-filled, Asian-influenced Colony. Through a hole in the Earth called The Fall, the Colony sends menial workers to the Federation and brings them back again when the 5 o'clock whistle blows.

    This means of transportation is impressively rendered, gravity switch and all. The "synthetic" police look a little like slimmed down Imperial Storm Troopers. Ultimately, the whole thing comes off as Blade Runner lite, but it's still decent sci-fi eye candy.

    About the only character who could arguably be called better than his Arnold-era predecessor is Bryan Cranston, who plays the villain Cohaagen -- this courtesy of the lizard-eyed menace Cranston carries over from his starring role on TV's Breaking Bad.

    Altogether, it makes for a noisy, 100-mile-an-hour action fest, perhaps a notch more mentally challenging than your average Jason Statham film.

    Rebel against this relentless 'Total Recall' remake

    (Video) Soulless, bombastic and numbingly repetitive, Total Recall (* * out of four, rated PG-13, opens Friday nationwide) is easy to forget within a few hours of watching.

    Colin Farrell is a serviceable action hero in the lead role formerly inhabited in the 1990 original by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He plays it with a bit too much wide-eyed confusion, however, amid his many leaps and falls from buildings and en masse smackdowns. His nemesis, Lori, played by Kate Beckinsale, spends much of the movie strutting down hallways and looking relentlessly, though blandly, nasty. There's some hand-to-hand combat between them, but it's more frenetic than compelling.

    Jessica Biel is the anti-Beckinsale — almost as bland, but good-hearted and on Farrell's side.

    The production design is a highlight of this post-apocalyptic tale, but the interiors stand out more than the obviously computer-generated cityscapes.

    The film's first third draws us in with an intriguing setup that doesn't deliver on its promise.

    Farrell is Douglas Quaid, an assembly-line worker who goes into a mysterious underworld dive called Rekall for a recreational chemical implant to create fantasy memories to rev up his dull existence.

    What he gets is far more than he bargained for in the deaths of 20 police officials who look as if they stepped out of a Star Wars movie. In a paranoid frenzy, he learns that his factory worker persona is fake — the result of implanted memories — and that his real identity as a secret agent has been replaced. Or has it? He's summoned into a hovering car by Biel's Melina, and the subsequent scene is the best of the too-numerous-to-count chases, since it's something new, with hover cars moving up, down and sideways and riding above and below roads.

    Once Douglas and Melina are on the run from evil forces, the story devolves into tedium rather than building excitement.

    There is some cool high-tech gadgetry, such as phone equipment implanted in the palms of hands and a rocketing commuter elevator that travels from one continent to another through the Earth's core.

    Based on Philip K. Dick's dystopian short story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, the film has Douglas becoming involved with resistance fighters, led by Mathias (Bill Nighy), and taking on the nefarious overlord Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston).

    Paul Verhoeven's R-rated original involved Martians facing off against those who held them in tyranny. It also engaged in more mystery surrounding what was reality and what was implanted memory.

    This humorless PG-13 remake, directed by Len Wiseman (Underworld), is less of a mindbender. It takes place on a bleakly stylized Earth, with a pair of mega-continents facing off. Mired in hectic, repetitive-looking special effects, it doesn't dazzle as much as look like a big-screen video game.

    The key question takes a back seat to the relentless action sequences: Is Douglas suffering from a paranoid delusion, or was his memory replaced by nefarious forces? A tensely compelling scene involves a standoff with Douglas' work pal Harry (Bokeem Woodbine), who claims he's been injected into Douglas' memories to jolt him out of his delusion.

    Instead of drawing the audience in, the action scenes merely blur together. And the intriguing, thoughtful concepts at the story's core are glossed over.

    Total Recall is another remake that didn't need to be made.

    Total Recall ** out of four

    Stars: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, John Cho
    Director: Len Wiseman
    Distributor: Sony Pictures
    Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity and language
    Running time: 2 hours, 1 minute
    Opens Friday nationwide

    Total Recall Stud Colin Farrell Talks About His-Swoon!-Very Hot Body

    (Photo) Let's just get to the point—Colin Farrell has never looked better.

    All you have to do is take one look at the smokin' hot Irishman in the opening scene of Totall Recall when he wears nothing but a pair of low-slung boxers.

    "I trained myself, just down there at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel because I live just down the road," Farrell, 36, said at last night's premiere of the sci-fi action flick at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. "I worked out six days a week at the gym. I watched what I ate and got fit, got in good shape."

    He certainly did.

    "And then I arrived in Toronto about a month before we started shooting and lifted weights," Farrell said.

    Farrell and his equally as gorgeous costars, Jessica Biel, 30, and Kate Beckinsale, 39,definitely had to be in top physical form. The many fight sequences may have been choreographed, but they were also somewhat painful.

    "We all had some very impressive bruises, but nobody had an actual break," Beckinsale said. "We all do yoga. We're all quite bendy."

    When asked if he's let himself go after the movie wrapped, Farrell smiled, "I'm smaller than I was in the film but I'm still fit. I look after myself, which I enjoy."

    If all goes well, the movie will be as successful as the 1990 original. Farrell is open to making a sequel, saying, "There's nothing out of bounds, you know—if something's good and it catches my attention."

    Colin Farrell totally recalls unease about "Total Recall"

    Twenty-two years after the blockbuster success of the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film "Total Recall," actor Colin Farrell is stepping into the muscleman's big shoes in a reboot, but if it seems like a dream job, Farrell initially was not so gung-ho.

    As flattered as the 36-year-old Irish actor was to be offered the part, he admits "there was a part of me that was honestly afraid of judgment of people" who held the original film so dear to their hearts.

    "Films to some of us feel sacrosanct and the idea of remaking something seems like an insult to the original when in fact it's not," he told reporters at a recent press conference to promote the movie.

    To cure his unease, the actor sat down with director Len Wiseman, talked about changes to the new movie and decided it was clear the makers wanted a somewhat different tale - one with slightly less brawn and a bit more brain.

    "While honoring the same conventions and concepts and narrative plot points as the original story, this seemed to stand on its own," Farrell said.

    The first movie in 1990 was directed by Paul Verhoeven and starred Sharon Stone and former bodybuilder Schwarzenegger who was then at the top of his action hero form.

    The sci-fi tale was loosely based on a story by writer Philip K. Dick and told of a man who goes on a "virtual vacation" in his mind to Mars only to find he is being hunted, and he must fight his way back to reality. "Total Recall" became a huge hit, raking in $260 million at worldwide box offices.

    The new film is also based on Dick's story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and co-stars Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston and Wiseman's real-life wife, Kate Beckinsale. Farrell plays the same basic character, Douglas Quaid, who takes a vacation by strapping himself in a chair and going on a 'mind trip'.

    As with the first film, science goes awry and Quaid soon finds himself hunted by police before teaming with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) who explains he's really a super-spy working for an underground resistance.

    THREE BREASTS IN; BIG MUSCLES OUT

    Key differences include one of his pursuers, a role played by Beckinsale is an amalgamation of two characters in the original, and Wiseman's film takes place entirely on Earth.

    Still, some scenes pay homage to the original. Wiseman said he made a list of elements that stayed with him over the 22 years since he'd last seen the film, at age 14.

    "The three-breasted woman was very much at the top of my list," Wiseman, 39, told reporters, with a laugh. "I remember the immigration booth where the face splits open."

    So, Wiseman decided to take those favorite parts and "twist them and trick them up a little bit" for his new version.

    The most significant change was casting Farrell, whose strong physique bears little resemblance to Schwarzenegger's hulking mass. And that's exactly how Wiseman wanted it.

    "I had absolutely no intention of replacing Arnold," said Wiseman, who saw the new version as "a chance to do a very different kind of Quaid."

    He felt Dick's original tale had an "element to it of a man who wishes he could be more and then turns in to a super spy." In the 1990 film, "you're watching a guy who you already feel is a super spy because you've seen him in such a capacity," Wiseman said, noting Schwarzenegger's past films like "The Terminator."

    "I really wanted someone (the audience) could relate to," said Wiseman. "I wanted someone who is more of an everyman."

    He also wanted an actor first, preferring to "turn him in to an action star, rather than taking an action star and turning him in to an actor."

    New faces aim to put their stamp on franchise films

    Blockbuster changes are in store for our summer action heroes.

    America's multiplexes will feature back-to-back weekends of new faces. One will step into a familiar role, as Colin Farrell takes over the part Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous in Total Recall (opening Friday).

    And one will be a new character starring in an enduring franchise, when Jeremy Renner plays a contemporary spy in The Bourne Legacy (Aug. 10).

    "There is a love for these iconic figures," Total Recall director Len Wiseman. "It happens everywhere from Shakespeare to comic books — if there's a great character, a different take on it can be exciting."

    Not to mention profitable for these two highly anticipated films, which come after audiences have embraced a new Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in The Avengers and a new Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield's The Amazing Spider-Man has made nearly $250 million).

    Wiseman says he doesn't want to replace the memory of Schwarzenegger but aims to re-tell Philip K. Dick's 1966 science-fiction tale, which spawned the original 1990 Recall movie.

    "There's no attempt, nor has there ever been, in replacing Arnold," says Wiseman.

    This was clear from the casting of Farrell in the role as the true everyman who discovers he's actually a rebel leader.

    "Originally, there was all this speculation about who was going to be 'The Next Arnold' in this," says Wiseman. "There was the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and other wrestlers. But I was going in such a different direction, because otherwise what's the point?"

    In the new Bourne chapter, Renner plays Aaron Cross, a different spy in a different covert program from Matt Damon's Jason Bourne. It's a concurrent world that filmmakers wanted to explore after three Bourne movies, which have made close to $1 billion worldwide.

    "We have a new character in the same vein as the Bourne character," says producer Frank Marshall. "It's the expanded (spy) world that Bourne lives in. They are kind of like cousins."

    Marshall and Damon worked on 2002's The Bourne Identity, 2004's The Bourne Supremacy and 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum— a franchise which has earned critical raves and made more then $500 million.

    Marshall says that any future installments of the Bourne series would follow Renner's character, but could even include a return of Damon's Bourne.

    This twist of an Aaron Cross carrying the Bourne franchise is a Hollywood rarity, but both movies will need solid execution to win over the fans, Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.

    "People can be won over pretty quickly," says Dergarabedian. "It comes down to making a really good movie. And then people can embrace the new direction."

    Farrell grateful for second chance

    Colin Farrell is surprised to still be working in Hollywood after burning "so many bridges" during his hellraising heyday.

    The Irish star took full advantage of his newfound fame after his breakthrough role in the 2002 sci-fi hit Minority Report, and he fell into a downward spiral of substance abuse.

    He entered rehab in 2005 for addiction to prescription and recreational drugs and quit drinking upon his release in 2006, and has since learned to embrace the "sweet simplicity" of his healthy lifestyle.

    And Farrell, who will next appear in the Total Recall remake, insists he is lucky to still have a career after behaving so badly in his darkest moments.

    The father-of-two tells Britain's Men's Health magazine, "I had burned so many bridges in the film industry that I couldn't get a f**king meeting. But now I'm just enjoying life...

    "One of the big things that I was drawn to about drugs was the ritual. I don't put the same level of energy into healthy living as I did into unhealthy living, but I eat really well, drink loads of green tea, and take a s**t load of vitamins. It's so f**king boring... life has mutated to take on this sweet simplicity that I am really f**king OK with."

    Colin Farrell: No Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation in 'Total Recall'

    Colin Farrell had no desire to imitate Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall performance in the upcoming remake, insisting the film "felt different enough" from the 1990 original for him to make his mark on the role.

    The actor has taken over the part made famous by Schwarzenegger in the new adaptation of Philip K. Dick's story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.

    He appeared at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif. on Friday to discuss the Len Wiseman-directed film, and he is convinced movie fans will be impressed with the reboot.

    Farrell says, "I didn't feel the need to fill those size 16 shoes or 18 shoes or whatever size foot Arnie has. The film felt different enough that I could go and make it my own. I did think about messing around with an Austrian accent for about seven minutes."

    Wiseman's wife Kate Beckinsale also stars in the blockbuster, and the beauty admits she was surprised her husband cast her as a double-agent.

    She joked to him during the panel chat, "I'm still offended that you thought of me for this psycho-b**ch role, but it's nice to be able to open up the crazy a little bit."

    The film is set for release in August.

    'Total Recall': The good, the bad and the curvy

    Extra-curvy women, Jessica Biel boxing and a wise-cracking Bryan Cranston highlighted Sony Pictures' Total Recall Comic-Con panel Friday.

    Like in the futuristic 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Doug Quaid (played by Colin Farrell) is a seemingly normal guy who finds himself having different memories of a life other than his own, which leads to a string of dangerous circumstances

    "Maybe I've spent a large portion of my life not knowing who I am," Farrell said of connecting with Quaid. "Everything he held dear and close in his life is a fabrication. He's in a state of conscious shock for most of the film. Essentially, it becomes a source of liberation: He has to figure out what kind of man he wants to be."

    The actor has been focusing on smaller independent movies in recent years, and hadn't done a big action flick since 2006's Miami Vice.

    "I had been doing things that very felt personal, but there's a lot of fun to be had with a movie like this," said Farrell, adding that he was "a bit dubious" to doing his second remake in two years, referring to last year's Fright Night.

    Then director Len Wiseman showed him concept art of the world in Total Recall (out Aug. 3) he wanted to create. "I was like a 6-year-old looking at those pictures," Farrell said.

    He recalled drinking a lot of protein shakes in his and the rest of the cast's preparation for the more physical rigors of fight scenes and chase sequences.

    Learning martial-arts and parkour skills, "you have to train as an athlete would," said Jessica Biel, who plays a resistance fighter against the villainous president of Euroamerica, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston).

    Her training regime: "Boxing, boxing, boxing, boxing, boxing and chicken." Cranston's? "I was training at a bar."

    Wiseman's real-life spouse Kate Beckinsale plays Quaid's wife-from-hell, who attacks her husband violently. "She said she'd read for it. Len said, 'You already have,' " Farrell joked.

    "It's nice to be able to open up the crazy a little bit," Beckinsale added.

    During a fan Q&A, a convention-goer asked Farrell why he didn't use his usual Irish accent in the movie. "I did think of messing around with an Austrian accent for about seven minutes," he said, prompting a Cranston one-liner: "I thought you were Austrian?"

    Farrell may not sound like Schwarzenegger, but there are nods to the original movie, including one overly endowed female character that's infamous in sci-fi circles from the first go-round.

    "If you didn't have a hooker with three boobs," Cranston said to Wiseman, "we'd all be upset."

    Comic-Con: Farrell goes to remake mode in 'Recall'

    Colin Farrell says he doesn't think he's supplanting Arnold Schwarzenegger in the new take on "Total Recall."

    Farrell told fans at the Comic-Con convention on Friday that his version of Schwarzenegger's 1990 science-fiction thriller may be a remake, but it has a different style and tone that makes the story its own.

    "I didn't feel the need to fill those size 16 shoes or 18 shoes or whatever size foot Arnie has. The film felt different enough that I could go and make it my own," Farrell said. "I did think about messing around with an Austrian accent for about seven minutes."

    "Total Recall" is inspired by a short story from science-fiction master Philip K. Dick. It is about a working-class guy (Farrell) who discovers hidden memories that hint at a former life as a deadly operative, and co-stars Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.

    The movie opens Aug. 3. It is directed by Beckinsale's husband, Len Wiseman, who also directed her in the vampire tale "Underworld" and its first sequel.

    Beckinsale takes on the role originated by Sharon Stone, the seemingly loving wife who turns out to be a deadly, explosively violent agent playing out an elaborate deception.

    "I'm still offended that you thought of me for this psycho-bitch role," Beckinsale told her husband during the Comic-Con panel. "But it's nice to be able to open up the crazy a little bit."

    The filmmakers showed a montage of about six minutes of footage of the futuristic world of "Total Recall," including a police car chase with flying vehicles and a savage scene of close-quarter fighting in an elevator.

    One of the big differences between the two versions is that the new one sticks to Earth, while the original concluded on Mars. Farrell also said the new one sets aside a lot of the campy humor of Schwarzenegger's movie.

    "This is played a lot straighter," Farrell said. "What I'm saying is, I don't have one-liners."

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