Dublin-born Colin Farrell is the son of soccer player Eammonn Farrell, who played for the Shamrock Rovers in the '60s. At 15, he deferred from following in his father's footsteps to pursue acting, enrolling in Dublin's Gaeity school, but left shortly before he landed the role of Danny on the hit series Ballykissangel. The show went on to make Farrell a teen idol and before he knew it, he had a Hollywood agent and a leading role in Joel Schumacher's Tigerland.
In Tigerland (2000), Farrell stars as a young, Texan roughneck recruit in a Louisiana boot camp, training for Vietnam. After a failed attempt at a discharge, he tries to get his fellow recruits kicked out instead. In the meantime, he develops an unlikely friendship with a clean-cut, well-bred idealist. Farrell also co-starred with Kevin Spacey in the gangster movie, Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000) as the youngest member of Spacey's gang of hoodlums. It was Spacey who suggested Farrell for that part after catching his performance in In a Little World of Our Own at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
Though his star turn as Jesse James in the western American Outlaws (2001) didn't score big at the box office, his performance was given the nod and he was bombarded with scripts for blockbusters such as Hart's War (2002) opposite Bruce Willis, Spielberg's Minority Report (2002) and Daredevil (2003), as well as low-budget features like Phone Booth (2002).
Farrell married actress Amelia Warner in July, 2001, but they filed for divorce in November of the same year. Since then, he has gained as big a reputation for his partying, womanizing and drinking as for his acting ability. His son, James, with model Kim Bordenave, has Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. He and his current girlfriend, actress Alicja Bachleda, became the parents of a boy, Henry Tadeusz Farrell, on October 7, 2009.
While attending the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, Farrell proved himself a hands-on humanitarian when he ran into a homeless man outside a hotel. The man first met Farrell when the Irish actor was shooting A Home at the End of the World in Toronto, and Farrell remembered him. The actor took the man shopping and bought him a thermal sleeping bag, new clothing and luggage. Before dropping the man off with his new goods, Farrell slipped him a wad of cash.
In 2009, Farrell won a Golden Globe award for his performance in In Bruges (2009) and in 2010, he won an Irish Film and Television Awards for his work in Ondine (2010). In 2012, he took on the role of Douglas Quaid/Hauser in the remake of Total Recall. The role was originally played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original 1990 film. Farrell then voiced Ronin in the movie Epic (2013), followed by a starring role in the dramatic biopic Saving Mr. Banks (2013) and the period drama Miss Julie (2014).
In 2015, Farrell starred in the second season of the highly acclaimed HBO series True Detective alongside other A-listers Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn. He followed this up with a role in the dystopian dramedy The Lobster (2016), a role for which he earned massive critical praise.
The talented Irishman played Graves in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) starring Eddie Redmayne and can then be seen in the thriller The Beguiled (2017) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). He can also be seen in the dramatic thriller Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) opposite Denzel Washington.
In 2020, he was part of an ensemble cast that included Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery and Hugh Grant in Guy Ritchie's latest crime actioner, The Gentlemen (2020). He also played the father of the title character in the Disney feature, Artemis Fowl (2020) and a crime boss in Ava (2020), co-starring Jessica Chastain and John Malkovich.
In 2022, he received much critical acclaim when he played the part of a man whose best friend turns his back on him in The Banshees of Inisherin. He won a second Golden Globe award for his work in the film, and also received nominations from the Academy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the BAFTAs.
The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
Thirteen Lives (2022)
The Batman (2022)
After Yang (2021)
Artemis Fowl (2020)
The Gentlemen (2019)
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)
The Beguiled (2017)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
The Lobster (2016)
Miss Julie (2014)
Winter's Tale (2014)
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Dead Man Down (2013)
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Total Recall (2012)
Fright Night (2011)
Horrible Bosses (2011)
London Boulevard (2010)
The Way Back (2010)
Crazy Heart (2010)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Pride and Glory (2008)
In Bruges (2008)
Cassandra’s Dream (2007)
Miami Vice (2006)
Ask the Dust (2006)
The New World (2006)
A Home at the End of the World (2004)
Veronica Guerin (2003)
The Recruit (2003)
Phone Booth (2002)
Minority Report (2002)
Hart’s War (2002)
American Outlaws (2001)
Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)
The War Zone (1999)
Drinking Crude (1997)
The Disappearance of Finbar (1996)
Frankie Starlight (1995)