- 18 Nov 16
Colin Farrell is back on the big screen in one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year, the Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Roe McDermott catches up with the Irish star in LA, where he discusses the magic of JK Rowling's world, the challenges of fatherhood, gender politics in Hollywood, and the strangest American election ever.
It’s been three years since I’ve spoken to Colin Farrell, and for some reason I’m shocked to see that he – like my own mere mortal self – has aged. The last time we spoke, we were curled up in armchairs in a Dublin hotel over tea. His hair was long, his manner effusive. Now, in a swanky LA suite with the AC blaring, our Colin’s hair is short and graying, and his demeanour is more subdued. He’s no less friendly or engaging; Farrell’s innate magnetism could never be extinguished. But his charm is less performative these days. Indeed, he now seems possessed of an assured stillness that exudes experience and wisdom.
This newfound calm is certainly at odds with the actor’s tabloid reputation of yore. For years, Colin Farrell was the Bad Boy, the Party Boy, the Playboy. But at 40, he’s no longer a boy, nor trying to be – he’s definitively, happily, all grown up.
Not that being older has eliminated his desire for magic and joy. Farrell is currently starring in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, a prequel to the Harry Potter stories. Directed by David Yates and written by JK Rowling, the film takes place in New York in 1926. The city is becoming increasingly dangerous, with battles between wizards and non-magical people (known as ‘No-Majs’) brewing. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, a curmudgeonly wizard whose magical creatures are set loose across the city, escalating the tension and the fun. Farrell plays Percival Graves, a man struggling to keep things under control after Newt’s actions highlight the stark divides in society.