Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's biggest stars in Hollywood and abroad. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history.
Farrell was born on May 31, 1976 in Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland, to Rita (Monaghan) and Eamon Farrell. His father and uncle were both professional athletes, and for a while, it looked like Farrell would follow in their footsteps. Farrell auditioned for a part in the Irish Boy Band, Boyzone, but it didn't work out. After dropping out of the Gaiety School of Acting, Farrell was cast in Ballykissangel (1996), a BBC television drama. "Ballykissangel" was not his first role on screen. Farrell had previously been in The War Zone (1999), directed by Tim Roth and had appeared in the independent film Drinking Crude (1997). Farrell was soon to move on to bigger things.
Exchanging his usually thick Dublin accent for a light Texas drawl, Farrell acted in the gritty Tigerland (2000), directed by Joel Schumacher. Starring Farrell amongst a number of other budding young actors, the film portrays a group of new recruits being trained for the war in Vietnam. Farrell played the arrogant soldier Boz, drafted into the army and completely spiteful of authority. The film was praised by critics, but did not make much money at the box office. It was Farrell's first big role on film, and certainly not his last. Farrell followed up with American Outlaws (2001), where he played the notorious outlaw Jesse James with Scott Caan, son of legendary actor James Caan, in the role of Cole Younger. The film was a box office flop and failure with the critics. Immediately, Farrell returned to the war drama film that had made him famous. Co-starring in the war film Hart's War (2002) opposite Bruce Willis, Farrell played the young officer captured by the enemy. The film was another failure. Farrell struck gold when he was cast in the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report (2002) that same year. Set in a futuristic time period, Farrell played the character Danny Witwer, a young member of the Justice Department who is sent after Tom Cruise's character. The film was a smash hit, and praised by critics.