A chat with Colin Farrell (“Dead Man Down”)

Colin Farrell was first introduced to American audiences in Joel Schumacher’s “Tigerland” in 2000, and he’s managed to leave a lasting impression in each film he’s done. With leading man good looks and acting chops to match, the former bad boy’s onscreen intensity is sometimes enough to make up for some questionable script choices. Whether giving life to an underrated supervillain in “Daredevil,” or starring in the 2012 reboot of the iconic “Total Recall,” Farrell is as talented as he is fearless.

In almost an extension of “Total Recall,” where the main character Douglas Quaid is trying to remember his past, his latest role as Victor in “Dead Man Down” is about a man using revenge to come to grips with his. We recently had a chance to speak to Colin about his preparation for the role, working with co-star Noomi Rapace (“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), and his upcoming slate of films, including the animated film “Epic,” featuring the voices of Amanda Seyfried and Beyonce, and “Saving Mr. Banks,” where he plays the father of “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers.

BE: The film raises the interesting question of “How far would you go?” So how far would you go?

COLIN FARRELL: I have no idea. It’s never good to answer in “what ifs.” I think it’s horseshit. I don’t think any of us have an iota of how we’d really respond to most situations.

BE: Do you ever leave the set wondering what you would do in a character’s situation?

COLIN FARRELL: When you’re doing a film, once you start asking “What would I do?” you start getting the distance greater between yourself and the character or you’re bringing the character to you, which is self-serving in the wrong way. I think it seems that the idea is to bring yourself to the character.

BE: Were you able to relate to the character?

COLIN FARRELL: Well, you know, it’s fiction. I don’t even have to do that. It’s in you already. You just treat the fiction as reality, kind of. Ideally, you read a script so often and you think about the context of the scene so much that you begin to dream. You’re in pretty good shape if you begin to dream the character and certain conventions of the story. Noomi started having earlier dreams than I did. (laughs)

BE: How are you feeling, outside of the role?

COLIN FARRELL: I’m was doing good. I’m fairly healthy. Sometimes, you come home from work and you’re just tired and you wouldn’t want to see anyone and just be on your own. Consciously, you kind of look after yourself, whatever that may be. Whether you go out for a few drinks and dinner or just hit the couch and watch TV, or go to the gym or yoga class. Just be aware that there’s the potential for you to be in it and respecting wherever you find yourself, so I was fine.

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