Colin Farrell tells Lorraine he got sober for his son

Tim Burton and Colin Farrell attend the European premiere of Dumbo held at Curzon Mayfair, London. Doug Peters/EMPICS
Tim Burton and Colin Farrell attend the European premiere of Dumbo held at Curzon Mayfair, London. Doug Peters/EMPICS

It’s been a long time since Colin Farrell first played an angry young man – in the BBC’s Ballykissangel no less. These days, he’s switched his bad boy image for fatherhood and family films. He opened up about his rise to fame, getting sober and failing his final Boyzone audition on the couch with Lorraine Kelly this week.

In a relaxed and candid chat, Farrell chatted about surviving Hollywood. “It was fun for a while, but a real desire to live saved me. And the birth of my first son James was a moment in my life when I realised I wasn’t just living for myself anymore. I had a little baby that didn’t need a best friend, he needed a dad. He was about two when I got sober.”

He went on to reveal the first ever box set he binged on – Queer as Folk – and how close he came to almost being a member of Boyzone. “I was tone deaf. They made me sing Carless Whisper twice because they couldn’t believe how bad I was.”

Read more: Colin Farrell: ‘I Sang Careless Whisper For Boyzone Audition’

There was one embarrassing moment when the In Bruges star forgot the name of a cousin, he was saying hello to live on air. Finally remembering, he laughed it off saying, “Lorraine makes me nervous when she wears leopard skin print.”

Farrell is in the UK promoting new film, Dumbo, director Tim Burton’s reimagining of the classic Disney adventure.

When he signed on the dotted line to star in the production, he thought his kids would be impressed, but he was wrong, especially not his youngest.

“I was so excited to tell them both that I was doing it a couple of years ago, but he went Dumbo, tutted, and then went neerrr and did this thing with his hand.”

Read more: Colin Farrell: Screen time is a ‘curse’ for children

Farrell will return to his BBC roots, when he stars in the BBC Two thriller The North Water, about a dangerous whaling expedition to the Arctic Circle. The saga starts shooting in the autumn.