Meet Hollywood's Newest Hunk, Colin Farrell

ByABC News
October 12, 2000, 7:44 PM

Oct. 12 -- I didn't know from Hamburger Hill and Full Metal Jacket, joked Irish actor Colin Farrell recently about his cinematic (and historical) inexperience before he was cast in Joel Schumacher's new Vietnam-era drama,Tigerland.

But what the 24-year-old did know was that he wanted the role badly enough to pay his own way from Dublin, Ireland, to the London audition.

And his instincts were dead on.

Not only did he nail the lead in the low-budget film, thanks to a spot-on American accent and some beer-inspired courage, but his role as Roland Bozz, a Steve McQueen-like, anti-authoritarian ringleader, has also ended his days of being an unknown. Likened by Entertainment Weeklys Lisa Schwarzbaum to George Clooney and Russell Crowe, Farrell has beefcake charms that are currently on display on the cover of the October issue of Interview magazine.

And just this week, Farrell landed two high-profile gigs: reteaming with director Schumacher on Phone Booth (in which Jim Carrey was initially slated to star) and waltzing into Harts War in the place of Edward Norton.

So, who is this brash young actor whos suddenly the talk of Hollywood?

A high-school dropout, the Dublin native first took up acting in Sydney, Australia, where he spent a year waiting tables and doing a little bit of theater acting. When he returned home, he began his career in earnest with a continuing role in the BBC series Ballykissangel, which was also broadcast in the United States on PBS.

For Tigerland which takes place during the final week of boot camp before the troops are shipped overseas to Nam Farrell and his castmates endured a mock-Marine boot camp like the one Dale Dye ran for Saving Private Ryan.

It was pretty physical and Im a fairly lazy bastard, dont work out too much, Farrell remembers of the camp, which was run by Vietnam vet Michael Stokey.

We learned to clean guns and learned formations and maneuvering and then every night wed go into Stokeys bar in our army gear and have a few cigarettes and hed tell us stories Horrible s--t! That was the best part of boot camp.