So I was wandering around Paris last week and kept noticing a
familiar profile out of the corner of my eye. It belonged to Colin
Farrell. Not in the flesh, but on Tigerland posters, which were
plastered all over the city. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the film was
released in the US last fall and is now being distributed in Europe.
Based on the experiences of a group of army trainees preparing to ship
out to Vietnam, Tigerland put Farrell on an upward spiral that is almost
unprecedented. He's famous; you just don't know it yet.
It amused me that I couldn't escape Farrell's visage in Paris, because I
had just finished working with him in on another soldier's story, Hart's
War, a suspense thriller set in a Nazi POW camp. Only 24 years old,
Farrell held his own with Bruce Willis (who also delivers an exceptional
performance, in my biased opinion) and then immediately began working
with Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise in Minority Report.
Imagine. One day you're a young Dublin stage actor and soccer player,
and within the span of less than two years you find yourself working
with arguably the two biggest movie stars in the world and probably the
biggest director of all time.
"Mad, isn't it?" is how Farrell described it to me. Working with him was
a treat. Friendly, self-effacing and remarkably quick-witted, he is one
of the rare performers about whom not a single negative thing was said
by any crew member. Not one.
Farrell's publicist, Sue Patricola, who handles a slew of rising young
stars, told me he is indeed a dream. And unless I miss my guess, he's
about to become the dream of millions of young female moviegoers.
Farrell enjoyed a reunion on the Hart's War set with Schumacher, who
directed him earlier this year in Phone Booth, coming out this
Schumacher happened to be shooting Black Sheep, starring Anthony Hopkins
and Chris Rock, on an adjacent soundstage. Jerry Bruckheimer, who's
producing Black Sheep, also wandered by to greet Willis, who helped make
Bruckheimer's Armageddon one of the biggest hits of 1998. Sir Anthony
himself even dropped in, gracious and unassuming, the perfect gentleman.
Talk about irony: Hopkins had considered taking a role in Hart's War,
and here he was working right next door. It may be a small world, but
it's a big industry.
Anyway, from the Arc de Triomphe to Notre Dame Cathedral, I played
American tourist under the ubiquitous gaze of Colin Farrell. Then it was
off to the Eiffel Tower, wondering how many Tigerland posters I would be
able to spot from the top with a decent pair of binoculars.
Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and