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GO WITH THE FLOW
"I've never had a master plan, and it's done me okay so far," says Farrell (at the New York premiere of Alexander on Nov. 22) of his career. "I just read (stuff) and see what I'm going to do. I don't direct it. It directs me." Next up for the actor: The drama Ask the Dust, costarring Salma Hayek.
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MOM KNOWS BEST
"He knows when he needs to take care of business. I think that's why he should be allowed and excused to be as wild and crazy as he wants," says Alexander costar Angelina Jolie of Farrell (on the German TV show Wetten dass? on Nov. 13), who plays her son in the film. As for the rumors of an on-set romance, both insist they were just good friends.
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Rumors first surfaced about Farrell and Jolie when they spent time together off the set while filming Alexander. Last December, the pair (on Christmas Eve) visited the Egyptian pyramids with Jolie's son, Maddox, and partied at several London hotspots. When asked if they were involved, Farrell's reply at the time was, "Angelina and I work together. Do you go out with people you work with?"
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ME, MYSELF & I
Though Farrell (scrutinizing the wax version of himself at the launch of the Alexander the Great exhibit at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York on Nov. 23) admits that "I get no kicks from the gym," he buffed up – and went blond – to play the warrior king in Alexander. He also "talked to historians until their ears fell off" to prep for his role, says producer Moritz Borman.
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"I don't ever want to start censoring myself," says the outspoken star (at a 2003 Academy Awards party) of his hard-partying, pint-imbibing, chain-smoking ways. "It would take away the fun of living."
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Just four days before the filming of Alexander wrapped in Bangkok, Thailand, Farrell (in L.A. in March) broke his heel and wrist after falling down the stairs at a local hotel. That didn't stop him from doing his job. "We wheeled him into battle and he got on a horse," says director Oliver Stone. "He looked like a broken man, but he put out 100 percent."
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SWEET BABY JAMES
"The first time you hold your baby in your arms, a sense of strength and love washes over you," says Farrell of his 14-month-old son James (in July). "It's a very strange love, and a very beautiful love and a very pure love, unconditional to the extreme."
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"Colin's who I want to be reincarnated as. He's having so much fun," says Farrell's Daredevil costar Ben Affleck of the actor (with a fan at the L.A. premiere of S.W.A.T. in 2003). "He's wonderful, he's wild," says Bridget Moynahan, Farrell's costar in 2003's The Recruit.
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Farrell and his siblings – Eamonn (right, in Dublin in 2003), a dancer who heads Ireland's National Performing Arts School; Catherine, an actress; and Claudine, his personal assistant – often reunite for his L.A. premieres. "We have real big nights staying in nice hotels and going bananas," says Farrell.
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He "loves beer, women, soccer, his mother and a good argument," says actor Neal McDonough of Farrell (with an unidentified woman in 2003). Adds Daredevil costar Jennifer Garner: He is "taking advantage of how adorable he is. And I'm glad for him. But he better not get close to my sister!"
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"There is a lot of depth" to Farrell, says Tigerland director Joel Schumacher of Farrell (on the South African set of Ask the Dust in June). "People don't realize how much he cares about the work. He agonizes over things," adds Daredevil director Mark Steven Johnson.
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UP ALL NIGHT
"I'm so excited. I'm a little bit scared, but not as scared as I've been told I should be," Farrell said in 2003 when he announced that then-girlfriend Kim Bordenave was pregnant with his child. But he wasn't afraid of the lost sleep new parents often experience: "I've always been something of an insomniac," he said. "Between midnight and 3 a.m. are lovely moments for me."
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"Too fast, too young," says Farrell of his four-month-long marriage to actress Amelia Warner (in 2001). He was 25 and she was 19 when they wed on the island of Bora Bora in July 2001 and he had her nickname, Millie, tattooed on his ring finger as a sign of his commitment.
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"I dare not think too far into the future on the risk that I'll miss the present," says Farrell (at a 2003 music awards show in Dublin with Wild Boys star Chris Pontius). "I don't want to. The present is pretty good."