To embody the world-conquering Macedonian king Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone’s epic Alexander, Colin Farrell had to give in to one his most despised activities: exercise. “I hated it,” the nightlife-loving actor and devout smoker, 28, says of the extensive physical training he undertook. But the taut muscles beneath his circa 350 B.C. armored breastplate show that the work paid off. Now recovered from a broken heel and wrist he suffered after a drunken fall down a flight of stairs four days before the film wrapped, Farrell chatted about enduring boot camp, skipping the protein shakes and pursuing a new Vice.
What do you think of all the talk that Alexander was bisexual.
It ain’t about that, man. I didn’t even think about the sex in the film because it had nothing to do with Alexander as an individual. Any sexuality that’s represented in the film is historically accurate to the time.
Tell us about the boot camp training you did.
I liked the boot camp because that wasn’t about working out and stuff; that was just about being with a bunch of guys. It was done to bring the cast together to allow us to learn about each other, and to form relationships that would create trust. There was no going to the gym and weight lifting, and no protein shakes, but we jogged every morning.
Why did you want to be Alexander?
Primarily I wanted the chance to work with (director) Oliver (Stone). That was the most attractive thing about it. Then a close second was how fantastic the script he wrote was, and then a very close third, or maybe a joint second, was the part itself. It was just amazing, I knew it would be an absolute trip.
What about him attracted you?
He was very bold. He was highly ambitious, highly impassioned. He was quite lonely. He was quite damaged from his childhood and what he’d seen his parents do to each other. He had incredible trust issues. Regardless of how he was viewed by some people as a son of a god or close to a god in his life, he at the end of the day was only mortal.
Speaking of mortals, you’ve said you’d like to do the Miami Vice movie. Can you do a good Don Johnson impression?
No. God, I’ll leave that to Don.
But the movie could happen?
It’s a great script. It’s not tongue and cheek, it’s not the ’80s. It’s a different sensibility. One would hope that at least in ’04 we’re not in a silver shiny suit with the sleeves rolled up and a thing like that. It wouldn’t be very good undercover dressed like that. Hopefully I’m going to do it.