Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell Open Up About the 'Legacy' and 'Gift' of Sobriety

"For me, sobriety first. Always," Jamie Lee Curtis told Colin Farrell in a conversation for Variety's Actors on Actors

Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell are reflecting on how their respective experiences with sobriety have impacted their lives today.

In an Actors on Actors conversation with Variety, the Everything Everywhere All at Once actress, 64, and The Banshees of Inisherin actor, 46, opened up about being sober in the context of the messages behind their films.

Curtis called The Banshees of Inisherin "so deeply Irish, that's such a beautiful, intensely quiet, conversational movie about human emotions," before Farrell said Everything Everywhere All at Once is "about the exact same thing: the awareness of the ticking of the clock."

"And as long as the clock has enough breath to go from 11 to 12, there's an ability to reverse course," he continued.

After the Halloween Ends actress noted parallel themes of "redemption," "reconciliation" and "healing," Farrell called the message "beautiful" and added of his reasoning, "Because the only two things I know as certainties are, we're going to die and we're going to make serious mistakes. Whether we atone for our mistakes."

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Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell
Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell for Variety. Alexi Lubomirski for Variety

Curtis then asked her fellow actor if that lesson is one he knew "before [he] got sober," to which he admitted he didn't but "had suspicions, before I got sober, of how painful life could be."

"But I had no ability to hold that without being self-destructive and without living in it," Farrell explained. "I don't live in that now. I feel these things that we're talking about, at times. And I consider life greatly at times. And other times, I'm as frivolous as I was when I was 6 years old on a good day."

Later in their conversation, Farrell asked Curtis about what legacy means to her, to which she admitted she "think(s) about it a lot."

"Being sober is going to be a legacy, for sure," she added. "Because I'm stopping what has been a generational issue in my biological family. It'll be the single greatest thing I do, if I can stay sober. Because generations of people have had their lives ruled and ruined by alcoholism and drug addiction. For me, sobriety first. Always."

The Knives Out star also said she believes sobriety's "gift" translates to the idea that "the rules apply to you just like they apply to other people. That's what legacy is: making friends and loving your people really well."

Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell
Jamie Lee Curtis and Colin Farrell on the cover of Variety. Alexi Lubomirski for Variety

Both Farrell and Curtis have been open about the ups and downs of their sobriety journeys over the years, with the In Bruges actor telling The Irish Times in 2021, "After 15 or 20 years of carousing the way I caroused and drinking the way I drank, the sober world is a pretty scary world."

"To come home and not to have the buffer support of a few drinks just to calm the nerves, it was a really amazing thing. And I remember being more nervous, and being more uncomfortable initially at the [2008 Dublin International Film Festival] than any others because I didn't have any booze," he added, noting it was one of his first sober film festivals.

Curtis also writes about her experience in the foreword to author Elisa Hallerman's Soulbriety, a new book about how to achieve not only sobriety, but a deeper connection to one's self and soul.

Powered by what Curtis describes as Hallerman's "unflinching and raw storytelling" and "deep seeking and learning," the book seeks to take an integrative approach to addiction and healing from the underlying trauma that often leads to it.

Says Curtis in the foreword, "In the end, it's all about our soul. The overall message is that we are enough."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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