Colin Farrell talks to PEOPLE about whether his new role in the Harry Potter universe makes him cooler to sons Henry and James

By Jen Juneau
November 14, 2016 02:25 PM

Colin Farrell‘s newest turn as wizard protector Percival Graves in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them no doubt resonates with kids in a way many of his other roles have been too adult-oriented to do.

But when asked if his kids — Henry, 7, and James, 13 — see him as a “cooler dad” now that he’s dabbled in the Harry Potter universe, the 40-year-old Irish actor admits not much has changed.

“Not at all,” he tells PEOPLE, adding jokingly, “I’m just as boring and frustrating as I ever was.”

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His boys are fans of the series, though — even if his younger son has had a hard time with some of the scenes.

“James has seen all the Potter films, loved them. And Henry … as soon as the book with the teeth [made an appearance — The Monster Book of Monsters, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban], that was the end of that,” Farrell explains. “So I have to reintroduce him now.”

Luckily, Henry doesn’t have to watch the first eight movies to get into the spirit of the spin-off which, aside from his dad, stars Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston.

“But this is standalone as well, they don’t have to see those [movies], but I think he’d love them now,” Farrell muses.

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“The beasts are pretty beautiful — they’re pretty extraordinarily imagined and realized,” Farrell says of what he’s most excited for his sons to see in his new movie.

And as an actor who has the added bonus of being a dad, the True Detective star says he’s glad the parts of the film that might be a little unsettling will be easier on his sons for one specific reason.

“Suspension of disbelief is kind of impossible ’cause their dad will be in it,” he says. “So if something is a little bit scary, it probably won’t scare them as much as it might have if I wasn’t lumbering around the screen.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premieres Friday in theaters everywhere.