Sunday 15 December 2019

A little dose of quality TV redemption could be just the role Colin Farrell needs

Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay attend the UK Premiere of
Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay attend the UK Premiere of "New York Winter's Tale" on February 13, 2014 in London, England. Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
True Detective

Farreller back on the box? We didn't see that one coming. Rumour has it that Castleknock's finest acting export has only gone and landed himself a lead role on season two of HBO's Emmy Award-nominated and critically-acclaimed crime drama, True Detective.

Where are Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson off to?

Well, the show fancies itself as something of an anthology. Which means out with the old and in with the new for every season. Keeps things fresh, we presume.

But back to Farrell. The last time we saw him on TV it was as young Danny Byrne on the BBC's Irish-based country drama, Ballykissangel. All the way back in 1999, would you believe.

Nothing has been confirmed, but if he has indeed signed on the dotted line to play one of three lead characters on True Detective, it could be the start of something beautiful. For everyone involved.


Think about it - when is the last time the bloke starred in anything decent? Is this a good move for the lad whose face used to stare out at us at every bus stop, billboard and magazine cover? And didn't Colin Farrell play a detective before?

I seem to recall a handlebar moustache, sunglasses and a post-gig interview about not being able to remember a single thing about the shoot. Wait - I've got it! It was Miami Vice, with Jamie Foxx. Christ, that didn't end well at all.

But Farrell is a new man for quite some time. Every interview published reminds us how long he's been off the sauce.

Fair play to him. After hitting the ground running some 10 years back with a long line of Hollywood hits and misses, Farrell (then Hollywood's new golden boy) turned his back on pay cheques and tequila shots in favour of proper scripts. The comeback got off to a good start with 2008's In Bruges (for which he won a Golden Globe). And then it got weird again.

Sobriety agrees with Colin Farrell, but man, does he know how to pick some duds.

Here we have a genuinely superb talent (I don't care if he was riding atop a flying horse in this year's poorly-received Winter's Tale - Farrell was wonderful in it) whose box-office let-downs of late include ropey, sci-fi remakes (Total Recall), muddled, indie-schmindie projects (Seven Psychopaths) and boring horror yarns (Fright Night).

It was only a matter of time, then, before he turned his attention to the box in the corner.

Indeed, the so-called golden age of television continues unabated. Don't give me this whole "too many special-effects at the movies" malarkey.

If you want grown-up entertainment at your local multiplex, there are plenty of options that don't involve fighting robots and warrior apes. And I really do believe that the best scripts will always be in Hollywood.

But for now, TV land has employed a sensational line-up of writers, actors and producers, and it's only right that Farrell should have a go behind the wheel.

Look at what it did for Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and even the aforementioned Matthew McConaughey (now an Oscar winner…we'll never get over that).

TV is the place where film actors go to stretch their muscles. It's also a medium in which Tinseltown's heavy-hitters and redemption-seekers can have a lot of fun, without the added pressure of opening weekend.

Because everyone who's anyone loves their telly, and, as Farrell is undoubtedly aware, millions of them love True Detective.

As a fan of the show, I'm certainly hoping for the best.


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