Hollywood star Colin Farrell has revealed he realised how lucky he was to survive his battle with addiction while attending the funeral of Heath Ledger.
The tragic Australian actor died of an overdose two years ago and Farrell said that he had a "this could've been me" moment at the funeral service for his 28-year-old-friend.
The Castleknock native (33) explained that he was brought down to earth at the ceremony. "I wouldn't describe it as survivor's guilt, but yes, that came into it a little bit. It makes you ask some questions about yourself," he said.
After a highly publicised battle with alcohol and drugs, the father-of-two has cleaned up his act and is now settled in LA with his Ondine co-star Alicja Bachleda (27), the mother of his youngest son, Henry Tadeusz (five months).
He added that his indulgence in drink and drugs was his way of showing that fame hadn't changed him and he was still the same old party boy he had been before he made it big in Hollywood.
"I wanted to show that I was proud of my Irishness. And I kind of felt I was representing that side of me. But I was doing it in the most cliched way possible.
"It's like Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. He told to the audience that he hated cliches, especially about Irish people being drunk, and then he said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, here's Colin Farrell!' But it's what I was, and what I did."
Farrell recalled the early days of his fame as "something that seemed incredibly exotic. It represented the ultimate kind of status. But it eventually became one of those 'be careful what you wish for' things."
In spite of his past, the Golden Globe winning actor said that his low points are what made him who he was.
"Look, the ins and outs of what I've been through, even when it comes to rehab, is not a sad story. None of it is a sad story. I had a great time and some amazing memories and lots of good stuff that I've forgotten."
And since meeting his current girlfriend on the set of their new film, he loving the role of doting dad.
"The past four years do feel like a different chapter in my own life because before that I had profoundly and aggressively resisted change until I realised that it was a stultifying case of arrested development that I was inflicting upon myself," he said.
"So with that in mind there's been an acceptance of change -- with parenthood, with settling down in Los Angeles, buying a house and not just living in hotels. It's about trying to find a little bit more solidity."