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Michael O'Doherty: Who knew? It seems our Colin's a weird hybrid of hokiest roles he's played

IN the movie Intermission, Colin Farrell's character chats up a girl behind a cash register with the following line.

"I could be a stranger who's just be a bit of fun... Or, and it's not that crazy, your soul mate... On the other hand, I could just be a thief, waiting for my chance to smack your jaw and rob the register while the place is empty."

Which he proceeds to do.


I've always liked Colin. An Irish actor who, rather than talking ad nauseum about going to Hollywood and becoming a star, actually did it. But if the picture painted of him by his former girlfriend Emma Forrest is anything to go by, then the line between the on-screen characters and the off-screen lad from Castleknock is starting to become dangerously blurred.

Farrell has for a long time seemed to have turned into a bizarre hybrid of many of the characters he plays -- part Alexander the Great, trying to conquer every woman he meets, part Stu Shepard from Phone Book, callously professing love for one woman while entertaining another, part Lehiff from Intermission, talking bollox to our constant amusement.


In recounting the story of their romance in her latest novel, Forrest is cranking it up a notch from the usual kiss 'n' tell, and going for a kiss 'n' publish.

Perhaps the literary basis for her revelations are a way of softening the blow for Chekhov-loving Farrell, who was being particularly fond of spouting poetry down long-distance phone lines in the wee hours.

On one occasion, Farrell suggested to Forrest that "when I get back from this film, let's have a miniature human, that grows".

It sounded just like the kind of sparse, moody, unintentionally hilarious dialogue from Miami Vice. But he seemed to be genuine. Full of sweeping flourishes straight out of his chosen profession, Farrell names the child Pearl before it was even conceived, and buys the imaginary child a pink coat with rabbit ears in a crafts shop in Castletownbere.

In perhaps the most enlightening nugget, however, Forrest described how Farrell once declared his determination to become the father of their child thus -- "With his hand over my mouth so I can't answer back, he says 'I would rather die than not knock you up'."

It's Alexander the Great meets Lehiff -- Alexander the Deadly... So the next time he comes home, maybe Colin should extend his stay longer than the usual couple of weeks, get back to his roots, and work out exactly who he is.

But whoever it is, if he's half as interesting as the character that Forrest portrays, Colin Farrell will continue to be a great spectator sport.

Cowen's mortifying Jerry Maguire moment

THERE'S a scene in Jerry Maguire which sees Tom Cruise's character, in a moment of utter self-belief, decide that he's going to make the bold step of going it alone, and asks out loud of the entire staff "who's with me?"

After a mortifying few seconds, it emerges that the only person in the entire company who believes in his vision is his secretary.

Brian Cowen's "who's with me?" call to the troops in the past 48 hours seems to have produced a similar dividend, as we were greeted with the sight of him on stage in the Alexander hotel flanked by the Tanaiste, Mary Coughlan, and what seemed to be the hotel manager.


After an exhaustive search of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party photo archives, I finally realised it was Chief Whip John Curran on stage -- the second most senior TD who was willing to be seen supporting Cowen.

If ever you wanted an image of a dead man walking, that was it.

A little tip for 'stars' Leigh and Aidan...

ANOTHER week, and two more Irish actors decide to go abroad and follow their dreams of stardom.

Former star of The Clinic, Aidan Turner, has landed himself a tiny part in The Hobbit -- quite literally, as he will play dwarf number nine out of 12 of Bilbo Biggins' companions.

And following on from Caroline Morahan, half the cast of Fair City and, most recently, Simon 'Tesco' Delaney, Aidan's former co-star Leigh Arnold is hitting Hollywood. 'Various offers in the pipeline', 'meetings lined up with top agents lined up', blah, blah, blah...

Say hello to Julia Roberts and George Clooney from me, guys. Oh, and be nice to them, that way they might give you more than the usual 15pc tip.

Is art imitating life in Breffny's scribblings?

JUST like Emma Forrest, Breffny 'The Breffmeister' Morgan is putting pen to paper, but with not one but two tomes due to be finished shortly.

The first is a script for a fictional, hour-long comedy show focussing on a penniless Harvard student who somehow manages to scam and blag his way through college.

It is described by Breffny as based on his own life, but "the storylines have been changed or exaggerated".

His second offering will be his long-awaited autobiography, which will tell of his college life in Boston, and will reveal "the secrets of a young Corkman's business and personal successes".

Sorry Breffny, are you sure you haven't got those descriptions mixed up?