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Colin Farrell opens up about drug and alcohol-filled past: My whole life was a lie

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Colin Farrell (Mark Seliger/Details)


Colin Farrell has always been outspoken … the only difference is today he's telling the truth. The 36-year-old Dublin native admits that when he was abusing drugs and alcohol early in his career — which took off lightening fast thanks to movies like "Phone Booth, "S.W.A.T," and "The Recruit" — he wasn't being honest with himself or anyone else. In a new interview with Details, the now clean-and-sober actor gets candid about his past addiction as well as the ups and downs of parenting.

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(Mark Seliger/Details)

"Oh, I wouldn't tell a truth all day," Farrell tells the mag of his life before entering rehab in 2006. "If I'd had chicken and beans for dinner, I'd tell you I had steak and potatoes. No purpose, just habit. The amount of energy you have to put in and the amount of lies you have to tell to keep a drug habit alive, it's fairly significant. Your whole life is a lie." Since he has been sober, the "Seven Psychopaths" star says he feels like he has more time and no longer walks through life in a haze. "Honestly, I've got eight hours a day now that I didn't have before, when I was drinking every day for 18 years," he admits.

Read more of Colin Farrell's interview in Details

Now, Farrell appreciates the little things. "I've never seen a moon in the sky that, if it didn't take my breath away, at least misplaced it for a moment," he shares, with the magazine noting that he was "unashamed by his own corny enthusiasms." He goes on say, "When I was living a different way, I was probably profoundly bored. I had moments of elation. Now I never get f--king bored. I get excited about room service menus! I really do. Even though the french fries are soggy as f--k and I still haven't figured out an exact way to open up that Heinz mini jar — sometimes it's my nails, sometimes it's my teeth. I'm just grateful that I'm actually alive, to be honest. Anytime I have a shit mood, now it's some aspect of me that is present and is feeling whatever I'm feeling, and the same counts if I'm giddy or jocular. It's honest, it's real. That's quite simply the coolest thing. Everything is real now."

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(Mark Seliger/Details)

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Including parenthood. Farrell — who is father to 3-year-old son Henry (with ex-girlfriend Alicja Bachleda) and 9-year-old son James (with ex-girlfriend Kim Bordenave), who has Angelman syndrome — says he wasn't ready for fatherhood when it first happened. "When I had James, I made a decision not to change," notes Farrell, who once said he considered alcohol and drugs to be part of his "brand." "I literally said, 'I'm not changing! I'm gonna be his friend!' Like a f--king 28-year-old drug-addicted drunk friend is exactly what my 6-week-old son needs."

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(Mark Seliger/Details)

Though he's now sober, Farrell still finds parenting sometimes difficult and often baffling, but he goes with the flow. "Not knowing what the f--k I'm doing as a dad is huge," he says. " I don't know what I'm doing, and that's a very liberating thing. You just go, 'Oh look, there's s--t on the floor.' There's actually s--t on the floor — I have a picture of it on my phone. So what do you do? You clean it up, put a diaper on his a--, and that's that. It's just about being present for these guys."

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Being present is a mantra he says also applies to his love life — though he hasn't had too much of one in recent years. Briefly married to British actress Amelia Warner, the actor who once topped all those sexy men lists hasn't had a girlfriend in several years. "I haven't been in a relationship in a while," says Farrell. "Two and a half years since I was with Henry's mother. If I ever do get involved with somebody again, I will try as much as possible to shut my f--king mouth and stay f--king present. Love in action, man! Not love in f--king words."

Read more of Farrell's candid interview in the November issue of Details, on newsstands October 16.

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