Colin Farrell on His New Film, ‘Seven Psychopaths’ and Acting in “Coffee Table Scenes”

Colin Farrell has teamed up with director Martin McDonagh for another film, Seven Psychopaths, after the success of their first project together, In Bruges.  The film is a dark comedy, but is much different from his role in Horrible Bosses.

Horrible Bosses was the only time I felt like I knew I was doing a comedy,” Farrell told Moviefone.  “I had the hairpiece and the belly.  But in In Bruges I didn’t feel like it was a comedy.  This [film] I didn’t feel like I was doing any comedy.  Even the stuff around me wasn’t funny because it was all life-threatening and chaotic.  So when you’re in it—when you cease to experience the script objectively and you become the subject of the writing—then it kind of goes out the window.  I like to mix it up.  I think I prefer those than doing drama.”

In both projects with McDonagh, Farrell felt “that, as an actor in them, there’s a suspension of disbelief…because everything is so heightened and even the most violent situations can be so comical at times that I find I have to endure myself to how funny shit was.  Because none of us while we’re doing it feel odd; none of the characters are odd, they’re all really normal to us.  You’ve got a serial killer Billy, my friend, who’s shooting a girl in the belly and then telling me he’s concerned because I drink too much.  He’s getting all moralistic.  There’s just a massive amount of irony that’s involved and it’s really funny to be a part of.”

Farrell notes that his character is often stuck in the middle of other crazy people.  “He is kind of the centrifugal point of sanity in the whole thing,” he said.  “He’s the one that kind of chronicles the whole thing.  That’s literally what my character has to do.  I think he suffered a great amount of loss that’s probably irreparable.  But doing it was fun.  There was a way that I could have lost my mind and gone ‘I want to do that!’ and ‘I want to have a go at that part!’  And as an actor you do that anyway, and every film I’ve done, if I am doing a good scene and the other actor has good dialogue, I nearly want to switch around and do what they’ve done.”

The actor cites a recent film where this exact scenario occurred.  “The last thing I did, Dead Man Down, and Armand Assante came in and did a scene with Terrence Howard and the two of them are sitting at a coffee table.  As an actor, there is something glorious about coffee table scenes, where two actors are sitting at a table, no movement, like literally just eyeball to eyeball and good dialogue.  This was a nicely written scene, it wasn’t too deep.  I was there that day and I wasn’t shooting and Terrence and Armand were doing their thing.  I really just wanted to go up and be like [whispers] ‘Armand!  Armand!  Can I just have a shot?’  I really did.  I had that moment.”

When asked why Farrell’s last film, Total Recall, did poorly at the box office, he responded, “I have no idea.  There’s a chemical process that is present in whether films work or they don’t work or they find an audience or they don’t.  If I could answer that question I would be in those f-cking films every single time.”

Seven Psychopaths opens October 12.

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