The green was proudly flying at the annual Golden Globe awards on Sunday night, as both Colin Farrell and Gabriel Byrne took home top acting honors at the celebrity-stuffed event. Farrell took home his trophy after being named top actor in a musical or comedy for his role in the well received but little seen indie film "In Bruges," while Byrne was named best actor in a TV drama for his popular HBO hit "In Treatment." Colin's win was a surprise, even to him, as "In Bruges," a comedy/crime caper released early in 2008, didn't really register on the radar screen as far as end of year critical plaudits go. But the Golden Globes people thought otherwise, and rewarded the Dublin actor with the first major film award of his career. Looking lean and healthier than ever, Colin, who brought along his sister Claudine as a date, joked earlier in the evening when he was a presenter that his sniffle was the result of a cold "and not the other thing it used to be," a reference to his hard-partying past that he's sworn off for three years now. The award itself was a shock, though the competition in the musical/comedy category wasn't nearly as heavy hitting as it was for best actor in a drama. And it's quite likely that the Golden Globes will serve as the high point for "In Bruges" this awards season, as the film, written and directed by Tony/Oscar winner Martin McDonagh, isn't expected to earn any major Oscar nods . . . but then again, never say never. Farrell was a good boy when the Golden Globe parties kicked into high gear after the event. He swore to the Irish Independent that he'd sip a few Diet Cokes and call it an early night, though we did see some photos on the wires of Colin smoking the cancer sticks. Some habits are obviously tougher than others to kick. Byrne, meanwhile, was laid low back in New York with strep throat, and unfortunately unable to travel to LA to bask in his golden moment of glory. He was also forced to cancel a scheduled appearance at a TV critics press tour a couple of days earlier. The second season of "In Treatment," which is now in production, will begin in April. HBO execs have tweaked its schedule, though. Instead of airing five half-hour episodes from Monday-Friday, as was the norm in season one, the show will revert to a Sunday-Monday schedule; Sundays from 10-11 p.m., and Monday from 10-11:30 p.m. "People like to dig in and watch more than one at a time," said Sue Nagle, president of HBO Entertainment. "It's easier this way for people to find it. It was tough to get into the swing of things five nights a week." Byrne and Farrell were congratulated for their awards on Monday by Irish President Mary McAleese, and Arts Minister Martin Cullen. McAleese said the wins were "fitting recognition of the great talent" that both actors have, while Cullen added. "It was an auspicious night in America for innovative Irish talent and it demonstrates that we have some of the best international artists whose individual creative ability continues to occupy center stage."
Little known tale of generous Turkish aid to the Irish during the Great Hunger