Though his Fright Night barely registered on the box office meter here last month, Colin Farrell is still dutifully doing publicity for the horror flick as it opens in Europe. He gave a nice interview to The Irish Times in which he spoke lovingly about Ireland and how he manages to balance the demands of celebrity with fatherhood.

“I will be home in December,” he told the paper last weekend. “I can’t wait. I know from talking to my mates that life is very tough. But there’s something in Ireland that transcends the emotional or economic pinch. The fortitude of that island and the strength of that island is very much part of who I am.”

Though Fright Night didn’t set the box office alight, Farrell is currently working on another 1980s remake, Total Recall, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I am busy now relative to what I was doing eight months ago,” he says. “I actually did have a period of eight months off. I actually ended up spending it with the boys. They are both in the same city. So, we can work it out.”

Farrell considers Dublin and LA as home, and having family on the West Coast has made the transition easier.

“I do have two places that knock on the door of my heart,” he says. “Those two places are LA and Dublin. There was a time when I felt that my heart was torn in two. Now I don’t. I have the boys in LA. Two of my sisters live there. In Dublin I have my mother, my dad, my brother and all my other rellies. I miss all my mates, but I am constantly in touch. Life goes on.”

And it’s been an interesting run so far for the 35-year-old Farrell.  Not long before she passed last year he got to know Elizabeth Taylor, and the two became so close that Farrell was one of the very few who spoke at her private funeral service.

“That was a most unusual friendship,” he revealed. “Which is quite fitting for such an extraordinary individual. I met her around the time (Farrell’s 23-month-old son) Henry was born. I met her via a mutual friend and bulldozed my way into her life.
“I phoned her up and she was kind enough to allow me to come round to her house. We’d watch a bit of TV or read a poem. We’d just hang out. We wouldn’t talk about the old days.” 

Farrell used to attract headlines for all the wrong reasons when he first landed in Hollywood – drinking binges, a sex tape, rampant womanizing – but he’s certainly settled down now. He’s given up booze and drugs and even smoking when he turned 34 last year.

"I gave up the Sunday before I turned 34. I spent the whole day with a packet of cigarettes. I didn't really see anyone and with every cigarette I smoked, I smoked with as much awareness as I could,” Farrell told a British magazine.

“And then I wrote a little letter to tobacco.  It said the usual, 'I remember the first time we met and all that we've been through together. That time you helped me through such-and-such a situation...' and yadda-yadda. It was very much the kind of letter you'd write to a person you were breaking up with. Because that's what it was -- a break-up. It was the first time I'd ever broken up via letter, so it was strange."