Dubliner Colin Farrell has said that he found playing a vicious Russian criminal in his latest movie has been one of his “least favorite” roles because his character was so “sad."

Farrell plays the role of Valka in “The Way Back." The movie tells the tale of a group of men who escape a Siberian gulag in the 1940s. They manage to survive and trek for thousands of miles. The movie is based on the memoirs of Slawomir Rawicz,“The Long Walk."

Valka, Farrell’s character is unpredictable and lawless. He runs a group of streets criminals and intimidates his fellow inmates in the gulag. He also has tattoos of the Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin, across his chest. He admires the dictator even though he is held captive on one of his gulags.

Although his harshness mellows a little when he escapes with the group Farrell still found playing such a character depressing.

Speaking to Cover Media Farrell said, “I think Valka to this day is one of my least favourite characters to play…He was kind of sad, a very sad man. He was somebody who was at once a victim of and a huge proponent of the system.”

Farrell admitted that the role was a complete departure from anything he’d tried in the past. He said “I saw Valka as a big stretch, it was something that was incredibly disparate to anything I had ever done before…I had no relationship to that time in history or to that culture and so I knew it would be a journey of discovery and that’s what it proved to be.”