‘What I went through was a gar­den va­ri­ety tale of an ad­dict ... you have to try to fig­ure out what the true value of liv­ing is’

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - INTERVIEW -

re­sul­tant pu­rifi­ca­tion. That’s where Martin’s heart very much is. He is a very pride­ful man. He car­ries him­self as if he is a God. “He feels every day that he is cradling the cre­ation of hu­man life, the hu­man heart, so that he can per­form surgery. He is like Alec Bald­win in another film (Mal­ice) where he plays a sur­geon and says: ‘Do you think I’m God? Let me tell you. I am God!’” Is Colin re­li­gious? “I don’t align my­self with any par­tic­u­lar re­li­gion, or any par­tic­u­lar phi­los­o­phy on it,’’ Colin says, and he is search­ing for “even a prox­im­ity with re­gard to what our pur­pose in life may be.

“I have a mish­mash of this and the other. But I tried very hard years ago to be an athe­ist be­cause I thought it was more in­ter­est­ing or I thought it had more in­tel­lec­tual va­lid­ity or worth — and I couldn’t quite cross the bridge. I couldn’t quite make it to the other side.

“I do be­lieve in some­thing that is big­ger than us. To some­one who is athe­ist they would say that is a cop out. But I think there are other realms. I think there are greater things than the eye can see or the brain can even com­pre­hend, es­pe­cially when we are only us­ing 10% of the brain’s ca­pa­bil­ity. So we can only com­pre­hend what we can com­pre­hend. You know, our evo­lu­tion as sen­tient be­ings? I’m com­pletely fine that there are com­plex­i­ties and mys­ter­ies that are way be­yond the un­der­stand­ing of any hu­man be­ing. Hav­ing said that, I don’t find sci­ence and re­li­gion to be a di­vid­ing force. I think they can go hand in hand.

“I don’t know what I am,” he says re­turn­ing to the orig­i­nal ques­tion of re­li­gious be­lief. “I strug­gle with it.” In terms of his artis­tic, rather than spir­i­tual evo­lu­tion, does Colin feel he has gone through a trans­for­ma­tion with in­die movies like The Lob­ster and The Killing of a Sa­cred Deer?

“No. From the in­side of it, it is re­ally not so much that. I feel that I’m do­ing work that is more chal­leng­ing to me as an ac­tor and to me as a man. The work I’m do­ing now is less phys­i­cal. It is deeper, from the out­side look­ing in. I see the re­sults of the sculp­ture. But for the sculp­tor, who is creat­ing the sculp­ture, it hap­pens bit by bit, step by step. You ar­rive wher­ever you ar­rive as a re­sult of a thou­sand choices and events.”

Did you need to kill Colin Far­rell, the big ac­tion movie star, in or­der that Colin Far­rell could live?

He laughs: “I think the box of­fice killed that for me, man! I rose very quickly through the ranks and had a lot of com­mer­cial suc­cess very early and couldn’t make head nor tail of it. I did a cou­ple of big films that didn’t work. Then there wasn’t the op­por­tu­nity to do big films and it sort of forced my hand and it took me to in­volve my­self in a scale of work and in­ti­macy of work that I do find fun­da­men­tally more in­ter­est­ing.

“Even through the years when I was do­ing big films or more com­mer­cial films, or ac­tion films, I was still do­ing In­ter­mis­sion (2003) or A Home At The End Of The World (2004) and still try­ing to do smaller films and some­times

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