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Colin Farrel off booze??

EXCLUSIVE: MY SON HAS GIVEN ME A REASON TO LIVE. I'M OFF BOOZE.



HE'S single, sober and, these days, has eyes for no one but his three-year-old son.

It's hard to believe that this bright-eyed, clean-living man - who hasn't touched alcohol for six months - is Hollywood hellraiser Colin Farrell.

The legendary boozer and womaniser is speaking for the first time about how he turned his life around after checking into rehab seven months ago, citing exhaustion and an addiction to prescription painkillers.
"I was burning the candle at both ends and the flames met in the middle," says the 30-year-old, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mirror.


"It just caught up with me. It was a long time coming but I had my a**e handed to me on a plate. Now I haven't had a drink for six months."


The Irish film star credits his love for son James for giving him the push he needed to sort things out. "I have a new-found appreciation for my life," he says. "I wasn't suicidal but I never had much of a will to live a long time.


"Now I want to watch my son grow up, be his friend and his father, and hang around with him. So he's the greatest priority in my life."


James is the product of Colin's relationship with ex-girlfriend Kim Bordenave.


Colin sees him regularly and his sister Claudine, who travels with the actor as his assistant, looks after the youngster while Colin's working - which is a lot of the time.


But at least these days, filming should be a far smoother process... Before he checked into the LA rehab clinic, his boozing was partly blamed for trouble on the set of his latest film, Miami Vice, including squabbles with his co-star Jamie Foxx and director Michael Mann.


And last year, while filming Alexander, Colin was so drunk that he fell out of a hotel window and broke an ankle.


THREE years ago, the Dubliner revealed the extent of his indulgence as he battled his drink problem in the mid-1990s.


A psychiatrist asked him to write down how much he did in a week - 20 ecstasy tablets, four grams of coke, six grams of speed, half an ounce of hash, three bottles of Jack Daniels, 12 bottles of red wine, 60 pints and 280 cigarettes.


But one of the most bizarre claims came from veteran British actress Dame Eileen Atkins. She claimed that Colin spent nearly three hours begging her to sleep with him - three weeks before her 70th birthday. She turned him down.


His boozing and womanising have become legendary since he arrived in Hollywood seven years ago - and he has rarely been seen in public without a drink, a female companion, or usually both.


He has been linked to a string of stars, including Demi Moore, Kate Beckinsale, Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie, and was married to actress Amelia Warner for four months in 2001 - a romance he summarises as "too fast, too young".


Colin has recently been said to be seeing actress Lake Bell, 27, who he met making Pride And Glory. But he says: "I don't have a better half or significant other. I've found a love I never thought I'd find with my son.


"And with my life as it is now, it would be very hard to have somebody - for them and me. I'm never in one place for longer than three or four months and have been living in hotels for seven years.


"Plus, I find that the work takes a certain amount out of me and as much as it would be nice to have somebody to pick me up a little bit, sometimes I just want to be on my own with my own thoughts. I've been lucky enough to have been in love a few times and I've felt how wonderful it is. But it comes with a lot of responsibility and pressures.


"It's better for me, at 30, to be on my own."


Whether in a relationship or on his own, Colin never let it stop him getting into drink-fuelled scrapes. But it all came to a juddering halt at the end of last year, when he decided that things had to change.


"For the first time, I got to step back and have a look at the life I had created.


"I thought about what I wanted to do and got to take the metaphorical deep breath I needed. It did me good." But while Colin is a reformed character in many respects, he still clings to two bad habits - smoking and swearing.


In fact, he chainsmokes his way through our chat at the swish Four Seasons Hotel, in Beverly Hills, in defiance of its smoking ban. He has taken time off from filming in London, where he's playing Ewan McGregor's brother in Woody Allen's latest, as-yet-untitled effort, to fly back to promote Miami Vice.


MANN'S big-screen remake - based on the 1980s TV series - sees Colin playing undercover cop Sonny Crockett who, with his partner Ricardo Tubbs (Foxx), infiltrates a drugsmuggling gang.


The film could provide him with the hit he needs after his previous three films, Alexander, Ask The Dust and The New World flopped.


The failure of Oliver Stone's Alexander, and the scathing reviews, were a big blow.


"I took a huge hit," admits Colin.


"It affected me so much because I just loved the film. It is by far the most incredible, insane, loving, toughest experience I've had... Then the knives came out. It was hard to stomach."


Such setbacks don't stop the Dublin-born star for long. He shows no signs of slowing down. After the Allen project comes another film, The Kingdom. "Work is still a big priority. Having said that, a while ago I thought I'd take some time off but then the phone rang and Woody wanted to see me - so that was the end of that!"


Despite the flops and scandals, over the past seven years the Phone Booth star has largely retained his refreshing, happy-go-lucky approach to life and knows he has come a long way in a short time.


"Life has been a bit of a blur," he says. "It has been a trip and I've worked with some incredible people and seen some amazing places.


"I'm 30 now but I still think I'm Peter Pan - I don't want to grow up."


I burned the candle at both ends but haven't had a drop for six months
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