Yet rehab 10 years ago, seven years of sobriety and five of singledom have not made him anodyne.
If he has evolved into a new man through a decade of abstention, he appears to be, in his freewheeling bonhomie at least, refreshingly unchanged.
Disney’s new live-action feature film introduces Holt Farrier (Farrell), a former circus star who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from the war.
Farrell nods gravely, and stops short of rattling out the rest of an anecdote about his drug-fuelled youth, which begins, 'I used to love an eight ball,’ his eyebrows tilting like slashes of black marker pen.
and was discovered by Hollywood when Joel Schumacher cast him in the lead role in the war drama Tigerland in 2000. During that time, he also appeared in Steven Spielberg's science fiction thriller Minority Report (2002) and as the villain Bullseye in the superhero film Daredevil (2003).
He then starred in Schumacher's psychological thriller Phone Booth (2002) where he plays a hostage in a New York city phone booth and the American thrillers S. After starring in the independent films Intermission (2003) and A Home at the End of the World (2004), Farrell headed Oliver Stone's biopic Alexander (2004) and Terrence Malick's The New World (2005).
But when Holt’s children (Parker and Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive entrepreneur V. Vandevere (Keaton) and an aerial artist named Colette Marchant (Green) swoop in to make the peculiar pachyderm a star.
They miss weddings and funerals, and some of them even miss the births of their children. But there is another life out there.’There’s the crime drama Dead Man Down, which opens today, to be followed by the fantasy Winter’s Tale, the animated adventure Epic, and then Saving Mister Banks, the tale of how beloved British children’s book Mary Poppins made it to the silver screen. He turns 37 at the end of the month and is looking criminally good on it, his thick dark hair slicked back from those beetling eyebrows and designer stubble shadowing his chin.