He wanted to be in boy band but Hollywood had bigger plans for him

When Boyzone hit the big time with second single Love Me For A Reason, there was one Irishman who found their success little more than a reminder of his own failures.

Colin Farrell auditioned to be in the band in 1993.

Back then, he was just a 17-year-old working as a line dancing instructor, teaching several classes
a day – yes, we’re talking neck scarves, checked shirts and cowboy boots!

The Boyzone audition was meant to propel him to the heady heights of fame, but things didn’t go to plan.

‘I sang Careless Whisper and they were all drop-jawed at how bad I was, how tone deaf I was,’ explains Colin.

‘I remember getting a phone call going: “It isn’t gonna work out, you’re f*cking terrible!”

‘It would’ve been a dream job at the time.

‘I was teaching country-and-western dancing for a living – of course being in a boy band would’ve been preferable to that!’

However, according to the band’s manager Louis Walsh, it was Ronan Keating who vetoed Colin being in the group, saying: ‘Don’t give him the gig. If you do, he’s going to cause real problems.’

Sure enough, Colin went on to have some ‘real problems’.

These issues have included his drug abuse, dalliances with prostitutes, a stint in rehab and
a sex tape leak – not to mention teenage arrests for drink-driving.

After his failed Boyzone audition, Colin decided to join The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin.

His big brother Eamon helped him pay the entrance fee but Colin dropped out less than two years later after landing a part in TV show Ballykissangel.

It led to a role in Tim Roth’s directorial debut The War Zone.

A stint playing an autistic boy in West End production In A Little World Of Our Own brought him
to the attention of one audience member who would shape his career and become a close friend.

Kevin Spacey was so impressed with Colin’s performance that he helped him secure a role in a movie he’d just signed up for – Ordinary Decent Criminal – and found him a US agent.

Soon after, Colin employed his sister Claudine as his personal assistant.

His rise to Hollywood stardom really began, though, when he asked his other sister Catherine to help him record his audition tape for war flick Tigerland in his home in Dublin.

‘He did it all in his living room with just his older sister holding the video camera,’ says the movie’s director Joel Schumacher.

‘I think they’d both had a few Guinnesses before they did it!’

Colin’s role in the 2000 film catapulted him to leading man status – and the women soon came knocking.

He ‘married’ actress Amelia Warner in a beach ceremony in Tahiti in 2001 but they split within months.

By the end of 2003, he’d been linked to virtually every eligible woman in Hollywood, including Britney Spears, Demi Moore and model Kim Bordenave, 32.

He’d only been with Kim for a few months before she got pregnant.

They had baby James in September 2003, but they split shortly after the birth.

They now share custody of their son, who’s been diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, a neuro-developmental disorder that meant he only took his first steps aged four.

Colin says James inspires him, revealing: ‘He’s the greatest priority in my life.

‘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.’

Despite James’s birth, private demons had started to surface for Colin, then 27.

He’d started off experimenting with marijuana in Dublin but the drug scene in Hollywood was irresistible to him – and commanding £5 million a movie meant he could afford to fund a habit that soon spiralled out of control.

He insists he’s never touched cocaine but said in 2003 that ‘heroin’s fine in moderation’.

After breaking up with Kim, he admitted to paying call girls, going on drug-fuelled benders and having casual sex whenever and wherever he could.

Then, in 2004, the £98 million blockbuster Alexander was savaged by critics and bombed at the box office.

Colin was close to rock bottom.

‘I was going to walk away from acting,’ he says.

To get over the epic failure, he moved on to filming Miami Vice with Jamie Foxx in 2005.

But as soon as shooting wrapped, Colin checked himself into rehab.

‘For the first time ever,’ he says, ‘I lost the ability to be confident that I could make a change myself.

‘I knew I was f***ed.’

Thankfully, ‘a good old session in rehab, a few tears and a couple of hugs with strangers’ got him back on track.

During this time, he also had to deal with the leak of a 14-minute sex tape he made with his ex, Playboy model Nicole Narain.

Colin sued Nicole, claiming she was trying to damage his career and make money from him.

She denied this and a settlement was reached in 2006.

With the sex tape case settled and his treatment complete, Colin checked out of rehab in 2006 to get to work on his next movie Pride And Glory.

Colin had a second son Henry with Ondine co-star Alicja Bachleda-Curus, 29, in October 2009, but the couple split a year later.

He’s stayed sober since – he even gave up smoking recently by writing a ‘letter to tobacco’.

Since giving up the booze, Colin’s bagged a Golden Globe for 2008 flick In Bruges and has won praise for roles in Horrible Bosses, London Boulevard and Crazy Heart – in addition to movie of the moment Total Recall.

‘Seven years sober. I’m really grateful,’ says the 36-year-old.

‘It’s really lovely to be present in my life.

‘I have more fun and my laugh’s easier.

‘Yoga’s the answer.’

Colin’s women

Britney Spears

They went to the premiere of The Recruit together in LA in 2003.

Kim Bordenave

She got pregnant just months into the romance. They split after she gave birth in 2003.

Nicole Narain

Colin made a 14-minute sex tape with the Playboy model, 38, in 2003.

Alicia Bachleda-Curus

They met filming Ondine in 2008 and had son Henry in 2009, but split in 2010.

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