In the mid-2000s, Colin Farrell wore Oliver Stone’s ultra-ambitious “Alexander”. A major financial and critical failure which stops the Irish actor in his ascent. Destroyed by the critics, “ashamed” of the failure of a film which he imagined to triumph, he recently returned to this great moment of changeover in his career.
alexandera decisive film for Colin Farrell
In early 2005, Irish actor Colin Farrell played the title role in the daunting filmOliver Stone alexanderwhich he filmed between 2003 and 2004. At 28, the actor is at the height of his career, after brilliant performances, notably in tigerland, Minority Report and Phone Game. Paid $20 million to interpret the king of Macedonia and is among the most famous of antiquity, he certainly did not imagine that the critics would downgrade the film and his performance, and thatalexander repay with great difficulty its pharaonic budget of more than $155 millionvideo exploitation ultimately rocking a terrible career in cinemas…
This failure thus represents for the actor, as he explained on the set of The Late Late Show in 2019at a time the highest and lowest point of his career. He recently returned to this subject in a college interview given to The Hollywood Reporterevoking the deep shame he felt when he discovered the reception of the film. While he thought he was already on his way to the Oscars…
“Guys, we’re going to the Oscars. That’s for sure.”
His dazzling Hollywood rise in the first half of the 2000s did indeed fail to turn out very short, alexander perfectly representing the desired but elusive harmony between Colin Farrell and Hollywood. He tells :
Waiting is dangerous. Alexander was a story that Oliver Stone had dreamed of since college. As big as it was, as global, as political as it was, as thrilling, violent and sensual as it was, the film was very personal for Oliver and me. Six months of filming, on three continents. It was amazing. When I say “waiting”, I mean we had all our tuxedos ready (for the Oscars, editor’s note). I am not joking. We were all like, “guys, we’re going to the Oscars. That’s for sure.”
Colin Farrell is surrounded in particular in the casting ofalexander through Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins and Jared Leto. He was then very confident and probably intoxicated by such an experience. But when the film was released in the United States at the end of 2004, the shower turns out to be freezing.
The reviews came out and I remember someone saying, ‘God, that’s not good.’ My publicist who says: “this is really not good”. (…) At the time there were no Rotten Tomatoes, so there were all the printed reviews, and each told me that I could pack up, that my imposture had been discovered: “Alexander the Imbecile “, “Alexander the Boring”, “Alexander the Confused”, “Alexander the Weak”.
I was like, “f***, what can I do?”. I felt so ashamed. I was in this state where I wanted to tell everyone I met: “Have you seen ‘Alexandre’? If so, I’m sorry”. I am not joking. I wasn’t going to give them back their 20 million dollars, but…
A bad for a good
The failure was such and the questioning so intense that, with success, Colin Farrell quickly reoriented himself to gradually find his way. A Royal Road, made of a preference given to independent and auteur cinema. Where his great talent is now fully expressed. Especially in the films of Martin McDonagh Kisses from Bruges and The Banshees of Inisherindirector whom he warmly thanked during the presentation of his 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy.
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Alexandre: Colin Farrell says he was deeply “ashamed” of the failure of the film