DISNEY BRINGS the first in the series of Artemis Fowl novels, written by Eoin Colfer, to screen. It deals with 12-year-old Artemis, a criminal mastermind who is in search of his missing father. He soon finds himself in an epic battle against a group of powerful, underground fairies, who may be behind his father’s disappearance. Colin Farrell plays the father.
Can you tell us a little about your father and the lessons you learnt from him?
My dad worked very hard all his life, he was self-employed, he imported goods and supplied them to markets around Ireland, so, anything I learned from him was through observation. How hard he worked to provide for his family, but he wasn’t very loquacious. I do think that leading by example is the best way to lead.
Lead by example, is that what you do with your own children?
I try to, but I don’t know what I am doing as a parent most of the time, I am just flying by the seat of my pants. If you are just open and present as a parent as simple as that sounds, if you are present and attentive, learning from your children, they will tell you either through words or through deeds or through energy, they will tell you what you need to know. And I really think that none of us has mastered the game of humanity, we are still, as grownups, struggling to live decent, virtuous, fun, connected lives. But at the same time, at 43 I feel like I have earned the right to a couple of opinions that I do share openly with both of my children, we have a very open relationship, we are very communicative and I do love them both. I introduced to myself the best aspects of myself and also the most traumatised, most damaged aspects of myself through interacting with the boys, they really are like two samurais, and they teach me a lot.
You are quarantined with your children. What is that like?
I say this with respect for those who have struggled greatly and still are and those who have been really sick and still are, and those who have lost loved ones: It hasn’t been so bad for me. Psychologically there have been ups and downs. Very little distraction and you are left with yourself. I have had my youngest boy with me for quite a bit so that has been amazing. Look, as I said I wish I didn’t have a chance to witness the rewards which are of personal appraisal, I’m praising my life and how I want to live my life. I think that a lot of us are going through that, we have very little to do but reflect. It’s been an interesting time and I would love for it to be over, and I would love, not things to go back to normal because I don’t know what that means. I hope that we all take something from this time, learn something. I am very fortunate; I have a home, a fridge full of food and money in the bank. Some people say it’s the equaliser, it’s not, it’s no more a great equaliser than death is, I mean death is the great equaliser.
What would be your wish at this time of the pandemic?
That old thing of treating people the way you wish you were treated and try and exercise a little patience, we are living in such a reactionary world, everyone is dying to have an enemy, everyone is dying to draw lines in the sand and say, ‘You are over there’ and ‘I am over here,’ and this is our difference and it’s just futile, it’s counterproductive and it has awful implications that just filter down into all sorts of nefarious ways. Just look at it, there are more shootings every day, much more than usual, it’s maddening and I think that it comes from the top, there has been an amount of spoken and unspoken permission for people to judge each other.