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Colin Farrell Talks Fatherhood Woes, Benefits of His Sobriety

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Colin Farrell Mark Seliger

Colin Farrell may not think he’s the best father in the world, but he’s certainly trying his best.

The Seven Psychopaths actor, father to 3-year-old son Henry Tadeusz (with ex-girlfriend Alicja Bachleda) and 9-year-old son James Padraig, 9 (with ex-girlfriend Kim Bordenave), opens up about the pitfalls of parenting in the November issue of Details.

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“Not knowing what the f-ck I’m doing as a dad is huge. I don’t know what I’m doing, and that’s a very liberating thing. You just go, ‘Oh look, there’s sh-t on the floor.’ There’s actually sh-t on the floor — I have a picture of it on my phone. So what do you do? You clean it up, put a diaper on his ass, and that’s that,” Farrell says of raising a toddler. “It’s just about being present for these guys.”

Farrell split with Bachleda in mid-2010, and between taking care of a toddler and shooting a series of movies, the actor admits he hasn’t “been in a relationship in a while. [It’s been] two and a half years since I was with Henry’s  mother. If I ever do get involved with somebody again, I will try as much as possible to shut my f-cking mouth and stay f-cking present. Love in action, man! Not love in f-cking words.”

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The Irish star, 36, was once married to  British actress Amelia Warner; it lasted four months. “I had a brief liaison with the notion of permanence,” Farrell says of their ill-fated union, which ended in 2001.

Colin Farrell details cover
Colin Farrell Mark Seliger

Farrell also opens up about his struggle to maintain sobriety. “When I had James, I made a decision not to change. I literally said, ‘I’m not changing! I’m gonna be his friend!’ Like a f-cking 28-year-old drug-addicted drunk friend is exactly what my 6-week-old son needs.”

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The Dublin native entered rehab in 2006 and hasn’t looked back since. “Honestly,” he says, “I’ve got eight hours a day now that I didn’t have before, when I was drinking every day for 18 years.”

Being clean has also helped Farrell appreciate the world in ways he’d never imagined.

“I’ve never seen a moon in the sky that, if it didn’t take my breath away, at least misplaced it for a moment,” he tells Details. “When I was living a different way, I was probably profoundly bored. I had moments of elation. Now I never get f-cking bored. I get excited about room service menus! I really do. Even though the french fries are soggy as f-ck and I still haven’t figured out an exact way to open up that Heinz mini jar — sometimes it’s my nails, sometimes it’s my teeth. I’m just grateful that I’m actually alive, to be honest.”

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“Anytime I have a sh-t mood,” he adds, “now it’s some aspect of me that is present and is feeling whatever I’m feeling, and the same counts if I’m giddy or jocular. It’s honest, it’s real. That’s quite simply the coolest thing. Everything is real now.”

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