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Colin Farrell on Rise of Irish Actors in Hollywood: “We Punch So Far Above Our Weight”

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Colin Farrell has nothing but love for his home country, saying this week that he’s proud of the recent rise in Irish actor success in Hollywood.

“I mean, we punch so far above our weight,” Farrell, a native of Castleknock, Ireland, told Entertainment Tonight. “We’re only a country of 5 million people and I don’t know, Irish people — just whether it’s through music, the written word, whether it’s prose poetry, film, theater of course, we just — we have a deep connection to.”

He added that he feels his fellow countrymen share an appreciation of “the importance of story” and for “leaning into stories and meanings with which we understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Last month, Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy became the first-ever Irish-born actor to win best actor at the Oscars. “I’m a very proud Irishman standing here tonight,” Murphy said from the stage.

Elsewhere in Hollywood, Irish actors like Barry Keoghan, Andrew Scott, Kerry Condon and Paul Mescal have also shot to stardom in recent years, joining an established crew of talent that includes Saoirse Ronan, Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson and Farrell himself.

“Barry’s off to the races,” Farrell continued of his Killing of a Sacred Deer and Banshees of Inisherin co-star. “He’s killing it, he’s doing amazing. I saw him last week for the first time in close to a year, and he seemed like he was in great form, so it was great to see him.”

In addition to its wealth of onscreen talent, Ireland is also a thriving film hub for Hollywood. After years of growth, Screen Ireland began 2024 with a record budget of $42 million, and launched production on a slate of 40 projects in January.

“I’m not going to be twee about it, but there’s something culturally unique about getting business done in Ireland and that experience you have,” Elaine Geraghty, managing director of two of Ireland’s most significant film studios, told The Hollywood Reporter last month. “And it does come with being an island nation. It’s a tight community — everybody in the screen industry knows each other. That’s really helpful when you’re trying to get business in and make sure people have the best experience.” 

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