Colin Farrell Says Sons James and Henry Are His Real Legacy

Getty / Rich Polk/NBC

“The Banshees of Inisherin” star Colin Farrell has played a few brash characters over the years, but there’s one role where he’s a total softie: being a dad to his two sons, James and Henry. The Irish star is mostly private about his kids, but he gave his sons a sweet shout-out when he won the 2023 Golden Globe award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy. At the end of his speech, Colin thanked “my kids at home who are watching this.” “James and Henry, the loves of my life. I love you so much,” he said.

In October 2022, Colin told The Guardian, while discussing the emotional “The Banshees of Inisherin”, that he spent the pandemic lockdown with his sons and made sure to ask about how they were doing emotionally. “And they’re like, ‘Would you just f*ck off?’ But fellas like us like to talk about our feelings,” he said. “We don’t need to be waxing lyrical about every f*cking thing, but we try to find a balance.” He added that “work,” “fatherhood,” and “art” are all ways to make sense of the mysteries of life.

Colin also talked briefly about being a parent during a conversation with Emma Thompson, published on Jan. 4 in Vanity Fair. When asked if he worries about his legacy in film, Colin said, “My legacy is quite clearly the two sons that I’ve been raising, one for 19 years and another for 13 years, and the gift that they are in my life. Truly. Excuse the quaintness of that.”

Ahead, get to know Colin’s sons and see some of the sweet things the dad of two has said about them in interviews.

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James Padraig Farrell

James Padraig Farrell was born in 2003. He is Colin’s oldest son with his previous girlfriend Kim Bordenave. James was born in Los Angeles. In 2007, Colin opened up about his son having Angelman syndrome, a condition that includes developmental delays, speech delays, seizures, and impaired balance. In an interview with Ireland’s Independent, he said, at the time, that James’s speech and mobility were affected but that he’s a strong little boy. “With my son, the only time I’m reminded that there is something different about him – that he has some deviation of what is perceived to be normal – is when I see him with other four-year-olds,” said Colin. “Then I go ‘oh yeah’ and it comes back to me. But from day one I felt that he’s the way he’s meant to be.”

In 2014, Colin told People, “Everything he’s achieved in his life has come through the presence and the kind of will that is hard work. He’s a lot to be inspired by.” He added that his son worked hard to walk, talk, feed himself, and sit still to watch a movie, but that he was thriving.

Because of his son, Colin has been active in educating people about Angelman syndrome and providing help to charities and organizations dedicated to finding a cure. He’s also offered insights to parents going through the same thing. In 2017, at the annual summit and gala for Angelman syndrome research hosted by the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST), he said, “I would also say that my heart is with you all, along with my respect for you, for your children’s struggles and for the love that you have for your children and that I wish you all peace and support in the face of any adversities,” per Today. In 2021, the outlet also reported that Colin and Bordenave filed for co-conservatorship of James.

Henry Tadeusz Farrell

Henry Tadeusz Farrell was born in October 2009. He is Colin’s youngest son with his previous girlfriend Alicja Bachleda-Curuś. Back in January 2020, on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, Colin said that he’d let an 8-year-old Henry watch the horror movie “It,” a decision he quickly regretted. “That was a parental dropping of the ball of epic proportions,” he said. “We watched it at home and we watched half of it and, uh . . . I could discern a certain discomfort that was emanating from his 8-year-old body.” He added, though, that Henry finished the movie the next day and was perfectly fine.

As for Colin’s movies, the actor added that his sons aren’t really interested in them, though they’ve told him they want him to play fewer bad guys. “They’re sick of me being a bad guy, which apparently, reading between the lines, leads me to believe that they think I’m OK.” On that note, Colin’s 2022 track record was a little mixed: He played a sweetheart in “The Banshees of Inisherin” and a cave-diving hero in “Thirteen Lives,” but he also played the menacing Penguin in “The Batman”. But surely James and Henry are proud of their dad either way.

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