Colin Farrell interview: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’

“The four of us actors got in!” declares Colin Farrell, beaming with pride about his co-stars in “The Banshees of Inisherin” all joining him as first-time Oscar nominees this year. For our recent webchat he adds, “The film got a Best Picture nomination so I’m pinching myself. To be able to share the experience with others ,” he explains, “I get to celebrate all my crew. We get to share it together. We get to go to the events together,” he smiles. “It’s been really joyful!” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

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In “The Banshees of Inisherin,” jaded folk musician Colm (Brendan Gleeson) abruptly ends his life-long friendship with his drinking buddy Pádraic (Farrell) on the fictional island of Inisherin, a small remote community off the coast of Ireland during the Irish Civil War. Pádraic’s caring and forthright sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and troubled local simpleton Dominic (Barry Keoghan) attempt to repair the damaged relationship by helping to defuse the escalating stand-off between the men, but their collective efforts prove fruitless as Colm’s resolve intensifies, leading to inevitably shocking consequences.

The Searchlight Pictures black tragicomedy was written and directed by Oscar winner Martin McDonagh, reuniting Farrell and Gleeson, who previously worked together on McDonagh’s Oscar-nominated directorial debut “In Bruges” (2008). In addition to their Oscar nominations, all four of the film’s principle cast also garnered both individual and a collective nomination for Best Film Ensemble at the SAG Awards, plus dozens of accolades both stateside and in the UK.

The newly-minted Oscar nominee believes that the film appears to be resonating with audiences on a personal and emotional level because of how it honestly and sometimes brutally contemplates a profoundly human instinct that we all share. “You want to be liked,” he says. “You want to feel like you’re included, and the one thing that a lot of us fear in our experience as human beings is being excluded from any kind of community experience, you know, being told that you don’t belong, that you’re not wanted,” he explains. “That’s kind of essentially what takes place between my character and the person who he has placed all his self-worth in. He knows Colm is interesting. He knows Colm is a great musician. He knows Colm is worldly and cultured, and all this stuff. So somewhere inside Pádraic, Colm’s attention and friendship is a justification for Padraic’s very existence. And so when that is taken from him so abruptly at the start of the film, it’s a descent into anger and loneliness and bitterness.”

Farrell suggests that most of the praise for the film should be reserved for its writer/director McDonagh. “Martin makes sense to me as a writer. He makes sense to me. His stuff makes sense to me very much like the audiences who favor his work that I’ve heard from through the years. I find his stuff at times really tender and really terrifying as well; absolutely brutal and also beautiful at the same time,” he says. “It always feels earned, and there’s always consequences to every single action and every single diabolical decision that’s made in his world. You know, I just love him as a writer. I just think he’s brilliant. I think he’s an extraordinary director as well.”

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UPLOADED Feb 15, 2023 8:00 am