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Movie stars: Colin Farrell: How Hollywood’s last bad boy lost his way | Culture

At the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony, Colin Farrell took the stage to introduce the band U2. The actor had been in Hollywood for a few years, and Steve Martin, the night’s host, ticked off his achievements: he was the man of the hour; he’d appeared shirtless on all the hot magazine covers; he alternated between prestige projects and blockbusters; and he dated a steady stream of models. “In other words, next stop, rehab,” Martin joked. Two years later, Farrell would fulfill that prophecy.

On his way to stardom, Farrell had been marketed as “Hollywood’s bad boy,” but the actor took the role too far. “I couldn’t find the handbrake,” he would say years later. Today he has been sober for 16 years. He is the father of two children, and he shone as The Penguin in The Batman. He has given up his stardom, which Hollywood eagerly thrust on him but he never quite bought into, to play brilliant supporting roles.

In the late 1990s, Farrell played an autistic teenager in a play in London. At the end of one of the performances, the actor Kevin Spacey greeted the young Irishman and offered his congratulations. The veteran star bought his younger counterpart a beer and promised to turn Farrell into a star, first by putting him in touch with the CAA, the most powerful agency in Hollywood.

Colin Farrel with Matt Davis, Joel Schumacher and Clifton Collins Jr. at the premiere of 'Tigerland' in New York.
Colin Farrel with Matt Davis, Joel Schumacher and Clifton Collins Jr. at the premiere of ‘Tigerland’ in New York.Gabe Palacio (Getty Images)

Farrell made his Hollywood debut with Tigerland. The marketing machine took off in full force. The Colin Farrell product began as a twist on familiar flavors. Vanity Fair called him “the Irish Brad Bitt.” “Very soon, Colin Farrell will elicit comparisons to James Dean and the young Robert De Niro,” gushed Interview. ABC described him as “Steve McQueen-like.” His director Joel Schumacher, who took Spacey’s place as Farrell’s mentor, compared him with “Paul Newman from Cool Hand Luke or Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Hollywood took the bait. Despite being unknown to the general public, Farrell won roles that had been written for A-list stars like Edward Norton, Jim Carrey and Matt Damon in Hart’s War, Phone Booth and Minority Report, respectively. Overnight, he became the most famous nobody in the world. One day, the actor tested Spielberg’s patience on the set of Minority Report. He showed up so drunk to the shoot that it took him 34 takes to say the sentence “I’m sure you’ve all grasped the fundamental paradoxical pre-crime methodology.” (In some retellings of the story, the number has risen to 56 takes.)

In every interview, Farrell recited an origin story that seems taken from a work by Irish playwright Sean O’Casey. He spent his childhood dreaming about becoming a professional soccer player like his father, until he discovered beer, tobacco and fighting. He was expelled from several schools and eventually dropped out. Acting saved him.

Colin Farrell at the premiere of 'The Recruit" in Hollywood in 203.
Colin Farrell at the premiere of ‘The Recruit” in Hollywood in 203. Steve Granitz (WireImage)

In reality, Farrell came from an upper-middle-class family that lived in a million-euro home in one of Dublin’s most exclusive neighborhoods. He had attended the city’s best schools and was expelled from none, at least according to one of his childhood best friends, Gavin Lambe-Murphy, who clarified that Farrell had been suspended for four days for throwing erasers in class. In a Vanity Fair article, even the actor’s own brother, Eamon, expressed surprise about the working-class accent that Colin had developed since moving to Los Angeles.

And Farrell hadn’t come to acting by accident as he claimed. In 1993, at 17 years old, he attended an audition for the boy band Boyzone. The rejection, as he would later confess, pushed him into his first drug spiral. “I ended up on a shrink’s couch and he told me to write down how much I did in a week. Twenty E’s, four grams of coke, six of speed, half an ounce of hash, three bottles of Jack Daniels, 12 bottles of red wine, 60 pints and 280 fags. He looked at me and said: ‘No wonder you’re depressed.’”

It may have been true, or it may have been an exaggeration. Colin Farrell worked to satisfy the fantasy of a working-class Irishman that Hollywood had put on his soldiers. He started making scandalous statements about, for instance, female intimate hair removal. (“I eat a lot of pussy [in Ireland], but I never saw a vagina until I came [to Los Angeles]”), about his fondness for prostitutes (“It’s like ordering a fucking pizza”), about his drug consumption (“Heroin is good in moderation”) and about the day he told the actress Linda Fiorentino that as a teenager, he used to masturbate to her films.

Colin Farrell at the premiere of 'Alexander' in L.A. in 2004.
Colin Farrell at the premiere of ‘Alexander’ in L.A. in 2004. L. Cohen (WireImage)

“I was at the party with 20 people, one of them an agent from CAA, when somehow the subject of foreskins came up,” Farrell told Playboy. “She said, ‘I just don’t understand a foreskin. I’ve never seen one.’ So I whipped out my dick and said, ‘Here, that’s all it is. A bit of skin.’ I did a little Puppetry of the Penis thing and showed her what it was about. You would have thought she was at a circus the way she was looking at me.”

Media coverage from the era described the actor’s effect on women, whether journalists, makeup artists or executives. A GQ article recounted that during the interview, a woman had approached Farrell and begun stroking his crotch. At the premiere of The Recruit (2003), he French-kissed a reporter who was interviewing him on the red carpet.

The magazine Details showed Farrell on its cover with the title “Have you slept with Colin Farrell yet?” In 2003, Farrell married a British actor who he divorced four months later. But his greatest love of that era was Elizabeth Taylor, with whom he maintained a platonic relationship until her death in 2013.

He was 34. She was 75. “I wanted to be [husband] number eight, but we ran out of road,” he confessed in a conversation with Ellen DeGeneres. They met in the Cedars-Sinai hospital as she was recovering from heart surgery and he was visiting his newborn son. “I loved her. I still care for her,” the actor told ICON in 2016. “We talked about everything. Reality TV, food, travel…not so much about the film world. Both of us were insomniacs, and we would talk about poetry until the wee hours.”

The press described Farrell’s flings with Demi Moore, Carmen Electra and Britney Spears, in addition to a long list of anonymous models and Playboy bunnies. One of them, Nicole Narain, appeared with Farrell in a sex tape whose viewers outnumbered those of any of hs films. The journalist Stephanie Zacharek called it “remarkably unsleazy” and the actor’s enthusiasm as “nothing but gentlemanly.”

Hollywood had never had a bad boy with such good manners. For someone defined as “a man of spectacular excess,” a “hooligan,” a “sexual maniac” and “a budding obituary,” Farrell has a fairly clean trajectory. He never got into bar fights, made trouble on set or even got arrested for drunk driving. Everything known about his wild lifestyle comes from his own confessions.

Colin Farrell at the premiere of 'S.W.A.T.' in California in 2003.
Colin Farrell at the premiere of ‘S.W.A.T.’ in California in 2003.Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

When Alexander premiered in 2004, Colin Farrell was Hollywood’s favorite joke. “People seem to think of Farrell as a celebrity who just happens to get movie roles,” Stephanie Zacharek wrote. His salary reached €10 million despite never having a commercial streak. The bubble of his fame, artificially inflated by the marketing machine, was about to burst: Farrell became more famous for his disasters than for his successes.

“Don’t you just want to punch Colin Farrell?” asked an Esquire cover that featured the actor’s photo. The tough guy had turned into a seedy character, even a slimeball. During the filming of The New World (2005), in which Farrell played colonizer John Smith, the actress who played Pocahontas, Q’Orianka Kilcher, expressed her reservations about filming romantic scenes with the actor due to his reputation. Terrence Malick had to re-record certain scenes because the studio’s lawyers were afraid to have broken laws against child pornography.

Critics of Alexander (2004) seized on Farrell. The actor decided to hide away in a cabin on Lake Tahoe. Sheathed in a balaclava so no one would recognize him, the actor recounts that he let loose his compulsive drug habit. “Eighty to 90% [of the reviews were] negative, and 30 to 40% vicious. Like, so personally insulting. But I read them all,” the actor confessed to GQ in 2008. “I was probably looking to confirm particular suspicions that I had of myself. Like I shouldn’t be here. Why do I have this career? I can’t do this. I’m not worthy.”

Colin Farrell at the premiere of 'The Batman' in New York in 2022.
Colin Farrell at the premiere of ‘The Batman’ in New York in 2022. ANGELA WEISS (AFP via Getty Images)

The day that filming ended on his following movie, Miami Vice (2006), while the rest of the team attended the wrap party, Farrell traveled to Crossroads, the rehab center founded by Eric Clapton. “I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to live either,” he later explained. When he attended the Miami Vice premiere, he confessed not remembering any of the filming.

A couple of years later, in 2008, Farrell found himself in the limelight once again. He had found peace in New York’s Turkish baths. The new Colin Farrell did yoga, appeared on the cover of Men’s Health and became the face of a Dolce & Gabbana fragrance. “Literally the worst thing I’ve done in the last eight years is sneak a fucking sandwich into the cinema that was not bought on the property,” he joked. A Golden Globe for the black comedy In Bruges (2008) crowned the actor’s triumphal return.

Since then, Farrell has found his niche in art films, including Seven Psychopaths (2012), The Lobster (2015), The Beguiled (2017) and the science fiction drama After Yang (2021), which received outstanding reviews. And with the exception of the disappointing remake of Total Recall in 2012, his forays into commercial cinema have been limited to secondary roles: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Dumbo (2019) and now The Batman.

In 2018, he entered rehab once again because, according to an official statement, he felt tempted to relapse under the pressure of work. But now his only addiction is nature and spending time with his children, 18-year-old Jimmy, who suffers from a rare chronic illness that prevents him from walking and talking, and 12-year-old Henry. Neither of the two are aware that their father was a global sex symbol. And, Farrell adds, when he goes hiking with the family, the boys make fun of his shorts.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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