Colin Farrell and Martin McDonagh's latest collaboration, The Banshees of Inisherin, was, at one point, closer in spirit to the first film they made together, 2008's Oscar-nominated hitman flick, In Bruges. The actor recalls reading a previous incarnation of McDonagh's script years ago that featured "more action scenes" and "shootouts."
"To be honest with you, my character was a bit cooler," Farrell shared during an Academy-hosted Q&A for the film. "He wasn't as deeply lonely, and he had a simplicity to him but he wasn't as simple as lovely Pádraic is."
McDonagh ultimately reworked the script into The Banshees of Inisherin, an Irish tale set in 1923 that follows the dissolution of the friendship between longtime mates Pádraic (Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson). Farrell admitted his first reaction to reading the new iteration of the screenplay was "concern."
"Honest to God, I was kind of like, 'Oh my God.' I limped away from reading it. I was ultimately very moved by it, because it is at its core, to me, a story about loneliness, regret, and community, of course. It has a certain existential rub at its center." Farrell laughed, "But yeah, concern. Could I do it and not be as dull as dishwater for an hour and a half? That was basically the issue."
Ultimately, Farrell received his first Oscar nomination for the performance. At the 95th Oscars, The Banshees of Inisherin is nominated nine times, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Gleeson), Best Supporting Actor (Barry Keoghan), Best Supporting Actress (Kerry Condon), Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Original Screenplay.
Watch the full Academy Conversation with Farrell and McDonagh below.