Colin James Farrell was born prematurelyin Castleknock, Dublin to Rita Monaghan and Eamonn Farrell, has two sisters, Claudine and Catherine, and a brother, Eamonn Jr.
Farrell was educated at Castleknock College and Gormanstown College. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a promising young soccer player for Dublin side Castleknock Celtic, playing as a goalkeeper. Farrell attended The Gaiety School of Acting, but dropped out and was cast in the part of "Danny Byrne" on Ballykissangel, a popular BBC television drama set in Ireland. Farrell appeared on the show from 1998 until 1999.
Farrell subsequently had a number of small parts in various TV shows and movies, until 2000, when he was cast in the part of "Private Roland Bozz". Farrell has since been cast in a number of high-profile productions, and is considered one of Ireland's rising stars in Hollywood. Farrell's first American films, "American Outlaws" (2001) and Hart's War (2002), were not commercially successful, but his 2003 films, including The Recruit, S.W.A.T. and Phone Booth, were well received and were box office successes. Colin is also a proven supporting actor in Minority Report (2002) and as a the villain Bullseye in Daredevil (2003).
In 2004, Farrell appeared in several films that received only a limited theatrical release, including Intermission and A Home at the End of the World. Colin also appeared in the title role of 2004's Alexander and in 2005's The New World, also a historical epic.