Category: Archive

Colin: shall we dance?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Remember a few years ago when country line dancing was all the rage in Ireland? When you didn’t dare hit a dance floor outside the Dublin city limits unless you were reasonably proficient in both the “Achy Breaky” and the “Boot-Scootin’ Boogie”? When you pretended not to notice that your flouncing circle skirt and chunky western footwear made your legs look like tree trunks? Well, Irish actor Colin Farrell remembers. In fact, the hunky ex-“Ballykissangel” star could be described as the face that launched a thousand tips — steel-tipped boots, that is.

The Dublin native was just another unemployed actor when the country craze put the Celtic Tiger in a headlock.

“[At the time] there was a big line dancing craze in Ireland,” Farrell recently told England’s News of the World. “A Texan woman came over to teach 20 of us how to do it.”

In the space of a few weeks, Farrell and his fellow hip-swingers mastered all the right moves. Then it was time to share their knowledge with the eager citizenry.

“We went about the country,” said Farrell. “I’d be in the crowd, showing them how to do it.”

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As someone who has yet to master the intricacies of “The Hokey Pokey,” we think it sounds kinda tough. But Farrell insists that it was a breeze.

“It was ridiculous, it was so easy,” he said. “Moving your hips and feet and all that crap!”

Farrell went on to break hearts on “BallyK” for a couple of seasons before Hollywood came calling. After a splashy debut in the critically acclaimed “Tigerland,” he found himself catapulted into the big time, starring opposite Bruce Willis in “Hart’s War” and with Tom Cruise in the upcoming “Minority Report.” Though Farrell went into “Hart’s War” as a big fan of Willis, he came away with an even deeper respect by the time filming was over. Of course, it was a typical guy thing.

“We went out a lot during filming,” said Farrell. “That guy can drink like there’s no tomorrow!”

The actor has fond memories of working with Cruise as well. But their relationship got off to a rather rocky start the first time they met. Shortly before they started filming, a well-oiled Farrell ran into Cruise at a party in Los Angeles.

“I was drunk out of my head,” he admitted. “I went up and shook his hand and said, ‘God, you’re much better looking in real life.’

“He looked at me like I was an ass and walked away,” he said.

Happily for Farrell, Cruise had a sense of humor. When they met on the set a few days later, Cruise laughed off the incident.

“I was so embarrassed,” said Farrell. But once the ice was broken, the two actors got on like a house afire.

“He’s [bad word] lovely,” Farrell told Hot Press. “And as for all that [bad word] about Cruise being impossible to make eye contact with, I can personally vouch that that’s a load of bollocks.”

In more Colin Farrell news, you’ll be happy to know that the 26-year-old actor has no problem doing nude scenes in movies. In “Tigerland,” for instance, he spent a whole day running around the set in his birthday suit without a bother.

“I couldn’t care less about who sees my bits,” he laughed.

And finally, you’ll be relieved to know that the actor is not pining over his split with actress Amelia Warner, to whom he may or may not actually be married, depending on which tabloid you read. The two are still on friendly terms, and each has moved on to other romantic horizons. Although Farrell insists that despite what people may think, he’s not knee-deep in adoring women.

“I’m still at the bar with my mates looking at girls, and having them ignore me,” he lamented.

In her stories, will the Butler do it?

Former “Riverdance” star Jean Butler has decided that it’s time to let her fingers do the dancing — on the computer keyboard, that is.

The incandescent redhead, who’s also done some modeling and acting in her time, has decided to turn her energies to being a full-time author. She says she has no regrets about putting her professional dance career behind her.

“[Being a dancer] was a fabulous time of my life,” she announced recently. “Now it’s time for me to move on. I really find being able to communicate through words a fantastic experience.”

The talented Butler has had a run of rotten luck since leaving “Riverdance.” She and her RD co-star, Colin Dunne, mounted their own dance extravaganza, “Dancing on Dangerous Ground,” which failed miserably, leaving trails of red ink. The latest setback has been the closure of the shop run by her husband, Irish fashion designer Cuan Hanley. But she remains upbeat, and says she’s still gotta dance — even if it’s not onstage. But she doesn’t rule it out completely.

“I just would not be able to jump as high as I used to be,” she said.

J-Lo loves the Midlands

Irish President Mary McAleese may soon be swapping scone recipes over the backyard fence with Bronx-born bombshell Jennifer Lopez. Rumors are circulating that the Latino superstar has her eye on a property in tiny, tony Cootehall, Co. Roscommon — right next door to a lot on which President McAleese plans to build a country retreat.

According to the Sunday World, Jennifer “fell in love with Shannonside” last year. She plans to spend her leisure time in Ireland, far from he demands of her hectic movie and music careers.

The locals in the sleepy lakeside village might find it tough to adjust to J-Lo’s lifestyle, which reportedly includes a large entourage and diva-like behavior. Last year, she astonished the producers of the British chat show “Parkinson” by showing up with a staff of 90 and insisting that her dressing room be painted and furnished completely in white. This kind of carry-on might cause a bit of a stir in the River Boyle town, which, the Sunday World notes, “consists of two pubs, a restaurant and a Phone Pack outlet.”

They are women, hear them roar

They’ve been keeping a low profile over the last couple of years, but that doesn’t mean that girl band B*Witched have been sitting on their asterisks all this time. The quartet — Louis Walsh’s female version of Boyzone — have been hard at work on a new album, and they want everyone to know about it. The only problem is, the toothy cuties might not have a record label at their disposal.

The band members have been telling sources in the Irish press that they are set to release a new single this summer. But rumors have been circulating that the group has been dropped by their record company, Epic Records. And just to make everything that much more confusing, Epic’s parent company, Sony Music, insists that it knows nothing about the band being dropped.

No word from Mr. Walsh as to the status of his proteges. One can hardly blame him, though — he’s got his hands full with Westlife, Samantha Mumba and his new girl group, Bellefire. We just hope those B*Witched chicks can cast a spell.

The Long goodbye

If Rosie O’Donnell pays homage to one more old-time talk show host, we’re going to have an awfully hard time not gagging ourselves with a spoon. The talk show host, who never misses an opportunity to profess her love for Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore, et al, will end her run as host of her own show on May 22. Coincidentally, that’s 10 years to the day that another of her heroes, Johnny Carson, ended his historic run behind the desk on the “Tonight Show.”

Rosie insists that it’s all just an accident. We’d believe her — if she hadn’t invited Bette Midler on the show to last week. The Divine Miss M was Johnny Carson’s last guest and serenaded him with his favorite song, “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road). For Rosie, she sang, “I Wish You Love.” She also had some advice for the departing talk show host, whose spot will be filled by comedian Caroline Rea: “Four words,” said Bette. “Don’t do a sitcom.”

Ding-dong! Pop star calling!

One of the advantages to having children is that they sometimes grow up to be, or to date, famous pop stars. Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern seems to have hit the jackpot in this regard: younger daughter Cecelia is an aspiring singer and elder daughter Georgina is thisclose to tying the knot with Westlife hunk Nicky Byrne. And with the general election only days away, Bertie’s entertainment connection came in handy when the potential son-in-law joined him in door-to-door canvassing in Dublin.

Nicky had a day off between gigs during the band’s concert tour, so he flew home from England to throw his support behind Georgie’s dad.

“I had never done anything like that before,” he wrote in the band’s Sunday World diary. “It was a bit of fun and a bit of a laugh.”

Nicky says that he enjoyed watching the reaction of unsuspecting voters when they opened the door.

“I think people got a shock,” he said. “First of all, there was Bertie on their doorstep, and then me standing beside him.”

While the singer got a firsthand taste of political life, the lessons learned were not all one-sided. Bertie came away with a sense of what it’s like to be a member of a top-selling pop band.

“With it being a Bank Holiday Monday, there were also lots of Westlife fans at home,” he wrote.

“By the end of the [day] we were like the Pied Piper with a huge gang of young fans following us.” So don’t be surprised if Bertie’s first post-election act is to propose lowering the voting age to seven.

Rekindling the light

One sign that downtown Manhattan is recovering from the WTC attacks is the reopening of the landmark Harbour Lights Restaurant at the South Street Seaport. The eatery, which closed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks — has been remodeled and restored to its former glory.

Long a favorite destination for diners seeking a romantic atmosphere and spectacular views of the river, Harbour Lights will celebrate its grand opening with a gala cocktail reception, which takes place on Tuesday night (which will be last night by the time you read this).

We’ll be on hand to sample the atmosphere and, in the interest of journalistic research, perhaps a cocktail or two — and to congratulate owner Austin Delaney on his achievement. We’re also looking forward to chatting with Harbour Lights General Manager (and former Echo colleague) Tom Begley, who assured us that the weather will be perfect. We’re holding him to that.


If the good people at Guinness need someone to headline this year’s Oyster Festival in Lower Manhattan, they might consider calling on Aussie pop star Kylie Minogue. The tiny dynamo, who’s stormed the charts with her catchy single “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” is under strict instruction to scarf down the gooey shellfish during costume changes on her current concert tour. No word on whether she washes them down the traditional way, with a creamy pint or two.

Kylie’s vocal coach suggested that she keep her protein levels up by eating chicken during her breaks, but the singer found the poultry too dry. Oysters, apparently, go down easily and pack high concentrations of iron and zinc. Be that as it may, we’ll take a pass . . .

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