Colin Farrell’s kids couldn’t be happier that their father is returning to work after a much-needed break from the spotlight.
The Irish actor dropped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday to talk about his role in the live-action reboot of Disney’s “Dumbo” and revealed that his sons James, 15, and Henry, 9, were relieved to have their dad out of the house.
“Last year I worked for a month,” Farrell explained. “I was gainfully unemployed for 11! It was lovely, I was just home with the boys … getting in their faces to the point where they were sick of looking at me.”
“One of them packed my bag when I finally left,” he added, “and the other was waiting with the passport at the front door, saying, ‘Please be a stranger, Daddy!’”
With St. Patrick’s Day less than a week away on March 17, DeGeneres asked Farrell if he maintains any traditions in honor of the holiday. Not surprisingly, the actor said many of the customs Americans associate with St. Paddy’s Day have minimal ties to Ireland.
“I never saw green beer until I came to America,” he said. “Never heard of such a ridiculous thing as a green beer! We don’t dye the rivers green … we don’t need an excuse to get pissed! That’s a Tuesday, you know?”
Later, Farrell spoke about how the new “Dumbo” will compare to its 1941 animated predecessor.
The new version, which also stars Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Michael Keaton, adds a “human component” not present in the original, Farrell said.
“It’s just a message that will never get old, and human beings will never tire of needing to hear, which is not just accepting difference, but celebrating difference, having curiosity around difference,” he said.
Farrell, of course, is no stranger to Disney. In 2013, he starred as Travers Robert Goff, the father of author P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) in “Saving Mr. Banks,” about the troubled making of Disney’s 1964 classic, “Mary Poppins.”
“Dumbo,” he said, gave him another unique opportunity ― the chance to work with beloved and eccentric filmmaker Tim Burton.
“He’s such a magic dude,” he gushed.