Colin Farrell: Banshees Of Inisherin star says film 'teaches me how to be a human being'

Colin Farrell is swapping rural Ireland for the mean streets of Los Angeles in his new detective series, Sugar.

Oscar-nominated Farrell, 47, was a film fan before he became an actor and says he finds solace in stories told on both the big and small screens.

He told Sky News: "Films are constantly teaching me how to be a human being and how not to be a human being."

The Irish actor said that as he was growing up, it was a visual medium that helped him learn about family dynamics, friendships and relationships.

One of his first memories was watching 1982's E.T. with his uncle Tommy at the local cinema.

He said: "It was probably the first time I ever saw a one-parent family.

"I mean the dad was off in Mexico, there were two parents, don't get me wrong, but the mother was at home raising the boys and there was serious drama at the heart of it, serious familial drama."

A detective with a twist

With his passion for the visual arts, Farrell's next project, Sugar, seems like the perfect fit.

The neo-noir Apple TV+ drama follows John Sugar, a private investigator incapable of deceit, who has a deep obsession with classic movies.

Farrell, who stars and serves as an executive producer on the show, says Sugar uses his admiration for the arts as an "experiential touchstone to learn about the human condition".

It's a detective series with a twist, as viewers themselves take on the role of an investigator in order to uncover the star's deep secret.

The series also stars Oscar nominee Amy Ryan and British actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste.

Reaching a new audience in school

In a case of life imitating art, Farrell's work itself has become the subject of educational exploration.

In 2022, the Irish department of education announced that The Banshees Of Inisherin, for which he received his sole Oscar nomination, would be added to the 2026 school curriculum.

Farrell said: "I heard Barbie was, but not Banshees. That's cool."

The Oscar-nominated modern films join a list of artworks marked as "prescribed viewing" for final year secondary school exam students.

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Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rian Johnson's Knives Out and Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption are also included on the syllabus.

Farrell said it's a full circle moment for him as he never got the chance to sit the exams himself.

"Finally, I get to attend the Leaving Cert after all these years," he said.

The first two episodes of Sugar are available to stream on Apple TV+ from 5 April with new episodes then dropping weekly.