The Total Recall actor seemingly hasn't lived up to his early potential—even though he's secretly one of the most talented performers of his generation.
Film critic-turned-filmmaker Rob Lurie once said of Oliver Stone that he'd made two of the best movies of all time and two of the worst. Similarly damning praise might be heaped on Colin Farrell, who has always been willing to put it all on the line—in films good and bad. Farrell's breakout performance in 2000's Tigerland was one of those signal debuts that come along only every so rarely and make you think, wow, that guy is going to be special, a la Edward Norton in Primal Fear, or Casey Affleck in the Jesse James movie with the long title. Of such auspicious beginnings are movie stars and great actors made. But Farrell's turned out to be neither.
In one camp of Hollywood performers are the big brands: the Clooneys, the Cruises, the Will Smiths. These are the guys who play themselves, or at least a version of themselves in every flick they headline. Or rather, they don't stop playing themselves, since their "performances" are merely an extension of their "private" personae—the ones splattered all over the magazines and Internet. Because of this public awareness (who they're dating, adopting, or throwing charity events for), we feel like we know them, and would be disappointed if they didn't play to form—if Clooney wasn't a goofy ladykiller, if Cruise didn't save the world with his maniacal intensity alone, or if Smith wasn't talking PG trash and running down aliens with his explosive charisma.