Top Five Irish Actors: The Old School, New School and Hollywood Dropouts

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HOLLYWOODSilver Screen Indie Queen here with some post-St. Patty’s Day film buzz. What better way to start a column than with the Irish? There’s an industry list as long as my arm of actors with Irish American blood including James Cagney, John Cusack and Joan Cusack, Spencer Tracy and even Lindsay Lohan. As for the list of those Irish born and bred, though, now that’s a different story.

The mission of Rachel Faith – the Hollywood-based Silver Screen Indie Queen for – is to help avoid the “beige” film experience by providing easily accessible information on indie film, film festival favorites and must-see Hollywood classics. At the end of the day, it’s all about turning people onto new and different films using the Indie Queen’s film geekdom for good and not evil.

After doing a little legwork, I was able to come up with quite an impressive list. Represented we have the old school, the new school and the dropouts who are conquering Hollywood as we speak. So, enjoy this nicely rounded top five list of men who have the drawl and a lil’ shot of punk-rock mentality.

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy: July 30, 2003
Photo credit: IMDb

What better place to start than with my zombie-ass kickin’ No. 1. Ever since “28 Days Later,” we film geeks have paid attention. Indie roles like “Breakfast on Pluto” balanced out his million-dollar smashes like “Batman Begins”.

He’s creepy cute, has the chops and is one of my favorite actor period. Yes, he is no other than Cillian Murphy. Since most of you have seen the zombie and bat movies, step out of that comfort zone and queue up “Sunshine,” “Wind That Shakes the Barley,” and “Intermission”. Now that’s acting.

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan: May 1, 2005
Jeff Vespa,

Whether he’s Remington Steele or 007, Pierce Brosnan seems to make aging gracefully his hobby. Any film you choose with Pierce he’ll be dapper, but if you want to see a Brosnan you’ve not seen in a while, check out Richard Shepard’s “The Matador”.

While this comedy was overlooked, the only one to blame is the marketing department because this movie made me laugh right off the couch. Think trigger-sloppy hitman beyond his prime with a tad bit of a drinking problem. Makes the victim feel a little more at peace, doesn’t it?

Bad boys Colin Farrell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers share the No. 3 spot for no other reason except there are too many seasoned thespians who can’t possibly be left out. While Colin does the mainstream thing deliciously, don’t miss “The New World” directed by Terence Malick where you see a much calmer and established actor.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers on left and Colin Farrell
On left: Jonathan Rhys Meyers on Jan. 16, 2006; On right: Colin Farrell on Sept. 2, 2007
Left image credit: Steve Granitz,; Right image credit:

Usually when one thinks of King Henry VIII, the piercing eyes of Jonathan Rhys Meyers don’t come to mind.

Colm Meaney
Colm Meaney: Jan. 28, 2002
Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Once he stepped into those testosterone-filled boots in the hit series “The Tudors,” though, he has been winning hearts across the globe. I prefer “Velvet Goldmine” because it’s a daring and flawless performance. It seems like everyone has an indie nugget in their closet.

Next we have Colm Meaney. While some of you may not know him by name, you’d recognize that his mug of his anywhere.

You Trekkies will know him from the record 14 seasons of “Star Trek” he’s done, and still, he’s no stranger to the silver screen. He’s done everything from “Die Hard” to “Layer Cake” to Irish indie favorites “The Commitments” and “The Snapper”.

Peter O'Toole
Peter O’Toole: Feb. 11, 2002
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Last but certainly not least we have Peter O’Toole. I hate that I left out important peeps like Ciaran Hinds, Stephen Rea and Gabriel Byrne who truly walk on water, but for the love of Pete: it’s freaking O’Toole!

Run – don’t walk – to your computer and put “The Lion in Winter” at the top of your Netflix queue. Also, make sure to include “Beckett” and this little movie called “Lawrence of Arabia”. Breathe… It’s going to be OK.

So that’s my list and I’m sticking to it. Even if you don’t agree with my order, you can’t disagree with some heavy-hitting talent that has come our way from the Emerald Isle.

Here’s the Indie Queen signing off until next Wednesday for part two on Remember: If you don’t like what’s in the theatre, don’t suffer through! Your next favorite movie could be right there in your Netflix (or Blockbuster Online; we don’t show favoritism!) queue. Hollywood correspondent Rachel Faith

Hollywood Correspondent

Anonymous's picture

Colin Farrell dating female pilot

A certain assistant currently working on the film Colin Farrell and Lily Cole are starring in has stated on record, but is asking to remain confidentail until the conclusion of the film, that Colin is seriously dating a woman pilot.

The woman is somewhat of a free bird at heart, and won’t commit to Farrell. But the deeper truth is that the woman is a Roman Catholic, separated from her husband, and her church is deeply frowning on her almost one year relationship with Colin.

Anonymous's picture

Colin Dating Female Pilot

I’ve heard this from other sources around the Dublin areas also. Seems she has dinner with his family and Colin and she are seen around the Temple Bar area of Dublin.
I’m glad he’s dating someone more settled seeming. I think pilots are very stable people. They have to be.

Anonymous's picture

Colin Dating A Pilot

I read something about this before Christmas with EOnline that was in one of those updates they send out. By what I remember reading it seems that Colin and MM weren’t exactly as joined at the hip as some of us would have been lead to think.
The time line appears to be that he was disentangling himself for a number of weeks from MM and venturing in other directions at the same time which makes the timeline true.
I think Colin made have had to be somewhat apleasing to MM for a while longer then he intended, found himself caught up between both these women, but it does appear that he made a more mature and wise decision.
I wish them all the best of luck.
We love you Colin, and want you happy and we know we will love your new lady to. Just get these marriage legals woes taken care of, if they are true, and then settle down and be happy !

Anonymous's picture

Colin's New Love Is A Female Pilot

I think its great. His camp is good to keep the lid on this one and I think we should give Colin and his new love some privacy. This man is due for good luck in love and I agree that pilots are mostly stable and trustworthy people. They are responsible for the lifes of their crew and passengers, so I really hope this is the true love of his life, finally.
Does anyone know her name, or how they met?
I’ve a ladyfriend that is Catholic and married. Her husband is in the Knights of Columbus for the state of New Jersey, and its all the talk of the group, so there is a lot of truth to this one.
I’ve been told this woman and her husband are legally separated and she’s been trying to go forward with a divorce, but he’s fighting it and beginning now to make her and Colin’s relationship public.

Tiffany's picture

Colin Dating A Female Pilot

I think this is wonderful news, and I think it’s very true. My brother is in the Knights of Columbus for the state of California. He’s not on the national level, but he does have other friends that are Knights and that serve on the national level for California and also for Florida. Just the fact that the bishops have been called in to have resolve this husband’s issues is running like wildfire throughout the Knights organization, so it’s true and not a rumor that they are dating.
Her husband seems to go to some extremes to prevent a divorce from taking place, so she’s either really some kind of woman or he’s just a huge control freak, in which case I hope she decides to stay with Colin.

ARoomWithAViewPlease's picture

Colin and Lady Pilot At Four Seasons Hotel

I work for the Four Seasons Hotel chain in NYC. Colin Farrell often stays with us. Lately he arrives in the company of two men and a lady wearing a pilots uniform. Farrell takes a suite with an adjoining room, and two other rooms for the two men. The woman and her luggage go into Farrell’s suite, and the adjoining room hardly ever even has the bed messed up. So she is staying in Farrell’s suite. When housekeeping freshened the bath area of his suite during his last stay the last weekend of March, the woman’s personal items were spread out on one of the vanities. During this last stay, the two men with Farrell met with our hotel security and explained the woman has an ex husband that is very upset about her dating Farrell. The news came down to us and we were instructed to be very alert and report any individuals that seemed out of place.

Anonymous's picture

How can they have been

How can they have been dating fo over a year? Have you forgotten he was with Muireann M. (and very publicly) within this supposed year? Maybe they’ve known each other for over a year and are just starting to get close. Isn’t this pilot lady married still??

Anonymous's picture


Well, if it’s all true, CONGRATS to him for hooking up with a decent woman. Just enjoy it! Celebs tend to dive in and out of marriage like it isn’t sacred any more. Enjoy a nice, long engagement (especially if she is fresh out of a marriage). Then take the plunge after enjoying each others company for a while.

Anonymous's picture

They aren't Irish Americans! They're Irish!

Colin, Colm, Jonathan and Cillian are Irish. Not Irish American. IRISH! Brosnan is Irish American, as he carries dual citizenship. But the other lads are Irish. Don’t go accusin’ them of being American. No Irishman wants to be called something he’s not.

smalls67's picture

On Hottie Colin Dating

Give me a break ladies..Are we really happy he is dating anyone? Not me! I want him hot and single forever…

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