In many ways, Dumbo is the quintessential Tim Burton film: an outsider initially ostracized for his otherness suddenly finds himself celebrated for this very quality, but the sudden limelight takes a toll and the now celebrated “outsider” questions if he was better off before. See Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Ed Wood et al… The only difference here is that the so-called outsider doesn’t have scissors for hands or a hero complex, just really large ears.
In Dumbo, Colin Farrell stars as Holt Farrier, a former circus star, severely injured during The Great War. When he attempts to return to his former glory (sans his right arm), Holt— no longer capable of being the star attraction— is instead relegated to tending for the circus elephants. However, there he finds a kindred spirit in a baby elephant with giant ears that everyone mocks on sight. You know his name.
In our interview with Colin Farrell, he discusses balancing the gravitas of his character in a “family film,” the worst nickname he was ever called, and if he’s ever suffered a crisis of confidence (like Dumbo did). For the full video, watch above.
- What is the worst nickname Colin Farrell’s ever been given (a la Dumbo)?
- How did he balance the gravitas of his character in a ‘family film’?
- When Colin was starting as an actor, did he ever feel taken for granted (like Dumbo)?
- Did he ever suffer a crisis of confidence?
Here’s the official synopsis for Dumbo:
Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.
And for more on Dumbo, be sure to read up on just some of our previous coverage provided at the following links: