Colin Farrell: Once-Notorious Playboy Has Given Up Dating To Focus On Being A Dad

Colin Farrell once had a reputation as one of the most notorious playboys in show business, but now the actor has given up dating and instead decided to focus his attention on being a dad.

The Irish actor is opening up about his love life, admitting in a recent interview that he hasn't dated anyone in for several years now as other priorities have taken over.

"I have not dated for, ooh, four years now," he told the Sunday Times. "It's just not happening, what with the work, the kids and my life. I know it's not what people expect to hear, but that's the honest truth."

Colin Farrell has two sons --- 11-year-old James and 5-year-old Henry. He said the last few years have been focused on helping them grow up right, instead of living in the Hollywood limelight and dating young starlets.

"It's not all about you anymore, which is a relief," Farrell said. "It's about a bigger world, and helping them find their place in it."

This represents quite a change from the Colin Farrell of about a decade ago. Farrell once had a reputation for dating around, including a string of very high profile relationships. He was rumored to have dated Britney Spears in 2003 and then was connected to Angelina Jolie the next year, just before she and Brad Pitt went public with their romance.

As the New York Post explained, there were rumors that Angelina was looking for something much more serious with Farrell, but he just wasn't interested.

"The two starred — as mother and son, no less — in the 2004 Oliver Stone movie "Alexander," which filmed in Morocco. Rumors ("whispers around Tinseltown," said Perez Hilton) held that Jolie was obsessed with the hell-raising Farrell and shacked up with him during shooting. And that she only settled for Brad Pitt when Farrell wasn't interested in a relationship."

But Colin Farrell said he's now a changed man, no longer self-absorbed and instead fully focused on his role as a parent.

"It's not about 'me, me, me the loudmouth' any more — and that takes the pressure off me to live up to those expectations," he added.

Part of the reason Colin Farrell decided to stop dating was his workload. The actor is starring in Season 2 of the HBO drama True Detective, which premieres in June.

[Image via Getty Images/Kevin Winter]