Hollywood star Colin Farrell has blasted the media for portraying him as a hedonistic badboy who spends his life drinking, smoking, swearing and doing drugs.

The Minority Report hunk - who recently hailed his past heroin abuse - is furious his honest, often foul-mouthed approach to interviews has prompted journalists to label him a hellraiser, because in reality he's just "a big softie".

And Farrell insists the only time he gives cause for newspapers to criticise him is when they hassle him during his time off - an intrusion that never fails to spark his temper.

He says, "If I come into a room and I've had a few drinks and a few cigarettes and say f**k, it doesn't mean anything.

"At times it seems I'm trying to perpetuate this image of being a tough guy but that has never been a focus of mine.

"It's because I'm an actor and I have a beer and I say, 'This is my day off. I'm not shooting today. This is my f**king day off.'"

18/11/2004 02:31