Colin Farrell braved the cold weather in New York City to walk the red carpet for his film’s–Winter’s Tale–premiere, but it’s his brave son he gushes about and holds even nearer and dearer to his heart. Farrell’s 10-year-old son James has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can impair movement, balance and speech.
“James is an absolute stud,” he said during a recent interview. “Every day, just breaking down boundaries. He’s an amazing boy.”
The syndrome was named in 1965 after the doctor who first described it–Dr. Henry Angelman. It is a neuro-genetic disorder characterized by “severe intellectual and developmental disability, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements (especially hand-flapping), frequent laughter or smiling, and usually a happy demeanor.” People with Angelman Syndrome have a much higher capacity for understanding what is said to them than they do for expressing themselves. Most people diagnosed with the syndrome go on to live through adulthood, but rely on others for a good portion of their care.
Colin Farrell credits James as the reason he checked into rehab back in 2005 for alcohol and drug addiction. He says he is inspired by the little boy every day.
“Everything he’s achieved in his life has come through the presence and the kind of will that is hard work. He’s a lot to be inspired by,” Farrell said. “Things like walking and talking and eating and feeding himself, all those things that so many of us naturally take for granted because they come so easily, to James, they come somewhat harder … I remember the days when he couldn’t watch ten minutes of a film because he couldn’t sit still, but now he can.”
James isn’t Colin Farrell’s only child. He also has a son named Henry with Alicja Bachleda. James is his son with model Kim Bordenave.
When asked if his kids ever see him on the big screen he laughed.
“Epic — [but] they didn’t know it was me, so that was kind of a bummer,” he joked. “They seemed to think it was alright. I don’t think it went to the top of their favorite list of cartoons, which is a bit disappointing.”
Raising a child with any kind of disability is a challenge. Loving a child with a disability is often the greatest joy of one’s life. It’s plain to see that Colin Farrell’s love for James is unconditional, and his enthusiasm over his progress is contagious. James and Henry no doubt have a very doting dad.
Image via YouTube