Farrell's failed seduction
By Henry Meller, Daily Mail
4 May 2005
At the age of 70 she may have thought her days of being romanced by Hollywood heart-throbs were behind her.
But Dame Eileen Atkins says Colin Farrell - some 42 years her junior - spent more than two hours trying to seduce her.
Dame Eileen, one of the creators of the classic television series Upstairs Downstairs, revealed in an interview yesterday that she was propositioned by the actor just a few months ago.
Asked about her sex life on the ITV chat show Loose Women, she said: 'I was doing a movie and three weeks before my 70th birthday, a simply stunningly gorgeous big film star aged 28 years old, came into my hotel room for sex without strings.
'I spent two and a half hours saying No. But it was pure bliss and it made me sail through my 70th birthday without a care in the world.'
Asked whether she was tempted, she said: 'Of course I was!'
She told how she followed the advice of another respected British actress, her friend Sian Phillips, and kept saying 'this is deeply inappropriate'.
Dame Eileen added: 'It cheered me up fantastically. I said No in the end because he said, "The reason you won't do it is because your body isn't as good as it was when you were young isn't it? That's why you're saying No. I don't care about that. I don't care".
'But I'm too proud of how I looked when I was younger. My body is still the same weight, but it's all distributed in a different way!' The actress, who was made a Dame in June 2001, intended to spare Mr Farrell the embarrassment of having his rejection made public.
But her agent said later: 'I can confirm that it is Colin Farrell that made an advance.'
Dame Eileen and Farrell will be seen together in the film Ask The Dust, which is due for release later this year.
Quite what Dame Eileen's second husband, film producer Bill Shephard makes of the incident is unknown. Her spokesman added: 'As far as I know they are
Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Demi Moore and Naomi Campbell are among the women said to have fallen for Farrell, star of the epic flop Alexander.
Dame Eileen has pursued a distinguished career on TV, stage and screen. Her recent movies include Cold Mountain, Gosford Park and Vanity Fair.