by Emily Feimster
Listen up lads and lassies! Thanks to the luck o' the Irish, we've been blessed with 10 men who definitely know how to entertain us, be it by their charming wit, irresistible accents, or undeniable talent. So grab your Guinness and hop aboard as we take a look at our favorite Irish entertainers.
1. Colin Farrell
Although this Dublin-born boy once had dreams of following in his father's soccer playing footsteps, Farrell has found a much more lucrative path as one of Hollywood's hottest actors. Not only has he won over millions of fans with movies like "Minority Report" and "Phone Booth," he's also scored legions of lady followers with his, um, charming personality.
Quotable Quote: On physical training for film roles: " I find it the most tedious waste of life. It's so boring. I'd prefer to be sitting in a pub with a few strangers talkin' s--- than looking at meself in the mirror runnin' on the treadmill."
2. Bono 3. Pierce Brosnan
Not only is his band U2, which includes fellow Irishmen The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr., one of the most successful groups of all time, but he is a serious and potent political activist. In 2003, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts to relieve third world debt and promote AIDS awareness in Africa.
He may not be playing James Bond anymore (Why!?!), but we'll always have dreams of this hunky Irish actor wearing a tuxedo and carrying a gun. Yes, even at the age of 53, this man's still got it!
Inside Scoop: Pierce is a professional "fire eater" due to his days of performing in the circus at a young age.
4. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
He had a tumultuous childhood in Ireland, spending some time in an orphanage and being permanently expelled from school at age 16. After being discovered in a pool hall, he soon got an audition for a Knorr soup commercial and nabbed it. Although embarrassed by the attention from the ad, it led to his film debut in "A Man of No Importance." However, it wasn't until "Bend It Like Beckham" that he gained international fame.
5. Liam Neeson
Having been raised Roman Catholic in largely Protestant Northern Ireland, Liam grew up feeling very different. It wasn't until his senior year in high school that he finally fit in through acting. His career has flourished in a wide range of pictures, from his portrayal of Qui-Gon Jinn in "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace" to "Schindler's List," "Kinsey," and "Love Actually." To name a few.
Inside Scoop: Some of his earlier jobs were as a Guinness forklift operator, a truck driver, an assistant architect, and an amateur boxer. He actually won the Irish Youth Championship in boxing, but gave it up when he experienced a brief blackout after a fight.
6. Cillian Murphy
Ah, how do we love Cillian? Let us count the ways. Be it by his chiseled jaw or baby blue eyes, we can't help but be enamored with this actor, who has starred in such movies as "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "Batman Begins."
Quotable Quote: He said of playing a terrorist on "Red Eye": "I don't know if anyone will ever sit beside me on a plane again."
7. Kenneth Branagh
What can we say about one of the most talented actors in the world? Not only is Belfast-born Branaough a brilliant stage actor, but he's also proven his commercial abilities with projects like "Hamlet" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
8. Stuart Townsend
Let's face it. Anyone who can nab Charlize Theron must have something going for him. We just wish the rest of Hollywood would catch on.
Inside Scoop: He was originally cast as Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings," but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen after four days of shooting because they realized he was too young for the role.
9. Jim Sheridan
This director may not be one of the most attractive men on our list, but he's definitely one of the most talented. He's won kudos for films like "In America" and "My Left Foot," which earned an Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis, who obtained Irish citizenship in 1993. His most recent movie was "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" with 50 Cent.
10. Gabriel Byrne
Having spent much of his earlier life working such jobs as an archaeologist and a bullfighter, Byrne didn't discover acting until much later in life. He didn't even come to the United States until he was 37. He's since starred in films like "Excalibur," "Vanity Fair," and "Assault on Precinct 13."
Quotable Quote: "I would like to break out of this 'dark, brooding' image, cause I'm actually not like that at all. In Ireland, brooding is a term we use for hens. A brooding hen is supposed to lay eggs. Every time somebody says, 'He's dark and brooding,' I think, 'He's about to lay an egg.'"
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