Here's the incredibly sweet reason why
Credit: Phillip Massey/WireImage

During a conversation with EW about the ups and downs in his 16-year film career, Colin Farrell makes a statement that comes as a bit of a surprise. “Fright Night is the greatest success of my career,” says the actor, 39, whose remarkable deadpan comedy The Lobster opens next week.

This takes a little explaining — and the backstory includes a lovely, true sentiment that’s worth remembering this Mother’s Day.

Fright Night, first of all, is a film I’m proud of,” Farrell continues. “But you might look at its score on Rotten Tomatoes. About 70 percent. You might look at its box office gross. Not a blockbuster hit. But none of that matters. It all comes down to how you define success.”

One day while Farrell was shooting the movie in the autumn of 2010, his mom, Rita, visited the set. The film’s producer Alison Rosenzweig met her and “thought she was beautiful and amazing and magical,” she said. “And for some reason I just had this feeling about her. And I thought of my friend [film producer] Joel Michaels, who’s also a wonderful person and one of those rare Hollywood producer gems.”

Rosenzweig telephoned Michaels later that evening. “Joel,” she told him, “I think I met your future wife.”

With the help of Farrell’s sister Claudine, a lunch date was set up between Rita and Joel. The couple got along spectacularly and six months later — when she was 70 and he was 73 — they were married in a ceremony in Los Angeles.

“They’re the most in-love couple that I know,” Rosenzweig says. “It’s like the ultimate romance. The fact that they could find such a passionate, unbelievable connection at a certain age, that just makes everyone feel good. And if I never did another thing in my life, I’d be happy that I had a part in making these two people so happy.”

Farrell obviously concurs. “The two of them have companionship and love together for the rest of their days,” he says. “My mother is in her 70s and so is her husband, and that’s it, done. So excuse me for being an idealist for a second, but anyone can create their own definitions of success and failure in their life or career. If my being in Fright Night led to my mother’s happiness, then, yes, absolutely, that film will always be the greatest success of my career.”