Dec. 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM ET
In another lifetime, Colin Farrell and Elizabeth Taylor might have been great lovers. Speaking with Ellen DeGeneres on Monday, Dec. 16, about his unique friendship with the legendary screen siren, the "Saving Mr. Banks" actor hinted at a deep affection for the actress that was never fully realized because they met so late in life.
Farrell, now 37, met Taylor toward the end of her life, when his youngest son, Henry, was born at Cedars Sinai Hospital. (The "Cleopatra" actress, 79 at the time of her death in 2011, was there getting a stent put in her heart.)
"I said, 'Will you tell her I said hello? She probably won't know who I am,'" he recalled of running into her manager and close friend Tim Mendelsohn. "And they go, 'No, she knows who you are.' And I went, 'Wow, cool. Well, tell her I said hello and I wish her the best,' and they said, 'Will do.'"
That might have been the end of it, but Farrell couldn't get Taylor off his mind. So he called his publicist, Danica, and asked if he could send some flowers — not knowing that the violet-eyed actress had had the same thought and sent him an orchid, along with a handwritten note.
A week later, Farrell asked if he could visit her. "I asked Danica, and she made some calls, and I got to have an audience with her," he told DeGeneres. "And that was the beginning of a year and a half or two years of what was a really cool (relationship). It was kind of like the last — it feels like in my head, not hers, I'm projecting — but the last kind of romantic relationship I had. Which was never consummated."
Farrell went on to detail their late-night phone calls. "It was really cool, and she wasn't much of a sleeper at night, like I'm not, so at two o'clock in the morning, I'd call her," he said. "I'd call her at two in the morning, and the nurse would answer the phone, and I'd say, 'Is she awake?'... And then I'd be on the phone and I'd hear, 'Hello?' And I'd go, 'How's it going?' And we'd talk for a half an hour, an hour, into the wee hours."
"I just adored her," the Irish actor gushed of the actress/activist, who was married seven times in her life. "She was a spectacular, spectacular woman. I wanted to be (husband) number eight, but we ran out of road."