Colin Farrell embodies film noir detective in ‘Sugar’

April 8, 2024 - 12:55 PM
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Actor Colin Farrell attends the National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City, New York, U.S., January 8, 2023. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly/File Photo)

 Film noir is back, with a lot of color, starring Colin Farrell in “Sugar,” a new Apple+ series set in contemporary Los Angeles.

The role of a private detective battling inner demons as he tracks down a Hollywood producer’s missing granddaughter is a dream come true for the Golden Globe Award winner for best actor in “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

“I do love film noir, and I have had a love for it that pre-dates this show, so there were certain tropes that I was well aware of,” Farrell said in an interview.

The noir genre began with crime films in the 1940s and 1950s, featuring sharp shadows, pessimistic characters, smoke and rainy streets in black and white.

“I was well aware of the archetypical trope aspect to those things,” said Farrell, whose character John Sugar works on a case that turns his whole world upside down.

The series, which premieres on Friday, juxtaposes the colorful landscapes of Los Angeles with scenes that look like vintage Hollywood noir. Scenes between characters are edited in ways that surprised the actors.

“I knew I was filming a noir but then once I’m done with my process, there’s a completely separate creative process that happens after,” said British actor KirbyHowell-Baptiste, who plays Sugar‘s manager Ruby in a contemporary twist.

“So when I watched it, the voiceover was a mystery to me, all of that footage that’s cut into it, the way it is cut, all of that was such a mystery.”

Farrell fondly recalled some nights when they were shooting car footage: Cinematographer Cesar Charlone would get in the passenger seat and Farrell would drive them to downtown Los Angeles for 40 minutes.

“There were moments where I was kind of honest-to-God pinching myself, going, ‘this is just unbelievable’ and ‘aren’t we so lucky?'” Farrell said.

— Reporting by Rollo Ross and Danielle Broadway;Editing by Mary Milliken and Richard Chang