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Colin Farrell talks role of "Epic" proportions

Colin Farrell is shedding his Hollywood bad boy persona with a series of upcoming film roles, the first of which being the new animated flick "Epic."

The Dublin-born actor, 36, lends his voice to the film as the character Ronin, a knight-in-shining-armor type who takes his job protecting Queen Tara (Beyonce) very seriously. Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Chrisoph Waltz and Jason Sudeikis also star.

Farrell sat down for an interview with CBSNews.com to talk about "Epic" and his other latest film projects, including "Saving Mr. Banks," which will star Tom Hanks as Walt Disney:

CBSNEWS.COM: Originally your character was supposed to have an American accent?

FARRELL: Yeah, originally. I'd been given kind of a template from Chris Wedge, the director, that was a couple of scenes of "Daredevil" and a couple scenes of "Miami Vice." Well in "Daredevil," I'm Irish. In "Miami Vice," I'm not. But I think it was more to do with the timber in my voice in both of those things. Then I started off doing it American. He suggested why not do it in your own accent. I thought 'Well, that's fine, because it's always easier.'

CBSNEWS.COM: And your co-stars in this film -- did you meet them at all?

FARRELL: No, this morning. On the green carpet. Yeah, it's weird man. It's such a kind of fractured piecemeal way to do things. I'd say I'd worked on it for about 40 hours. But the director the writer and the animators have been slaving away at this for a year and a half, two years. No, I never got to work with anybody else. They splice it all together after the fact.

CBSNEWS.COM: This subject matter, it seems like a sort of departure for you, because in the past you've taken on grittier projects.

FARRELL:Right. I just want to mix it up. Maybe I'm getting older, softening up, but really I just want to mix it up with work. And you go off really what sort of opportunities are presented to you. I think, you know unless you go and write something and make something yourself. But, if you're an actor who's being hired you read whatever comes across your path and sometimes you notice the majority of the stuff might be this way tonally. And maybe that means you should shift a bit. But this came along. Another couple of things have come in the last year that were kind of lighter thematically than a lot of the stuff that I've done. And I didn't go and seek them. They just came. And I did them. They're just a couple of things which had a lot more beauty in them I think then some of the stuff that I've done which is more about the ugliness of maybe violence and retribution and that kind of stuff.

CBSNEWS.COM: You also have a couple of other films coming out this year.

FARRELL: Yeah, there's two others. A thing called "Saving Mr. Banks" and a thing called "Winter's Tale" [also starring Russell Crowe and Will Smith], which are two of the scripts -- who knows what they are as films -- but in script form are two of the more beautiful things I've had the chance to read in the last 12 years, 15 years.

"Epic" is now playing in theaters.