Jim Sheridan has praised Colin Farrell, saying he admires how the actor has turned his life around.

Farrell checked into rehab in 2006 after his partying got out of control, and now Sheridan has said that the star was on course to become "the next mess-up", before he got his life under control.

The director told BANG Shobiz at the eighth annual Oscar Wilde: Honouring the Irish in Film party on Thursday: "Colin is impressive, not just as an actor but as a person. We all know he had his ups and downs and there was a time when he was going to be the next mess-up. but he left it all behind him and became a great lad."

Sheridan, who is a close friend of Farrell's, added that the 36-year-old actor's likeability makes him appealing to Irish people.

He explained: "In Ireland we admire Daniel Day Lewis and respect Liam Neeson but somewhere inside us we love Colin, because we're just waiting for him to f*** up, you know. We're just waiting for him to fall in the s***and be like us.

"Talent and good looks help when you're trying to make it in the entertainment industry, Colin has them in spades. Deep down he is such a great guy and it comes across on screen, he has that charisma that just comes across. The first time he was ever on screen he was a star. You see it."