Colin Farrell paid tribute to his friend and fellow guest Emma Fogarty on Friday's Late Late Show, describing her as "the most amazing person I've ever met" as they sought to raise funds for people living with the genetic condition Epidermolysis bullosa (EB).
The pair have been friends since 2010 when the actor contacted Emma after she won a People of the Year award and raised awareness of the incurable condition EB. People with EB are in constant pain with open wounds similar to third-degree burns on most of their bodies which must be dressed for a number of hours each day, or every second day.
"I'd never heard of Epidermolysis bullosa - commonly called EB - I'd never heard of the condition," the Widows star told host Ryan Tubridy.
"It's an incredibly rare condition, but it's one that has a particular kind of certain cruelty to it that I couldn't imagine living through or living with what those boys and girls and young men and women who have EB live through every day. I just couldn't get my head around it.
"And then having met Emma and spoken to her on the phone and stuff, listening to the spiritedness in her voice and the strength of her will and her desire to not only just live or survive, but have a full life... Her spirit is incredible."
Colin Farrell and Emma Fogarty from @debraireland openly talks to Ryan about her rare genetic skin condition, epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Text BUTTERFLY to 50300 to donate €4. Live on the #latelate now. pic.twitter.com/1lKiIVezWP— RTE One (@RTEOne) December 21, 2018
"I believe you have two choices in life," Emma explained. "You can sit in the corner and dwell on your problems, but I was given a life, and I was given a life to live. And I am determined to live it to the fullest and the best of my ability."
The friends are seeking to raise €60,000 for EB charity Debra Ireland's Family Support Services, with Farrell characteristically matter-of-fact as he appealed for donations.
"Listen, if you've seen my films and you think they're s**** or I annoy you, don't let that stop you," he told the audience.
"Don't turn me being on here to be a negative thing! Really, it's about Emma and what's deserved and what's right and the support for her and the community, which is a small community."
For more on the work and fundraising of Debra Ireland, please see: debraireland.org.
Farrell also used his time on the Late Late to pay tribute to his son James, who has the genetic disorder Angelman syndrome, which mainly affects the Central Nervous System.
"He's magic," said Farrell. "And, you know, life seems to present itself with all these different deviations from what we call 'the norm' or 'the typical'. And my James, as Emma has her own genetic deviation from what is typical, my son has a genetic deviation from what is typical. And he has Angelman syndrome, and he's magic."
"He's a very inspiring young man," Farrell continued. "He has had his own trials and tribulations and has reached benchmarks in his life.
"You know, he took his first steps as I've said before when he was two weeks short of his fourth birthday. We talk about a child taking their first steps as being a profound moment in a child's life or a parent's life. But if you're told your child might not ever walk, try those steps on for size when you see those ones...
"He's brilliant. He uses an iPad to communicate. He's moody, he's cheeky, though he's, I think, incredibly happy. He's strong-willed. Yeah, he's a magic, magic young man."
Farrell added that you can't "let the world tell you what you're capable of".
"You have to decide that for yourself," Emma agreed. "You have to say, 'Right, I'm going to do this. Right, this obstacle is in my way, this is how I overcome it'.
"And I think that's what's brought us together. Yes, he's a parent and I'm a patient, but we have that in common, that struggle, that fight, the determination to want to do things. And I think that's what we have in common, that we both want the best for our lives."