binary girl: the secret blog




September 13th, 2007 at 12:02

Colin Ferrell is a class act.

His lucky star
Hunk Colin Farrell’s touching friendship with street guy shows what a class act he is

The beggars of Yorkville have eyes as big as pans these days.

All those film stars. All that spare change.

But a street regular known as Stress has struck gold. Pure Irish gold …

Lunchtime. Eighty fans with Kodaks and pens are poised outside the InterContinental Hotel on Bloor St.

The brass door spits out an A-lister. Colin Farrell.

Not sure which dark, musky hunk is Farrell?

Ask your wife. Her knees will buckle.

Anyway, Farrell is no snob. Patiently, he signs for everyone, then turns toward his chauffeured, charcoal Audi.

And there stands Stress. For years, he has haunted Yorkville and environs, peddling Outreach papers or mooching loonies.

“Peaceful, harmless guy,” coffee salesman Bill Ikos, 32, tells me. Bill’s hobby is photographing stars, often in Yorkville, which is how he knows Stress.

Bill is outside the InterContinental for the hunk/homeless hug.

“Hiya,” says Stress. The film star’s eyes light up.

Four years ago, He was in town shooting A Home At The End Of The World.

A radio babe offered $2,000 to anyone who could bring Colin Farrell (sigh!) down to the station.

Farrell grabbed the first rubby he saw and, bingo, Stress was $2,000 richer.

“Jump in,” Farrell says at the reunion Tuesday.

I wish I’d been a fly in that Audi. Down to Front St. they cruise, to Europe Bound Travel Outfitters.

“Get him anything he wants,” says Farrell, in that commanding Irish tone. He wears jeans and a black muscle shirt.

Women staffers swoon. And not just over the bill, which comes to $2,100.

“Cool guy,” manager Dave Mott, 36, tells me. “He doesn’t act like a movie star.”

Mott plans to tour Ireland by bike. “Don’t miss the Ring Of Kerry,” says Farrell, 31, born in Castleknock, Dublin, a preemie at 1 pound, 6 ounces. Maybe that explains all this.

They roam the store, Colin and Stress, cracking jokes, trying things on.

“Like they were best buddies,” says Mott.

“The homeless guy was going around, grabbing stuff.” Stress talks fast, hence the nickname.

“Whatever he needs,” Farrell says again.

They pick out a $500 Arc’teryx coat, a North Face down sleeping bag, and a rolling backpack stuffed with socks, boots and underwear.

“Everything top line,” says Mott.

Yes, Stress will be the best-dressed beggar in Yorkville this winter.

But hold on to your baseball cap. There’s more Stress relief.

“Where’s the nearest bank machine,” Farrell asks Mott.

He returns with a wad of $20s. AND, he arranges to pay a year’s rent on a nice room for Stress back up Bloor St.

The total tab must be near 10 grand.

Two and a half hours after Stress was swept off the street, he is back at Bellair and Cumberland.

“Where the hell you been?” says Bill Ikos.

“I’m all set up,” says Stress, a tad frazzled. “This is my chance to get off the street.” And he walks away.

“Amazing,” Bill tells me. “You hear about someone like Al Pacino giving $100 bills. But to take a guy shopping and try to help turn his life around?”

Good thing Stress didn’t run into Whoopi Goldberg or another star on the Yorkville panhandlers’ “avoid” list.

“She never gives anything,” says Joe Beard, who works Cumberland St. I’ve known Joe for years. Gentle as a dove. Kiefer Sutherland usually drops him a $10 or $20.

The film festival is high season for these guys.

The Colin Farrell gesture has them abuzz, which is how I hear. No one in the actor’s camp, I hasten to add, has tried to use it.

Funny thing. As Stress, Farrell and a couple of aides leave Europe Bound, the security beep goes off.

Someone forgot to remove a tag.

Or it is the fates signalling thanks to a class act.

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