Voight charms on red carpet

AS the stars gathered for the seventh annual Irish Film and Television (IFTA) awards, one of the most charming and amiable turned out to be the surprisingly charismatic Jon Voight, father of Angelina Jolie, and acclaimed actor in his own right.

He delighted the assembled press pack with stories and antics, saying he was looking forward to catching up with old chums Colin Farrell, Matt Dillon, Aidan Quinn – and of course director John Boorman, who he was there to pay homage to for a lifetime achievement award.

Voight pleased the penned-in press posse by regaling stories of being “drunk out of his mind” after a pint of Guinness and nearly getting run over when in town for the filming of The General, directed by Boorman.

And he did not shy away from questions about his famous daughter and her family.

“I am upset by all nonsense rumours, I think it’s disgusting,” he said.

“Everyone wants to put them on the cover of magazine to sell it. They are looking to make a dollar and I don’t begrudge them but when they start making stuff up I get angry,” he said.

Ever the joker, Voight added: “I was hot number at one point but I never had it like that.”

Someone who is still very much a hot number, however, is LA actor Josh Hartnett.

He was in town with just his publicist, no less, who was keeping a watchful eye on the young man, whose great-great-grandfather hails from Dingle.

He has visited the peninsula, he told us, but doesn’t know who his relations are as, his family believe, their ancestor dropped his own name and adopted that of a local landlord – Hartnett – when stowing away to America all those years ago.

One man who does know where his roots are is Cork’s own Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but Rhys Meyers said he did not have time to pop home as he was flying to London to present an award at the BAFTAs last night. He said he was happy living in LA, had no plans to return home and although sad about finishing the Tudors, in which he played Henry VIII, he said it was time to move on.

Rhys Meyers, who was up for an gong for TV actor in a lead role, told us to watch out for his latest movie, From Paris with Love, in which he stars alongside John Travolta.

Another man not hanging around post-IFTAs was family man and best actor winner Colin Farrell.

Farrell and his stunning Polish girlfriend Alicja Bachleda-Curus stole the limelight when they entered the Burlington and didn’t disappoint the waiting press pack.

Alicja said she didn’t have much time to meet the parents, as herself and Colin had been busy promoting their movie – Ondine, directed by Neil Jordan.

Colin said it was “lovely” to be home and even lovelier to have Alicja with him, but they wouldn’t be having a late night as they were flying home to four -month-old son Henry at 7am yesterday morning.

Ireland’s second favourite star of the moment, Saoirse Ronan, who won best actress for her role in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, is in intensive martial arts training for her next movie, Hanna, in which she plays a cold-blooded killing machine.

Saoirse, just 15, said she would love to work closer to home and film in Ireland, and did hint that she had been offered some roles here, but would not divulge the details.

Meanwhile, Michael Fassbender said he had just finished filming Steven Soderbergh movie, Knockout, in Dublin and is now working on the set of Jane Eyre in which he plays Mr Rochester.

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