Why Is Colin Farrell So Skinny?

updated 06/02/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Spotted dining out in Spain—but likely not eating much—a very skinny Colin Farrell had people talking. Was he ill? Had the Irish star, sober since a 2005 stay in rehab, "fallen back into his old ways," as a Los Angeles Times blogger wondered? Farrell, 32, dismissed rumors at a May 14 press conference, saying, "I lost weight because my role demanded it." To play a traumatized war correspondent in Triage, he slimmed way down under a doctor's supervision, says a source close to him. "It was all very healthy," said Farrell, who didn't tell how he ate or exercised, but did explain his inspiration by reading from Triage, the novel: " ... his face had become drawn. He pressed at the hollows beneath his eyes, the pronounced nubs of his cheekbones." With about two weeks left of filming, one can only imagine he's looking forward to the wrap party—and a good meal.

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