Farrell, Spears Happily Hand in Hand

01/30/2003 at 12:00 PM EST

Confirming in their actions -- and his words -- that they are something of a pair, Gaelic good-time guy Colin Farrell and semi-retired pop princess Britney Spears were hand in hand for photogs at Tuesday's Hollywood premiere of "The Recruit," in which he stars with Al Pacino.

"She's just a mate," Farrell, 26, who costarred with Tom Cruise in last summer's "Minority Report," told TV's "Entertainment Tonight." "Seriously, we just met a week ago, (we're) having a laugh."

The pair apparently met when Spears, 21, visited the set of his movie "S.W.A.T."

USA Today reports that after the premiere, Spears met up with Farrell at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Strip, and they played kissy face late into the night.

This was not the first Farrell-Spears sighting. On Saturday, claims the New York Post, the twosome were spotted locking lips at L.A.'s Troubadour nightclub.

"They're friends," Spears's publicist Lisa Kasteler tells USA Today.

A smirking Farrell, who at this month's ceremony blurted out the word "s--t" on live TV during the Golden Globes red carpet arrivals, has, in interviews, conscientiously promoted his image as a playboy on the prowl.

He previously has been linked to a bevy of women, including Playboy Playmate Nicole Narain (who can be seen with Farrell in PEOPLE.com's Star PDA gallery), actress Maeve Quinlan (Tom Sizemore's ex-wife) and, at a Golden Globes party, Demi Moore, 40. Last year he split from his wife, actress Amelie Warner.

As for Spears, earlier this month it was reported that she was acting affectionately with ex Justin Timberlake at a Los Angeles party following the American Music Awards. Practically the next day she was being linked to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, 31, who went so far as to post a message on his Web site that fans should get used to his being with her.

But that didn't seem to last long. In fact, after taking a lot of ribbing about Britney in feedback postings by fans on the site, Durst recently replaced his message about Spears with a simple "f--- everybody :o)."

So, what happened?

"That I can't tell you," Kasteler told USA Today. "She's young, she's single, she's beautiful. What guy in his right mind wouldn't want to date her?"

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