Colin Farrell has ''learnt'' that family ''matters most'' to him.

The 41-year-old star says that raising his two sons, 13-year-old James with his ex-girlfriend, model Kim Bordenave, and seven-year-old Henry with his former partner, Polish actress Alicja Bachleda-Curus, is the most important job in the world to him now.

The former hell raiser - who previously dated Britney Spears - said: ''It's hard for me to relate to that chapter of my life.

''My children keep me grounded. And I'm devoted to being the best possible father to them.

''A lot of my attitudes in life have changed. And I've learnt that your family and your children are the emotional ties that matter most to you.''

James has Angelman syndrome - a neuro-genetic disorder - and Colin though he faces many challenges Colin said the family rejoice when he makes progress.

Colin added to The Mirror newspaper: ''We share in the smallest victories - the first words at age six or seven, being able to feed oneself and getting the seizures under control.''

The actor - who rose to fame in the popular TV series Ballykissangel - is enjoying one of the most successful periods of his career, following acclaimed performances in 2015 black comedy 'The Lobster', 2016 Harry Potter spin-off 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' and Sofia Coppola's remake of sexually charged drama 'The Beguiled' - which originally was released in 1971 with Clint East in the lead role.

But he addmitted he doesn't ''identify'' as an actor.

The Irish heartthrob previously said: ''I'm loving work. I think I love the work now more than I ever have. I identify, ironically, less with it. It's not that it means less than to me. I just identify less with it - being an actor ... with it having a relevance to my work as a man. I think with that has come a sense of freedom that allows you to engage with the work on a deeper and a less personal level. And then when I'm not working, I'm out of it. I've nothing to do with it. I'm with my boys. It's like, 'Are you an actor?' 'No, but I act sometimes, and I get paid to do it, but I'm not an actor.''