The actor said he wanted to sleep in the protagonist Douglas Quaid's bed in order to get into character before filming.
"I just couldn't find the key for my hotel room," Farrell told The Hollywood Reporter.
"You do anything really, at times - that's not even doing much," he went on to explain. "But just any little bits and pieces just to create little bubbles of experience."
The 36-year-old recently admitted that it was creepy to kiss director Len Wiseman's wife Kate Beckinsale on the set of Total Recall.
Farrell's co-star Jessica Biel has said that the actor inspires her.
Watch the trailer for Total Recall below: