Liam Neeson: “I hate arguing, that’s why I choose films with good directors”

From Oscar nominee to action hero, Liam Neeson has always had a knack for choosing the right roles. He chats about fame, the “tea test” and why he won’t be retiring anytime soon

Think speed – just on the school run, retribution is the Ballymena man’s latest action outing. I’ve already fought bad guys on a platoon The commutera plane in Non-stop and even a snow plow Cold pursuit, A family car is only a matter of time, says the star.

“I’ve done films on trains and planes before, so I thought maybe I should do one in a car,” he laughs. “I liked the script and the fact that we got to shoot in Berlin, a city I love. I was also intrigued by the idea of ​​playing a character who is tied to her car for almost the entire duration of the film.

“The simple fact is that there is a bomb under his seat,” explains Liam, who plays workaholic banker Matt Turner in the fast-paced flick, now in cinemas and on Sky Cinema.

“When he gets out of the car or even moves from his seat or his children get up, the bomb goes off. So I’m this character with his two kids in the backseat, trying to do whatever he can to survive and save his kids and himself.”

Liam Neeson as a father under pressure in the explosive new Sky Original thriller Retribution

Apparently, this isn’t the first time the Oscar nominee has played a father who turns evil after becoming angry after the 2008 revenge film Taken sparked an unexpected career turning point in his fifties.

Two sequels and a ton of other stunning lead roles in films including The gray later, and the 71-year-old may now be known more for his brawn than the brains of previous roles in award-winning dramas like Schindlers List or Michael Collins.

“I enjoy them,” says Liam Magazine+ of the popular genre, in which he next plays a hitman suffering from a brain disorder Rogue: “I actually already made another one. But this was completely different. It’s a thriller, of course, but it’s not about me running around beating people up or anything like that. I’m sitting in the confines of a car and that has presented very different and interesting challenges.

“I’m very grateful,” he says, reflecting on his five decades of success in Hollywood. “I became a professional actor in 1976 when I got my first paid job at a theater in Belfast. All I was thinking about at the time was hopefully continuing to work and maybe getting a role at the National Theater [in London].

“Then before I knew it I was a knight in shining armor for the wonderful John Boorman Excalibur and that was another life-changing experience.”

The Northern Irish actor, who incredibly has never won an Oscar, was tipped for Best Actor for his indelible performance as Oskar Schindler Philadelphia Star Tom Hanks in 1994, last year was his 100th film, Marlowewho like retribution is a Sky original.

Despite a rapidly changing film landscape where the line between television and cinema is becoming increasingly blurred, Liam insists his method of choosing roles is still the same after all these years.

“Basically the same as always,” he replies about what he expects from a job. “A good director. I don’t like to argue, so it’s important to find the right director. Good writing is very important.

“I have what I call my cup of tea test to find out what a good script is. Generally speaking, it’s not a good sign when I reach page seven or eight and find myself thinking more about making a cup of tea than continuing to read. Occasionally I would read the entire script before making a cup of tea. That’s a very good sign.”

It seems that the Neeson household will continue to simmer for a long time, as the father of fellow actor Micheál Richardson (28) and tequila brand founder Daniel Neeson (27) has no plans to retire.

“No, because I still enjoy what I do,” says Liam, who was married to Natasha Richardson for 15 years until she tragically died in a skiing accident in 2009. “I still enjoy it – especially the excitement that comes from the moment someone says ‘Action!’ says. and cut!’ I still like it.”

Being a world celebrity is a different story. “I would say it has actually become more difficult,” adds the American. “I’m glad I’m not Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or any of those people who get bullied. Luckily that doesn’t happen to me, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep a certain secret, especially in today’s world where social media tells everyone what they had for breakfast.”


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