Depending on your age, you may look at actor Liam Neeson’s career differently than some. If you’re over the age of 40, you may think of him as the acclaimed dramatic actor from “Schindler’s List” that has dabbled in action in his later years. Then if you’re under 40, you probably think of him as the “Taken” guy that does strictly action films. And Liam Neeson is okay with that. Actually, he is still embracing his new action-filled filmography, even as he approaches 70 years of age.
Speaking to EW, Neeson talked about his career renaissance that began with 2008’s “Taken,” which reinvented the actor as an action star. Back when that film was still in development, the actor wasn’t sure he was right for the role but had the idea that maybe he could do something special with it.
“I had read this ‘Taken’ script and I approached [Luc Besson] there and said, ‘Look, I’m sure I’m nowhere near your list of actors for this, but I used to be a boxer, I love doing fight scenes, I’ve done quite a few sorcery movies with swords and shit. Please think of me for this,’” explained Neeson.
But the actor wasn’t sure that “Taken” was going to be the massive hit that it was, or that it would spawn an entire franchise and a new action career for the aging Neeson. In fact, he was pretty sure it was going to bomb.
Neeson said, “I’ve said this before, and no offense to Robert Kamen, our wonderful writer and my pal, but I thought, ‘Well, this is going to go straight-to-video. A short little European thriller, it might play okay for a couple weeks in France and then it will go straight-to-video.’”
The actor’s most recent film is “Made in Italy,” which is a decidedly different style of film than his ‘Taken’ franchise, focusing more on romance and drama and less about gunfights and terrorists. That being said, Neeson is ready to tackle more action if someone wants him to.
“I keep very fit and I love doing that stuff,” he said. “And look, I just turned 68, it’s crazy, but there’s a couple of fights left in me.”
“Made in Italy” is available now in select theaters and VOD.