Liam Neeson OBE (born William John Neeson, 7.6.1952) is an Irish actor, perhaps best known for his roles in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Schindler's List.
Childhood: Liam Neeson was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland. His mother, Kitty, was a cook and his father, Bernard, was a caretaker at the local boy's primary school. He was one of four children and has three sisters, Elizabeth, Bernadette and Rosaline.
Liam Neeson first acted onstage when he was 11, when his teacher gave him the lead role in a school play. As a child, Neeson used to sneak into Ian Paisley's church. Paisley has commented on Neeson's "presence" whilst reading Bible passages in church.
Acting Career: After graduating from university, Liam Neeson's first film appearance came in 1973, when he played Jesus Christ in Ken Anderson's Pilgrim's Progress. He later applied for an audition at the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast. After two years there, he moved to Dublin and joined Dublin's Abbey Theatre.
John Boorman watched Neeson in a stage production of Of Mice and Men and offered him a role in Excalibur. He met the actress Helen Mirren on the set of the film and lived with her around this time. The highest profile film that Liam Neeson appeared in, in this era, was The Bounty, which also starred Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins.
Neeson moved to Hollywood in 1987 in order to raise his profile as an actor. The move seemed to work and he landed a role in Suspect, along with Dennis Quaid and Cher. He was praised for his role in the film and in 1990, his appearance in Sam Raimi's Darkman brought his name to public attention.
Steven Spielberg saw Liam Neeson performing onstage in a production of Anna Christie and offered him a lead role in Schindler's List, the award winning film, which also starred Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. Neeson himself was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar but lost out to Tom Hanks' performance in Philadelphia.
In 1995, Neeson starred in Rob Roy and another period piece, Michael Collins the year after. His performance in Michael Collins earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Two years later, Liam Neeson was cast as Jean Valjean in an adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. In 1999, he played Dr. David Marrow in The Haunting.
In 1999, Liam Neeson was cast as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn for the first film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor were also cast in the film as Obi Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, respectively.
Returning to the stage, Liam Neeson earned himself a Tony Award for his role in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which also starred Laura Linney.
In 2002, Liam Neeson joined Harrison Ford in the submarine-based thriller K19: The Widowmaker, followed by an appearance in Martin Scorsese's lauded Gangs of New York, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz. The following year, Neeson took a role in Richard Curtis' romantic comedy, Love Actually. The film, which was a huge financial success, had a strong cast, including Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley.
Liam Neeson was awarded with yet more awards nominations for his role in Kinsey, in which he plays the lead role, Alfred Kinsey. He lost out on the award to Leonardo DiCaprio, for his role in The Aviator.
The renowned director Ridley Scott cast Neeson in Kingdom of Heaven, opposite Edward Norton, Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Irons. Neeson then went on to work with Cillian Murphy in the film adaptation of Patrick McCabe's novel Breakfast on Pluto. He also voiced the lion, Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as its sequel, Prince Caspian.
Personal Life: Liam Neeson married Natasha Richardson in 1994. The couple had previously worked together on the film Nell. Natasha is the daughter of Tony Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave and her sister is the actress Joely Richardson.
He opens up about the similarities of Watergate with today's politics.
In the film Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Liam Neeson stars as the title figure, the FBI agent who used the nickname "Deep Throat" as he leaked top secret information to the press during the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Liam Neeson at the premiere of 'Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House'
In taking the role, Neeson particularly liked the approach writer-director Peter Landesman (Concussion) took to the events. "Details are very, very important to him," Neeson says. "Our story of Watergate is quite an intimate story. It's a small-budget film. It's worthy, and it shows something of Mark Felt's certainly bureaucratic life on display and something of his intimate life with his wife and his child."
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Thinks We Need A Mark Felt Today
Earlier this month, Neeson had declared himself out of the running for all future 'Taken'-style thrillers.
Having disappointed action movie fans the world over when he declared that he would never make another one of his Taken-style thriller films, Liam Neeson has officially declared himself “unretired” from the genre.
The 65 year old actor made the comments while speaking to Variety at the red carpet premiere of his new film, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, on Tuesday evening (September 26th).
“It’s not true, look at me!” Neeson told the reporters, walking back his previous remarks from a couple of weeks ago. “You’re talking in the past tense. I’m going to be doing action movies until they bury me in the ground. I’m unretired.”
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Has "Unretired" Himself From Action Movies
The Watergate scandal is one of the biggest political incidents of the 20th century, which began with a break-in at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington DC. Mark Felt was the deputy director of the FBI at the time of the incident (1972); his 30 years of FBI experience informed him that something seriously wrong was going on with the subsequent investigation. His own boss was ordering them to cease its own case, and when it became clear that there was a spy amongst them, Mark (later nicknamed 'Deep Throat') began to secretly leak information to various media sources and, with the help of journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, ultimately managed to uncover the truth behind the burglary. Everyone knows the outcome of this shocking investigation, and that it was all part of President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign, to wiretap phones and rob top secret documents, began a new wave of political mistrust amongst the entire nation.
A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like. Instead, it's a darkly emotional journey taken by a young boy who is grappling with huge issues he doesn't quite understand. In other words, it's a film for adults that centres on a child. It's also one of the most moving films in recent memory, with a powerful cast and a remarkably resonant sense of authenticity even in its big effects-based sequences.
In northern England, 12-year-old Conor (newcomer Lewis MacDougall) is running his home while his mother (Felicity Jones) undergoes treatment for cancer. He's rather annoyed that his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) keeps butting in to take over, and also that his father (Toby Kebbell) lives in America and can only drop in for short visits. Overwhelmed by all of this, Conor imagines the gigantic yew tree in a nearby churchyard coming to life and visiting him at night. This monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) spins a series of fables about princes and dragons, exploring complex themes Conor can't quite grasp because they don't have the simple morality of obvious heroes and villains. And now the monster tells Conor that he has to recount the final story himself, and that it has to be the truth.
Yes, this film is exploring the wrenching nature of mortality and grief, and how it feels to discover for the first time what it means to each of us personally. Thankfully, writer Patrick Ness (adapting his own novel) and director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) are clever enough to make a film that will touch grown-ups and children in very different ways. The basic story works as an adventure odyssey with strong dramatic kicks. And while youngsters are caught up in the rich depth of ideas that are momentous but just out of reach, the audience members with experience in this area will find some scenes almost overwhelmingly emotional.
Continue reading: A Monster Calls Review
Conor's life has never been easy, his mother is loving but any other family members are distant from the young boy. He's bullied at school and is increasingly turning into a loner. One night Conor goes to sleep but it awakened by a noise at the window.
What is revealed to Conor is a monster who starts talking with the boy. He says he'll tell the boy a series of stories in return for the boy eventually telling his own. As nights pass, the monster and the boy become closer friends but as the monster begins to get Conor into trouble, he must face up to a few issues in his life that he's been avoiding.
A Monster Calls is an adaptation of the Patrick Ness book of the same name. The book was originally published in 2011 but had its roots actually came from famed children's author Siobhan Dowd who wrote Bog Child. Dowd began work on the A Monster Calls before her death but unfortunately ran out of time, at which point Ness picked the novel up.
A Monster Calls stars Liam Neeson, Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones & Sigourney Weaver.
The actor had been photographed looking extremely gaunt in recent months.
After months of speculation, Liam Neeson has finally revealed the reason behind his dramatic weight-loss and it was all due to Martin Scorsese. The actor stars in Scorsese’s new drama Silence, in which the director required him ‘to look a bit more gaunt’, causing Neeson to shed 20 pounds.
Liam Neeson lost 20 pounds for his upcoming role in Silence.
Speaking at the Los Cabos Film Festival in Mexico on Sunday Neeson revealed that he and co-star Adam Driver were asked to drop weight by the Oscar winning director. "Martin wanted us all to look a bit more gaunt, [which costars Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield] did as well,” Neeson said (as reported by Collider).
Continue reading: Liam Neeson Reveals Scorsese Role Was Behind Dramatic Weight Loss
Salma Hayek believes her career in Hollywood is temporarily at a standstill as the studios are no longer interested in working with her.
Salma Hayek, in a recent interview, claimed Hollywood studios are no longer interested in her working for them. Fortunately, the Frida actress’ career is not suffering so she’s not too worried about what she perceives as Hollywood’s apparent lack of interest.
Salma Hayek at the 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival in May 2015.
Continue reading: Salma Hayek Claims Hollywood Studios “Don’t Want” Her Anymore
Nielsen, a company more well-known for TV ratings, has compiled a list of the most influential celebrities in terms of how people respond to them, and found that people buy what Neeson tells them. Wouldn't you?
Ever wondered who the most influential celebrity is? ‘Influence’ could mean many things in this context: in the movie or television industry, on politicians, in social media. But in terms of advertising clout – that is, the most effective celebrity at selling a certain product – then that person is Liam Neeson, apparently.
A recently conducted survey by Nielsen, a company which nominally tracks and analyses TV viewing figures but is moving into measuring public attitudes towards well-known figures, found that the Taken actor is the most likely celebrity to make somebody buy something. Whether that’s because he’s usually waving a gun in somebody’s face or about to punch them, we don’t know.
Liam Neeson is the most influential celebrity
For anyone that really wants to know what a musical of 'Game of Thrones' might look like, this Red Nose Day sketch will either satisfy your appetite, or leave you wanting more.
For the first ever US Red Nose Day on NBC, all the stops were pulled out. What happens when you combine Chris Martin, Liam Neeson, and a large section of the cast of 'Game of Thrones'? Well, you get a behind-the-scenes mockumentary of 'Game of Thrones: The Musical', featuring some of your favourite characters singing such hits as 'Rastafarian Targaryen'.
Peter Dinklage sang about how his character, Tyrion, is still alive despite the odds
The six-minute sketch contained a lot of the current (surviving) cast of the show, like Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Kit Harington, as well as actors like John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy/Reek), Iwan Rheon (Ramsey Bolton) and Charlotte Hope (Myranda). There was also an appearance from some of the long-past actors like Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon in Season One), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte), who received a serenade from Kit Harington. Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) also made a brief appearance to discuss how the whole concert was a terrible idea.
Continue reading: 'Game Of Thrones' Musical Is Made A Reality... Sort Of...
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A trade dispute on the planet Naboo has led to a full-scale invasion of the planet. Two members of the of the honourable Jedi Order, Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) travel to the Trade Federation flagship to negotiate an end to the blockade. While they are there, however, they uncover a secret invasion of the entire planet which threatens to endanger millions of lives. Their quest to save the planet and keep the peace will lead them to a young boy with incredible potential. And the fate of the entire galaxy will be thrown into danger.
Continue: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Trailer
Date of birth
7th July, 1951
The Watergate scandal is one of the biggest political incidents of the 20th century, which...
Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...
A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....
Father Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garrpe (Adam Driver) are Portuguese Jesuit priests...
Conor's life has never been easy, his mother is loving but any other family members...
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A trade dispute on the...
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The majestic order of honourable,...
With a script by Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace), this thriller has more substance...
With the marriage between Ted (Seth MacFarlane) and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) having gone off and...
Ted (Seth MacFarlane) is getting married. The next thing the couple have on their to-do...
As with the first two films in this dumb but bombastically watchable franchise, writers Luc...
There are moments when this three-strand drama almost ascends to the emotional resonance of writer-director...