Despite a big-screen pedigree that includes such critically acclaimed films as “Schindler’s List” and “Love Actually”, Liam Neeson will forever be associated with “a particular set of skills” honed by his character in “Taken” and its two sequels.
Yet according to the Irish actor in an interview with Associated Press during TIFF, he believes his big-screen action hero days are behind him — because he’s too old.
“The thrillers, that was all a pure accident,” said Neeson of becoming Hollywood’s most reluctant action hero thanks to the “Taken” movies raking in close to a billion dollars at the box office.
“They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m sixty-f***ing-five.’ Audiences are eventually going to go, ‘Come on.’”
However, Neeson has two more “Taken”-like revenge thrillers in the can: “Hard Powder”, in which he plays a snowplow driver who tussles with drug dealers, and “The Commuter”, starring as a businessman who becomes caught up in a criminal conspiracy while commuting to the office.
After these are released, Neeson promises, he’s done with action movies. “I’ve shot one that’s going to come out in January sometime. There might be another. That’s it,” said Neeson. “But not ‘Taken,’ none of that franchise stuff.”
Meanwhile, Neeson’s latest flick, which premiered at TIFF on Monday night, is pretty much action-free; he plays the title role in “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House”, focusing on the White House whistleblower known as “Deep Throat.”
Neeson has since retracted his comments on retiring, joking to Matt Lauer of “Today”, he was just in a “mood.” “I was promoting the film “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” in Toronto last week and somebody asked me about action movies and I was just in one of those moods,” he said. “And I said, ‘Come on guys, I’m 65!’ When I was in the gym this morning, I thought, ‘you know, I’ve got two more years left.'”