Why actor Liam Neeson never imagined he would be a Hollywood star

Liam Neeson in his own words has exceeded his own expectations in the movie business, having starred in over movies over 5 decades and amassing $145 million.

When the star joined the Lyric Players’ Theatre back in Belfast in 1976, he never imagined becoming a huge star in Hollywood and being known globally for films including Taken, Love Actually and Star Wars .

Liam’s new movie, ‘Marlowe’, marks the 100th of his career and he said “You know, I was delighted to become a professional actor in 1976, in a theatre in Belfast and then moved down to Dublin.

“I think my ambitions then would’ve been, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to be in the National Theatre of Great Britain’. That would’ve been my ambition.”

Liam’s career was transformed by his starring role in the Sir John Boorman-directed medieval fantasy film ‘Excalibur’. The movie was released in 1981 and it helped to propel Liam towards success in the American film business.

He recalled: “We did ‘Excalibur’ with the wonderful Sir John Boorman … knights in shining armour and riding horses and stuff … and it was like, euphoric, the feeling. It was euphoric, and John was a fantastic mentor.”

Liam previously described making the movie as a “great” experience,  sharing“That was extraordinary, because it had Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson, who is dead now, God rest his soul. An extraordinary actor. There we are, all dressed in shining suits of armour and on horseback. It was like a dream come true, you know? Telling this Arthurian myth, this story that’s thousands of years old. It was just something.

“And to be shooting it in Ireland, it was just great. “John Boorman, who was the director, was a wonderful mentor to us, Gabriel Byrne, Ciaran Hinds, myself. He’d bring us behind the camera, show us what he’s looking at, give the reason why he’s shooting it this way, and just explaining what the camera does, the different ways he was going to shoot us.”

Liam Neeson recently spoke again about the role of James Bond was once his for the taking – except his partner had other ideas.

Following the success of Schindler’s List in which he played the title role, Neeson’s star was high in the early 1990s, and the James Bond people came calling.

Neeson said that he had expressed his strong interest in the role, until his then girlfriend, actress Natasha Richardson, intervened, wary of what Neeson called the “gorgeous girls in various countries getting in and out of [Bond’s] bed.”

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Stevie Flavio
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