Liam Neeson: A Badass Force To Be Reckoned With
It is easy to understand why Liam Neeson has been nominated for some of the entertainment industry’s most coveted awards. He has nearly 40 years of experience in the film industry, and began acting on stage at the age of 11. He towers over many of the people he works with at 6’4″, making him perfect for the powerful, disturbed characters he portrays.
He was born William John Neeson in 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, U.K., to working class parents. At 11 years old Neeson performed the lead role in his school play, which jump-starting his love for acting. He’s also quite book-smart, as he ended up spending his college years studying physics and computer science at Queen’s University Belfast.
He then left school, working various jobs before diving back into the theatre world, and in 1977 landed his first film role as Jesus Christ and Evangelist in Pilgrim’s Centre. He gained more experience over the next two decades with small roles in multiple films, and in 1993 Neeson landed the role of a lifetime as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List. His role as Oskar Schindler earned him an Oscar nod for Best Actor In a Leading Role as well as a Golden Globe nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture- Drama.
The death of his wife of 15 years, Natasha Richardson, who suffered a freak skiing accident in 2009, brought a new perspective to Neeson’s life. He was left to raise their two children, making fatherhood even more of a priority than it already was. Now that his two sons are 17 and 18 years old, Neeson really has his work cut out for him as they transition into adulthood.
When asked what the hardest part about being a single father was, Neeson said in an April 2014 GQ article, “Um, I can’t answer that. It’s still just a day-to-day thing, you know? My boys are teenagers. They’re experimenting.”
His wife’s devastating death happened just one year after audiences were taken by storm with the popular movie franchise, Taken. As a former CIA-operative Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills, must dedicate his time to frantically searching in France for his recently-kidnapped daughter. Then, in October 2012, Neeson returned to the big screen in Taken 2. Once again, as Bryan Mills, Neeson must make an attempt to save his loved one. This time around, however, his ex-wife, Lenore, is the one taken by a group of thugs who make an attempt to murder her. Bryan Mills heroically saves the day. Neeson’s fans will have a third chance to see him take on a gang of mobsters in a few short weeks; January 9, to be exact. Taken 3 will follow Bryan Mills once again, but this time he frantically evades his enemies after being set up to look like he committed a horrific murder. Taken 3 will easily be one of the best action thrillers of 2015.
So, 2015 looks to be the year of Neeson with five new films scheduled to hit theaters. If you’re not a fan yet, there’s no doubt you will be.