VIP Meets Liam Neeson as he chats Ireland, next roles and his 100th film

Liam Neeson Pic: Brian McEvoy

Liam Neeson jetted into Ireland this week for the premiere of his 100th film.

The Ballymena actor was in great form as he walked the red carpet at the Stella Theatre before heading in to watch Marlowe.

VIP Magazine caught up with Liam where he chatted about his Irish creature comforts, what it feels like to do 100 films and what’s next.

Hi Liam, are you delighted to be back in Ireland?

Yes, I love it.

Tell us, what are your creature comforts when you come back to Ireland?

A bowl of champ with gravy, a big dab of Kerrygold butter and a little bit of salt.

Liam Neeson Pic: Brian McEvoy

You used to work at Guinness. Does a pint make the list?

I stopped drinking but the best place for a pint was always Mulligans on Poolbeg Street. Guinness, I stopped because eventually you hit the 30 and it sticks to you. 

You’ve done 100 films now, congratulations! Do you have a favourite?

I’m not trying to evade that question, but they’ve all been special. Some of them do good at the box office, a lot of them don’t. But that’s neither here nor there. 

Do you have a fond memory from one of them?

There’s always a fond memory. I like movie crews – I like actors and actresses, of course. But movie crews, I like forming that kind of bond with people. And from every film, there’s always some I am in touch with. From each of the 100 films, there’s someone from my Rolodex.

On the other side of things, are you ever critical of your work?

Oh always. There’s a film called Widows, I did it four or five years ago. I was miscast. I can say that with a clear outlook. I watch it saying, “Stop! What are you doing?” It was Viola Davis and Steve McQueen. Viola’s brilliant and Brian Tyree Henry, who is a fantastic actor. They are really brilliant.

Pic: Brian McEvoy

We have to ask you about the Oscars. Were you disappointed that Ireland only got two wins?

I didn’t watch it. I am very proud of the fact we had 14 nominations. I loved Banshees of Inisherin. Barry Keoghan, what a beautiful performance. They were all great. Colin Farrell was just too handsome. [Laughs]

We have to ask you about your Derry Girls cameo. Are more light-hearted roles something you would be interested in?

It was a brilliant series. There’s only just one Derry Girls. There was a series of movies called Naked Gun, this guy, who is no longer with us, Leslie Nielsen, he always played a heavy in movies. Then he did a film called Airplay, which is a silly, silly movie. And he was hilariously funny being a heavy.

They devised these movies, Naked Gun, where he’s a, kind of a nincompoop detective. But he’s still dead serious. But they were terribly successful. Anyway, Paramount are rebooting this. They asked me if I would play Leslie’s part as he passed away a few years ago. So I’m doing that. And that will either be the end of my career or it will take off. And I’m saying that with all honesty.

Speaking of reboots there are rumours that the could be remaking The Chronicles of Narnia. Would you come back as the voice of Aslan?

I’ll be really honest with you. If they offered the part of Christ to somebody else, I’d make a phone call.

Pic: Brian McEvoy

You reunited with Neil Jordan for your 100th film, Marlowe. You’ve made four films together already and we hear you’re working on a fifth.

We’re hoping to do a film, which isn’t put together yet. But it’s a really great script that Neil has written about a fictitious escape from Rikers Island, they’re going to close it down in the next few years. But it’s a serious, serious prison on the East River in Manhattan in New York. Neil has written an amazing script.

Before we let you go, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask you about your love for action movies. Do you still do your own stunts?

I do my own fighting. But as regards stunts like falling over a table or coming through a window, I have a great guy Mark Vanselow we’ve done 27 films together. He’s my guy. But the fighting, I love to do that. And I still do it now. I’m only 70.

Marlowe, Liam Neeson’s 100th film, launching in cinemas and on Sky Cinema on St. Patrick’s Day

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