It’s a matter of fact that Liam Neeson plays some downright electrifying roles on screen. From Taken to Cold Pursuit, Neeson rarely disappoints and consistently brings thrills and suspense to audiences in a way that few actors have been able to come close to matching. He is, by and large, the most dependable action flick star working in Hollywood today.
It’s really not difficult to ascertain why he has become as popular as he is. He’s the kind of guy that you wouldn’t want to pick a fight with. But not only his he the quintessential tough-guy, but his performances are also packed full of emotion and his intelligence is noteworthy as well.
Neeson is one of the most versatile actors of his kind. He always delivers the goods when taking on films from various genres. He shines in dramas and action films but he also impresses in comedies and romantic situations. He certainly hasn’t typecast himself – even though action movies are clearly his bread and butter – rather, he continues to wow critics and audiences when he steps outside of his comfort zone. Arguably, he doesn’t even have a comfort zone – seeing as he is capable of defying expectations and reinventing himself time and time again.
But like we already mentioned, he’s not the kind of fella that you can get away with stepping on his toes. If you set out to initiate conflict with this guy, then you’re really just setting yourself up for a rude awakening. You better have health insurance, because he might very well lay you out if you get in his way. We’ll touch on that a bit more in a second, so bear with me.
In this video, we’re going to take an up-close-and-personal look at Mr. Neeson and see just what lies beneath his uncompromisingly no-nonsense shell. He’s isn’t exactly an open book. Liam has many layers like the ol’ metaphorical onion. So, let’s peel away some of those to see who he really is and how he got to be one of the world’s most celebrated action stars.
He Once Punched a Teen Who Threatened Him
Who watches any of the Taken films and thinks to themselves ‘Yeah, that’s the guy I want to pick a fight with.”?
Villainous scum learn real fast in any of Neeson’s movies that he is the last person you want to mess with. Apparently so do some people in real life that end up at the wrong end of Neeson’s ire.
Let’s take a little field trip back in time to illustrate this point. One day back in the 1970s, when Neeson was training to become a teacher, he clashed with a rambunctious student who refused to settle down before Liam began his lesson.
This 15-year-old wasn’t exactly what you would call small fry. He was husky, to say the least, and he absolutely refused to adhere to Neeson’s calls for silence. Eventually, Liam would have to tell him to leave his classroom. When he did, the teen whipped out a knife and motioned towards him in a threatening manner.
Neeson didn’t hesitate to act. He punched the student right between the eyes. Of course, as effective as his ‘decisive’ action might have been at putting the student in his place, Neeson would later admit that his actions had been in error. The school responded by rebuking Neeson and soon after he submitted his resignation.
He’s Raised Two Children As A Single Dad After His Wife Died
Neeson went through a pretty traumatizing tragedy back in 2009. His wife, Natasha Richardson, had an accident at a Ski resort in Quebec that resulted in her forcefully hitting her head. That blow resulted in an epidural hematoma and a couple of days later she passed away.
Neeson was stricken with grief and absolutely shocked by what had just happened but he knew that he had to stand up and go to bat for his kids who needed him then more than ever. He proceeded to raise his two sons, Michael and Daniel, as an attentive and loving single father.
He Was Once An Accomplished Boxer
Neeson grew up in a Roman Catholic household. When he was 9 a priest at his parish suggested that he learn how to box. With his help, Neeson quickly took to the sport and found that much of it came pretty naturally for him. That’s when he discovered that he had an impressive left jab.
Neeson became a proficient champion boxer in three different weight divisions.
Even though he attained a lot of success in the ring, Liam wasn’t keen on the potential for injury either to himself or to his opponents. After winning his final match and sustaining a concussion a few years later he made the decision to no longer pursue a career in boxing.
That era of his life wasn’t for naught. His first-hand experience in the ring would still come in handy in the 1990 boxing film The Big Man: Crossing the Line.
He Advocated For Horse-Carriage Drivers in NYC
Neeson has been a lover of all things equestrian for his entire life. That’s precisely why he chose to get involved in 2013 when Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, attempted to ban horse-drawn carriages from Central Park.
Several other celebrities got involved supporting the ban considering the issue to be an animal rights cause. Neeson on the other hand considered the potential ban to be a detrimental blow to the drivers who made their livings through that means.
Neeson took it upon himself to bring city council members to the horse stables to show them that the animals were well cared for and not suffering. His hands-on approach ended up being successful and managed to stir up a bunch of press attention in the process. As such, the public’s opinion on the matter shifted in favor of the drivers and ultimately they were allowed to continue their operation.
Even Though He’s Afraid Of Heights, He Climbed A Mountain In Utah
Neeson can’t stand heights. In fact, they are one of the few things that get under his thick skin. A few years back however he decided to take on his fear head-on by climbing to the top of Mollies Nipple in Utah.
The sandstone peek is rated with a difficulty level as ‘strenuous’. A climb to the summit takes approximately 6 or 7 hours to accomplish and hikers are forced to deal with steep drop-offs, cliffs, and turbulent terrain.
Liam made the 3,000-foot climb with his son. The experience was quite nerve-wracking for him, especially as he approached the summit. The higher he went, the steeper the drop-offs became. Still, he doesn’t regret the adventure in the least bit. It gave him the opportunity to take on one of his biggest fears, and when asked why he did it in the first place, he replied by saying that he did it for his son.
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And make sure you keep watching to find out what Liam Neeson was up to before he decided he wanted to become an actor. Sometimes we forget that actors are real people and before they caught their big breaks, they had to work laborious jobs like everyone else.
Anyways, before we get to that, let’s look a little bit closer at a surprising cause that Neeson supports.
He’s A Gun Control Advocate
Even though he packs heat in numerous of his films, his views on guns in real life aren’t quite as enthusiastic. After the 2015 attack on the office of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Neeson was quoted as saying that American’s have far too many arms and that it was disgraceful.
In response to his controversial statement, arms manufacturer Para USA, put out a press release that stated that they would no longer be providing any of their products for use in movies starring Neeson. They also put out a call for other manufactures to boycott his films as well.
Neeson couldn’t care less what Para USA had to say about his opinion and held his ground by sticking to his conviction that gun control regulation is necessary.
Neeson Was Made An Officer of the Order of the British Empire
The Queen bestows this honor to individuals who make momentous accomplishments in the realms of business, philanthropy, and the private sector. Her royal highness granted Neeson with this coveted honorary title back in 2000 for his work as an actor.
It took Liam 2 � years to actually pick the award up. When he finally showed up to receive the honor, the BBC reported that he was exceptionally nervous to be in the presence of the Queen. His knees were shaking and cold sweat ran down his neck.
Neeson reflected on the experience by noting that he hadn’t felt as nervous as he did then since the time he met Muhammad Ali.
He Loves Kicking It With His Crew
Reportedly, Neeson is a great guy to work with. On set he is always kind and cordial with the cast and crew and even invites them over to his own home.
During the production of a film, he goes out of his way to make sure that the people he is working with feel comfortable with him. He doesn’t want any bad blood between his colleagues. Each week he apparently picks 6 crew members to invite over for dinner and drinks at his home.
He doesn’t just choose the higher-ups either. He makes sure that grips, caterers, and production assistants feel included as well. Neeson is dedicated to showing his appreciation to the people he works with on a daily basis regardless of their paygrade.
He Quit Smoking and Drinking
Choosing to put down a vice isn’t an easy task especially when that substance has addictive qualities. After Neeson’s wife passed away, Neeson turned to the bottle for some comfort. Although after a while, he realized that the two bottles of Pinot that he was drinking every evening weren’t making him feel any better about the loss.
After taking a reflective and sobering look at his habits, Neeson decided that it was in his best interest to put down the booze and stop lighting up cigarettes.
There is something so admirable about somebody being able to overcome their addictions. It show’s a tremendous amount of conviction and willpower that shouldn’t just be brushed off.
Neeson Worked As A Forklift Operator
Before catching a break and becoming a famous actor, Neeson worked as a forklift operator at a Guinness beer brewery. It was while working at that factory, that Liam decided that he wanted to pursue a career as an actor. When a co-worker asked if he intended on being a forklift driver for the rest of his life, he instantly realized that he had broader goals.
He replied to his co-worker by saying that he had always wanted to act – and from then on out he made that dream his primary focus.
Okay, we’re running out of time, but to sum it up, Liam Neeson is clearly at the top of his class when it comes to action film stars. His entrepreneurial and progressive worldview has helped propel him to success. He possesses an unyielding dedication to his work and never ceases until he accomplishes his goals. Just don’t get in his way unless you’re itching for a bruising.
What’s your favorite Liam Neeson film between 2005s Kingdom of Heaven and 2008s Taken? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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