Liam Neeson Still Get Embarrassed by Sex Scenes: “I Would Prefer to Leave It to the Imagination”

Liam Neeson has trained Jedi masters, fought against Batman, led revolutions, chased down kidnappers, and battled countless thugs. And now, with the release of Neil Jordan’s gripping noir crime thriller Marlowe, the Irish actor has reached an impressive new milestone: his 100th film. 

“Honestly, I feel old and incredibly lucky,” said the soft-spoken, 70-year-old Neeson during a candid, sit down conversation with Vanity Fair during a special screening of Marlowe in New York on Wednesday evening. “I’ve been lucky. I never forget that. I also know I created my own luck too.”

Admitting he’d never considered a film career in his early years — “My ambition, if I had one, would have been to join Britain’s National Theater” — Neeson says it was 1981’s Excalibur that finally introduced him to movie magic. “There were shiny suits of armor, horses, and swordfights,” he remembers. “It was heaven. That got me.”

Marlowe, in which Neeson plays Raymond Chandler’s iconic detective Philip Marlowe, marks his fourth film with Jordan, who also directed Neeson in what he calls his proudest performance — 1996’s biopic Michael Collins. “Neil directed and wrote the movie, and for me personally, it was the opportunity to talk about and look at Irish history and share my Irish heritage,” says Neeson. “It was important to do just because the film showed a period of Irish history that’s been dark and gloomy, that people didn’t want to talk about. Michael Collins was a highly controversial figure, but also one of the founding fathers of the modern Irish republic. He’s still highly controversial to this day.”

Jordan, who has remained friends with Neeson for decades, says he’s “full of admiration” for Neeson’s versatile career, and the wide ranges of role he’s taken on. “I love his many muscles, let’s put it that way,” Jordan says. “Now at 100 films, Liam still has the appetite to find the big roles and play those kinds of characters. He can do anything and there’s no stopping. Look at Taken. The audience needed this kind of muscular, dramatic hero, and he filled it. It’s amazing to see an actor of such subtlety to be able to do those big bold impressive things.”

2008’s Taken significantly altered the course of Neeson’s career, transforming the then-56-year-old into a full-fledged action hero. “I was very surprised by Taken,” Neeson remembers now. “I thought it was going to be a straight-to-video film. It was such a simple story.” When he looks back at the now-iconic “I have a very particular set of skills” phone call scene, Neeson still sees it very differently.  “I certainly did sound scary, but I thought it was corny. It was a cornball. I really did feel that,” Neeson admits. “It’s nice to be proven wrong.”

Despite decades of onscreen experience, Neeson says there’s still one thing he hasn’t gotten comfortable with: sex scenes. “I’ll be honest, when I see a sex scene, I just can’t look at them. I just get embarrassed,” he says. “I know they are choreographed and stuff, but I don’t need to see that.” Like Penn Badgley, who recently made headlines for scaling back the sex scenes in his Netflix series You, Neeson says he’d prefer to avoid them entirely. “Yeah, I absolutely agree and support him. I don’t like to do them. I’ve done quite a few of sex scenes and I would have preferred to leave it to the imagination, especially for ladies, the actresses.”

His career has transformed many times over the years, and he’s far from his early days in Los Angeles, when he says casting directors couldn’t pronounce his name and resorted to calling him “Lyle Nelson.” But Neeson is still game for at least one more twist. His next project, if the deals come through, is a reboot of The Naked Gun, in which he would take over Leslie Nielsen’s role as Detective Frank Drebin. “It’s not a done deal, but Seth MacFarlane is working on the script and Akiva Schaffer is the writer, director. So we’ll see,” Neeson says, “Doing comedy will be the end of my career or it will take another level. We’ll see.”

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Start typing and press Enter to search