Although Liam Neeson had taken on action roles throughout his three-decade long career, the Irish actor found a recent career Renaissance by portraying seemingly normal men with “a very particular set of skills.” In his mid-50s, Neeson was thrust into the spotlight as a modern era action hero after portraying ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills in the 2008 film, Taken. Since then, there have been two more Taken movies, similar roles in films like A Walk Among the Tombstones and Non-Stop, and the standout of them all, The Grey. The veteran actor just turned 65 over the summer, though, and has announced he’s ready to move on from the action genre.
Neeson spoke about the decision at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he shared that the late career turn was “all a pure accident.” According to Sky News, Neeson said that while studios are “still throwing serious money” at him for action roles, the believability factor will keep decreasing because of his advancing age. “[After being offered action parts] I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m sixty-fucking-five,'” he stated. “Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on.'” Like Danny Glover’s Roger Murtagh, he’s just too old for this shit.
Before Neeson fully steps away from the genre, two final action films are already in the pipeline. In the first, Hard Powder, he plays a snowplow driver who faces off with drug dealers. He’s also starring in Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Commuter as an insurance salesman who becomes unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy.
Revisit the unforgettable Taken scene featuring the debut of Neeson’s “very particular set of skills” below.