EntertainmentLiam Neeson opens up about unexpected success and regrets

Liam Neeson opens up about unexpected success and regrets

Liam Neeson achieved great success with the "Taken" series.
Liam Neeson achieved great success with the "Taken" series.
Images source: © Press materials

4:32 PM EDT, July 5, 2024

Liam Neeson has become the hero of action movies that audiences love. Critics, not so much, predict the actor's downfall. Neeson did not expect "Taken" to achieve such success, but he also has some regrets.

Liam Neeson holds legendary status in Hollywood. He has played in many cult films, but in recent years, he is primarily known for action movies of questionable quality. As we have written, more and more critics note that Neeson's productions are starting to resemble poor Steven Seagal movies. Has this actor's excellent streak ended? Most of the scenes from his new productions show Neeson either worried with a phone or behind the wheel. The actor isn’t particularly bothered by this and is working on nine new movies.

A driver embarrassed Liam Neeson

Neeson had many box office hits and enormous recognition when offered a role in "Taken." He never imagined that the film would change his career. It was a relatively simple story about a former government employee whose daughter is kidnapped in Paris, and he goes to rescue her. "I read [the script] and just thought, 'This would be great; just hang out with stuntmen every day and beat guys up," he said in an interview with "GQ." "I did think it would be straight-to-video," he added.

Neeson greatly underestimated the film's potential. Made for $25 million, it hit theaters worldwide, grossing $226 million. It became an undisputed hit and, despite the passage of years, is still shown on TV. Neeson often talks in interviews about the behind-the-scenes of making this production. Recently, he recalled a story about a driver who greatly embarrassed him.

"I had a driver when I was doing Taken, the first Taken movie 15 years ago I think it was, and we were shooting in LA for the first week, and at the end of the first week, my driver as he dropped me off at the hotel, he said, "Mr. Neeson, can I ask you a question?" I said, "Yeah, sure." He says, "I've started to read the script of Taken, I've got to page 40, I think he said. It says you've taken the lives of 26 people,'" the actor recalled in an interview with ScreenRant.

"I didn't know how to answer that. I felt quite embarrassed. They said in such a way as if, 'Are you sure you've read this script? Because you do nasty things to people.'" Neeson recalled.

The actor was not particularly concerned about how his work might be perceived by some sensitive people. By 2014, three films in the "Taken" series had been made. According to reports, Neeson earned $5 million for the first part and $20 million for the third. His participation in the series was expected to bring him $40 million. It is estimated that Neeson accumulated a fortune of $145 million.

Related content