Liam Neeson says he is “unretired” from action movies less than two weeks after reports surfaced that he was done with the genre. While Neeson has made indelible marks across the movie spectrum throughout his career with such films as Schindler’s List, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, Gangs of New York and Batman Begins, he’s no doubt attracted the most attention in the last decade thanks to the blockbuster Taken and the film’s two sequels, and movies like the big screen version of The A-Team in between.
Because of Neeson’s undeniable cold, gruff and take-no-prisoners demeanor in his action films, movie fans (and most likely studios) were caught off guard when he implied his career playing tough guys was over, noting, “They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff. I’m like: ‘Guys, I’m sixty-f-cking-five.’ Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on.’”
Now, it appears that Neeson is doing an about-face on his remarks and making it clear that he’s definitely not through doing action films. According to Variety, Neeson was asked on the red carpet for the premiere of Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House about his “retirement” from the genre, the actor responded with a laugh:
“It’s not true, look at me! You’re talking in the past tense. I’m going to be doing action movies until they bury me in the ground. I’m unretired.”
The news of Neeson’s “unretirement” will no doubt come as a relief for fans of the imposing 6-foot-4-inch Irish actor, whose role as famed FBI whistleblower Felt (aka “Deep Throat”) during the Watergate scandal is decidedly more low-key than any of his recent action films.
It’s hard to say whether Neeson’s initial quote about hanging up his action career was overblown, simply because he has a legitimate point about what should be the cut-off point for actors when it comes to suspending an audience’s disbelief. Fortunately for Neeson, he’s shown no signs of slowing down in recent years and looks as fit as ever, so there’s a reason his remarks took people by surprise. But thanks to good old-fashioned movie magic and highly-skilled stunt people, filmmakers should be able to continue to make the impossible possible for Neeson no matter his age.
For the time being, coming up in January, Neeson will star in the crime mystery drama The Commuter, and with the actor’s Non-Stop and Run All Night director Jaume Collet-Serra at the helm, it’s entirely within reason to believe the film is going to have its share of high-energy moments.
Plus, Neeson’s has another crime drama coming up with director Steve McQueen’s Windows next year, as well as the action thriller Hard Powder, about a snowplow driver out for revenge against drug dealers who may have killed his son. In the latter film, at least, it sounds like Neeson will once again be able to put to work his “particular set of skills.”
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