Audiences won't be able to see Liam Neeson's very particular set of skills on the big screen for much longer: The actor says he's retiring from action movies.
While speaking with reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, Neeson — who became an unlikely action star thanks to his performance in the 2008 thriller Taken — revealed that he was done with the genre. According to the actor, he wants to work on more "serious" projects, and also says that he thinks he's getting too old to believably headline such fare.
"They're still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff," Neeson said of the action offers he receives. "I'm like: 'Guys, I'm 60-f******-5.' Audiences are eventually going to go: 'Come on.'"
While we tend to disagree that filmgoers will ever get sick of seeing Neeson kick ass on the big screen, he does make a good point about his ubiquity in the genre. The actor has been steadily pumping out action hits for almost a decade post-Taken (including two sequels to that flick), and currently has two more in the pipeline (Hard Powder and The Commuter).
But Neeson wasn't always such a hard-hitting action star, and initially broke into Hollywood through more traditional dramatic fare, scoring accolades and awards nominations earlier in his career (including a 1994 Oscar nod for Best Actor for his work in Best Picture winner Schindler's List). He took some detours into more mainstream flicks over the ensuing years (like Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, Love Actually, and Batman Begins), but it wasn't until Taken that he became synonymous with action fare. A quick peek at his eclectic filmography makes it clear that Neeson would want to avoid being pigeonholed forever.
Neeson will have the chance to flex his acting muscle in a new genre when he plays the titular role in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, which just debuted at TIFF.
Of course, we could have expected this news. Neeson told the The Guardian in 2015 that he was swearing off action movies in two years. So his latest announcement is right on time.
[via: Sky News]