Liam Neeson’s Biggest Fear As Parent: “F*cking Drugs — It’s A Virus”

Truth rating: 10

By Daniel Gates


Liam Neeson talks about his fears as a single parent, his dream co-star, and Woody Allen in a new GQ cover interview.

Asked what he’s most proud of as a father of teenage boys, the actor tells the magazine, “I think they do know that I’ll always be there, no matter what happens.”

“But the thing [his late wife Natasha Richardson] and I really wanted to instill in them was manners,” adds Neeson. “That may sound like such a basic thing, but I’ve heard so many adults say, ‘Oh, my God, your sons —they look you straight in the eye. They’re very polite and mannered.’ It makes me proud. And it can get you through a lot, in a way. Just showing respect for your fellow man.”

And what’s the hardest part about being a single dad? “My boys are teenagers. They’re experimenting,” he says. “They’re flexing muscles and sometimes dangerous avenues, and you think, ‘F*ck. If Tasha was here, someone could share this.’ But yeah, we’re doing all right, you know?”

He continues, “You just — there’s a worry nowadays, with every parent I’ve spoken to. It’s f*cking drugs. It’s a virus. A teenager can take it and suddenly they can be hooked, and it changes their life and their family’s forever.” “That’s my constant worry,” admits Neeson. “And I trust them, and they’re sensible boys, but it can be just that chemistry that doesn’t work.”

Is the star dating? He replies, “I’m keeping myself to myself. And I like it that way. I’m not hunting. I’m the opposite of a — what would a male cougar be? Is there such a thing? Whatever it is, I’m not that.”

Neeson became an unexpected action star late in his career with the success of Taken, a blockbuster that took him by surprise. “I wanted to do more physical stuff,” he explains. “I really thought it would be kind of a little side road from my so-called career. Really thought it would go straight to video. But it just got great word of mouth. I was stunned.”

With whom would he love the chance to star? “I’d love to work with Denzel [Washington]. I have such admiration for him as an actor,” answers Neeson. “I see an incredible nuance of someone who’s so comfortable in front of a camera. There’s an intelligence there; there’s an absolute truth. I’ve never seen that man portray anything less than the truth.”

Back in the early 1990s, the actor had an unusual time making a movie with a much different kind of film icon: Woody Allen. “It was a good experience,” says Neeson of shooting Husbands and Wives with the famed director, who made sure the wrapped up by four in the afternoon. “It was f*cking great.”

“However, there was one incident — people think I’ve made this up, but no,” begins the actor, recalling the odd day. “There’s a scene where I’m going down on Judy Davis, right. Judy and I are in bed —obviously covered up — and as I’m going down, Judy’s having this monologue in her head. And the crew are all ready, and we’re waiting for Woody. No-show. It’s starting to get a bit uncomfortable — it’s a bed scene.”

Neeson continues, “Anyway, he came out after about twenty minutes and said, ‘Okay. Camera starts on Judy. Liam, I want to just see the top of your head. Okay, we know where you’re going….’ So there was no apology; nothing. What happened: His lawyer had gotten in touch with him to say [Mia Farrow] has found naked photographs of her adopted daughter [Soon-Yi].” Wow.

“That all started on Husbands and Wives,” recalls Neeson. “In fact, we did a couple of reshoots with Mia, and then Mia—a few months later, Mia was doing a film with Natasha in Ireland. And Mia, Natasha, and myself became very good friends. She’s lovely.”

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