Oswald: ...Liam Neeson.
Liam John Neeson (born 7 June 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland) is a multi-award winning actor originally from Stroke Country. Has a long and multi-faceted career, from serious drama (as Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List and Dr. Jerome Lovell in Nell) to fantasy (Zeus in Clash of the Titans and the voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia) to action (Bryan Mills in Taken) to Sci-Fi (Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace), to historical film (Rob Roy, Michael Collins). Animated characters that Neeson voiced include Fujimoto, the dad of the eponymous character in Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, and Bad Cop/Good Cop, in The LEGO Movie, and The Monster in A Monster Calls. Also said to have been the inspiration behind Captain Carrot of Discworld fame. In recent years, Neeson seems to have replaced the now retired Sean Connery as Hollywood's go-to-actor for playing The Mentor and the Cool Old Guy.
Following his shift to bona fide action star with the Taken series, his roles have included The Narrator in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, Good Cop/Bad Cop in The LEGO Movie, Air Marshal Bill Marks in Non-Stop, Clinch in the Seth MacFarlane comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, and Matthew Scudder in A Walk Among the Tombstones. He also did the voice of James from Fallout 3.
Neeson was married to Natasha Richardson between 1994 and 2009, when she died in a tragic skiing accident. They had two sons.
Also, he doesn't look like his photo anymore. But we like to keep it there. Looks close enough, though...
This actor provides examples of:
- Badass Baritone: Has a distinct deep, somewhat gruff voice. Though hilariously inverted in The LEGO Movie, where Bad Cop is how he usually sounds and Good Cop is a silly high-pitched voice.
- The Big Guy: He's 6'4", and often towers over most of his castmates. Appropriately, he was cast as Michael Collins in the film of the same name—Collins was called "the Big Fellow" for his height. In fact, he's so tall that Qui-Gon Jinn action figures almost throw the other figures out of scale. As Qui-Gon, he's also the only Jedi whose robe has a seam down the back. Because of his height, they couldn't make the robe out of one piece of fabric because bolts of cloth don't come that wide.
- They also had to spend thousands of dollars making the walls of the sets taller before they could start filming, because apparently the set designers didn't realize just how tall he was.
- Chronically Killed Actor: Which makes it ironic that his character in Les Misérables (1998) is Spared by the Adaptation.
- The Comically Serious: His deep, serious voice is parodied in this Life's Too Short sketch, where he horribly fails at doing improv comedy.
- Cool Old Guy: He gets cooler and cooler by the years, from playing increasingly hardassed characters to performing comical skits in talk shows.
- Distracted by the Sexy: He needed 57 takes for a scene in Third Person because he kept getting distracted by Olivia Wilde's naked body.
- Evil Sounds Deep: When he plays a villain.
- Fake American: He often plays American characters despite being Northern Irish.
- Friend to All Living Things: Neeson loves animals, and his treatment of them when working on the set is such that a horse that Neeson had worked with in a previous movie recognized him and made every effort to hang around him.
- Irishman and a Jew: In this interview, the interviewer says that despite the massive contribution of Schindler's List to the memory of The Holocaust, Jews still had a lot of complaints about it, because Jews complain constantly. Neeson says that the Irish do too, which is why the Jews and the Irish get along so well.
- Mentor Archetype: Many of them, such as Qui-Gon Jinn, Henri Ducard and the father in both Gangs of New York and Kingdom of Heaven. Of course, it has helped him being a Chronically Killed Actor.
- Oireland: Subverted — Neeson has let it be known that he will "not do Irish stereotypes"...unless it's funny.
- Such as the Saturday Night Live sketch, "Ya Call This A House, Do Ya?" in which he played a drunken, churlish Irishman. Of course, in this case, it was meant to be funny.
- ...and in High Spirits when he played a horny Irish ghost with curly red hair...in green pants.
- ...and on The Simpsons episode "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Guest Star," where he played a Catholic priest who was a former alcoholic brawler (fighting with his own father, no less).
- One-Man Army: His roles in Dark Man, Star Wars, and Taken. Heck, even his role as Aslan qualfies seeing as how he singlehandedly turned the battle against the Witch in the good side's favor.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: While a wonderful actor, he might be the poster boy for this trope when attempting anything other than his native Irish. Both he and Harrison Ford have an especially egregious case of this in K-19: The Widowmaker, which explains that cutaway joke on Family Guy about kids not knowing about sex ed being as lost and confused as Liam Neeson trying to do an American accent.
- That said, he does normally tone his accent way down in most of his films. In real life his accent is much, much stronger and a touch harder.
- Papa Wolf:
- His role in Taken was a quite brutal version of the trope, in which an ex CIA agent goes to huge extremes to save his kidnapped daughter from being sold into prostitution.
- Ain't the only time, either. He's played Jean Valjean of Les Misérables (1998), a role in which being Papa Wolf is a requirement.
- He's also the closest to a father figure for Anakin in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
- In The Dark Knight Trilogy, this is inverted, as his daughter raises bloody hellfire in his name.
- He plays this role again in The Commuter.
- Playing Against Type:
- A mild version — in the fact-based drama Five Minutes of Heaven, the Roman Catholic Neeson played a Protestant killer (and the Protestant James Nesbitt played the Catholic brother of his victim). Both actors are actually from Northern Ireland.
- In Widows unlike his usual Noble Demon villains he plays a cowardly wretch without a single redeeming value.
- Cold Pursuit plays with his typical revenging action hero roles, as he definitely has all the same motivation, but is also much more of a regular guy who's comically in over his head actually trying to get his revenge.
- Typecasting: He has a vocation for The Mentor — The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Kingdom of Heaven, Gangs of New York, Clash of the Titans, The Chronicles of Narnia...
- "Sesame Street" Cred: Doing his best Count von Count!
- "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. What I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."