Liam Neeson stars in another new action movie opening this weekend. In Unknown he plays a man in Berlin who finds himself replaced after an automobile accident. He has to fight his way to the truth, which is a new trend for Neeson.
“I seem to have gotten a new lease on life since this Taken movie was successful,” he said. “At the age of 58, it’s great to get that kind of an action hero.”
Neeson has a very particular set of skills that make him equipped to rise to the occasion each movie demands. “I was a kid when I boxed. I started when I was 9, and I finished when I was 17 or so, competitively. There’s just something about the discipline of going to a gym and hitting a heavy bag. It gives you a respect for hard work. That’s probably the bottom line of it. As well as keeping reasonably fit, it’s a discipline, and you have to apply that if you’re lucky enough to get films. That certainly applies. There’s a physical discipline of getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning and shooting until 7, 8 o’clock at night and going home and doing your workout or whatever it is, and eating and going to bed for two months, three months, four months. That training I did as a child, just the physical aspect, has certainly stood me in good stead in the motion picture business.”
That doesn’t mean Neeson does it all himself, but when they turn the cameras on him it’s all real. “I don’t do my own stunts. I do my own fighting, which I don’t regard as a stunt, but my dear friend and stunt double Mark Vanselow does all my heavy duty stuff, and has been doing so for about twelve years now. I keep fit as much as I can, just my own private stuff, lots of training when you know the fight’s coming up.”
Unknown opens Friday.