Liam Neeson has told how he is drawn to playing mysterious, solitary men on the big screen.
The Taken star's latest film, A Walk Among The Tombstones, sees him play ex-NYPD officer and recovering alcoholic Matt Scudder, who reluctantly agrees to help a drug trafficker (Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens) track down the men who murdered his wife.
"I am attracted to characters who are loners, who operate by themselves. There's something mysterious, manly and stoic about them," said the Irish actor.
Liam, 62, compared Scudder to the "slightly broken" characters played by the likes of Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood - "a foot in either camp between justice and right, always treading or dabbling in moral grey areas".
The light to Scudder's shade is TJ, a young homeless teen who helps him try and track down the killers. The aspiring young detective is played by 18-year-old rapper and actor Brian 'Astro' Bradley, a former finalist on Simon Cowell's US version of The X Factor.
"He's such a loveable kid and he's easy to look out for," Liam said. "I'm a dad of two boys, and I'd just find myself... you know, I'd fix his shirt or something, just little things, include him and make sure he's OK."
Liam's other upcoming projects unclude Run All Night, in which he plays a hitman, and the hotly-anticipated Taken 3.
And having proved his comedy chops with a deadpan cameo alongside Ricky Gervais in BBC Two sitcom Life's Too Short, he revealed he would also like to play for laughs again.
"As long as I'm the straight guy," he said. "If I try to be 'funny', it's not funny.
"I'm going to do a little cameo in Ted 2 with Seth MacFarlane, just playing it absolutely dead straight - that's what makes it funny. It's really hard to keep a straight face though, especially with Gervais and Seth MacFarlane. Very, very hard."
:: A Walk Among The Tombstones is in cinemas now.