Wednesday 20 March 2019

Liam Neeson: Taken has turned people off travelling to Europe

A-Lister Actor Liam Neeson
A-Lister Actor Liam Neeson
The host (top) with guests (left to right) Liam Neeson, Anna Kendrick, Eddie Redmayne, Bradley Wiggins and Conchita Wurst

Elaine McCahill

Top Irish actor Liam Neeson has revealed that US people have been put off travelling to Europe thanks to the popular Taken franchise.

The third instalment is due out next month and the 62-year-old actor has told of how an American school trip was cancelled because parents were worried after seeing the high-octane action movies.

"Just the other day I got a letter from a school teacher in Texas who had tried to take 60 students to Europe," he said.

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The families of 40 of them got the kids out of it because they had seen Taken 2. Then this year she wanted to take 20 of them and the parents all said, 'No, because we've seen that movie'."

Neeson stars as retired CIA operative Bryan Mills, a man who keeps having members of his family kidnapped or being kidnapped himself.

However, in the new movie, out on January 9, Mills is framed for the murder of his wife.

Neeson admitted that he wouldn't have taken on the role in the third move if a character had been taken again despite getting paid a cool €15m.

Read more: Liam Neeson reveals directors adjust action scripts to suit his age

"I said the second one wouldn't happen and I said I wouldn't do a third one if someone got taken," Neeson tells Graham Norton on his New Year's Eve special tonight.

"It's insulting to an audience as well as me."

The franchise has been very successful for the Northern Irish actor - even if it hasn't been a good advertisement for Europe - and Liam insists he'll keep taking on action roles as long as they keep being offered to him.

"It's a luxury I'm still working at this age," he said. "The hero in action movies is usually mid-30s. I'll send those scripts straight back, but a week later I'll get a new one through and the main character is suddenly in his mid-50s.

"I feel good though and do my press-ups every day. All the fight scenes and punch ups I do myself. But a stuntman does any jumps through windows," he added.

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While he's aware of typecasting, a healthy salary can always win him over when it comes to a role.

"My agent will suggest something and I'll be outraged and exclaim, 'No!' Then he'll tell me how much I get for the role. And I'll do it," he joked.

Liam will also appear in comedy Ted 2 and crime drama Run All Night in the coming year.

Herald

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