Liam Neeson Announces Retirement From Action Films
When Liam Neeson first started doing action movies regularly, it seemed bizarre to some of us. This was an Oscar-nominated actor who had brought audiences to a variety of emotions with his portrayals of various characters and real-life people too. He was more of a dramatic actor and even returned back to those roots in Silence with his role as Fr. Cristovao Ferreira, a Jesuit priest in Japan. Yet, the most bizarre turn in his career was in Taken playing Bryan Mills, a former CIA agent. His rescue of his daughter, Kim, played by Maggie Grace, became an instant hit upon its release for audiences and critics alike.
However, when you think about this dramatic actor playing the character of Mills in the sequels, Taken 2 and Taken 3, the films were more humorous in some ways because they followed the same tropes of the first film. It became obvious Neeson did these movies not for the storytelling but for the money. It’s likely he was probably friends with everyone from the first movie but, as the years followed, Liam Neeson took part in more action films. He played Dr. Martin Harris in Unknown and John Ottway in The Grey. While The Grey was also part drama, it was still filled with action. Liam Neeson pushed his action reputation further by portraying Zeus in Clash of The Titans and Wrath of The Titans. With several other action films such as Non-Stop and Run All Night, it became obvious Neeson was transitioning into more of an action-oriented career like Bruce Willis and Jason Statham.With so many action films, you wonder whether Neeson could be on some drug and need a luxury addiction treatment. He never was likely.
Yet, with his recent return to drama, he has decided to put an end to his action epics. “They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff,” Neeson stated to Sky News. “I’m like: ‘Guys I’m sixty-f****** five.’ Audiences are eventually to go: ‘Come on.’”
Neeson’s completely correct in his protest to the studios. He not only understands that audiences do not want to see the same movie rehashed again and again but he may also be concerned about being typecast. Another fantastic British actor, Sean Bean, has faced such an issue as he has portrayed many bad guys in films such as GoldenEye and National Treasure. Bean, alone, is a phenomenal actor but he continues to have roles such as that in film. One might wonder if such bad guy roles could push someone into needing a luxury addiction treatment after a while. Liam Neeson has still been able to get dramatic roles such as portraying the FBI official named Deep Throat, who helped The Washington Post as a journalistic source bring down then-US President Richard Nixon.
The film, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House, is set to be released in theaters later this month. Alongside other cast members such as Diane Lane, Josh Lucas, and Bruce Greenwood, it’s likely to be an interesting film. The point is: Neeson is tired of being the go-to action hero. He wants to portray more multi-faceted characters in complex films. He doesn’t seem satisfied with the status quo of his career despite having made a ton of money on these action films since this trend began in 2008 with the release of Taken.
Neeson can always do action films. That’s not to say he’s done with them completely. If there’s a good story, a great cast, and a fantastic director, he’ll probably return to doing one. It will not be a continuing trend anymore as it was. Silence marked his transition back to doing dramatic films mainly and while he might have a few more action films in the pipeline, they’re likely to be the last ones he does.
And Neeson deserves it. He should’ve won an Oscar a long time ago but he continues to turn out good work as an actor. His work is recognized by many in Hollywood as fantastic. And who would say he doesn’t deserve the chance to give an Oscar speech for winning an award? His time will come. It has to.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery and the entertainment industry.