A few weeks ago, it was reported that Liam Neeson would be retiring from action movies. But the actor now says that this is not the case and that he actually plans to keep starring in action films until the day he dies.
Variety spoke with Neeson at the premiere of his new movie Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, and he refuted the reports that he’s not going to make any more action films because he’s too old.
“It’s not true, look at me!” Neeson said. “You’re talking in the past tense. I’m going to be doing action movies until they bury me in the ground. I’m unretired.”
The comments that sparked the original reports about Neeson’s retirement from action came at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. He noted at the time that he is surprised that he’s still being offered action movie roles.
“They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff,” Neeson said. “I’m like: ‘Guy’s I’m sixty-f*cking-five.’ Audiences are eventually going to go: ‘Come on.'”
This was reported as Neeson declaring his intention to retire from action films, but he actually did not specify that. All he said was that he’s getting older and is surprised that directors still want to cast him in action movies, and he fears that audiences will stop taking him seriously at some point. But it sounds like he never meant this to indicate that he’s done with action, and he has no plans to leave the genre at this time.
Neeson took a turn towards action fairly late in his career, especially after Taken in 2008. From there, he went on to star in action films like Unknown, The Grey, Non-Stop, Run All Night, and of course Taken 2 and Taken 3. Neeson has been open about the fact that this action turn happened basically by pure accident.
Part of the reason why Neeson’s original comment was probably misinterpreted was that it came two years after he said that he thinks he’ll be done with action movies in two years.
“Maybe two more years,” Neeson said in 2015. “If God spares me and I’m healthy and stuff. But after that, I’ll stop [the action], I think.”
Since then, Neeson has apparently changed his mind. Action is not his exclusive focus, though, as he’s playing FBI agent Mark Felt in the new Ridley Scott produced film about the Watergate scandal. In a few months, he returns to action with The Commuter, a movie where he plays an ordinary businessman who gets caught up in a conspiracy during his commute home from work. That film will open on Jan. 12, 2018.