Liam Neeson does have a “particular set of skills” when it comes to landing box-office hit roles. His cold and concrete tone combined with a Northern Irish accent and a secret agent demeanour has made him a household favourite amongst movie fans.
But for Neeson, it wasn’t always knee-jerking, hand-gripping, or plot-twisting roles he played. He began modestly and it was only the mid 2000s when Neeson received his second wind in acting.
Yet, unlike action icons such as Sylvester Stallone, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson wasn’t making action-packed movies in his 20’s. The sexagenarian, who plays an insurance salesman in Cold Pursuit began gaining his action acclaimed status in his late 50’s.
I Will Find You, and I Will Kill You
The Taken series has done very well. The first Taken generated over $200 million in box-office sales. Neeson was actually in his late 50’s when he took the role. The movie was a hit that transformed Neeson’s acting career as a badass killer with some serious skills.
Live and Die on This Day
After the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson, in 2009, Neeson seemed determined to get his mind back on track and land a similar yet familiar role in the adventure/thriller - The Grey.
Neeson played sharpshooter John Ottway, in which he and his co-workers are on a plane when a devastating storm takes it down. Crashing into a land of hungry wolves, Neeson and his co-workers are forced to fight to survive or die an awful death.
Sometimes I Do Favours for People
Neeson continued to shine in roles that depicted himself as an instinctual, automatic, mechanical, and ruthless assassin. His trademark, calming growl and swift yet strong movements continued into roles like A Walk Among the Tombstones. Neeson’s character is a former cop turned undercover detective who must find the killer who dismembers the bodies of his victims.
I Hate Flying, the Lines, the Crowds and the Delays
They took his daughter, they took his wife, they took his memory, they took his wolves, they took his plane...
The thriller Non-Stop sees Neeson in action mode as he fights to prove his innocence on-board a British Airways 767 jetliner. There is action aplenty as Neeson’s character Air Marshall Bill Marks struggles to find the true hijacker and save the flight from an on-board bomb.
Get On the Train
After hitting the skies, Neeson takes to the rail next in The Commuter, where he needs to work with the enemy in order to save a train full of passengers, and he doesn’t know who he can trust. A current insurance salesman and an ex-cop, Neeson is knee deep in a criminal conspiracy that will take some of his special skills to dig himself out.
Ploughing the Snow
Neeson is back to an icy adventure, this time not with wolves, but with some really bad men. Neeson appears in Cold Pursuit, based on the 2014 Norwegian thriller In Order of Disappearance. His character, a snow plougher, is seeking revenge after his son is killed by ruthless drug dealers. Wait... this sounds familiar. But we know he delivers, every single time.