Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson: I'm no sex symbol

By Amanda Poole

Despite being viewed as a sex symbol by millions of fans across the globe, Ballymena-born Liam Neeson reckons he might just be past it.

But Hollywood is clearly of the same opinion as those adoring women who reckon the 59-year-old actor is still hot property.

The handsome 6ft 4ins movie star features in five films this year — including sci-fi action flick Battleship, which also stars Rihanna and Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch.

Ahead of the film’s release on April 11, Neeson, in an interview with the Irish Independent, said he was unconvinced about his sex symbol status.

“A sex symbol? A symbol of sex?,” he said.

“I don’t think that I am a sex symbol, although it's very flattering. I'm 59 now, so I think I'm possibly past my sell-by date. I think I am.”

Neeson said his busy schedule is a case of “making hay while the sun shines” and not because he is immersing himself in work due to his wife Natasha Richardson’s tragic death in a skiing accident three years ago.

Quick to correct the false assumption, he said: “It just seems that way. I've got five coming out this year, which is silly. So it seems like I'm working all the time when I actually have two or three months off in between.

“But it's good. I'm so touched that complete strangers will send me a script asking me to be in their film. That still amazes me — and sometimes for a lot of money too.

“It's like: ‘You've gotta be kidding!' I believe in making hay while the sun shines. Work is work. It's great to get the chance to do it, to be honest.”

Neeson said he had a great time playing a naval commander in Battleship, and he wasn’t subjected to the gruelling bootcamp his co-actors had to endure.

The charismatic star also said he’s undecided about whether aliens exist, as in Battleship.

“It's a big universe,” he said.

“I think there has got to be something. Whether it has three heads or two eyes, I don't know. Do they look like ET? I doubt it. I think there must be some other life forms, even if they're microscopic. It's too vast for there not to be.”

Neeson is working hard on his career at the same time as raising his two teenage sons, Michael (16) and Daniel (15).

Wary of his sons carrying on the Neeson-Richardson-Red- grave acting legacy, he said: “I hope not, because for every one of me there's 10,000 that wait tables or wash dishes.”

Battleship is released in the UK and Ireland on April 11.

Profile

Liam Neeson (59) was born in Ballymena on June 7 1952. Before his acting career, the Co Antrim man was a fork lift driver and a boxer.

His film credits include Schindler’s List, Star Wars, Michael Collins and Kinsey. Neeson’s wife Natasha Richardson died in a skiing accident three years ago after sustaining a head injury.

He is currently in a long distance relationship with British PR Freya St Johnston and divides his time between a Manhattan apartment and large estate in upstate New York.

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