Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Neeson: I rejected Paisley role

Liam Neeson would be happy to tread the boards again

Liam Neeson has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to portray Reverend Ian Paisley on the big screen - because the scripts were "atrocious".

The Irish actor, who was granted the freedom of his home town Ballymena, admitted he could be persuaded with the right screenplay after expressing an interest in playing the former politician in a film.

"I have been approached, yeah. I've read a couple of scripts based on the Reverend Iain Paisley, but they were atrocious," said the 60-year-old as he accepted his honour in Northern Ireland.

"They're really bad, they are. There's a saying - 'If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage'. But I would certainly think about it," he added.

Liam, who has starred in Schindler's List, Michael Collins, The Dark Knight Rises and Clash Of The Titans, also said he would like to return to the theatre again - but it would depend on his two teenage sons with late wife Natasha Richardson.

He began his career in Belfast's Lyric Theatre and later joined the Abbey Theatre in Dublin before moving to London, and then Hollywood.

"I would love to tread the boards again at some point. It's been four-and-a-half years since I was on the stage so it's time to flex that muscle again," he said.

"I'd love to do it at the Lyric. We're actively trying to find something, you know. I'm a single parent so it's hard trying to distance myself for the moment," he added.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Scorpio:

It's important to treat yourself well. Constantly deferring to others will deprive you of the finer things in life. Carve time out of your busy schedule to pamper yourself. Taking a nap, solitary walk or hot bath will revive your spirits. Get into the habit of spending more money on creature comforts. Treat such as gourmet food, beautiful clothes and intriguing books are investments in your happiness. Others may object at being put farther down on your list of priorities, but that's their problem.More