Liam Neeson: I hope my boys don't marry for another 20 years
Liam Neeson has revealed that he won't be advising his two sons to settle down for another 20 years because men tend to be emotionally immature until they're at least 35.
The Ballymena actor, who married for the first time when he was 41, said he hoped 19-year-old Micheal and Daniel (18) would marry and start a family eventually but that he'd like them to have freedom and fun beforehand.
And he said that while he wanted the teenagers to "spread their wings", he found it "bittersweet" watching them leaving home to head off to college.
In an interview with parenting website DAD.info, the Taken star said: "I want them to see the world and have fun; have relationships. And settle down if they want. They're kids though, they hopefully have another 20 years before they do that."
When asked why wait 20 years, he replied: "It's different for guys.
"Women get their act together emotionally by their late 20s. They know who they are.
"Guys haven't got a f*****g clue until they're at least 35. Actually I'd say 40. So don't even think about marriage and kids until you're at least 37, 38."
The 62-year-old is currently starring in an action film, Run All Night, in which he plays an ageing hitman whose estranged son becomes a mob target. Neeson's character, a former Irish mob enforcer, must figure out where his loyalties lie and how to save his son from a deadly fate.
Protecting his offspring is a theme that runs through several of Neeson's movies, including the hugely successful Taken trilogy, but Neeson says it was his two sons - and his work - that kept him going when he lost his wife Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident in Canada in March 2009.
The couple married in 1994, a year after they acted together in a play on Broadway.
"I still think about Natasha all the time," he said. "You don't get over something like that. My kids have also been the best support for me. Hopefully I'm the same for them, too. Work gives your life structure when you lose your way. That explains why I've deliberately worked a lot in recent times. Plus, there's the fact that I've always had the feeling my run of good luck won't last for ever."
Neeson said he felt fortunate that he was able to work in a profession he loved and to have a great family and support system.
And he said that he still stood by the attitudes and principals that he'd grown up with in Northern Ireland. Explaining those beliefs, he said: "A man should be true to his word."
- Read the full interview with Liam Neeson on DAD.info this week