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Liam Neeson powers through books and walks to cope in pandemic

Star also takes a pop at US President Donald Trump in movie interview


Action hero: Liam Neeson’s movie Honest Thief is a box office hit

Action hero: Liam Neeson’s movie Honest Thief is a box office hit

Action hero: Liam Neeson’s movie Honest Thief is a box office hit

Liam Neeson revealed he has read 31 books and taken up power-walking during lockdown to keep himself sane.

The Ballymena man (68) added he is aware that he is "very, very lucky" amid the coronavirus recession to have no mortgage and to own a mansion with a swimming pool.

And he blasted US President Donald Trump, saying he cannot wait to see him voted out in next month's election after his appalling handling of the pandemic.

The actor was speaking to plug his new role in Honest Thief. It sees him play a bank robber who tries to return his ill-gotten gains after falling in love, but who comes up against corrupt cops who thwart his plans for redemption.

Neeson said about his time in lockdown at his home in New York State: "I live in the countryside, so I'll go for power walks.

"I have my two sons, now 24 and 25. And I have always found pleasure just from books."

Among the 31 books he said he had powered through while self-isolating is James Joyce's Ulysses.

His tip for getting through the doorstop-sized epic?: "The key is just to read it fast."

He added that he knows he is more blessed than most struggling through the recession caused by the virus.

"I'm aware I'm very, very lucky. I have a house that's been paid off, I have a few acres I can walk around in, I have a swimming pool, a good gym and a screening room," he said.

"There are millions of Americans with no job, who don't know where their next pay cheque is coming from.

"Many of them don't know where their next meal is coming from, courtesy of Donald Trump.

"I don't lay all the blame at his feet, but I do lay a hell of a lot of it."

Neeson will most likely watch the US election on November 3 from Australia, as he is booked to travel there to film the sequel to Honest Thief, after it topped the Canadian box office on its opening weekend this month.

But he will not be doing his own stunts, and is set to work again with Mark Vabselow, the same stuntman who has doubled for him for 25 years.

Neeson said: "I don't do all the Tom Cruise stuff, the whole: 'Hey, let me hang from that helicopter or airplane and show the audience it's really me'.

"Fair play to Tom Cruise, he loves doing that stuff.

"But I'm now 68. We shot Honest Thief two years ago when I was 66.

"I told Mark I didn't want to try and cheat the audience, pretending to be 30 years of age, all: 'Look how fast I can run'.

"I'm just up for basic hitting and trying to get away stuff."

But Neeson added he still tries to maintain his physique to look as if he has the stamina for the fights.

He said: "If you're playing the lead in films, whether there's fight scenes or not, it does require a certain stamina.

"You work 11 to 13-hour days, and if you're the lead you're there every day.

"It's beholden to you to have stamina. The crew certainly do."

Belfast Telegraph