Irish superstar Liam Neeson has spoken about the ‘serial’ experience of watching his mother’s funeral via webcam.
Neeson’s 94-year-old mother passed away during the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown rules meant that the star was unable to attend the funeral in person.
She died in a nursing home in Ballymena, Co Antrim in June 2020, just as the UK had introduced a 14-day quarantine rule for people arriving into the country.
It meant that Neeson and his sons Micheál (25) and Daniel (24) had to remain in the US and watch the funeral online.
Neeson told the Belfast Telegraph: “I lost my mother last June, and it was strange for Micheál and myself and Micheál’s brother Daniel, for the three of us to be here looking at my mother’s funeral via a computer screen.
“That was kind of strange – it was kind of surreal. But before my mum passed away, we would go back – I would go back – twice a year perhaps.
“And Micheál and Danny once every other year or something like that.”
The Taken star is appearing in a new movie with son Micheál called Made in Italy, which features a storyline that has tragic similarities to the Neeson family’s real life.
Neeson’s wife Natasha died in a skiing accident when she was just 45 years old.
In Made In Italy, Neeson plays an artist who, along with his son played by Micheál, has to come to terms with the early death of his wife who was killed in a road accident.
Neeson said that his real-life experience meant that he knew he would be able to access the necessary emotions when it came to filming the ‘heavy’ scenes.
He said: “”The actor in me knew the scenes where I had to be emotional, let’s put it that way. Absolutely I didn’t have to think about it, work on it, I knew where I had to go and I was confident enough and experienced enough to know, ‘Okay, that’s a very heavy scene and I’ll take care of it when we shoot it.’
“Sometimes when you are doing scenes in a film that are very heavy emotionally, sometimes out of the corner of your eye you’ll catch a ‘grip’ or one of the crew texting and you think, ‘F*** off, Jesus Christ, have some sensitivity.’
“But here, with this wonderful Italian crew that they had, they were always keeping us buoyant, they were protecting us. Which is lovely to do, because that means you can kind of explore your own emotions for the scene deeper, knowing that you’re being really held and hugged by this crew.”
Take a look at the trailer for Made In Italy below.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling