By Michaela Ard
Friday, Oct. 5 marked the opening day of “Taken 2,” the sequel to 2008’s “Taken,” in which a retired CIA agent and his ex-wife are kidnapped while visiting Istanbul.
Although the thriller and its blockbuster predecessor are not critical hits, they do star one of the best tough guys in Hollywood history: Liam Neeson.
The 60-year-old actor, who was born in Northern Ireland, continues to make action-packed features in which he usually kicks some serious butt, or at least guides and teaches some unbelievable heroes.
Neeson has played a vast array of legendary mentors throughout his career, such as Zeus in “Clash of the Titans,” Qui-Gon Jinn in “Star Wars: Episode I ” The Phantom Menace” and, my personal favorite, Ra’s al Ghul in “Batman Begins.”
No other actor can claim on his or her resume that he or she influenced Perseus, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Batman.
Acting was not Neeson’s original profession, however. Some of his first jobs included a forklift operator, a truck driver and an amateur boxer. It seems Neeson was destined for a lifetime of rugged roles.
His gravelly voice, piercing gaze and intimidating height of 6 feet 4 inches have all helped propel the actor into the macho hall of fame.
His physical traits, partnered with his impressive acting talents, have been showcased and immortalized in many iconic films, such as “Schindler’s List” and “Les Miserables.”
The silver screen is not the only avenue on which Neeson’s work has been portrayed. He has also participated in television programs of various genres, such as “The Simpsons” and BBC’s “The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century.”
He has also appeared on Broadway in “Anna Christie,” in which Neeson’s performance in the production was nominated for a Tony award.
The seasoned thespian appears to have no limit to his acting abilities, or even to his schedule availability.
The busy film star has acted in 10 movies since 2010 and has three films in the pre-production stage: “A Walk Among the Tombstones” and “Non-Step” are scheduled to release in 2013, and “Third Person” will premier in 2014.
Neeson has provided movie viewers with decades of intense cinema and indestructible characters, and one can only hope that there are decades more to come.
Mick’s Movie Mix
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