A few years ago, Liam Neeson brought the movie industry to a screeching halt when he suggested that he might eventually get tired of doing stupid action movies that are all pretty much the same, but he—thankfully—went back on that threat a few days later when he said that he’d actually be happy to do action movies “until they bury me in the ground.” Now, with a movie called Cold Pursuit on the horizon, where he plays a snowplow driver getting revenge for the death of his son, Neeson is eager to recommit himself to a life of interchangeable action movies.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Neeson recognizes that people might think he’s treading familiar ground, but actually Cold Pursuit is completely different than, say, Taken. For starters, Taken was about a guy with a “particular set of skills,” while Cold Pursuit is about a guy “who’s a total fucking amateur.” Also, one of them primarily involves the snow and the other has a subplot where the guy’s daughter wants to be a pop star or something. Otherwise they’re exactly the same.
As for Taken, Neeson says he didn’t envision that turning into a whole new kind of career for him. He just read the script and thought it sounded fun to hang out with stunt performers and “beat guys up” instead of having to do any serious acting work. He didn’t even think it’d be a popular movie, noting that he assumed “it would be straight-to-video.” Now he says he gets scripts for action movies that say “’leading man, age 37' crossed out and ‘late 40s, early 50s’ written in instead.” (Liam Neeson is in his 60s, but don’t tell Hollywood.) He says he’s happy to “intersperse” his career with movies like Silence from time to time, but he’ll keep doing action movies until he has “reach for the walker to go and beat up two guys” and he knows “the audience is really going to laugh this time.”
Basically, as long as he can get through a movie without looking completely stupid, he’ll keep beating guys up.