DUBLIN – Liam Neeson sits across from me staring. I shift position nervously but he looks like he is measuring me up, trying to decide on the best way to kill me, whether to break my neck, or throttle me, or drive my nose bone deep into my pulpy brain flesh. He’s been sitting here in silence for twenty minutes.
When I first sat down, I sensed something was wrong. ‘You can’t sit there,’ Neeson growled in his famous Irish burr. ‘It’s Taken.’
I sat in the other chair.
‘You can’t sit there either,’ he said.
‘That’s Taken 2,’ he roared with laughter.
In order to join in with the mood, I said, ‘Are you Taken the piss?’
At which point he stopped suddenly and stared at me. And that’s where we came in. Him staring at me for twenty minutes.
Finally he sighs and begins to devour his food with something like savage grace.
‘So,’ I say. ‘When George Lucas first approached you for the role of Qui Gong did you…’
‘Money,’ Neeson growls.
‘Okay,’ I say. ‘Were you a big fan of the TV show The A Team?’
‘Money,’ says Neeson.
Neeson smiles. ‘That was the catering.’
‘I don’t know who you are’ Neeson says.
‘I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for quotes, I can tell you now I don’t have them. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let me daughter go…’
‘That’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don’t… stop crying Chad, if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.’
At which point I ran for it.