Liam Neeson Talks Memory, Wanting to Resurrect Naked Gun

The latest Liam Neeson-led action film Memory is out in theaters today. Directed by the legendary Martin Campbell, the film stars Neeson, Guy Pearce, Monica Bellucci, Taj Atwal, Ray Fearon, and Harold Torres.

Memory follows Alex Lewis (Liam Neeson), an expert assassin with a reputation for discreet precision. Caught in a moral quagmire, Alex refuses to complete a job that violates his code from him and must quickly hunt down and kill the people who hired him before them and FBI agent Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce) find him first, ”says the official synopsis . “Alex is built for revenge but, with a memory that is beginning to falter, he is forced to question his every action of him, blurring the line between right and wrong.”

ComingSoon’s Jonathan Sim spoke with Memory star Liam Neeson about his portrayal of the character, his future, and what underappreciated movie he wants fans to check out.

Jonathan Sim: You play Alex Lewis, an expert assassin with memory loss in this film. What was it about this character that made you want to play him?

Liam Neeson: I like the idea of, yes, he’s an assassin, he’s a precision expert at taking out bad guys. But this extra layer of the fact that he’s suffering from, at the early stages, Alzheimer’s disease, with dementia put in there as well. So it was interesting to do research on that affliction and it is horrible and terrible. So I watched some documentaries on Alzheimer’s. I also have a friend back home in Ireland who’s going through the early stages of dementia himself. He’s a friend, but I felt a bit guilty about using little bits of what I saw him doing. I tried to introduce him to the film in a very, very subtle way, hopefully. But it’s just always interesting to play a character who’s never just black or white, there are shades of gray, morally speaking as to the actions he takes and he’s very much a man who’s been doing this job of assassinations for 40 years, but he knows the end is coming to his life and he wants to find some kind of redemption, I think.

I really do like that about the character. It’s a very interesting morally ambiguous character. What I’ve also loved is that when you made Taken, your career went down a new path, filled with action movies, where you got to play these super tough guys with their particular set of skills. From now on, would you like to continue making action movies like Memory, or would you like to explore other genres, like comedy, or would you maybe want to revisit an old character like Qui-Gon Jinn?

Well, I’m interested in comedy. Seth McFarlane has approached me about maybe, I think Paramount Studios had asked Seth, would he be interested in resurrecting in the Naked Gun series, or a film based on Naked Gunso he asked me if I’d be interested in playing the Leslie Nielsen character, which are huge shoes to fill, so we’re hoping that’ll maybe come together in the next year or two years.

You have an incredible filmography behind you. Is there any movie you made that you’re proud of that you feel is underappreciated and maybe you want more are people to see?

Well, I made a film called michael collins with Neil Jordan. Oh my gosh, 26-27 years ago. That’s a personal favorite of mine, because he was one of the founders of the modern Irish state. He’s highly controversial because he is regarded as one of the founders, if that’s the right word, of modern-day terrorism in that he kind of invented little cells, pockets of cells, two people, three people, all fighting for the same cause, but each cell didn’t know what the other was doing because the fear of informers, so Collins invented that and it’s been adopted, as we know, all over the world. He’s, as I say, very controversial figure, he died in 1922 at the age of 31. But I was fascinated by that character, fascinated by it. I love the movie michael collins. I love it.

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