Sunday, February 23, 2014

Liam Neeson on grief & loss

Anderson Cooper, who knows a little something about grief and loss, interviewed the actor Liam Neeson tonight on "60 Minutes." I'm sure the original intent was to promote Neeson's new movie, but the conversation turned into something much deeper and more interesting. Neeson agreed to speak publicly for the first time about the sudden tragic death of his wife, the actress Natasha Richardson, after a fall while skiing in Quebec five years ago.
“I wanted very much to have a conversation with Liam about grief,” says Cooper. "People don't really talk about grief and loss enough in this country, I think, and for those of us who have suffered losses in our lives, it's something we think about all the time. Not talking about it feels almost artificial.”
I've always taken a special interest in this particular story -- first, because I admire/d both Neeson & Richardson as actors;  second, because my heart goes out to anyone who experiences tragic loss as Neeson & his two teenaged sons did (in a very public way);  and third, because as someone who's taken a couple of knocks to the head in recent years -- scary experiences that took quite some time from which to recover -- I was frightened by Richardson's death. I couldn't help but feel that there but for the grace of God, etc. etc. I admire him for his willingness to share his thoughts & feelings on this highly personal subject.

The interview as broadcast can be found here. Additional footage from the interview, in which Neeson speaks further about grief and loss issues, can be found on the "60 Minutes Overtime" site, here.


  1. Thanks for the heads-up about that interview. A coincidence: DH and I watched the Liam Neeson/Pierce Brosnan movie Seraphim Falls yesterday. It follows two Civil War vets (and enemies) haunted/ruled by horrific losses and other devastating effects of war. I found myself wondering whether Neeson had lost his wife before playing that role (he hadn't) and also how the two actors relate (not that they necessarily do) now on the topic of losing their wives. A strange thing to wonder about during a film, but there you go.

  2. I'm looking forward to watching this, as I've always liked Liam Neeson (fortunately I've avoided seeing him in his Star Wars misstep) - I think it's something to do with the accent, and the height!

    And every time I see him now I think of what he's been through.

    Also like Anderson Cooper, and love his comment that we need to talk about grief and loss. "Not talking bout it feels almost artificial." That is so true.

  3. I did not catch the whole interview, but did catch some of it...I thought it was really good.

  4. Liam is one of my fave actors. :-) A close friend of mine sent me a link to the interview because she knew that I liked him. :-)

  5. Thanks for this alert. As difficult as it is to grieve privately, I wonder what it would be like to grieve on a world stage.

    I'll watch these videos in a bit when I can.

  6. I saw the video the other day. Liam Neeson is one of my favourite actors. I was always wondering why he was after her death, I was seeing him in more movies. He was just trying to stay busy as possible, having lost the centre of his life, I could understand why he would want to keep busy. I could see his love for her - he adored her. The way he talked about grief, coming in waves leaving him feeling like a 3 legged table. So true.