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Liam Neeson talks 'cathartic' role in new film following devastating death of wife

Natasha Richardson, Liam's wife and the mother of his two children, died in 2009

liam neeson grief natasha
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
26 March 2021
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Liam Neeson suffered a devastating blow in 2009 with the death of his beloved wife, Natasha Richardson.

MORE: Liam Neeson's son speaks out on tragic death of mother Natasha Richardson

The couple married in 1994 and shared two children together – Micheál, 25, and Daniel, 24 - before Natasha tragically lost her life at the age of 45 in a freak skiing accident.

Ahead of the release of his new Amazon Prime film Made In Italy, which also stars his eldest son Micheál, Liam has opened up about his family's loss and how playing a grieving husband in the comedy-drama was "cathartic" for him.

WATCH: Liam Neeson and his son Micheál appear as a bereaved father in son in Made in Italy

Appearing on the Graham Norton Show via video link, Liam, 68, said taking on the role of a man grieving the loss of his wife was "a bit near the knuckle" for him. "When I read the script I thought, 'Oh my gosh, this is a bit near the knuckle'. I felt a churning in the gut, but thought it would be great to do and to do it with my son"

MORE: Liam Neeson reveals Love Actually sequel brought back memories of late wife

"It was cathartic in a way – the way in which art sometimes can be," he continued. "There were some very delicate emotional scenes, and I could access the emotion without any problem, I didn't need days to build up to it and I thought Micheál would be the same."

liam natasha z© Photo: Getty Images

Liam and Natasha were married for 15 years before her death in 2009

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Micheál, who goes by his late mother's surname to honour her, added that the pair were struck by the "odd" similarities between their characters in the film and their real-life experiences.  "It was so odd that it was ten years after mum had passed and we were actually selling a family home that she grew up in, so it hit a little harder for us," he said.

liam neeson graham norton© Photo: BBC

Liam and son Micheál discussed their new film Made In Italy

The official synopsis for the film reads: "Made In Italy is a heart-warming comedy, set in glorious Tuscany, about bohemian London artist Robert who returns to Italy with his estranged son Jack to make a quick sale of the house they inherited from his late wife. Neither expects to find the once beautiful villa in such a state of disrepair.

"As Robert and Jack painstakingly restore the villa to its previous glory, father and son also start to mend their relationship. The future may now look quite different and surprise them both."

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