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THIS IS AN AC­TOR’S worst night­mare,” Liam Nee­son quipped af­ter eas­ing, un­de­tected, into a room full of wait­ing jour­nal­ists at the 2017 Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (TIFF) – no small feat (or feet) given the 65-year-old stands about 6-3. The Os­car-win­ner ar­rived to talk his Water­gate-era biopic, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, in which he plays the tit­u­lar hero, an in­for­mant bet­ter known as “Deep Throat.”

What was your ini­tial re­ac­tion to the Mark Felt script? LIAM NEE­SON: I was rea­son­ably ig­no­rant of [Water­gate]. I grew up in Ire­land and we were go­ing through our own trou­bles then. And then I thought of four dif­fer­ent ac­tors who could have been bet­ter cast as Mark Felt. I al­ways do that any­way on ev­ery project. I think [writer/di­rec­tor] Peter Lan­des­man saw no­bil­ity in the char­ac­ter, and I thought, “Well yeah, I could do that.” There are ob­vi­ous par­al­lels be­tween Water­gate and the cur­rent pres­i­den­tial ad­min­is­tra­tion. Could one man bring down the White House to­day? LN: We know there was col­lu­sion with this [Trump] cam­paign and Rus­sia. Whether the Twit­ter­ing Chief was part of that or not, [spe­cial coun­sel Robert] Mueller will find out … Ap­par­ently the Twit­ter­ing Chief de­mands ab­so­lute loy­alty, and that was very much the same with Richard Nixon. And Mr. Trump sees the press as the en­emy, and Richard Nixon did, too. It’s very scary. You noted you of­ten think of other ac­tors who could have been bet­ter cast in your roles. Are there cer­tain types of char­ac­ters you’d pre­fer to play? LN: I get off on good writ­ing. It al­ways has to come down to the writ­ten word. I’ve had a chance to binge-watch some of these amaz­ing shows, and the writ­ing is fan­tas­tic on TV now. Would you con­sider do­ing a TV se­ries? LN: [Mock sneers] “Tele­vi­sion, dar­ling?” That’s how the old Hol­ly­wood stars used to go. Joan Craw­ford was, “You’re do­ing tele­vi­sion?” I would, of course. There’s a won­der­ful writer, Dou­glas McGrath, who’s writ­ten a pi­lot to … the story of Abra­ham Lin­coln and his years in the White House that I’m very tempted by. As much as I adored Steven [Spiel­berg’s] film [ Lin­coln] and Daniel [Day-Lewis’] per­for­mance [a part Nee­son walked away from], it just told one lit­tle snip­pet of them try­ing to pass the 13th Amend­ment. Amer­ica doesn’t know the Abra­ham Lin­coln story, what that guy went through … to de­fend the idea of democ­racy and that it can work. And then the tim­ing would be right for it. If you had to put a film from your ca­reer in a time cap­sule, which would you choose? LN: I’d say Michael Collins is my top, and Steven [Spiel­berg] made a won­der­ful film with Schindler’s List. I would have re­cast Schindler, but I think he made a won­der­ful film. —Mike Criso­lago

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House opens in se­lect Cana­dian cities through­out Oc­to­ber.

For the full in­ter­view with Liam Nee­son, go to www.ev­ery thing zoomer.com/ zoom-in-ex­tras.

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