BIG MAN’S BIG SCREEN CA­REER

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - LM -

Like his Star Wars sta­ble­mate Sa­muel L Jack­son, Nee­son ex­udes a form of vin­tage cool. But whilst Jack­son at 65 has given up much of the phys­i­cal stuff Nee­son can still be found thrash­ing around a movie set. Man­gling bad guys has be­come a late ca­reer high point.

On Taken and its se­quel he sin­gle-hand­edly de­mol­ished an army of hu­man traf­fick­ers. In Non­Stop the ac­tion is stag­gered but no less in­tense – such as his full-on scrap in an air­craft toi­let. It can’t have been easy for the big man from Bal­ly­mena.

“No, it wasn’t and to add to the prob­lem the other guy was quite big too!” he laughs.

“It was quite in­tense. They had me bash up against a fake mir­ror that shat­ters dur­ing the bath­room fight.

“You’re not aware of be­ing hurt at the time, be­cause the adren­a­line kicks in, but you do see a bruise of two later and think, ‘How did I get that?’

“But it’s all good fun and there are great stunt guys for all the re­ally dif­fi­cult stuff. I’ve got a great stunt guy.

“We also did a great fight scene with some of the pas­sen­gers who at­tacked me in the movie be­cause they think I’m the hi­jacker.”

In Non-Stop Nee­son is part­nered by Ju­lianne Moore and Down­ton Abbey’s Michelle Dock­ery.

He last worked with Moore in Atom Egoyan’s 2009 sex drama Chloe. In at least some people’s minds that’s the kind of work he should be do­ing.

But Taken, Un­known, Non-Stop and their ilk have given Nee­son a new lease of pro­fes­sional life and an en­tirely new au­di­ence. And there’s a lot to be said for that.

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