Apart from Darkman and his work as Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins and briefly again in The Dark Knight Rises, Liam Neeson has not appeared in any other superhero films — a bit of a surprise, since the actor has had a long, multifarious career that includes other big budget pictures like Star Wars and Clash of the Titans. His latest film, the supremely lovely Ordinary Love, is about as far away as you can get from superhero cinema, telling the small-scale story of a loving couple doing their best with a cancer diagnosis. Will Neeson ever return to the world of capes and cowls again? According to Entertainment Tonight… probs not.
“I’m really not a huge fan of the genre,” says Neeson pretty bluntly in the ET interview. “I think it’s Hollywood with all the bells and whistles and the technical achievements and stuff — which I admire — but I have no desire to go into the gym for three hours every day to pump myself up to squeeze into a Velcro suit with a cape.” Kumail Nanjiani subtweet notwithstanding, Neeson went on to explain himself with a bit more nuance — especially after his co-star Lesley Manville teased that she “would pay to see that”:
I admire the actors and I know some of the actors who do it — and do it fantastically. It’s just not my genre, it really isn’t. The first Star Wars, I was in that, that was 22 years ago, and I enjoyed that, because it was novel and that was new. I was acting to tennis balls, which were ultimately going to be little fuzzy furry creatures and stuff. That was interesting, acting-wise, to try and make that seem real, but that was the last. It’s quite exhausting.
I guess if we wanna see Neeson kick ass and take names on screen, we’ll just have to watch one of the approximately 8,000 action thrillers he makes per year. And if we wanna see Manville kick ass and take names on screen, just watch Phantom Thread — she annihilates her scene partners, and it feels good, honey.