Today Liam Neeson is everyone’s favorite tough guy older actor. He can save a plane full of passengers, find and kill kidnappers, or even battle fearsome wolves.
But apparently Neeson was not to be messed with even before he found his calling and fame as an actor.
An interview the Ballymena-born actor did with ESPN’s “Highly Questionable” has recently resurfaced online. In it, Neeson recalls how, back when he was a trainee teacher, a 15-year-old student pulled a knife on him in the classroom.
Neeson’s reaction? A swift punch.
“He was a big guy too, about 15 years of age. I had to punch him and then I was reprimanded for hitting the kid,” he shared.
“There were always discipline problems, getting them to settle down before you can start to teach them.
“This particular kid did not want to settle down, he wanted to disrupt the whole class.
“So I went over to him and asked him to leave the classroom and stand outside.
“The next thing he pulled a knife on me.
“My reaction was to punch him, which I shouldn’t have done but I felt threatened.”
The “Taken” star did not disclose which school the incident took place at, though he did spend time training to become a teacher at St Mary’s College in Fenham, Newcastle during the 1970s.
Neeson has two sisters who are teachers, and he has previously spoken of his admiration for the profession, even though it was not for him.
He joined Belfast’ Lyric Theatre in 1976. Rumored previous professions of Neeson’s include a forklift driver for Guinness, an amateur boxer, and an architect’s assistant.
Here’s a look at one of his first acting roles, which Jimmy Fallon brought to light back in 2014: