|Liam Neeson and Vince McMahon|
Liam Neeson, starring this week in the new film The Grey, is plenty busy these days with a number of projects on deck – but portraying Vince McMahon, head of the WWE, isn’t one of them.
During a press junket to promote The Grey, Neeson denied a rumor that he was preparing to play wrestling impresario McMahon in a new film about Chris Benoit, the former WWE champ who killed his wife and young son and then took his own life back in 2007. The shocking murder-suicide made international headlines for days, and cast a harsh light on McMahon’s WWE and steroid abuse among pro wrestlers.
Neeson told reporters that he had never heard of the Benoit movie, that he knows very little about McMahon and that he’s not a pro wrestling fan, so therefore he wouldn’t take the role on. “I can’t see you doing that, dude,” added The Grey director Joe Carnahan, for extra emphasis. So that’s that, then.
Neeson will be all over movie screens this year with a number of starring roles.
In March look for him in Wrath of the Titans, a sequel to Clash of the Titans; the following month he stars with superstar singer Rihanna in Battleship, and come October he’ll be seen in the sequel to Taken, the biggest hit of his career which earned more than $200 million in worldwide box office receipts in 2008.
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Neeson told the press that he’s delighted to still be considered an action star as he nears his 60th birthday in June.
“They’re offering me stuff, which is unbelievably flattering,” he says.
“Seriously, since this silly Taken movie came out, they’re throwing these thriller, assassin movies at me. Some are good, some aren’t so good. It’s terrific, I love it. As long as my knees don’t give out, I love it.
“I’ll give them another 18 months, then that’ll be it, you know? Otherwise it gets silly.”
Speaking of the big 6-0, Neeson says he’s in no mood to celebrate the landmark.
“My sons were saying the other day, ‘Dad, we’re going to throw you a big party for your birthday.’ I said, ‘No, we’re not!’” he said.
“I really hate it. I’m not going to celebrate it. What am I going to do? Go to a strip club or something like that? I can’t do it.”