Liam Neeson, channeling his most serious and intense action movie inner-self, failed his audition to play a shopping mall Santa Claus, on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" back in 2016.

Liam Neeson, the searingly stern Ballymena actor, has played a Star Wars Jedi Master, Michael Collins, and the famous hitman Brian Mills in "Taken," but it seems that the role of Jolly Old Saint Nick was just beyond his reach.

We’re not quite sure children would be running to sit on this Santa’s lap, as Neeson came out with threatening lines like “I see you... when you are sleeping. I know... when you're awake.”

What was even worse was when he was asked to “jolly” it up a little. Neeson’s grimacing smile would shatter glass!

In defending his stern and menacing approach to the character, Neeson, still in audition mode, defends Santa’s use of the Naughty or Nice List saying “I think it's right. Do you understand what Santa's saying here? He's making a list - naughty, nice. He's detailed. He's single-minded. He's an eye in the sky bringing swift judgment.

"And that reindeer that ran over Grandma? I will look for him, I will find him, and I will kill him."

Neeson is officially up there with the baddest of Santas. Move over Billy Bob Thornton, there’s another Bad Santa in town and he looks miserable.

* Originally published in 2016, updated in Dec 2023.