Liam Neeson spent a couple of days in Toronto recently to tidy up filming commitments in the wake of the shocking death last month of his wife, Natasha Richardson, and now he seems to be solely focused on coping with the enormous emotional wounds that he and his two sons will be dealing with for the rest of their lives.
Neeson and his boys, 13-year-old Micheal and Daniel, 12, were in London to take in a Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Liverpool. Also joining them for the outing was Natasha’s mother, Vanessa Redgrave. The boys must be fans of Liverpool, as they appeared happy with the team’s 1-0 win.
Neeson was later spotted leaving the Ivy Restaurant in London on his own, looking quite forlorn. It’s not known how long he plans on spending in England, or whether his itinerary includes a stop home to Ballymena, Co. Antrim, where his mother Kitty still lives.
Meanwhile, the well-received film about the Northern Irish Troubles that stars Neeson and James Nesbitt, "Five Minutes of Heaven," aired on Sunday night on BBC2 in Ireland and the U.K. The docudrama, which earned glowing notices at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, centers on one man’s journey from violence to peaceful conflict resolution.
In "Heaven," Neeson plays Alastair White, a 17-year-old Loyalist who killed a Catholic and received a 12-year life sentence. During his incarceration, White made the journey away from violence, realizing its devastating effects on a community.
The real White, a former member of the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force who consulted on the film, met Neeson on the set, and couldn’t have been more impressed.
“Even though he’s a movie star and used to working with the rich and famous he showed great interest in my work in the field of reconciliation,” White told the Belfast Telegraph.
“And I honestly felt that he wanted to be there to talk with me, that he wasn’t just dong this as part of his job.
“I also think Liam Neeson is one of the most genuine and warm people I have met, and my heart goes out to him as he copes with the loss of his wife and the prospect of bringing up their two young sons without their mother.”
Northern Irish actor Nesbitt, who plays the brother of the Catholic murder victim, also sent his sympathies to Neeson.
“My heart goes out to Liam and his family. I feel shocked by the events and very much saddened for them all,” he said.