Irish actor Liam Neeson's "Taken" was a surprise hit of the year for Fox, bringing in $145 million domestically.

Neeson played retired C.I.A. operative Bryan Mills in the movie and spent most of it in pursuit of the European thugs who have kidnapped his daughter Kim in Paris for a sex slave ring.

Kim and her friend had told Neeson they were going to stay in a friend's apartment in Paris whereas they really intended following U2 round Europe.

Neeson played a Bruce Willis type part in the film, a break from his usual sensitive and restrained roles.

Of course the fact that Neeson trained as a boxer in his native Northern Ireland helped him portray the no-holds-barred Dirty Harry type.

"Maybe it's a working class work ethic thing," Neeson told the LA Times last year.
"I like the feeling of physical activity. I feel I've done an honest day's work for an honest dollar."

Neeson said he had read the script several years ago and told the French writer/director Luc Besson, "I'd love to do this film. On one condition: I want to do all the fighting."

"That's the only way I'd want you to do it," Besson responded.

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