He is almost 60 years young.
I tell Liam Neeson that he looks about…40. "Did I tell you that I really do love you," jokes the Oscar nominated actor as a wide smile bursts across his handsome face.
I've interviewed Neeson for over two decades and one thing is certain: He's the kind of actor where you wish you were having a pint of beer with him at a pub in Ireland.
He will mention feeling his age…just a little bit.
For starters, his teenage sons are driving him nuts with their techno music.
"I don't listen to their music at all. The techno beat? I cannot bear it in the same way my father couldn't stand the Rolling Stones and the Beetles."
As for turning 60, he says his secrets to staying young are simple.
"I hit the gym. I do some shadow boxing. And I still consume way too much red wine.
My friend tells me it's not drinking, but it's food," he says.
He also makes movies that guys half his age wouldn't touch.
FILMING "THE GREY"
This Friday, he stars in "The Grey" about a group of oil rig workers whose plane crashes in the wilds of Alaska.
Unfortunately, they crash land into the 100 mile wide den of a savage, 100-plus member pack of wolves.
"This movie's script read to me like a 19th century epic poem. I just thought it was so beautiful," he says. "This was a throwback to the old movies they use to make where it was man vs. nature and not just people pushing each other's buttons.
"It reminded me of 'Jeremiah Johnson' (1972)," he says. "There was just something so pure about this idea that you might not survive because nature is bigger than you."
Neeson hit the showers to prepare for the on location shoot in the 20 degree below zero wilds of British Columbia that doubles for Alaska in the film.
"I saw a documentary about this British man a few years ago who liked to swim through icebergs in Antarctica," Neeson says. "He started preparing by taking freezing cold showers for ten minutes every morning.
"I did the same thing to prepare for this movie, but I only got up to seven minutes," he says. "It actually immunizes your body because your system gets used to the cold."
As for the film's plane crash scene, Neeson says he was…terrified!
"To be honest, I'm scared to death of rollercoaster rides," says the actor. "I just can't do it. My kids beg me to get on the roller coasters with them and my response is always the same. I'll say, 'Sons, I love you to death, but I will never get on that damn thing.'
"The plane crash scene was like a rollercoaster ride for me. I was in part of a plane attached to a mechanical arm that really jolted me around.
"I was terrified," Neeson says. "I just could tell anyone I was afraid because I'm supposed to be setting an example for the younger guys."
LOSING HIS WIFE NATASHA RICHARDSON AND MOVING ON
In the film, he plans a man who recently lost his beloved wife. Art imitated life since Neeson's wife, actress Natasha Richardson died in 2009 after hitting her head in a skiing accident.
"Let's just say that I had to do very little research," Neeson says of playing the emotional scenes in the movie where he mourns.
"I knew the emotions that had to be accessed," he says. "On the set, we never discussed how real life played into it for me. We just played the scenes of a man whose heart is broken."
"I love that expression, 'How do you make God laugh?'" Neeson says. "You just tell him your plans and then watch as fate takes you in a different direction.
"You think your life is going one way and then suddenly, you're on another track," he says.
His life revolves around their now teen sons, Michael, now 16, and Daniel, 15. He does remember the life lessons taught to him by his wife.
"It's funny, but you get to a time in your life when you think you have all the friends you will ever have," Neeson says. "Then I think of how Tosh would meet someone at a party and suddenly they would become a dear friend.
"I never thought at this stage in my life, I'd be able to meet some of my best friends. I can say that the men on my new movie 'The Grey' have become fantastic friends to me even now that we've stopped filming.
"Tosh would be pleased," he says. "She always told me you should never close doors in your life."
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