Liam Neeson Initially Had Doubts About His Iconic Taken Speech

Liam Neeson reveals why he originally had doubts about his now iconic Taken speech, in which he highlights his “specific set of skills”.

Taken star Liam Neeson reveals that he originally didn’t think his now iconic speech in the beginning of the film was very good. Taken, which was directed by Pierre Morel and co-written by Luc Besson, stars Neeson as ex-CIA officer Bryan Mills, who travels to Paris to save his daughter after she is kidnapped by Albanian sex traffickers. He discovers this has happened because she was on the phone with him at the time, allowing him the opportunity to speak to one of her captors and threaten that he will hunt the villain down using his “particular set of skills.”


Vanity Fair recently sat down with Neeson to discuss his 100th film Marlowe and his career at large. The conversation quickly turned to Taken, and he revealed that he had no sense of how iconic that opening speech would prove to be, but rather he says he thought it was “corny“, though he is happy he was proven wrong. Read his full quote below:

I certainly did sound scary, but I thought it was corny. It was a cornball. I really did feel that. It’s nice to be proven wrong.

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How Neeson Created A Whole Subgenre

Liam Neeson pointing a gun in Taken.

Although Neeson wasn’t quite convinced by his Taken speech, he applied his considerable skills to the role nonetheless. This resulted in the film becoming a smash hit, grossing $226.8 million off a $25 million budget. He then returned to the role of Bryan Mills twice for two Taken sequels, the first being 2012’s Taken 2 and the second being the 2014 trilogy capper Taken 3.

However, the success of his performance didn’t just create a franchise, it created an entire subgenre. After the success of Taken, the “Liam Neeson with a gun” trope was born, giving the star a late-career resurgence in a variety of action titles. A great number of these were directed by Black Adam‘s Jaume Collet-Serra, including 2011’s Unknown, 2014’s Non-Stop, 2015’s Run All Night, and 2018’s The Commuter.

Other titles that featured Neeson in his newfound action hero role included The Grey, Cold Pursuit, Blacklight, and the upcoming Retribution. Movie theaters were so inundated with these titles that they even spawned their own parody film, 2015’s Tooken starring Oz and The Purge‘s Lee Tergesen. None of this would have happened without Taken, so Neeson is lucky he cast aside his doubts when he first read the script.

More: Liam Neeson Is Right To Avoid A Qui-Gon Show (But One SHOULD Still Happen)Source: Vanity Fair

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