"I still have to be careful," he said, before the phone crackled loud enough that I had to pull it away from my ear. He told me a story about that interview, about his son, who was at the game with him. I forgot to ask him whether he was on a small plane or not. I told him that I didn't think the IRA would receive mention in the piece. Then I told him I'd seen him on TV during halftime at the Knicks — Heat game, that he looked good, that he looked happy. During that dinner, my brother texted me: "Your boy Liam Neeson is being interviewed at the Knicks game." So I excused myself and went to the bar for a look. "I can't even remember some of these." Forgetting, he tells me, is rapidly becoming one of his problems. M., but I get there at , a little worried about a mix-up or a cancellation. To pass the time, I take out my pad, draw a schematic of the first house my parents bought: Westminster Road, Rochester, New York. "I have to make it my job to be careful with my family."He didn't thank me. Two weeks before, after our interview at the restaurant was over, Liam Neeson took his fourteen-year-old son to the Knicks — Heat game at Madison Square Garden, Le Bron James's first game in New York since moving to Miami. At the same time, I was having dinner with my son and his friend at a lousy little sushi place on Twenty-third Street. Just two days before that, Liam Neeson called from the Caribbean, at the end of a holiday. "I don't know if you'll even remember what I'm worried about."Neeson was concerned that we had discussed the politics of his native Northern Ireland. "I always forget," he told me, "that I can still make it hard for my family there by saying something stupid in the press." Then he asked to reword one point — to change one word.
Even though the historic library usually strictly forbids bringing flames into the library for any reason, they made an exception for 4.He said, "I remember you told me that story about your accident, and that was pretty hard for you. It's not that he can't make eye contact, because he can, and he does, but he reserves looking directly at you, as if the distance marauds him in particular. This is why he played so well that stern, top-dog Greek god in and how in a little over three decades, he's played every type of epic ass-kicker from Gawain to Valjean, Oskar Schindler to Michael Collins. He agreed to it once before, a year and a half ago, more, canceling at the last moment. In these moments his eyes look empty and sad, but I'd be a damned liar if I didn't say that I at least considered the fact that the guy is an actor, that I'd been watching these eyes for thirty years now — sad eyes — and that I recognized that no one gives that kicked-in-the-head-by-fate look better than Liam Neeson. All I can see at the moment is that it really is going on. He is a man in deep need of a timely terminal exhale to punctuate this story, to separate himself from the next thing he says, now thrice repeated. The recent past scares him, which is why, right up to the moment he starts to tell the following story, he's a little hazy, a smidge reluctant to detail his memories. I should have just slammed on the brakes, put the thing up on its stand, and quit. I took off my jacket, and I sat there listening to this deer making this awful sound. This man on a truck, full of muck, stopped and called the authorities. "And for some reason, I thought the hospital that I was in a taxi racing toward was gonna be a nice little hospital, about twice the size of this restaurant. A Dickensian place, Tom."I walked into the emergency — it's like seventy, eighty people, broken arms, black eyes, all that — and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me. "The worst." This is the point where he stops again. You It's like you've just done that in your chest." Here Neeson reaches out and twists both hands in opposite directions, like he's corkscrewing two ends of a soda can, reaches toward me so it's clear: This is in his chest. Just as he lowers his hand, a besweatered family approaches and greets him. This is his wife's family: one of Lynn Redgrave's daughters. I remember that you made me draw that picture of my house, and I remember that we talked about Natasha. It's the face that's still allowing him to stack up movies years ahead of time, with roles and reprises, stretching well into the coming decade. Whether or not I believed the depth of what's going on for him is irrelevant. This time, he comes out of the silence with a slight grin. And we're all over that farm, this little poodle and me. "That's why it's a thing for me just now." One hour earlier, he tells the story of a motorcycle accident he lived through in 2000. That's how it is, right up until he says: My peripheral vision sees this grassy verge with trees, and I'm wanting to pull over. And I was laughing and I was crying, and I looked down at this leg, and it was getting bigger, my jeans were getting tighter, so I knew I'd done something. They got me to a local hospital, and I got this gorgeous shot of morphine. My local doctor arranged for transfer to Lenox Hill Hospital in the city, and when I got there, they had called my wife. He blinks back tears, takes a long look at the table across from us, where members of Natasha Richardson's extended family are, coincidentally, having lunch in this same restaurant. That's when I tell him something horrible that happened to me. "I just think I was still in a bit of shock," he says. He shakes his head at the thought of this one thing, this single hideous bead on the necklace of his life. The casting team held auditions at elementary schools all across Britain to find their Hermione, but when they got to Emma's school, she had no desire to audition (even though everyone else at school did).The producers tried to give Daniel Radcliffe green eyes and Hermione buck teeth like in the books, but failed.