“I loved Melbourne. I loved our Australian crew, they are fantastic workers. Every department was superb. They were their own people, do you know what I mean? They had a great sense of humor,” the Oscar nominee, 65, told Sunrise hosts David Koch and Natalie Barr on Tuesday, February 8, about shooting the movie in 2020.
He continued on the Australian morning show: “I made a couple of pals. … I fell in love, but she was taken.”
While Neeson didn’t offer any further details about the woman in question, he was happy to gush about his time Down Under, explaining that he was required to quarantine in a “good hotel,” where he was gifted Irish bread and scones during his stay amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I knew there was two weeks of lockdown [in] Sydney, which I thoroughly enjoyed,” the Taken star said.
Neeson’s missed connection is one of the few times that he has spoken about his love life since the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson, in 2009. The pair were married for 15 years and welcome sons Micheál and Daniel in 1995 and 1996, respectively.
“[Her death] was never real. It still kind of isn’t,” the Schindler’s List actor told Anderson Cooper in February 2014. “There’s periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years … anytime I hear that door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her.”
Richardson died at the age of 45 after suffering a head injury following a ski accident in Montreal, Canada. “She was on life support. … I went in to her and I told her I loved her. [I] said, ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this, you’ve banged your head,'” Neeson recalled about seeing the Maid in Manhattan actress in the hospital. “She and I had made a pact, if any of us got into a vegetative state that we’d pull the plug. … That was my immediate thought. … ‘OK, these tubes have to go. She’s gone.'”
The Love, Actually star added that he was still experiencing grief years later, saying, “You just get this profound feeling of instability. … The Earth isn’t stable anymore and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes.”
More than a decade after her death, Richardson’s romance with the Star Wars actor is still fondly remembered by the couple’s friends and loved ones, including Elaine Hendrix, who starred alongside the British actress in The Parent Trap.
“I just remember in real life, thinking how elegant Natasha was and how she literally would swoon when she talked about Liam Neeson and when she talked about her children,” Hendrix, 51, told Us Weekly exclusively in July 2021. “She would get all dreamy and we would all go, ‘Oh.’ Like, we all just basked in her love and adoration for him and her family, which made what happened just all the more tragic.”