Liam Neeson returns in Non-Stop, an action suspense film that takes place on a flight from New York to London. Co-starring the always-watchable Julianne Moore, the movie finds Neeson once again in butt-kicking mode and for both actors the subject matter—about a murder in a flight—ties into fears that almost everyone has about flying.
“Obviously whenever you construct entertainment, thrillers, horror movies, anything that’s supposed to give us kind of a scare, they’re all based in our natural worries,” said Moore. “You just take them and exaggerate them. In this case, you take something sort of routine…and you play on that fear. What I like so much about this particular script and the handling of it, is that he takes rather ordinary circumstances and turns it into a Hitchcockian event. It becomes kind of classic entertainment.”
Neeson also alluded to how attitudes about the films’ subject matter have changed in recent years.
“We all know the nightmares of airports nowadays,” added Neeson. “It’s playing on those fears. But it’s entertainment. A lot of the journalists in Europe were asking about September 11th and I just said ‘Aw geeeez.’ With that being said, I don’t think the film could’ve been made a few years ago. It would’ve been totally insensitive. But it’s a backdrop.”
With his turn as a bonafide action hero in such popular films as Taken and The A-Team, Neeson says that he’s picked up some fighting skills in recent years. But he admits that a lot of it fades from memory as soon as the film wraps.
“I’ve done a little,” Neeson said regarding fight training. “Mongrel versions of different fight stuff for years—depending on the action in a film. In this one, we didn’t want to adopt martial arts. That’s so corny. Whatever physical altercations happened on the plane, we wanted to make them real. I worked closely with a Special Forces guy who trained air marshals based on the stuff he would do in very close combat situations. We tried to keep it real and exciting, of course.”
But he says don’t ask him to try any moves.
“It’s like studying for an exam. You cram and you forget it,” he explains. “Except lightsabers—I still know that (laughs).”
And how would Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore handle a life-or-death situation in their real lives?
“I’d run screaming from the room!” exclaims Moore.
“What could you do? I don’t know,” said Neeson, practically. “Thankfully, I’ve never been in that situation. You’d like to think you’d be heroic, but who knows? I’m a pacifist!”