Liam Neeson says Irish actors ‘leave egos at the door’ when making movies

Neeson’s new film In the Land of Saints of Sinners stars Colm Meaney, Ciarán Hinds and Kerry Condon

Liam Neeson arrives at the UK premiere of "Marlowe" at Vue West End on March 16, 2023 in London, England


Liam Neeson praised how efficiently Irish actors work when discussing his new film In the Land of Saints and Sinners. The Co Antrim native said that he and his co-stars left their ‘egos at the door’ and were always on time when shooting the thriller, which doesn’t always happen in Hollywood.

“We all leave our egos at the door. When you’re called to the set, you go. You don’t wait half an hour or 40 minutes like some actors and actresses do,” Neeson told The Hollywood Reporter.

“Colm [Meaney], I’ve known for 40 years, and Ciarán [Hinds], 50 years. We’re there to shoot the film, tell the story. Egos are left at the door and we get on with it.”


Oscar nominee Kerry Condon and Jack Gleeson also star alongside Neeson, Hinds and Meaney in the film. Directed by Robert Lorenz, In the Land of Saints and Sinners follows the story of a former assassin named Finbar Murphy (Neeson) who lives in a quiet village in Co Donegal.

Condon plays an IRA leader named Doireann whose gang of terrorists seek refuge in the remote town and traumatize its people, propelling Neeson’s character back into action. Neeson described it as a “modern-day Western set up in the northwest of Ireland”.

The film is based during The Troubles in the 1970s, when Neeson was attending college in Belfast. Remembering that time, he said: “It was bad. You could hear bombs going off, drive-by shootings and stuff. It was a very, very nasty, horrible time for everybody.

Actors Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds attend the reception for the premiere of "There Will Be Blood" presented by Paramount Vantage at Brasserie 8 1/2 on December 10, 2007 in New York City

“So, it’s interesting to do a film like this, which is entertainment and yet it’s based on a reality that happened. We didn’t bloat on it when we were shooting, but we all just got it.”

The 71-year-old said: “When I tell my American pals about growing up in the north of Ireland where we were surrounded by violence, military violence, para-military violence and the constant news about The Troubles, I guess that leads to a certain amount of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I don’t feel it, but there had to be something. Maybe that gets released in some way with a film like Saints and Sinners.”

In the Lands of Saints and Sinners premiered at the Venice Film Festival last fall and will be released in US theaters on March 29. Netflix bought the film’s distribution rights in the UK and Ireland and will release it online on April 26.


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