Actor Liam Neeson has opened up about a violent memory that still sticks with him to this day. The actor discussed his new action film 'Memory,' in which he plays an aged hitman suffering from dementia, in a new cover story for AARP The Magazine's April/May 2022 edition. Neeson discussed his own experiences, including one from his upbringing that he found painful.
According to a report by People, the actor said, "When I was growing up, in these little terrace houses, I remember hearing our neighbor next door being beat up by her drunken husband every weekend," he recalled. "He's dead now, but that's a memory I am still coming to terms with. I'm talking 50 years ago. It's kind of a post-traumatic stress disorder."
"I don't know if it has scarred me, but it has definitely formed something of my character," said Neeson, 69. "Maybe you're right — maybe even when I play these violent roles, I'm trying to bring some quality of redemption or justice."
Neeson also commented on growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, experiencing violence in Belfast at the time.
"This past January was the 50th anniversary of what is known as Bloody Sunday, when British paratroopers murdered 13 of our people in the streets of Derry, in the north of Ireland," he explained. "And I remember the next day, when everything was incredibly quiet and very, very sinister. I lived in Belfast during a lot of that. And I think back on it now. Why did I survive that?"
To preparation for his Memory role, Neeson told AARP The Magazine that he studied "quite a bit of research on Alzheimer's"
"My elder sister, she has a very close pal who is suffering from dementia, and he cannot remember stuff from 5, 10, 15 minutes ago. So, in Memory, I work in little bits of stammering or clumsiness that grab people in the audience who know someone who's suffering from it, from dementia or Alzheimer's," he explained. "But I wanted to keep it very, very subtle, because it could become jokey if I overdid the dementia."
He added, "This film is supposed to be a piece of entertainment, so hopefully there's a few thrills and spills. But there is a deeper story to be told."
Memory is slated to release in theaters on April 29.