BIFA contenders a study in diversity | Beefed up at BIFA
The Variety Award: Liam Neeson:
Beloved big man | Neeson’s ‘To Do’ list overflows | Lean on Liam

Oliver Hirschbiegel
Director, “Five Minutes of Heaven”

“He’s just a wonderful person, an exceptional, outstanding artist. He has a quality only a few have, which is that the audience will forgive him anything. He comes with a calm, unaffected ease, combined with an effortless precision, which I only saw before in Robert Mitchum. He’s always spot on. He’s a very deep and grounded personality, if I compare him with many other actors I’ve worked with. Actors have a very difficult job. Lots of them are like floating birds; they need a strong shoulder to lean on. But Liam is like that big brother you always wanted but never had.”

Eoin Callaghan
Producer, “Five Minutes of Heaven” (also acted alongside Neeson at Belfast’s Lyric Theater)

“Liam is a bloke of extraordinary integrity. He’s got a great solidity about himself. It’s no coincidence that he gets those roles where the camera lingers on the face of a man with a lot going on behind the eyes.

“He was someone who had to get out of Belfast, but also someone who has never really left it. He retains a real feeling and tenderness for that place. He’s a big man in every sense of the word, and he needed the opportunity to go onto other things.”

Stephen Woolley
Producer, “High Spirits,” “The Big Man,” “Michael Collins” and “Breakfast on Pluto”

“Liam is just the perfect actor for a producer, because he rarely complains. And if he ever does, he does it in such a nice way that you do whatever he wants. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who wasn’t charmed by him and taken by his warmth.

“Liam’s attributes are similar to his characterization of Michael Collins. He’s charismatic and charming and at the same time forceful, with backbone. Behind the geniality, the class, the good looks and the gentleness, there’s someone with determination and resolution and stubbornness.”