Liam Neeson on his role as legendary detective Philip Marlowe in the new Neil Jordan film


Liam Neeson celebrated his 100th film, “Marlowe,” during a special screening Wednesday night at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City.

“How could I have been so lucky? Do moments like that happen? If I were 15 years old and I was in chemistry or math class at school and someone showed me a video of where I am now, I would say, 'I can't believe this,'” Neeson said. diversity“Especially working with Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming and Diane Kruger. It's just a great cast.”

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The neo-noir crime thriller is based on John Banville's novel “The Black-Eyed Blonde” and is about Raymond Chandler's legendary detective Philip Marlowe (Neeson), who is commissioned to find the missing former lover of the heiress Clare Cavendish (Diane Kruger).

Although the private detective had already been played by screen veterans such as Humphrey Bogart, Elliott Gould and Robert Mitchum, Neeson “didn't feel intimidated by those other actors, as great as they were.”

“I grew up in the north of Ireland, on my television screen in our living room, every Sunday afternoon it seemed like there was a film noir on. Someone would show up in a trench coat and a Shelby hat and it would pour with rain,” Neeson said. “I feel like I grew up with that kind of character.”

To prepare for Marlowe, Neeson and director Neil Jordan watched a number of noir films, particularly adaptations of Chandler's works, such as The Dead Men Sleep Tight (1946) and The Goodbye (1973).

“We looked at everything in the noir library, let's put it that way,” Jordan explained. “And I just wanted to make a film that was full of color. I didn't want to make a black and white film, I didn't want to make a film full of shadows, and I didn't even want to get the color palette close to anything that looked like a black and white film.”

Speaking about working with his longtime collaborator Jordan, Neeson recalled a moment he shared with the director on the set of their first film together: the 1988 comedy High Spirits.

“It was a dreary Monday morning at Shepperton Studios in London. Freezing cold, and of course these studios in London – they have no heating, no air conditioning. I was half naked, covered in glittery dust, and we were doing a take. Neil came in and said, 'Liam, could you be funnier?'” he said, laughing. “So his direction has gotten better over the years. I can tell when he comes out from behind the monitor – he's chewing his gum – I know he's going to say something, he's got a note. We have this kind of shorthand language.”

“It's great to have an actor you can actually bounce ideas off of,” Jordan said, teasing their next project together, titled “The Riker's Ghost.”

“Marlowe” is now in cinemas.

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