Liam Neeson Finally Opens Up About Natasha

Grief 'hits me in the middle of the night'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2011 9:02 AM CST
Updated Feb 16, 2011 10:42 AM CST
Liam Neeson Finally Opens Up About Natasha Richardson's Death: Grief 'Hits Me in the Middle of the Night' (Esquire Interview)
In this Oct. 10, 2007 file photo, actors Natasha Richardson, left, and Liam Neeson arrive at the Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice awards at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, file)

Nearly two years after his wife's death, Liam Neeson is finally ready to talk about Natasha Richardson. In Esquire, Tom Chiarella offers a touching account of his interview with Neeson. Highlights:

  • On Neeson's arrival at the hospital after the accident: "I walked into the emergency ... and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me. Not the nurses. The patients. No one. And I've come all this way, and they won't let me see her." Finally, a nurse recognized him and directed him to Richardson's room. "I'll tell you, I was so f***ing grateful—for the first time in I don't know how long—to be recognized. ... So I get there, just in time. And all these young doctors, who look all of eighteen years of age, they tell me the worst. The worst."
  • Why he went back to work right after her death: "I just think I was still in a bit of shock. But it's kind of a no-brainer to go back to that work. It's a wee bit of a blur, but I know the tragedy hadn't just really smacked me yet. I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work."

  • On grief: "It's easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work. That's effective. But that's the weird thing about grief. You can't prepare for it. You think you're gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work. It hits you in the middle of the night—well, it hits me in the middle of the night. I'm out walking. I'm feeling quite content. And it's like suddenly, boom."
  • On his dog: "It's Natasha's dog. A tiny, tiny little poodle. And I don't like walking it. I don't want my picture taken walking in the park with her poodle. Too dramatic, too sad." But when they drive to his upstate farm, "as soon as we're out of the city, she's up in the front seat of the car, up in my lap, and she never leaves my side. She's just a damned good dog. That's why it's a thing for me just now."
  • On his reaction in the wake of the interview: "I started to worry: Why would I tell him that? Why did I speak about the hospital? And then I thought, No, he's a man. This is not some newspaper story. So I wasn't sorry."
Click for the entire article, or click here to read about the woman who might be Neeson's new love. (More Natasha Richardson stories.)

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