By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
Liam Neeson is a man of few words, like his badass characters. He discussed The A-Team with the concise precision of his characters. He plays Hannibal Smith in the big summer blockbuster version of the old TV series.
Liam Neeson Leads The A-Team
“Every explosion was rooted in genuine story and text, a very complicated plot,” Neeson said. “That’s why it’s different. It’s not just an explosion for the sake of having an explosion. It’s very integral. Every explosion was integral to the plot of the story.”
Neeson goes gray to play Hannibal, which was less of an homage to TV’s George Peppard and more an homage to a movie icon. “I’m a huge Lee Marvin fan. I basically wrapped my character around a vague impression of Lee Marvin. That’s what I wanted to do. Of Dirty Dozen fame which I watched maybe 10 times.”
Taken brought Neeson to everyone’s attention as an action hero, but he’s been doing it since Darkman, also appearing in Star Wars: Episode 1, Kingdom of Heaven and Batman Begins.
“I’m fairly comfortable in fight sequences and stuff like that. I’ve done a few of them. I’m comfortable with that sort of stuff as long as I’m reasonably fit and it’s fun to do actually. I’m like a kid in a toy shop doing that stuff.”
That’s not to say it’s easy. The A-Team challenged Neeson’s body. “I tore my rotator cuff in the first week just bursting through the van on the opening sequence coming to save Bradley’s character. So I had a dead arm for like the months. It was awfully painful, but the guys rallied around. I don’t think you’d notice.”