Helen Mirren has opened up with some new revelations about her decades-ago romance with Liam Neeson.
“We were not meant to be together in that way, but we loved each other very, very much,” she told AARP Magazine about the “Taken” star. “I love him deeply to this day. He’s such an amazing guy.”
Mirren, 77, and Neeson, 70, were an item from 1980 to 1985, having met on the 1981 film “Excalibur.” While appearing on “Inside the Actors Studio” in 2012, Neeson told host James Lipton that Mirren was instrumental to him getting an agent. In a 2018 joint appearance on “The Graham Norton Show,” Mirren said, “We didn’t date, we lived together for four years — we were a serious item for a while. Lucky me!”
Neeson also said that when they were together, they met Muhammad Ali, who flirted with Mirren. “I guess I should have been annoyed. But all I could think was, ‘Wow, Muhammad Ali is trying to pull my girl. How cool is that!’ ” he said.
The couple split because “it was difficult for him to be under my shadow,” Mirren told the New York Times. “I was well known; I had the money … I had a sense from Liam that it was time for him to come out from under my wing. He handled it with great elegance and grace. We loved each other. It was difficult to let go.”
Since 1997, Mirren has been married to director Taylor Hackford, 77, while Neeson married the late Natasha Richardson in 1994.
Mirren is currently set to star in “1923,” a spinoff series to “Yellowstone,” premiering Dec. 18 on Paramount+, while Neeson has several action movies coming up, including “In the Land of Saints and Sinners” and “Thug.”
The Oscar-winning actress admitted that she has a hobby she’s not the best at that she roped Neeson into while the two were together.
“I make clothes myself, extremely badly, and then I hardly ever wear them because they’re so awful,” she said. But I like the process of making them … I went through a phase of making men’s shirts. All my boyfriends had to have a shirt made by me.”
That group includes her current husband, the late Peter O’Toole, and Neeson.
“I did make one for Liam, oddly enough,” she confessed.