In a new interview with Esquire that will surely make you cry, Liam Neeson opens up about the tragic death of wife Natasha Richardson and tries to explain how he’s coping.
“I walked into the emergency — it’s like seventy, eighty people, broken arms, black eyes, all that — 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,” Liam tells Esquire in the new March issue about his actions after Natasha’s skiing accident. “And I’m looking past them, starting to push — I’m like, F**k, I know my wife’s back there someplace.”
“I pull out a cell phone — and a security guard comes up, starts saying, ‘Sorry, sir, you can’t use that in here,’ and I’m about to ask him if he knew me, when he disappears to answer a phone call or something. So I went outside,” he explains. “It’s freezing cold, and I thought, What am I gonna do? How am I going to get past the security?”
“And I see two nurses, ladies, having a cigarette. I walk up, and luckily one of them recognizes me,” he continues. “And I’ll tell you, I was so fucking grateful — for the first time in I don’t know how long — to be recognized. And this one, she says, ‘Go in that back door there.’ She points me to it. ‘Make a left. She’s in a room there.’ 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.”
Natasha passed away after suffering a minor fall during a skiing lesson, while Liam was filming Chloe in Toronto.
“I think I survived by running away some. Running away to work,” Liam explains. “Listen, I know how old I am and that I’m just a shoulder injury from losing roles like the one in Taken. So I stay with the training, I stay with the work. 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.”
But Liam can’t run away from the pain all the time.
“It hits you in the middle of the night — well, it hits me in the middle of the night,” he says. “I’m out walking. I’m feeling quite content. And it’s like suddenly, boom.”
“It’s like you’ve just done that in your chest.”