Liam Neeson, 68, and Helen Mirren, 75, were together for almost four years in the 1980s after meeting on the film "Excalibur".
Some exes remain cordial, and even become friends, after they break up. That can happen only when the split was amicable. Former couples are able to stay friends if both partners are mature people who understand that they are no longer able to fulfill each other's needs. Liam Neeson, 68, and Helen Mirren, 75, were one such couple.
Once, the age difference between Mirren and Neeson may have seemed a big one but it no longer matters as they have likely had similar professional experiences and fame. When they met, Neeson was about 29 and Mirren around 36. The year was 1980 and Mirren was already a star. They were co-stars in the 1981 film Excalibur.
The pair met again on The Graham Norton Show several decades later in 2018, where they opened up about their shared history. "We didn’t date, we lived together for four years – we were a serious item for a while," said Mirren, as per The Sun UK. They were together sometime between 1980 to 1985.
For Neeson, it was love at first sight, he revealed. "I remember being on the set and standing with Ciarán Hinds as Helen walked towards us dressed in her full Morgana Le Fey costume and we both went, ‘Oh f***. I was smitten. I think Ciarán was too but I was very smitten!" he said.
The 75-year-old actress said, "I never knew that. You’ve never told me that before – it’s amazing."
Previously, the Woman in Gold actress has talked about how her favorite holidays were "camping with Liam." Daily Mail quoted The Good Liar star as saying, "We went camping in this tiny little tent, the size of this table, and we drove there in this tiny little car. Liam is like 6 ft 4in, his head was touching the top, and he was driving like this (making a slouched body shape). We camped in this tiny little tent. It rained all day, every day. We were camping in Cornwall, then we went camping in France. I like camping." She added, "Well, I like camping with Liam Neesom anyways, and my husband (Taylor Hackford)."
The Eye in the Sky actress has also talked about how she helped him become a big star. She inspired him to move to London and helped him get an agent. We can credit her for his talent getting noticed. "It was difficult for him to be under my shadow," she told The New York Times. "I was well known; I had the money," she added. However, she soon "had a sense from Liam that it was time for him to come out from under my wing.” After almost five years together, they decided to go separate ways. "He handled it with great elegance and grace. We loved each other. It was difficult to let go," Mirren continued.
However, that doesn't mean that they didn't have fun together. Neeson, a boxing fan and an accomplished amateur fighter, once revealed how Muhammad Ali tried to steal Mirren from him. In the early 1980s, the boxing star flirted with the Some Mother's Son actress.
"When he shook my hand my knees literally went weak and, feeling shy and intimidated, and also knowing I could never be in his company again, I blurted out: 'I love you, Muhammad,'" he told the Belfast Telegraph. "He signed his name for my dad and proceeded to flirt with Helen in such an overt way that 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 added.
They still have lovely memories of each other even though they moved on soon after. Mirren is still married to Hackford while Neeson's wife Natasha Richardson passed away in 2009 after an accident.