With the release of "Taken 2," Liam Neeson's reputation as a badass, take-no-prisoners action star has reached fever pitch. At 60-years-old, the 6-foot-4 former amateur boxing champ from Northern Ireland has re-branded himself as Hollywood's go-to hero of a certain age, starring in films like "The A-Team," "The Grey" and "Clash of the Titans."
Though Neeson himself has been reluctant to play up his newfound status as a hellraiser ("I'm hardly the Terminator," he said recently), it's hard to deny that the actor has cornered the market on kicking ass and taking names. With that in mind, here's a heavy dose of Neeson from around the internet this week.
"Liam Neeson: The Musical"
"When your daughter has been taken and you’ve got to track her down, it’s Neeson season."
American composers and lyricists Jon and Al Kaplan brought us "Liam Neeson: The Musical," a two-minute ode to Neeson's prolific career as an ultra-masculine but secretly sensitive tough guy with a problem to solve. Whether it's wolves, snow, abductors or confusing CGI characters, Neeson's seen it all.
Liam Neeson disrobes on "Ellen"
Neeson strutted onto Ellen DeGeneres' talk show October 1 wearing a fluffy pink bathrobe, gold cross and flip-flops for a round in Ellen's Breast Cancer Awareness dunk tank. The "Taken 2" star even volunteered to remove his robe, revealing hot pink briefs underneath. Neeson raised $20,000 for his services.
Liam Neeson, with help from Ethan Hawke, reenacts a scene from "Real Housewives of New Jersey."
It's hard to believe that Serious Actors Neeson and Hawke agreed to appear on "Watch What Happens," Andy Cohen's late-night celebration of lowbrow pop culture. But both stars seemed happy to play along with Cohen's reality show reenactment bit. Hawke played Caroline Manzo while Neeson donned a long, black wig to portray Terese Giudice in an over-the-top scene from a "Real Housewives" reunion special.
Liam Neeson curses on ESPN
Moving from reality TV to sports, Neeson put in some time on ESPN's "SportsCenter" for a delightfully awkward live interview about his film and American football, a subject the Northern Ireland-born star obviously knows nothing about.
When anchor Mike Hill opened the session with a question about the New York Jets, Neeson looked visibly stumped, saying "OK, we'd better start again, can we?"
After Hill mentions that they're live on air, Neeson responds "Oh, sh**."
Liam Neeson "Ass-Kicking Infographic"
To "prep you for [the] second dose of focused rage" that is "Taken 2," Complex.com made a fascinating and completely necessary infographic dedicated to Neeson's "Ass-Kicking" from 2008's "Taken." It breaks down his character's "confirmed kills," "villains interrogated" and weapons he "was too badass to be killed with."
Liam Neeson admits to punching a knife-wielding student
On ESPN's "Dan Le Batart Is Highly Questionable" show, Neeson, a former teacher, admitted to defending himself against a teenager with a knife.
A kid pulled a knife on me once, during teacher training. He was a big guy too, he was about 15 years of age. So I had to punch him, you know? And then I was reprimanded for hitting the kid.
This particular kid, he didn’t want to settle down, he wanted to disrupt the whole class, you know? So I went over to him and I asked him to leave the classroom, and the next thing, he pulled a knife on me. And my immediate reaction was to punch him. Which I shouldn’t have done, but I felt threatened, so I punched him.