Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Liam Neeson fell in love with Natasha Richardson the moment he laid eyes on her.
The actors met while costarring on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's classic play Anna Christie in 1993. "She was a radiant beauty," the Non-Stop actor recalled while speaking to Anderson Cooper on Sunday's 60 Minutes. "Yeah, cascading hair. I remember. There was—that was very, very attractive."
"I'd never had that kind of an explosive chemistry situation with an actor, or actress," Neeson remembered. "She and I were like [Fred] Astaire and [Ginger] Rogers. We had just this wonderful kind of dance, free dance on stage every night, you know?" He said Richardson "cared for everybody. She has—she has a motherly instinct. And she'd make dinners for everyone and just looked after us all."
The two eventually got married and later welcomed sons Micheál and Daniel. Richardson fell and hit her head while skiing in Quebec, Canada, in March 2009. Not long after, the actress died at age 45.
Raising two teenagers on his own isn't always easy, but Neeson says he's doing just fine. "Listen, I'm OK," the 61-year-old Northern Irishman told Cooper. "It could have been a hell of a lot worse."
In fact, he credited U2's Bono with helping to normalize the situation (as much as possible). "Bono is a pal and he came 'round to have a dinner. And I remember he was sitting beside Micheál and, just out of the blue he said, 'What age are you, Micheal?' He said—Micheal said, 'Thirteen.' And he said, 'Yeah, that's the age I was when I lost my mum.' That was it. And it—I—I coulda kissed him for it," Neeson said. "He was saying, 'You know, I lost my mom at this age and I'm doing OK. And you will do OK too.'"
Neeson went back to work just days after Richardson's funeral, and he's made more than 20 movies since her death. Asked how the late Parent Trap star would feel about her husband's success if she were still alive, Neeson replied, "She'd be very chuffed at that. She would—yeah, she would."
"Chuffed is a good thing?" Cooper asked.
"Chuffed's a good thing, yeah," Neeson said. "She'd be..."
"She'd be tickled by it?" the TV journalist offered.
"She'd be tickled," Neeson agreed. "Thank you. Yeah."