Helen Mirren Says Ex Liam Neeson Is 'Amazing' But They Were Not 'Meant To Be'

The two stars dated for years in the early 80s and have remained friends ever since.
Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson during a 2018 appearance on the "Graham Norton Show."
Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson during a 2018 appearance on the "Graham Norton Show."
Matt Crossick - PA Images via Getty Images

Love actually once sprung up between Liam Neeson and Dame Helen Mirren, who dated for years before splitting up (and robbing the rest of us of an action superstar power couple of a certain age).

Dame Helen recently reflected on her past romances in an interview with AARP The Magazine, revealing that she’s made a habit of gifting boyfriends homemade shirts from scratch.

“I did make one for Liam, oddly enough,” she told the outlet. “We loved each other. We were not meant to be together in that way, but we loved each other very, very much. I love him deeply to this day. He’s such an amazing guy.”

The Fast and Furious star shared that she made similar gestures to ex Peter O’Toole and her now-husband director Taylor Hackford, to whom she’s been married for over 25 years.

Helen, 77, and Liam, 70, dated for years in the early 80s after meeting on the set of the 1981 King Arthur fantasy film Excalibur.

Liam has previously shared that he was immediately “very smitten” with Mirren after first seeing her in costume.

“Can you imagine riding horses in shiny suits of armor, having sword fights and stuff, and you’re falling in love with Helen Mirren?” he told CBS back in 2014. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

With Dame Helen’s help, the Irish actor eventually landed an agent, learned how to drive and moved to London, where he lived in her apartment for years and booked roles in various theatre productions.

But the two eventually went their separate ways in 1985, as their careers took precedence over their romance.

“It was difficult for him to be under my shadow,” the Oscar winner said of her relationship in 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.”

Shortly after their split, Dame Helen met her now-husband when he was directing her in the film White Nights. Liam, meanwhile, went on to wed Natasha Richardson. They were married until her unexpected death in 2009.

While Liam and Dame Helen have yet to work together on-screen again, they’ve remained friends and crossed paths over the years. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in 2018, they sweetly reminisced about their relationship.

“We lived together for four years. We were a serious item for a while,” she said on the talk show. “Lucky me!”


What's Hot