It was all for a movie!
After paparazzi pictures of Liam Neeson surfaced earlier this summer, we were left wondering why the Taken actor looked so frighteningly frail. Now, the 63-year-old revealed that he lost 20 pounds for Martin Scorsese’s new film, Silence.
“Martin wanted us all to look a bit more gaunt, which [stars Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield] did as well,” Neeson explained to press at the 4th Annual Los Cabos International Film Festival. “I know Adam went to the extreme. He’s an ex-Marine, and when he’s given an order, he follows it through. He was like something out of Auschwitz.”
Silence follows two 17th century Jesuit priests, played by Driver and Garfield, who face persecution when they travel to Japan. “Martin requires this level of [dedication] and I think it pays off,” Neeson, who looked noticeably healthier stepping out at the festival, explained.
The weight loss wasn’t the only challenge of the film. There was also a 6.1 earthquake in Taiwan that delayed production -- Neeson calls it the “most terrifying moment of my life” -- as well as Scorsese’s demanding directorial habits.
“He require[s] absolute silence on set, like everybody has to stop work when he’s giving a direction or explaining a scene. I mean everybody,” Neeson, who previously worked with the director on Gangs of New York, revealed. “The guy that’s painting 400 yards away has to stop. If he hears one tiny sound, it’s shattered for him, so he commands that respect. He commands that silence, and especially for this film, it was necessary."
Still, Neeson said, “Who’s going to turn down a job with Martin Scorsese?”
Here are six other actors who lost a shocking amount of weight: