Natasha Richardson's Son Says He Hasn't 'Fully Comprehended' His Mother's 2009 Death
By Paige Gawley
Micheál Richardson is opening up about his mother's unexpected death. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the 25-year-old son of Liam Neeson and the late Natasha Richardson admits that his mom's death is still hard to wrap his head around. Natasha died in 2009 from a brain hemorrhage following a skiing accident.
"I think the pain was a little too overwhelming," he says of his feelings at the time of his mom's death when he was 13. "I think the mind is very powerful, and subconsciously, or unconsciously, it can protect you. That’s what it did when she passed. I just pushed it aside and didn’t want to deal with it."
"I don’t, even still, think that I’ve fully comprehended it, and that seems to be a similar journey to a lot of people I’ve spoken to," he continues. "Fifty-year-olds who lost their parents when they were 12, 13... One day they’re out gardening, and something comes over them and they just break down."
Micheál is thankful for his mother's chosen career, largely because it means she's immortalized on film.
"Just based off of who she is and how I remember her, it has to be The Parent Trap," Micheál says of his favorite of his mom's roles. "That’s more or less what she was like. She was this sweet, amazing mother figure, my best friend."
"She had these amazing, big welcomes when we’d come home or she would come home," he continues. "... I’m so lucky because I have her captured on film."
Since his mother's passing, Micheál has made it a point to honor her; first by changing his last name to Richardson back in 2018, and again by following in her acting footsteps.
"I think as I get older, keeping my mom more in mind and doing things to honor her allows me to remember her and to go through the grief, and properly heal," he says.
In 2017, Liam told ET that he "tried to talk" Micheál out of pursuing an acting career.
"The profession is all about rejection, you know?" he said at the time. "You go out for this part and you're rejected -- and you're not rejected because of your education, you're rejected because of this [motions to his whole body]. The space you occupy. You're too tall. You're too Irish. Your nose is too broken. You're too this, you're too that. So, you want to save your kids from all that."
Despite his dad's warnings, Micheál continued with his acting pursuits, playing Liam's onscreen son in 2019's Cold Pursuit and starring alongside his dad once again in the upcoming flick Made in Italy, which is due out next month. The film, Micheál tells Vanity Fair, has many similarities to his own life, as it follows a father and son struggling to deal with the unexpected death of their wife and mother, respectively.
"He had this look in his eye. He was like, 'I want you to read this.' He didn’t say anything else," Micheál recalls of his dad. "The parallels were so apparent that it felt like my mom, in a spiritual sense, had a hand in it."