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30th Mar 2022

Liam Neeson says he has “kind of a post-traumatic stress disorder” from childhood memory

Laura Grainger

“It has definitely formed something of my character.”

*Content warning: This article contains references to domestic violence.*

Liam Neeson has revealed he is “still coming to terms” with violent memories from his Northern Irish childhood.

Speaking to AARP about his new movie Memory, in which he plays a hitman struggling with dementia, the actor reflected on real-life memories that have had an impact on him.

In the interview, he recalled moments from his childhood in Ballymena, Co Antrim, during which he’d hear domestic violence taking place next door.

“When I was growing up, in these little terrace houses, I remember hearing our neighbour next door being beat up by her drunken husband every weekend,” he told the publication.

“He’s dead now, but that’s a memory I am still coming to terms with. I’m talking 50 years ago. It’s kind of a post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The actor also reflected on the violence he was witness to whilst growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

“This past January was the 50th anniversary of what is known as Bloody Sunday, when British paratroopers murdered 13 of our people in the streets of Derry, in the north of Ireland,” he continued. “And I remember the next day, when everything was incredibly quiet and very, very sinister.

“I lived in Belfast during a lot of that. And I think back on it now. Why did I survive that?”

Liam went on to ponder the possibility that he takes the brutality of such memories with him into the characters he plays, which often include vengeful action protagonists.

“I don’t know if it has scarred me, but it has definitely formed something of my character,” he said. “Maybe even when I play these violent roles, I’m trying to bring some quality of redemption or justice.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact Women’s Aid at 1800 341 900.