Hollywood’s Most Unassuming Bad-Ass: Liam Neeson

When you think of the typical Hollywood bad-ass, you probably think of guys like Arnold, Stallone, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

More likely than not, you probably don’t place Liam Neeson in that category.

However, after checking out the recent trailer for his upcoming film The Grey, he definitely belongs in that category.

In case you missed it, that clip ends with Liam Neeson taking on a wolf. Head on.

However, Liam Neeson has been a bad-ass for almost his entire career. Sure, he may be known for serious bio-epic films, but he’s shown time and time again that he can hold his on. Here’s a look at eleven performances from the Irish actor that prove he’s one of Hollywood’s leading tough guys.

Excalibur (1981)

Neeson’s career was launched with a minor role of Gawain in this retelling of King Arthur. Gawain is not only a Knight of the Round Table, but also Arthur’s nephew, who has been described as a formidable but brash warrior.

Krull (1983)

Another early role for Neeson was that of Kegan, a convict who joins the battle against an invader known as “The Beast”.

Next of Kin (1989)

Neeson plays Briar Gates, a Kentucky native, who goes after mobsters in Chicago after they kill his brother.

Darkman (1990)

In one of his first leading roles, Neeson plays the role of scientist Peyton Westlake, who is attacked and left for dead by mobsters. He becomes the superhero Darkman. Director Sam Raimi said that he was looking for “a monster with the soul of a man, and I needed an actor who could do that beneath a lot of makeup,” which would be Neeson, of course.

Rob Roy (1995)

Neeson portrays the 18th Century Scottish folk hero and outlaw Robert Roy MacGregor. While the film may not be 100% accurate, Neeson is one dude that you don’t want to cross paths with.

Michael Collins (1996)

If you’re Irish, then you know that Michael Collins was one of the baddest men ever. So, it took one bad dude to portray him.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Yes. We all know that this was one of the biggest letdowns in all of movie history, but that doesn’t change the fact that Qui-Gon Jinn was not only a Jedi Master, but the dude that mentored Obi-Wan. For arguments sake, let’s just forget about the whole discovering Anakin part.

Batman Begins (2005)

Not only does Liam Neeson’s character mentor Bruce Wayne, he also turns out to be the villain Ra’s Al Ghul, who wants to destroy Gotham City. Bonus bad-ass points for slapping Christian Bale around a bit.

Taken (2008)

Basically, Liam Neeson goes to France, beats up and kills a bunch of people, and rescues his daughter. It doesn’t get anymore bad-ass than that.

The A-Team (2010)

While this movie was probably unnecessary, and not that great, not any actor could portray “Hannibal” Smith. It had to be a serious tough guy.

Unknown (2011)

Again, Liam Neeson uses his particular set of skills to wreck havoc in Europe, this time Germany, to find some answers.

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