The NarniaWeb Interviews: Liam Neeson

Posted December 28, 2010 9:33 am by Tirian

During the press junket in London I had the opportunity to interview Douglas Gresham, Georgie and Will, and Liam Neeson.

I asked Liam Neeson about his preparations for voicing the role of Aslan, whether he spent any time on set and about his favorite scene in the film. He’s a very interesting man:

102 Comments For This Story

  • WarriorOfNarnia says:

    Yah!!!!

  • _Lilliandil_ says:

    He has an amazing voice. Perfect for Aslan, really deep and warm but still radiant. He does SOOOO great. He seems so peaceful-minded. Does he have a slightly Irish accent? Why didn’t he just go to the zoo to see lions? I guess people like that like to do everything in a big way. The end is also my fave part of movie.

    • adamie says:

      Well, I guess lions in the zoo aren’t as lion-like. They’re in captivity, you know. I think it’s a completely different thing seeing them in their natural habitat.

      • _Lilliandil_ says:

        yes you’re probably right. Personelly, I would not go all the way to Africa to see lions so I can do my lines well, but I guess that’s why i’m not world famous. Haybe he is so good because he does EVERYTHING so well. Hm… that’s a though.

      • Lady of the Green Kirtle says:

        Also, lions are mostly nocturnal, and since most zoos are only open during the day the only thing you’re going to see them do there is sleep.

      • DOECOG says:

        Because Aslan isn’t a tame lion. 🙂 The ones at the zoo are still dangerous, but their behavior would be affected by captivity.

    • coracle says:

      Yes, he is Irish.

      • _Lillinadil_ says:

        ah I thought so. thanks. :)He doesn’t sound irish in the movie, he must be good at disguising his accent.

    • Ashley says:

      Yes, a slight Irish accent. As he mentions, he’s from Belfast. I think he drops the Irish sound from the Aslan portrayals and from a lot of his work–I’ve read that part of the reason they felt he was perfect for the part of Aslan is because he does an indeterminate accent, that doesn’t really sound either British or American.

    • High Queene Shelly Belly says:

      I bet it’s a tax right off to go to africa for "role research" since his profession is professional actor. So why not go to africa instead of the zoo? Right on, Liam!

  • Komali says:

    His voice really is perfect for Aslan!!
    He is great in Star Wars too!!

  • Queen Elizabeth says:

    I love Liam Neeson! My favorite film he is in is (VDT of course) and Les Miserables. He does a really good job, capturing the voice of Aslan, I can’t imagine Aslan any other way. Think of it… Aslan with a high pitched voice? EW! That would ruin the franchise lol

  • Queen Su says:

    I like how his son turned him on to the books…that’s great! 🙂

    • yeswelovenarnia says:

      Same thing happened with Viggo Mortenson when he played Aragorn in Lord of the Rings (diff book of course 😉

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        Yep, I like that. I read Lord of the Rings back in May, and I told my dad to read them, and he did, and he loved them! Dads can get their hands on some good books if they listen to their kids! 😀 When I read LOTR, I realized just how wonderful of a job Peter Jackson did on the movies. That was a monumental and risky undertaking, but it sure paid off!

      • yeswelovenarnia says:

        Totally!! And I love the books too :):)

  • yeswelovenarnia says:

    If we had any other person voicing Aslan then it would be a disaster! I love him as Aslan! So perfect :):)

  • Bob says:

    Gosh I wonder how he’s coping without his wife. Seems like ages ago that she died but I still remember seeing her at the Prince Caspian premiere.

  • wannawork4Weta says:

    I loved watching this clip. Thanks for writing out the questions instead of cutting to the person giving the interview.

  • Edmund's Queen says:

    Wonderful! He seems so serene; the perfect Aslan. I remember when I saw LWW in theaters years ago, I thought, "Aslan is magnificent! Just like I imagined him!" And he is. Liam’s voice and the physical stature of the lion blend perfectly into Aslan.
    The Aslan in the BBC Narnia is really lame, if you ask me. There really wasn’t enough technology stuff back then.

    • Gem says:

      I know, rather hilarious if you compare it to today’s Aslan. And yes the technology was so bad. Reepicheep was a man dressed in a costume for heaven’s sake! I chuckle every time I think about it.

      • coracle says:

        Not bad technology, just that digital inventions of the 90s were not yet invented. Your parents or grandparents can tell you it was standard to have someone dressed up as a character (or sometimes done a puppet)for such things in plays or kids’ tv.

      • Gem says:

        Yes it is bad technology, compared to what we have today. I know that back then it was the norm, we all know that!! But what we were saying, or at least I, was their technology back that is laughable COMPARED to today’s.

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        I’ve only seen clips on you tube of the BBC version, but the Puddleglum I saw was pathetic. He was way to bulky. And no offense to the girl who played Lucy, but she was a bit chubby and not very pretty. The technology may’ve been the best they could do, but I would’ve thought they could get better actors. It makes me very thankful for the Disney/20th Century Fox Narnia movies; they’re so amazing!

    • Laura Elizabeth says:

      Why does everyone have to always pick on the BBC version? Even if Aslan was a puppet, his voice really outdid Neeson’s. And I’ve always loved the Reepicheep of the BBC way better than the Disney and Fox ones. He’s the real deal 🙂

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        Sorry. To each his own I suppose. It’s just, the BBC Narnia wasn’t as believable as Disney’s and 20th Century Fox’s.

      • narnian21 says:

        no Neeson’s voice will outdo anybody who tries to do Aslan’s voice, especially in the BBC and Focus on the Family versions. Everytime I hear Aslan in those I think "wow who would want to be around that Aslan. he scary." My friend and I make fun of it sometimes. But with Neeson it’s like "Aslan I just wanna hug ya!!!" That is how he is supposed to be

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        I agree. Though, I’ve never heard the Focus on the Family Narnia. It’s hard to imagine any other Aslan. Liam is just "it".

      • narnian21 says:

        He sounds scary. When he tells Eustace to undress he sounds like a perv

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        Ick. And it’s supposed to be for kids…

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        Cool! I’ve never heard any of it, cause I don’t really listen to audio books and such. That’s great.
        Hey, about this "sarah" who keeps leaving the freakish comments, I think maybe the best way to handle the situation is just ignore them. I think she (or he) is just some creep who wants to creep people out. I do wish someone could remove the comments though. They’re disturbing.

  • Mayor Wilkins says:

    Wonderful man.
    Such a soothing and yet powerful voice–perfect for Aslan. Breathes life into the character.

    My favorite moment is in "LWW" when he says, "Do not cite the deep magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was [i] written." [/i] Perfect.

    Long live Aslan.
    And Merry Christmas.

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      Amen, Father Christmas, lol!

      • Queen Elizabeth says:

        Sarah whoever you are you really need to stop please before someone reports you. You could get arrested. And stop calling people babies when you only use the same 3 phrases. Please stop harrasing people please.

  • Narnian says:

    His voice performance for Aslan is awful, he sounds terribly bored and emotionless all the time, sorry he’s done some great stuff as an actor but the voice of Aslan is not his finest hour

    • High Queen of Narnia says:

      *raises an eyebrow* How does Liam Neeson come across as bored and unemotional? There is a lot of emotion in his voice, if you actually listen to it. If he doesn’t sound as emotionally varied as the other actors… well, he shouldn’t! Aslan doesn’t exactly have a voice that’s filled to the brim with excitement or very dramatic, because that isn’t his character. I think Neeson did a fabulous job.

    • coracle says:

      Interesting to hear a different view on his voice. I personally do like his Aslan voice. I wonder whether you prefer David Suchet’s Aslan in the Focus on the Family series?

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      Wow, I’m sorry it comes across that way to you. I’ve always thought it was perfect. Liam himself did seem somewhat bored in this interview, though. Or maybe he was just thinking carefully of how to answer the questions.

  • narnian resident says:

    his voice is so heavenly sounding, it could almost put you in a trance or put you to sleep. it does for me anyway 🙂 thats what i love about hearing Aslan in the movies. with Liam’s voice, he becomes so majestic and you just feel so at peace when he’s there.
    that is so cool that he went to go see real lions to get the idea of Aslan and his character. they truly are amazing and majestic creatures. i love how he describes their eyes as having thousands of years of knowledge. thats what i imagine Aslan like. gosh i love Liam 😀

  • Swordebrithil12 says:

    What a totally awesome guy. I could listen to his voice 24/7.

  • Queen Elizabeth says:

    I love how he can sound caring and majestic when talking to Lucy and Powerful and strong when confronting the White Witch and other enemies.

    • Ionic Bonding Rocks says:

      Yeah, his voice is amazing. And it’s so deep and strong that it actually sounds like a lion! Even though some of his lines in VDT were terrible (as if Aslan was the village wise person rather than the King and Lord of the world), I can still imagine no other person who could do as well as Liam for the voice of Aslan. And you’re right, his voice is so expressive- he can sound both loving and stern at the same time.

  • Reepicheep775 says:

    I find it unsurprising that Michael Apted didn’t work directly with Liam Neeson because, judging by the movie, I don’t think he cares much for the character of Aslan.

  • Narnia Queen wannabe says:

    I’d hate to not be on the set with the characters but wats the point of recording in diffent cities???
    Could someone please tell me

    • coracle says:

      That is probably where he was living, and it was just as easy for him to record in a nearby location rather than have to fly off to London. Or Australia.

  • Gem says:

    I think everyone agrees that the end is their favorite part of the movie, how could it not be? They nailed it. And I love his voice! It’s so perfect for Aslan, well, as perfect as any human can do it.

  • Not Of This World says:

    I could not agree more!

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      I know what you’re talking about, Princess Jennifer. It’s the BBC Narnia. I know this because you said Lucy was fat and Susan was ugly. (I know it sounds horrible, but it’s true.) One part I saw, where Aslan tells the girls that they might want to "put your fingers in your ears," he roars. I had to laugh. It was the most pathetic, sickly grumble. Thank goodness Disney made LWW!

    • Princess Lucy says:

      Susan is actually cute in the BBC series..and edmund and peter..and they look much younder than the ones in walden version..but i agree with you about lucy …shes not as cute as georgie so yeah…and i appreciate the BBC series for its faithfulness to the books and i also appreciate the walden for bringing the characters to the screen and also keeping it faithful as well as making it good quality 🙂

    • Queen Elizabeth says:

      I think nothing can compare to the Walden Media/Fox version. The modern technology and CGI just make it all around better. The adaptations are close-ish? (I haven’t seen all the BBC version or anything) And the quality in general just makes it a more enjoyable experience. And the actors are way better 😉

  • Hwin says:

    For me it is almost strange to hear such a powerful and majestic voice coming from Liam Neeson and not a real lion! If lions talked, I bet the king of them all would sound like Liam Neeson 😉 I think he is the absalute perfect person to be the voice of Aslan!

    I did not care too much for the voices in the BBC version and the Focus on the Family audio tapes. Atleast in the audio one, he seems to drag his words out too long, and his voice sounds a little froggyish. That’s just my opinion, I certainly respect opinions that suggest otherwise 🙂 The expression was pretty good though.

    Great job with the part of Aslan, Liam Neeson!

    • High Queen of Narnia says:

      I was skipping around on YouTube clips of the BBC Narnia the other day… one of the first ones I saw was of Aslan when he comes back to life and says the "You may want to cover your ears" line and then roars – er, tries to roar. I nearly lost it – then I skipped to when they are at the White Witches castle un-stoning everyone (yes, I have very unique descriptions. 😛 ) and then Aslan said "Hey, you up there!" I lost it after that and couldn’t take anymore… I mean really! Aslan saying "Hey you!" ??? Sorry if anyone loves that version but Aslan’s voice just killed me.

  • Edmund's Queen says:

    Did you get to see the Dawn Treader today, Jennifer?

    • Queen Elizabeth says:

      Yea Jennifer you have to tell us 🙂 I sadly don’t get to see it this weekend, my mom keeps changing her mind so I don’t know. But when it comes out I have a fund just for buying it on DVD. 🙂

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      OOOooh… you’re in for a treat. I saw it the day it came to theaters. So wonderful. Only, not long enough! I just can’t get enough of Narnia!

  • greenbird37 says:

    There is no one that can master this voice than Liam Neeson…he is amazing! Loved him in Taken, very good movie!

  • Clive Staples Sibelius says:

    No wonder he sounds so detached in the movies. He has no physical interaction with the other actors! That is a very bad artistic decision on the filmmakers’ parts.

    I think Liam Neeson is awesome.

  • Braden Woodburn says:

    Man, I really love his voice. It is so sincere and calm as well as very deep in a way that isn’t scary. It’s amazing how whenever I heard him, all I could picture was Aslan speaking to someone in Narnia. And yes, my opinion was very true with his that the ending was sad. I’ve had 2 chances to see this movie for a 2nd and 3rd time but never fell through. I really love this movie ALOT!

  • Queen Elizabeth says:

    Good News!!! VDT is still at number 3. You are probably thinking what! How is that good news? Think about it – We haven’t slipped any lower, and for being a franchise that is not SUPER popular (universally) 3rd place is really good 🙂 And it’s not over yet! GO SEE THE MOVIE 🙂

  • elton says:

    liam is amazing

  • comedian says:

    Have any of you seen will poulter on school of comedy?

  • Queen Elizabeth says:

    I’m done painting the Scrubb house Dawn Treader painting. Now I need help! Should I paint Lucy and Aslan looking in the mirror on the ship cabin (from the movie) or something else. Thoughts?

    • comedian says:

      You should paint dragon-eustace.

      • Queen Elizabeth says:

        I think I’m going to draw him 🙂 And I think I might stick with my Dawn Treader painting for this competition I’m putting it in. I’ve also done a watercolor of Lucy at the lampost.

      • Edmund's Queen says:

        I just finished a dragon drawing today. The Lucy at the Lampost watercolor sounds cool. You’re amazing, Queen Elizabeth. I hope you win that contest. 😉

      • Queen Elizabeth says:

        Thanks for the encouragement you guys! 🙂 I’m going to do the lamp post in the woods in oil or acrylic paint. My competition is at the end of January so I will have lots of time to do a bunch of paintings until then. It takes about a day for a watercolor, and two days for an acrylic and oil painting.

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      I love the idea of the Aslan/Lucy one. Another idea would be that part at the end of the book where Aslan is a lamb. Or a seasick Eustace…not! lol

  • Edmund's Queen says:

    Yaaay! I’m so glad you finally got to see it! Did you cry? I did. I think maybe the fact that Ed’s leaving had something to do with that… 🙁 But it’s one of those movies that has you leaving the theater with a good feeling inside. Everyone in our theater clapped at the end. 🙂

    • Queen Elizabeth says:

      Hapy Day!!! When I went it was on a tuesday afternoon at 9pm so there were only 4 other families there. There was this older man who was just reading the whole time, I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and say, How are you not enjoying this? I always bring my camera whenever I go out now cause you never know when you might run into stars out there. Several months ago Hugh Jackman was filming ‘Real Steel’ ten minutes from my house 🙂 It was cool to see how nice he was.
      Well, glad you finally saw it Princess Jen! 🙂

    • Queen Elizabeth says:

      Yea I even teared up at the part where Eustace the dragon was crying and Reep came to comphrt him. Cool facts by the way 🙂

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      I never cried in LWW, but The Call at the end of PC just grips my heart. I watched Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King last night, and I cried. It’s so sad when Frodo is leaving, and I love him so much! Do you two like the Lord of the Rings movies?

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      YOU MUST WATCH THEM! The Fellowship of the Ring is first, then THe Two Towers, then The Return of the King. They are absolutly amazing, enchanting, wonderful! They’re rated PG-13, but only for battle sequences and scary images, so your parents should be ok with it. The books are excellent as well. Yes, Lord of the Rings is awesome. 🙂

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      Yes I did know that; J.R.R. Tolkein is his name, and he’s a brilliant author. He lived in Africa for a while, as a child, and once he was bitten by a tarantula. That experience inspired a part in his book The Two Towers, when his main character gets poisoned by a giant spider monster. (In the movie, its on The Return of the KIng)

    • Queen Elizabeth says:

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE the LOTR movies! I’ve never ack-chellay read the books but the movies are great! 🙂 I love the Return of the King. It’s so long and the story line is fantastic. I love how they portray the villians in a non-cheesy way 😉

  • Marianne !. says:

    Such a great choice to be aslan’s voice !!
    His voice gives us audience such warm feeling and you just hear a very fatherly voice from him, very gentle 🙂
    FOR ASLAN !!

    • Marianne !. says:

      I love it when he chuckles 😀
      I somehow see Aslan.
      And it’s quite weird because Aslan’s behind him and there’s this guys speaking for Aslan.
      I Love it <3

  • Edmund's Queen says:

    Cool. Where’d you get your facts? Oh wait, it’s from your new trivia book you got for Christmas isn’t it? THat’s cool! Thanks for sharing. When you say Susan played Ed, does that mean Anna filled in for the guy who played the grown-up Ed?

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      So, then it wasn’t the end scene, it was towards the beginning?
      An interesting tidbit I read: Skandar’s sister Soumaya had to do a couple voice overs for him towards the end, because Skandar’s voice was changing!

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      I think it’s just one: Soumaya. She’s older than him. Skandar’s name is short for "Askandar" which is Arabic for "Alexander". His full name is "Skandar Amin Casper Keynes".

    • Edmund's Queen says:

      Lucky Skandie! I want to go to New Zealand REALLY bad. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to travel to another country, something I’ve never done before. I have a ton of resolutions and plans for 2011. 🙂

  • Dayna says:

    Wow, he looks so depressed.

  • sachin says:

    IT’S A KNOWN FACT THAT C.S Lewis Was IRISH(Not english) So IT’S GREAT THAT Voice Of Aslan(Soul Of Narnia) Was IRISH.

    THAT GREAT IRISH VOICE OF Liam Neeson.

  • Edmund's Queen says:

    Yuck. Sorry, you’ll get through it. 🙂

  • monita says:

    aqu suka bget sma semua film narnia,,,,karakter tokoh" nya kren" bget,,,,i like it

  • Edmund's Queen says:

    Sweet! I like to write too! Keep it up. If you like poetry, here’s a book you might be interested in: Take Time…
    You can buy it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and it’s full of lovely poems.

  • lucysdream says:

    i think he has a very amazing voice and it fits aslan !!!

  • reepicheep's_fangirl says:

    aw, i love Liam Neeson, he is such an amazing actors. he has both the voice and the heart of a lion. i remember when his wife died 🙁 ….poor man. his oldest son/daughter (i forget which one) is about my age.
    i love the Georgie/Will P. interview. Will is so cute, and he seems like such a sweet guy. thanxs for posting these!

  • agapegirl16 says:

    Who is ‘sarah’? What did she or he do? I haven’t read any comments by him or her. So what’s the big deal?

  • Blackdog says:

    Interesting interview. I like aslan the actor Laim Neeson is very good as aslan.

  • Blackdog says:

    I like aslan[Liam Neelson] in the voyage of the dawn treader.

  • Blackdog says:

    Aslan is not in the voyage as much as the otherers BOO HOO!

  • Fiona Everest says:

    Cool! 🙂
    He was totally awesome in A-Team! 🙂
    And he is the best Aslan ever! 😉

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