While he has been acting for over four decades, Liam Neeson didn’t rise to huge fame until he starred in 1993s Schindler’s List. So he has had some small paychecks over the years.
Liam Neeson makes anywhere from $1 million to $20 million per movie these days. However, his salary per film has been largely hidden from the public. In so far that most of his known salary has been what he was paid for the Taken trilogy. Neeson has a net worth of over $145 million so he’s certainly making a lot.
Scroll down to read more about how much Liam Neeson made for the Taken films, how much his films have grossed, and some of the things he owns.
Liam Neeson’s Taken Paycheck
We all know the line from the first Taken film “what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”
Although the Irish actor Liam Neeson had starred in films like Star Wars Episode I & II to Love Actually to Batman Begins, the Taken film seemed to catapult Liam Neeson into ultimate stardom.
He even got a decent paycheck for the first installment of the trilogy, Taken (2008), considering its budget of only $25 million. Liam Neeson was paid $5 million for starring in the highly successful action film.
The film followed Liam Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills. Mills is an ex-CIA agent now working as a bodyguard.
After his daughter is kidnapped in Paris, he travels to France and tracks down her kidnappers killing anyone who gets in his way. It was highly successful and grossed $226.8 million at the box office.
So when the sequel was announced, Liam Neeson got a pay bump and so did the film’s budget. Taken 2 (2012) earned Neeson $10 million of the film’s $45 million budget.
It’s all good though because it was even more successful than its predecessor. Taken 2 grossed $376 million at the box office.
That’s when Neeson’s paycheck got a huge bump and he made a deal to be paid $20 million for reprising the role of Bryan Mills in Taken 3. Although poorly received by critics, Taken 3 still managed to gross $326 million at the box office.
You can watch the below video clip from The Graham Norton Show to see Liam Neeson creating a Taken-style voicemail greeting for one of his fans.
Liam Neeson’s Successful Films
Clearly, Liam Neeson is an actor whose name and association with a film will almost guarantee sales. After all, the Taken trilogy grossed close to $1 billion at the box office.
This extravagant success wasn’t only seen with Taken either. As we mentioned above, Neeson was the star of the critically acclaimed Steilberg film Schindler’s List in 1993.
It was Schindler’s List that made Neeson a famous actor. While it had a meager budget of $22 million, it ended up grossing $321 million at the box office.
Liam Neeson was also one of the stars of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This film had a budget of $115 million. It grossed over $1 billion at the box office!
One other role that is definitely worth mentioning is Liam Neeson’s role in Batman Begins. He played the villain Ra’s al Ghul. The film had a budget of $150 million and grossed $373 million.
With a $145 million net worth, Liam Neeson must be buying some pretty cool stuff right? Not exactly.
Just like his salary for films, most of his spending habits are kept under wraps. This could in part be because he is from an area of Northern Ireland where the people are notorious for not spending their money.
In a 2018 interview with The Big Issue magazine (as reported by Insider UK), Liam Neeson admitted that he hides his money under his mattress. He has apparently been doing this since 2009.
Unfortunately, that habit is probably linked to his wife Natasha Richardson’s death in 2009. The two had a 37-acre estate in Millbrook, New York, and Liam appears to still live there.
In a July 2020 interview with The Jakarta Post, Neeson said that he takes time every day to visit her grave which is about a mile and a half down the road from his house.
Despite losing his wife, Neeson still has his two sons Micheál Richardson and Daniel Neeson to remember her with.