Holy Moly! Liam Neeson: "I'm NOT converting to Islam"
Liam Neeson in Dubai for the premiere of "Taken 3." (Image: 7daysindubai.com)
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While millions of Hollywood actor Liam Neeson's fans are still wondering whether he really is converting to Islam, the silver fox has answered their persistent question once and for all.
Neeson was first suspected of changing his religion - from Roman Catholic - when a story appeared in The Sun newspaper in 2012, then again more recently when the Daily Mail claimed that he was thinking about converting to Islam.
We, like his fans, thought Neeson might be going Muslim, especially after admitting that the Islamic call to prayer “got into his spirit” while filming Taken 2 in Istanbul, Turkey.
“The call to prayer happens five times a day, and for the first week, it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit, and it’s the most beautiful, beautiful thing,” he was quoted as saying at the time. “There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning, and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.”
Despite feeling serenity from the call of prayer, Neeson told Al Arabiya News during his trip to Dubai on Monday that he isn't converting to Islam.
“No, I'm not converting [to Islam]. But I did kind of follow up to that [call to] prayer at the time,” he said. “It’s funny; the first three or four days there it was an annoyance because it was waking me up. But later I looked forward to it every day,” said the 62-year-old actor.
This is Neeson's first visit to the cosmopolitan emirate, where he attended the Middle East premiere of "Taken 3" with all ten screens sold out at the location.
The action hero made history by becoming the first Hollywood actor to attend a Middle East film premiere outside of a film festival, and admitted to being "quite taken" with Dubai, reported Al Arabiya News.
“It’s unbelievable, and this is the first premiere of its kind for me as I have none of my co-stars with me. This is my first time here and it has been wonderful.
“I had heard about Dubai from various actors and actresses [who have attended] the Dubai International Film Festival, so I’d love to get an invite. And just from what I see them describe, you can make a cool film here. You really could.”
But, will there be a Taken 4? Not according to its main star!
“Look, I feel it’s the end of the series – the poster’s tagline [‘It Ends Here’] even says it.
“Of course I’d really love to shoot a picture in Dubai – maybe not Taken 4, or 5 or 6 – but something else.”
In the third and final installment, the actor returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills who is framed for the murder of his ex-wife (played by Famke Janssen). He is forced to flee, with the FBI in hot pursuit. Playing the lead detective is Forest Whitaker, who Neeson is a fan of.
Taken 3 is out in theatres in the GCC this Thursday, January 15!