Liam Neeson is an Oscar-nominated actor from Northern Ireland. The Schindler’s List actor moved largely into the action genre, although he involves himself in other films from time to time. Neeson worked with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane on 2014’s A Million Ways to Die in the West. However, he only agreed to sign onto the western comedy under one very specific, yet odd condition.
What is ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ about?
A Million Ways to Die in the West follows a cowardly frontierman named Albert (MacFarlane). He breaks up with his girlfriend, Louise (Amanda Seyfriend) after he refuses to take part in a gunfight. However, a mean outlaw named Clinch Leatherwood (Neeson) has his wife, Anna (Charlize Theron) lay low in town. Albert and Anna kiss, as he doesn’t realize that she’s married to a dangerous man.
Clinch arrives in town, demanding to know who kissed his wife. A Million Ways to Die in the West dives into deep conflict as Albert must decide if he’ll allow Clinch to tear through the town or finally stand his ground in the face of danger. The fate of the town and his romance with Anna depends on it.
Liam Neeson had an odd request to join Seth MacFarlane’s comedy
TODAY Monday interviewed Neeson about A Million Ways to Die in the West. He called it “quite romantic,” as he talked about what drew him to the project. Neeson wasn’t expecting a lot of the script to actually manage to make it into the final cut of the movie because of how wild it is.
“When I read the script, it made me giggle a lot, let’s put it that way,” Neeson said. “And I blushed quite a few times too. And I thought, ‘No, they’re not going to shoot this. No, they cannot shoot this. They won’t be allowed to get away with this!’ But they did. It’s Family Guy humor.”
However, Neeson had specific intentions in mind when signing onto the project. He wanted to ensure that Clinch sounded exactly how he pictured he would. MacFarlane allowed Neeson to have his way in exchange for signing onto the project.
“His main character, the little fat father in Family Guy, they were making fun … ‘Imagine Liam Neeson being in a Western. Haha! With that funny accent of his,’” Neeson said. “So when Seth called me to ask if I’d do (the movie), I said, ‘I’ll do it on condition that I do it in a very broad Irish accent.’ So he agreed.”
‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ fell on its face critically
A Million Ways to Die in the West didn’t perform well critically. The western comedy sits at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 41% audience score. The consensus acknowledges that there are a few big laughs along with a big ensemble cast, although it’s overlong and scattered. However, critics did recognize the movie’s inventive twist on western storytelling.
MacFarlane’s western comedy earned over $86 million at the global box office against a $40 million budget. The Family Guy creator’s name and his impressive cast certainly helped get viewers into theater seats.
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