Helen Mirren Says Ex Liam Neeson Is 'Amazing' But They Were Not 'Meant To Be'

The two stars dated for years in the early '80s and have remained friends ever since.
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Love actually once sprung up between Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren, who dated for years before splitting up and robbing the rest of us of an action superstar power couple of a certain age.

Mirren recently reflected on her past romances for an AARP The Magazine cover story published on Tuesday, revealing that she’s made a habit of gifting boyfriends homemade shirts from scratch.

“I did make one for Liam, oddly enough,” she told the outlet. “We loved each other. We were not meant to be together in that way, but we loved each other very, very much. I love him deeply to this day. He’s such an amazing guy.”

Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson during a 2018 appearance on the "Graham Norton Show."
Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson during a 2018 appearance on the "Graham Norton Show."
Matt Crossick - PA Images via Getty Images

The “Fast and Furious” star shared that she made similar gestures to ex Peter O’Toole and her now-husband director Taylor Hackford, whom she’s been married to for over 25 years.

Mirren, 77, and Neeson, 70, dated for years in the early ’80s after meeting on the set of the 1981 King Arthur fantasy film “Excalibur.”

Neeson has previously shared that he was immediately “very smitten” with Mirren after first seeing her in costume.

“Can you imagine riding horses in shiny suits of armor, having sword fights and stuff, and you’re falling in love with Helen Mirren?” he told CBS back in 2014. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

With Mirren’s help, the Irish actor eventually landed an agent, learned how to drive and moved to London, where he lived in her apartment for years and booked roles in local theater productions.

But the two eventually went their separate ways in 1985, as their careers took precedence over their romance.

“It was difficult for him to be under my shadow,” Mirren said of their relationship in The New York Times. “I was well known; I had the money ... I had a sense from Liam that it was time for him to come out from under my wing. He handled it with great elegance and grace. We loved each other. It was difficult to let go.”

Shortly after their split, Mirren met her husband when he was directing her in the film “White Nights.” Neeson, meanwhile, went on to wed Natasha Richardson. They were married until her unexpected death in 2009.

While the two stars have yet to work together on-screen again, they’ve remained friends and crossed paths over the years. During an appearance on “The Graham Norton Show” in 2018, they sweetly reminisced about their relationship.

“We lived together for four years. We were a serious item for a while,” Mirren said on the talk show. “Lucky me!”

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