By Missy Schwartz
Updated April 24, 2009 at 06:47 PM EDT

Last month, just days after his wife Natasha Richardson’s tragic death, Liam Neeson returned to the Canadian set of the movie Chloe. “Liam is heroic,” director Atom Egoyan now tells ET Canada. “He called me and said, ‘You know, let’s do it right away.’ It was really emotional. I think the only way he could have come back was right after because his family was all there to support his boys. [It was a] harrowing experience.”

Egoyan adds that Neeson is still “in a state of shock.I think he’s trying to absorb [what’s happened] … He’ssuddenly a single parent with absolutely no preparation for that.” Thankfully, the actor “is surrounded by people that really love him. There is a lot of support,” Egoyan says.

Neeson’s next role is Zeus in Clash of the Titans.