I don’t think people expected Taken to be as good as it was…
I know, it’s strange. It’s a very well-crafted film. And it’s just dead simple. It’s a guy who’s going to stop at nothing to find his daughter. I have a little theory about the film, tell me if you think this is bulls—. During the whole economic collapse three or four years ago, here was a guy who wasn’t going to call the police when he was in trouble. I think people responded to that because they felt helpless and vulnerable, and here was a guy who just did not take any prisoners.
I don’t think that’s bulls—. It seems that every decade or so there’s a vigilante film like Death Wish that really speaks to people.
I saw Death Wish in Belfast when it came out. It was like, ”Yes! Morally this is wrong, but dammit, it felt good!”
Part of the surprise of Taken was that there was a real actor in it.
When I met the producer, Luc Besson, I said, ”Look, I know I probably wouldn’t be your first choice for this, given my cinema track record, but I would love to do it.” Plus, it was three months in Paris, which isn’t too shabby. But somewhere in the back of my head, I thought it would go straight to video.
Has it led to you being offered more action parts?
People have started to see me in a different light, which is very pleasing. Especially since I just turned 60 last month.
Speaking of which, how hard is it to get beaten up every day at 60?
I’m not complaining. I love doing all of the running-around action stuff. But it does take a little longer to recuperate than when you’re in your 30s. But I love doing all that s—.