As the son of famous actor Liam Neeson, it’s easy to assume that Michael Neeson has had it easy. However, while he might not have the same cash flow worries most of us have, they have just about any other human problem they will need to deal with. For example, celebrities can’t buy their way out of grief: the loss of someone to close to them is as painful then as it would be for any ‘normal’ person.
Michael, you see, is in the spotlight for the fact he has decided to change his name. He’s changing his surname in honor of his late mother, Natasha Richardson. According to the grandmother of the 23-year-old, Vanessa Redgrave, the change is happening, saying: “He’s taken, officially, the name of his mother. He’s now Michéal Richardson, not “That wasn’t because he wanted to avoid his father’s fame, which is enormous. He wanted to hold his mother close to him — because she was a remarkable actress. Absolutely remarkable.”
Richardson tragically died in 2009 when she was the victim of a brain injury following a crash when skiing. Michael has spoken about his problems and challenges faced after the death of his mother, including turning to alcohol abuse. In 2015, he told the Sunday Times that “In my mind, subconsciously, I either pushed it out or stored it deep inside. And so, within the next week I was like, ‘OK, on with my life,’
“Things just started going downhill. The people I was with, we were partying a lot. It was dark. I hit rock bottom. Everybody said, ‘This kid has lost his mum, that’s where the problem comes from.’ And I was like, ‘No, it isn’t, I just like to party.’ But looking back I realize it was a delayed reaction.”
Such a tragic loss would be hard for anyone to get over. Indeed, his father, Liam, has spoken about the pain that the loss has caused him, too. in 2011, he told Esquire that “That’s the weird thing about grief. You can’t prepare for it. You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work,”
Neeson, 66, continued, adding: “It hits you in the middle of the night — well, it hits me in the middle of the night,
“I’m out walking. I’m feeling quite content. And it’s like suddenly, boom. It’s like you’ve just done that in your chest.”
While some might wonder why this matters, it’s interesting to see a young man with such a prominent name in the showbiz industry cast that aside. While we’re sure he’ll get by on his talent alone, it’s a brave and honest tribute to his mother, who he clearly felt hugely close towards in his life.
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