For Liam Neeson and son, ‘Made in Italy’ was a family affair


This image released by IFC Films shows Michaél Richardson, left, and his father Liam Neeson in a scene from “Made In Italy.” They play father and son in the film but their characters are dealing with the loss of their wife and mother. Neeson’s wife and Richardson’s mother, Natasha Richardson, died over a decade ago in a skiing accident. (IFC Films via AP)

(AP) — Micheál Richardson says dad Liam Neeson is a “great scene partner” and teacher.

The father and son acting duo star alongside each other in new drama, “Made in Italy,” which follows bohemian artist Robert (Neeson) and his estranged son Jack (Richardson) as they attempt to sell a Tuscan villa inherited from their late wife/mother.

While renovating the property, Robert and Jack must learn to communicate with each other all over again and attempt to process their trauma together.

Shooting the film was also a bonding experience for Neeson and Richardson, with the latter praising his father’s hands-off approach to mentorship.

“Even though he doesn’t like to admit it, he has taught me a lot of really great things,” Richardson said. “It was cool watching Dad and just his temperament and how he handles himself on set in between shots, going back, taking time to himself, very, very patient.”

Neeson was conscious of not wanting to encroach on writer-director James D’Arcy’s vision and tried to keep any professional advice offset.

“‘If you have any questions you want to ask me about, the process, whatever, let’s keep it until we wrap each day or at the weekends or whatever,'” he said.

“I totally trusted James’ direction of Michael. He was very, very sensitive. Michael took whatever and all of James’ notes on board and executed it incredibly well I thought. Much better than I could have done at that age.”

The film was shot almost entirely on location in Tuscanny during an usually inclement period.

“It was the wettest in 50 years,” Neeson said. “I saw winegrowers cry, literally cry, because they were worried about their crop of grapes.”

Fortunately, things brightened up towards the end of the shoot.

“In our last week, the movie Gods came out and were on our side and we got those classic beautiful Tuscan sunsets and sunrises.”

“Made in Italy” opens in select U.S. theaters, drive-ins, and on demand from Aug. 7, 2020.

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