Action star Liam Neeson reprises his role on the big screen as Bryan Mills for “Taken 3.” In the third installment, Mills is on the hunt for his ex-wife’s killer while being chased by authorities who consider him a suspect. FOX411 spoke with Neeson and co-star Forest Whitaker about their latest thriller.
FOX411: The big return, different premise this time, what was so important to you to be different this time around?
Neeson: The main thing I was concerned about was, before signing on for the third, was that no one gets taken. That was the big concern for me. We couldn't do that again. We had done it successfully. You can't insult the audience with doing another taken story, you know, where someone is kidnapped. They had written-- the writers Robert Mark Kamen and Luc Besson-- had written a very powerful screen detective and I remember thinking we better get a really top class actor for that and we got the great Forest Whitaker.
FOX411: What did you know about the franchise [head of joining the film]?
Whitaker: I'd seen “Taken” 1 maybe three or four times, and I saw both of them “Taken” 1 and 2, and I knew what he had done was a great, great franchise and that it was a great opportunity to get to go in and work with a great actor, and actors too, on something that was really interesting.
FOX411: What has this franchise really meant to you overall in your career…?
Neeson: What's the old expression? “You know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” You know, I was cruising along nicely. I was working constantly and little forays into theater every now and again and suddenly with the success of “Taken” 1… took me very much by surprise. So Hollywood started sending me more action scripts which I'm thrilled to get the chance to do.
FOX411: How have you each heard firsthand how much the fans are invested in this, how big this is, how popular, do you get comments?
Neeson: Yeah. There's a part of me that doesn't quite believe it, do you know what I mean? But that's to do with my own issues, confidence issues I guess. But certainly when I'm out and about and traveling, I'm always surprised people come up to you in airports and it's not just young guys of 16 and 17. It's young girls and it’s moms and grandparents too. It's very, very touching you know?
FOX411: Finally, because they say this is the last one, is it the last one? Is there any room for any more?
Neeson: There’s always… I think if audiences go and see it and they like these characters, I mean, I'd love to do something with Forest again, and if it's in a “Taken” 4 scenario… great.