Liam Neeson 'cried' at Normal People script

Liam Neeson 'cried' at Normal People script

Liam Neeson cried when he first read the script for 'Normal People' and instantly "knew it was special".

The 66-year-old actor revealed that he "knew" he had to play the role of Tom because it was a diverse script, written by the playwright Owen McCafferty, that didn't need any editing because it was "special".

Speaking to Deadline, Liam said: "I went straight through this one. I knew it was special. The subject matter is heavy but it's a beautiful love story. It's invested with Irish humour and it made me cry a little. I knew I had to do it.

"We changed very, very little on Owen's script. From my experience, the only other film I can think of where virtually nothing changed in the script was 'Schindler's List'. It was ready to shoot the next day."

'Normal People' is a love story about a long-married couple named Tom and Joan - played by Lesley Manville - whose lives are thrown into turmoil when she is unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer.

The pair face challenges when they seek treatment and the threat of what their future will be.

Liam immediately knew that Lesley should be cast as Joan as soon as he read the film's script, and he subsequently called his agent to make sure she could read it.

She admitted: "It was a very emotional script to read, I cried a number of times."

Liam also confessed that he related to the script because he had "four relatives" who suffered with the disease.

Neeson shared: "I've had four relatives who have died of cancer, three of them of breast cancer over the last few years.

"I'm very aware of it. People still whisper about cancer. But why do we speak in hushed tones about a disease which is so prevalent and attacks so many we know?

"We're all one degree of separation away from this experience. Millions of women go through this particular cancer (it's so important they are regularly tested for it)."