Made in Italy was a family affair for Liam Neeson and son Michael Richardson
Have you heard about Liam Neeson’s “cup of tea” test? Neeson generally gets to know if he wants a film or not by reading nearly five pages of the script. Made in Italy by James D’Arcy was one from which he couldn’t breakaway. Yes, it passed his “cup of tea” test!
‘Made in Italy’ is all about an artist and his estranged son, who reunite for selling the family’s home in Italy. Since the demise of the family matriarch and the disrepair of the one memory-filled home, it has been nearly deserted. Such an aspect of grief hit close to home for Liam Neeson, who lost his wife, Natasha Richardson, after a skiing mishap in 2009.
Neeson was a bit scared and yet he knew he had to work in this film. D’Arcy and Neeson work together prior to this movie as well. Initially, they first appeared in the Anchorman sequel, wherein Richardson is among the crew of Neeson’s History Channel. Further, Richardson played Neeson’s son in ‘Cold Pursuit’- a 2019 film.
To honor his late mother, Richardson had changed his name a few years ago and was determined to pursue the family profession. His mother’s side is a dynasty from back in the 1700s. However, he did not want to rely on the family name. He worked hard without his father’s support, and then Made in Italy came out. He insisted on auditions, and the cast was in Tuscany for the shoot of this dramatic comedy.
Richardson was born in Ireland and was brought up in New York but was not a “set kid”. However, he would visit his parents’ shoots and rehearsals at times. At the age of two, he had not seen Star Wars and gave a bear hug to R2-R3. Nevertheless, he became serious about acting just a couple of years ago. Neeson was professional on set and agreed to advise Micheal only after each day’s pack-up as there was room for only one director in the shoot- D’Arcy. Yet, he would eavesdrop a few note sessions of D’Arcy. They remembered Natasha Richardson in the various moments during the filming. Their pain was real, and that worked even better for the character-jack, played by Richardson. He believes that the best way to carry the loved ones is through memories and not by shutting them out.
Both Neeson and Micheal hope that the film brings joy in the hearts of people and helps them flee to a scenic locale. It looks idyllic while watching on screen, but in reality, the four and a half weeks were pouring rain for them.
However, they were grateful that they got Tuscan sunshine in the last few days. Neeson lastly said that staying in that geographical location and climate was a religious experience, and that was the reason why Renaissance painters like Leonardo and Michelangelo fell in love with the place.