Who else had any idea that Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson were once lovers? Dame Helen, 72, and Liam, 65, delighted fans when they told the story of their romance during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show... and it stunned the world!
‘We didn’t date, we lived together for four years. We were a serious item for a while. Lucky me!’ Helen clarified.
Continuing the sweet story, Liam went on to explain how it was love at first sight for him when the pair met while filming John Boorman’s 1981 movie Excalibur.
‘I remember being on the set and standing with Ciaran Hinds as Helen walked towards us dressed in her full Morgana Le Fay costume, and we both went: “Oh f***.” I was smitten. I think Ciaran was too, but I was very smitten.’
And Liam’s feelings were clearly reciprocated!
‘Before I met her and we worked together, I had read somewhere that if she fancied a guy she would imitate his walk behind his back. And I turned around one day and she was doing that to me,’ Liam continued.
Helen previously spoke about their blissful time together as a couple, telling People that her favourite holiday memories were camping with the Irish actor.
We would drive down to France, find a campsite and Liam would cook breakfast. Can you imagine Liam in a tent? He’s 6’4”!’
The Queen and Taken stars dated for five years, before their careers saw them part ways.
While Helen – who is seven years Liam’s senior – was already an established theatre actress and had just made her name in the movie The Long Good Friday, Liam had just started acting and was struggling to find work.
‘It was difficult for him to be under my shadow. I was well known. I had the money,’ Helen revealed in a 1994 profile of Liam.
The actor eventually went on to marry the late Natasha Richardson in 1994. The pair had two children, before she tragically died in a skiing accident in 2009.
Dame Helen started dating US director Taylor Hackford one year after breaking up with Liam. They married in 1997.
And despite their romance coming to an end, the pair clearly still remain on great terms, with Helen admitting: ‘It was difficult to let go.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!