Orson Welles once explained that he was, inevitably, what the Comédie-Française classified as a King Actor. “They weren’t necessarily the best actors; they were the actors who played the king.” Welles had to be cast as the highest authority character “or I discombobulate the scenes,” because the audience couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t in charge. Thus, the great man’s last role was as Unicron, the planet-sized chief bad guy in the 1986 cartoon Transformers: The Movie. “You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy,” Welles mused to his biographer shortly before his death.
Similarly, in the 2007 blockbuster Transformers, Michael Bay directed his animators to model the good robots’ wise leader Optimus Prime’s body language on today’s most imposing patriarchal presence, Liam Neeson.
But the 6’4” actor’s apotheosis was the surprise 2009 hit Taken, in which Neeson plays an ex-CIA man whose daughter is kidnapped in Paris by Albanian sex slavers. Taken wasn’t a great movie, but it made a great trailer built around the Dangerous Dad’s speech to the head pimp promising, “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Read the whole thing there.
By the way, veteran actor Bruno Ganz has a fun role in Unknown as a retired secret policeman turned private detective. Here's a tribute to Bruno Ganz's YouTube ubiquity that seemed pretty funny at 4 AM when I was writing this review.
And here's a more lowkey video that seemed pretty funny at 5 AM.