Moments of Grace: New You interviews Liam Neeson’s daughter from Taken 3
Posted On Oct 26, 2016
By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Ever since she made her film debut at age 19, as Martha Moxley in the TV movie Murder in Greenwich, Maggie Grace has been the picture of determination. In the subsequent 13 years, she has shone amongst the cast of Lost and in two significant movie franchises, Taken and Twilight.
Off-set, Grace is both down to earth and humble, yet possesses an undeniable dash of elan. Expect to hear much more from this talented, versatile actress.
NEW YOU: What has it been like, working with Liam Neeson in the Taken films?
MAGGIE GRACE: At this point, he’s like family. Liam’s like a father figure to me—so protective and thoughtful with a very generous spirit. He’s a man of substance and he doesn’t make any decisions lightly. There’s a danger in this genre [of Taken], where things can become easier and easier for an empowered, flawless hero. Liam brings to his role is a sense of real humanity to a moment.
NY: How do you motivate yourself during downtime between films? I know you keep up your craft through theater and such…
MG: I fell in love with theater when I was really young, since my introverted self could live through the observation and detective work of someone else’s life. It’s the connection, camaraderie, and sense of the ‘merry little theater group’—as if I ran off to join the circus. In the end, we’re all just circus people.
NY: With your heavy travel schedule, are boyfriends are out of the question?
MG: It’s sometimes a dance, managing my time, but since I have a secure base and feel anchored, I’m able to take risks in work and life. I think of relationships as having a really safe place with someone where you are, and making an effort to show up everyday—to see them and feel seen, especially as an actor when you’re already pretending to be other people all the time. It’s an incredible gift to feel seen by one person; a culture of two.
NY: Are you dating anyone now—an actor or non-actor?
MG: Yes. I haven’t dated too many actors. I did when I was really young, for a couple of years… but it’s nothing against actors. Ian Somerhalder [an ex-boyfriend] and I are still very good friends. You can certainly reconcile schedules with actors but it takes some doing, and I just don’t have that energy.
NY: How do you stay so fit? Do you do all your stunts?
MG: Two movies ago I did some wire stunts, doing black flips in midair, and it was so exhilarating. You feel like you have superpowers and you can fly. But they don’t let me do the really dangerous jumps. For exercise, I like kettle bells a lot, especially when I travel. I also love to be outdoors and hike, when I have the luxury.
NY: Do you find that we don’t take enough time to enjoy nature?
MG: It’s all there waiting for you. Recently, my dad and I spent some time in Big Sur and Yosemite, which was incredible. I have a used 2008 Toyota Camry I found on Craigslist—covered in mud—and it costs about 40 bucks to go on a crazy road trip at the last minute. It’s so much fun.
NY: Who have been important mentors to you?
MG: I loved working on Broadway last year with Ellen Burstyn, Mare Winningham, and Elizabeth Marvel [in Picnic]. It was such an amazing place to show up to work every day. Ellen, who is 81, has the most incredible work ethic and boundless curiosity.
NY: What are some of your healthy lifestyle tips?
MG: I center my meals around green things, unless I’m cooking for a crowd. I stock my fridge with food that makes me feel great—veggies and lean protein, and don’t even have anything that I couldn’t really go to town on. On a rushed day, my quick snack options are a spoonful of almond butter or veggies and hummus. I love cooking with coconut oil, and don’t eat processed foods at all. Also, I find I’m a lot happier when I’m running my errands on my bike. I wear a backpack and a purple helmet, and I look like a super nerd, but it beats spending the afternoon in the car. Also, my girlfriends are great about meeting for hikes, walks, the farmers market, and cooking together.
NY: What future goal do you look forward to?
MG: I have so many goals. Pursuing them will make me happier than achieving them. I’d like to produce a provocative, relevant cable show that’s empowering to women, and I have a few burning ideas there. Also, plant a vegetable garden, walk across England with my dad, finish writing a short story collection, and become a loving and really playful mama someday.