An Emotional Premiere

Mimi ON Sep 22, 2010 AT 3:53 pm

Liam Neeson with late wife, Natasha Richardson.

Last night Liam Neeson was present at the premiere in London of the film, The Wildest Dream. This was the last performance by his wife, Natasha Richardson, who tragically died last year. Liam Neeson and Natasha’s sister Joely Richardson both released statements here to sum up their feelings about the film.

Liam Neeson has said;
“Since seeing the image of George Mallory’s partially naked vulnerable body, lying thousands of feet up on Mount Everest ten years ago, it has left an indelible impression on me, and I found myself thinking, my gosh, there’s a mystery, and there’s a story there!

His remarkable feat in 1924 has held an incredible attraction for me, so when I was approached by Anthony about this Everest project, I was especially excited by Anthony’s approach to Mallory’s story.  I had worked with Anthony Geffen previously on the BBC/PBS mini-series “The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization” and the Emmy award-winning documentary “Jerusalem: City of Heaven”, two very powerful pieces of work.

For me, “The Wildest Dream” is not just a film about mountain climbing; ultimately, it’s a passionate love story between George and Ruth Mallory and an extraordinary tale of one man’s curiosity, courage, and conviction. Mallory has always fascinated me because he dared to dream the impossible. As a kid I read that Mallory was a pioneering adventurer in a golden age of exploration, determined to experience the world’s last great untouched wilderness.  As an adult, I found the Mallory story just as tantalizing and compelling as in fact it has been since 1924.

The film weaves together wonderful archival footage from Mallory’s expedition with Conrad Anker’s climb, a story with extraordinary parallels eight decades apart. It’s a film everyone should see.
It’s a very moving and visually stunning film that I am proud to have been involved with. It also gave me a chance to work with my dear friend Ralph Fiennes, and my beloved wife, Natasha. She was as gripped with the Mallorys’ story, as was I.  As we all know, this was her final performance, and I know she was very proud to be part of this compelling story.

Joely Richardson’s statement, “I’m sorry I can’t be with you tonight. I’d very much hoped to attend this special event however I am in New York with Tasha’s family. So on behalf of all of us, I’d like to thank the organisers of tonight’s premiere for dedicating it to my sister Natasha Richardson. Her voice was truly a unique and magnificent blessing to all of us and she was beyond all our wildest dreams. This film was Natasha’s last project. She was very excited to be involved with it and Anthony tells me that it was her suggestion that there should be a premiere screening for the National Aids Trust when the film came to the UK

Natasha was passionate in her support of HIV and AIDS awareness, and as hands-on ambassador for over a decade, she also helped to raise millions. So it is very fitting that the premiere has gone ahead in aid of a charity she supported and we’re very touched with it taking place in her memory. Thank you all.
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