Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson have two children, and when Richardson died, her sons were just 13 and 12 years old. She was only 45 at the time.
Richardson’s untimely death was caused by a brain injury called an epidural hematoma after a skiing accident in 2009, nearly 10 years ago. And now, Micheál, the eldest of her two children, has decided to honor his mother in a special way.
Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson’s mother and Micheál’s grandmother, told the Daily Mail, “He’s taken, officially, the name of his mother. He’s Micheál Richardson, not Micheál Neeson,” she said.
The publication also reports that the younger brother, Daniel, will keep the Neeson last name.
According to Redgrave, his decision to take the Richardson surname has a very special meaning attached to it. “That wasn’t because he wanted to avoid his father’s fame, which is enormous. He wanted to hold his mother close to him — because she was a remarkable actress. Absolutely remarkable,” she told the publication.
Coping with the death of his mother wasn’t easy. He was only a teenager at the time, and both his mom and dad were celebrities. His dad is known for roles in movies such as “Taken” and “Schindler’s List,” while his mom acted in films such as “The Parent Trap” and “Asylum.”
Micheál, who is now 23, has since opened up about the path he went down while navigating life without his mom. “Last spring, things just started going downhill,” he told The Sunday Times in 2015. “The people I was with, we were partying a lot. It was dark. I hit rock bottom.”
He’s reportedly sought treatment to get sober since, and he realizes that his actions were a coping mechanism.
“Everybody said, ‘This kid has lost his mum, that’s where the problem comes from.’ And I was like, ‘No, it isn’t, I just like to party.’ But looking back I realize it was a delayed reaction,” he told the Times.
Years later, he’s found a way to keep the memory of his mom with him at all times by taking her name. He’s also pursuing a career in acting, which he thinks would have made his mom very proud.
“She never vocalized it, but I know that my mum liked the idea of me becoming an actor. She would have thought that was cool,” he told The Sunday Times in the 2015 interview.
What a sweet way to honor and remember his mom.