The Parent Trap actress died from blunt force trauma following a skiing accident

By Nicholas Rice
July 31, 2020 09:34 AM
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J. Kempin/FilmMagic; Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Micheál Richardson is opening up about losing his mother at a very young age.

Eleven years after her death, Natasha Richardson’s eldest son, Micheál, 25, still hasn’t fully processed losing his mother after she died from blunt force trauma following a skiing accident back in 2009.

Speaking with Vanity Fair, Micheál — who was 13 at the time of his mother's death — revealed, "I think the pain was a little too overwhelming."

"I think the mind is very powerful, and subconsciously, or unconsciously, it can protect you. That’s what it did when she passed. I just pushed it aside and didn’t want to deal with it."

He added, "I don’t, even still, think that I’ve fully comprehended it, and that seems to be a similar journey to a lot of people I’ve spoken to. Fifty-year-olds who lost their parents when they were 12, 13 ... One day they’re out gardening, and something comes over them and they just break down."

Micheál Richardson, Natasha Richardson and Daniel Neeson
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Since his mother's tragic death, Micheál has honored her in many ways, including changing his last name to Richardson back in 2018 and by following in her acting footsteps.

Currently, Micheál stars alongside his famous father, Liam Neeson, in Made in Italy, a dramatic comedy about an estranged father-son duo who have to work together to sell their rundown Tuscan villa after the death of their family matriarch.

With the film echoing emotions that both he and his father faced after Natasha's death, Micheál revealed to Vanity Fair why he would revisit such real-life pain for a film.

“I think as I get older, keeping my mom more in mind and doing things to honor her allows me to remember her and to go through the grief, and properly heal,” he said.

"The parallels were so apparent, that it felt like my mom, in a spiritual sense, had a hand in it," he shared, before adding that he felt his mother’s presence during filming — citing the example of when a butterfly flew between him and his father while they were shooting an emotional scene.

Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson
IFC Films

Also speaking to Vanity Fair, Neeson revealed that he is supportive of his son’s desire to pursue a career as an actor, but he initially had some concerns.

"The acting profession is about many things, and one of those is rejection," Neeson explained in an email to the publication. "If you get an audition and don’t get a recall and then don’t get the part and subsequently the job, it’s got nothing to do with your upbringing or what schools you attended; you’re rejected because of YOU; how you look, sound, the space you occupy as a human being. That is f------ tough."

He added, "So one has to be sensitive in order to do the 'work' and be able to hone that sensitivity, and yet one has to develop a 'thick skin' to not let the rejections wear you down: You have to desensitize. It’s crazy."

RELATED VIDEO: Liam Neeson's Son Changes His Last Name to Honor Late Mother, Parent Trap Star Natasha Richardson

Micheál also revealed that he is thankful his mother chose acting as a career because it means she's immortalized forever on film, though he revealed he hasn't seen all of his parents' films.

When asked about his favorite of his mom's roles, Micheál shared, "Just based off of who she is and how I remember her, it has to be The Parent Trap," before adding, "That’s more or less what she was like. She was this sweet, amazing mother figure, my best friend."

And for his dad? Micheál said his favorite film of Neeson's is 1993's Schindler's List, which earned the actor an Academy Award nomination.