Liam's Return to Set After Death of Natasha: The "Best Thing He Could Do"

Director Atom Egoyen said Neeson's relationship with cast and crew helped him return to film set

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    AP

    Liam Neeson was able to return to the set of his soon-to-be-released film just a week after the shocking death of his wife Natasha Richardson because of his close relationship with the cast and crew, the film's director said last night.

    “He knew that if he didn’t sort of come back and finish it immediately, it would be really difficult," director Atom Egoyen said Sunday night. "Given the nature of the story and how everyone in the world was covering it, we assured him that when he came back he would be away from all of that.”

    During a discussion about his upcoming thriller "Chloe" at the Soho Apple store last night, director Atom Egoyen said Neeson found solace in filming the project in which he and Julianne Moore co-star as a sophisticated Toronto couple grappling with infidelity. Natasha died from complications stemming from a freak ski accident nearly a year ago while Neeson was filming the picture.

    “I think it was a protected environment and it was the best thing he could do. And we’re eternally grateful, obviously,“ said Egoyan.

    Egoyan discussed clips of his new movie and also talked about casting Amanda Seyfried, who has gone from playing ditzy girl roles to performing opposite Meryl Streep in "Mamma Mia!"

    “The moment she walked in ... there was something ... vulnerable, kind of wise, accessible and yet mysterious. Just she had so many contradictions,” he said.

    She’s made a name for herself on the big screen as a doe-eyed ingénue but she takes a darker turn as a cunning prostitute in the upcoming flick.

    “A lot of the other people that we were looking at seemed kind of packaged to be a certain type, and she kind of went against that and still remained really compelling,” said Egoyan, who cast the actress before her "Mamma Mia" fame.