The Fast Saga finally has a new chapter as of this weekend, with the long-awaited F9 bringing people back to theaters and marveling at how cars can, apparently, fly. But the biggest car-related news of the week was revealed by Liam Neeson, who learned the rules of the road from an arguably more famous actress a few decades ago.
In an interview with James Corden where Neeson explains, in part, why he didn’t become James Bond, the actor casually discussed his friendship with Dame Helen Mirren. Who, apparently, taught him how to drive.
As Neeson revealed during the interview, he was filming the 1981 movie Excalibur with Mirren, who was responsible for getting the Ice Road star behind the wheel: “Helen and I formed a lovely friendship, I’m proud to say,” he recalled. “But yeah, she taught me how to drive, yeah. Essentially.”
Corden asked if she was a good instructor, and Neeson said she was. As he explained, he had to “go to a British driving school” because he had gotten the job but it did not provide transportation for him, so he needed to get a license and a car. He bought what he described as “a converted sewing machine,” which Corden had a picture of. The whole story was very self-deprecating and lovely, really.
This is an example of how celebrities are very much not like us. Most of us are taught by a parent or guardian, not a living legend of the stage and screen. But not everyone is Liam Neeson, of course, and as we’ve learned from the Fast Saga, Mirren certainly has the driving chops to share her knowledge with others.