Liam Neeson was convinced that the movie that turned him into a latter day action star would tank, he's admitted.
The movie, which was written and produced by Luc Besson, found Neeson playing the retired CIA agent Bryan Mills, whose daughter is abducted.
Despite his advancing age – Neeson was 56 at the time – he uses his brain and brawn to pummel the kidnapper into submission.
“No offence to Robert Kamen, our wonderful writer and my pal, but I thought, 'Well, this is going to go straight-to-video. A short little European thriller, it might play okay for a couple weeks in France and then it will go straight-to-video,'” he told Entertainment Weekly.
“But it did well in France and then it went straight to South Korea, and it did very well there.”
Neeson goes on to explain that his nephews in Ireland then downloaded it illegally once it had been released in South Korea, at which point he thought it would disappear 'into the ether'.
“But Fox took it and they very cleverly did a good trailer and put it during various sporting events around the country and they made it a real success,” he went on.
The first movie made $226 million, and spawned two sequels, the second making $376 million and the third making $326 million.
Indeed, the third movie was even a surprise to Neeson himself.
He told Dublin radio station 98FM in 2013: “I don’t think there’ll be a Taken 3. She can’t get taken again. That’s just bad parenting.”
As for the future of doing action movies, Neeson adds he'll 'keep doing them until they pass me the walker'.