herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

He's played Collins and Rob Roy ... now Liam's the voice of God

film

Actors Liam Neeson (L) and Salma Hayek attend Spike TV's Guys Choice 2015 at Sony Pictures Studios
Actors Liam Neeson (L) and Salma Hayek attend Spike TV's Guys Choice 2015 at Sony Pictures Studios

Liam Neeson is set to become the voice of God for the United Nations.

The star is known for his role as Bryan Mills in the Taken franchise but now he'll be appearing on the silver screen in an animated ad to raise awareness for the UN.

The ad, which features an animated llama and Neeson's voice as God, will be shown in cinemas across the globe in an effort to promote the UN's goals, including plans for sustainable development which will be unveiled in September.

The goals will be decided by 193 world leaders and will range from improving women's rights around the world to encouraging the use of renewable resources and ending hunger.

COMEDIES

The project is being spearheaded by writer and director Richard Curtis, better known for romantic comedies Notting Hill and Bridget Jones's Diary.

It's hoped the ad will reach an audience of "seven billion people in seven days". The project is backed by Sawa, the global cinema advertising association, and campaign organisers claim the new ad will be the first truly global cinema ad.

"We want to try to make sure everyone on the planet knows about this to-do list for the planet," Curtis told an audience at Cannes Lions.

"It will be an ad that everyone can understand ... a shared common experience. I'm hoping that people will watch, laugh, share and act."

The ad, which has been created by a team at Aardman - the studio behind Wallace and Gromit - will be seen by cinemagoers in more than 30 countries.

TRANSLATE

Curtis also revealed that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has promised to translate the goals in 293 languages as a way of making them widely understood.

This isn't the first time Neeson has lent his dulcet tones to an advert. Earlier this year his Ballymena accent could be heard on Tourism Ireland's St Patrick's Day video.

The video celebrated "the greenest day of the year", and aimed to inspire global holidaymakers to visit Ireland during 2015.

The 62-year-old is one of Ireland's best-known actors and can currently be seen on the silver screen in Ted 2 opposite Mark Wahlberg.

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