Rough Ride: Liam Neeson & Julianne Moore Talk “Non-Stop”

On Monday, news broke about a co-pilot on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Rome hijacking the airliner and flying it to Geneva, Switzerland in an attempt to seek asylum.

Ultimately, the 30-something Ethiopian man flying the Boeing 767-300 was arrested and passengers were unharmed and completely unaware of what was happening at the time.

This story couldn’t be timelier with the upcoming release of Universal Pictures’ film “Non-Stop.”

The action thriller that stars Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore takes place on an international flight from New York to London.

Liam Neeson in “Non Stop”

During the flight, U.S. federal air marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of threatening text messages, stating that a passenger will be killed every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred into a secret bank account. When the bank account is discovered to be under Marks’ name and a bomb is found aboard the plane, Marks is branded as a hijacker.

“Non-Stop” keeps you on the edge of your seat and you watch the film perplexed about the culprit, because at some point, you think everyone is a suspect.

During an interview with at the Ritz Carlton Central Park in New York City, Neeson said now is the perfect time for this film to be released.

“A lot of the journalist from Europe, quite a few actually, were asking about September 11. It’s like, ah, please. However, that being said, I don’t think the film could have been made 10 years ago of course. It would have been totally insensitive,” he explained.

Lupita Nyong’o in “Non-Stop”

The 61-year-old Oscar nominee said this movie works because of its real life setting.

We all know the nightmares of airports. It’s a backdrop to the thriller. It’s playing on those fears. But it’s an entertainment,” he offered.

His co-star, Moore, said the manner in which director Jaume Collet-Serra handled this story evokes memories of classic Alfred Hitchcock films and the disaster movies she loved as a kid like “The Poseidon Adventure” and “Towering inferno.”

“He takes ordinary circumstances and turns them into kind of Hitchcockian event,” said Moore. “It turns it into classic entertainment.”

The 53-year-old Emmy winner said the best way to engage audiences with a film like “Non-Stop” is to play off your basic fears.

“All of these kind of thrillers and horror movies, anything that’s supposed to give you that kind of scare; they’re all based on whatever our natural worries are. You take them and exaggerate them. Is it a ghost? Is it the devil?” she asked, before emphasizing: “I’m very scared of the devil!”

She continued: “In this case, you take something that is routine and play on that fear. When you get on an airplane, you’re giving up some control.”

“Non-Stop” also stars Nate Parker, Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o, Michelle Dockery, Anson Mount and Scoot McNairy. The film opens on Friday, Feb. 28.

Nate Parker in “Non-Stop”

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for “Non-Stop” below. 

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