Helen Mirren says she and ex Liam Neeson ‘loved each other’ but were ‘not meant to be together’

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Helen Mirren photographed by Maarten de Boer

Helen Mirren talks about her relationship with Liam Neeson in the 1980s.

Into a new one AARP The Magazine cover story published Tuesday, and shared exclusively with PEOPLE, the acclaimed actress, 77, revealed that “all my boyfriends should have a shirt made by me.”

The list of men who own Mirren’s homemade shirts includes Peter O’Toole, her executive husband Taylor Hackford (with whom she celebrated their 25th anniversary in December 2021) and Neeson, 70, who she dated between 1980 and 1985 .

“I oddly made one for Liam,” Mirren added in the interview when asked if Neeson owns one of her handmade shirts.

The actress went on to explain that while she and Neeson “loved each other”, the relationship was not lasting.

RELATED: Liam Neeson Remembers First Fall For Former Flame Helen Mirren: ‘I Was Smitten’

“We weren’t meant to be together like that, but we loved each other very much,” she told the outlet. “I love him very much to this day. He’s such a great guy.”

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Helen Mirren photographed by Maarten de Boer

During the interview, Mirren laughed when it was suggested that she actually has her “own line of shirts”, calling the items “very bad shirts”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mirren said “in a different way we’re totally changing”, when asked if she thinks she’s changed over the years.

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“I mean, I’m a completely different person compared to the person I was when I was 22 or 23,” Mirren said. “Even your skin changes. Your body changes. How you think changes.”

In a January 2018 appearance on The Graham Norton ShowNeeson and Mirren said they lived together for four years during their romance, which began after they met on the set of the 1981 fantasy film Excalibur.

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

“We didn’t date, we lived together for four years — we were a serious item for a while,” Mirren said. “Happy me!”

Neeson admitted it was love at first sight when he met Mirren, saying he was “in love” with the actress.

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Helen Mirren covers AARP The Magazine

Richard Young/Shutterstock

After Mirren’s relationship with Neeson, she began dating director Hackford after they met during her audition for his 1985 film. white nights. Mirren won the part and the director, whom she married in December 1997.

RELATED: Helen Mirren on what she’s learned about love after nearly 25 years of marriage: Just keep going

“Oh, he won’t!” Mirren laughingly told PEOPLE in an interview back in April, when asked how her husband makes her feel beautiful. “I don’t think he ever makes me feel pretty. There’s no need to. That’s not why I love him, honestly.”

The actress also said she enjoyed the time the couple had together during the pandemic.

“I’ve worked every year since I was 20,” she told PEOPLE. “COVID was the first time in my entire life that I have not worked for six months.”

So many people, she acknowledged, “went through that awful, awful time, but what was valuable to me was spending time with my husband and sitting across the table from him every night for six months—which I’ve never done before— and not worrying about or even thinking about work.

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