AceShowbiz - Actor Micheal Richardson is sure his late mother Natasha Richardson "had a hand" in his casting for new drama "Made in Italy".
The 25-year-old stars alongside his real-life dad and Natasha's widower, Liam Neeson, as a father and son struggling with the loss of the family matriarch, and Micheal reveals he was drawn to the project because it hit so close to home as the British actress died in 2009 after a tragic skiing accident.
It was Neeson who actually brought the script to his son's attention, indicating it would be the perfect project for the pair to tackle together onscreen. "He had this look in his eye," Micheal recalled to Vanity Fair. "He was like, 'I want you to read this.' He didn't say anything else."
And once he finished reading the screenplay, the young actor knew he wanted to jump onboard.
"The parallels were so apparent, that it felt like my mum, in a spiritual sense, had a hand in it (bringing the film to them)," he shared.
Micheal, who was just 13 when he lost his mum, also felt Natasha's presence on set, particularly during a pivotal scene with Neeson, when a butterfly flew back and forth between them.
He recently admitted working on the movie with his dad opened them up to really discuss the pain they still harbored over Natasha's passing, but Micheal doubts he will ever fully come to terms with her death, something he has struggled with for more than a decade.
"I think the pain was a little too overwhelming," he said of dealing with the tragedy at the time. "I think the mind is very powerful, and subconsciously, or unconsciously, it can protect you. That's what it did when she passed. I just pushed it aside and didn't want to deal with it."
"I don't, even still, think that I've fully comprehended it, and that seems to be a similar journey to a lot of people I've spoken to," Micheal continued. "Fifty-year-olds who lost their parents when they were 12, 13... One day they're out gardening, and something comes over them and they just break down."
And although "Made in Italy" forced Micheal to relive aspects of his own personal heartache, he's grateful for the opportunity to keep his mother's memory alive.
"I think as I get older, keeping my mum more in mind and doing things to honor her allows me to remember her and to go through the grief, and properly heal," he added.