Though he has previously been tight-lipped on the subject of his wife Natasha Richardson's sudden death after a tragic skiing accident in March 2009, Liam Neeson, 58, is ready to talk.

The Unknown actor was shooting a film in Toronto when the accident happened in Montreal, and he tried all he could to get to his injured wife's side, despite obstacles. "I walked into the emergency – it's like seventy, eighty people, broken arms, black eyes, all that – and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me," he told Esquire magazine. "Not the nurses. The patients. No one … So I went outside. It's freezing cold, and I thought, 'What am I gonna do? How am I going to get past the security?'"

Finally his famous visage paid off when a nurse outside recognized the Oscar-nominated celeb. "I'll tell you, I was so f**king grateful – for the first time in I don't know how long – to be recognized," he said. The nurse directed him to his wife's room. "So I get there, just in time. And all these young doctors, who look all of eighteen years of age, they tell me the worst. The worst."

Neeson turned to his work for consolation after Richardson died. "That's effective. But that's the weird thing about grief. You can't prepare for it."

Unknown, about a man whose identity is stolen and is recognized by no one – not even his wife – opens in theaters on February 18. —KIMBERLY STEELE

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