The actor had auditioned for the role of war hero Oscar Schindler in the film, but he felt the session had gone so badly that he didn't even wait for a call back and signed on for a Broadway play opposite Natasha Richardson, who would become his wife.
Wild reviews for his performance in Anna Christie drew Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw to the theatre and it was a magical moment in his dressing room that led to the movie mogul offering him Schindler.
Neeson tells in-depth U.S. chat show Inside the Actors Studio, "They came backstage and there was a knock on the door and I was practically naked and it was Steven and Kate and Kate's mum, and Kate's mother was quite tearful and emotional, and, as naked as I was, I went over and gave her a big hug.
"About a week after that Steven called me and he said, 'Do you want to be Oscar Schindler?' Kate apparently said to Steven on the way home that when I hugged her mum that's just what Oscar Schindler would have done."