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Too Serious for Sighs

Move over, Kevin Costner. Hollywood may have a new romantic leading man.

Based on the sighs we heard for the male lead at an early screening of Touchstone’s “The Good Mother,” Liam Neeson could be joining the heartthrob bunch.

In fact, admitted a Disney rep, the studio’s been getting a lot of calls--mostly from women reporters--about the 6-foot-4, ruggedly handsome, blue-eyed Irishman, who has previously been known for not-so-appealing characters. In “Mother,” he’s Diane Keaton’s offbeat, likable, sculptor-lover in a too-good-to-be-true romance that takes a teary turn involving a child custody suit.

The Disney spokeswoman added that there was some stiff competition among women writers at Newsweek to interview Neeson for a profile due out next week.

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Calendar was curious about some vital stats (weight, waist and chest size, marital status, etc.)--all in the interest of reportage, of course. But Neeson’s agent wasn’t willing: “He’s a serious actor. He’s not going to think this is funny.”

And: “This isn’t the first role he’s done.”

But it is his most solidly romantic role--following his work as the bearded, shaggy-haired deaf-mute murder suspect in “Suspect” and the sleazy horror pic director in “The Dead Pool.”

Upcoming, he’ll emote as an amorous ghost in “High Spirits.” And he’s starring opposite Patrick Swayze in the now-shooting “Next of Kin.”

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