Liam Neeson claims a horse in his new movie ''recognised'' him.

The 66-year-old actor can next be seen in Western 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' and the creature that pulled his wagon remembered working with the 'Taken' star on a previous movie.

Liam had taken ''special care'' of the horse on their previous project so the equine was happy to see him.

He told the New York Post newspaper's Page Six column: ''I play a travelling impresario. We filmed in New Mexico. The odd thing is the horse who pulls my wagon knew me.

''You won't believe it. I'm saying this horse knew me. He actually remembered me from another Western we made a while back.

''I love animals. When we worked together before I took special care of him. I fed him treats. Gave him apples.

''He whinnied when he saw me. And pawed the ground.''

The movie also stars James Franco, Tyne Daly and Zoe Kazan, with Tim Blake Nelson in the titular role.

But the 54-year-old star doesn't think he'd have landed the lead role if it wasn't for his friends, the movie's directors the Coen brothers, because he isn't traditionally ''handsome'', well known or tall enough for a main part.

He said: ''I play singing cowboy Buster Scruggs. You'd think, who am I to play a lead being short, small of frame, not handsome, not well-known? Only with the Coen brothers could this happen.

''They're friends. I'm an actor who's done 80 films. My character's a killer but doesn't kill unless he's provoked. He lives by a code. In a sense, he feels justified. It's self-defence.''