LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Liam Neeson lends his distinct voice to "A Monster Calls," a film based on a children's novel that touches on serious issues like terminal illness.
Neeson voices a tree monster who says he's been summoned by a boy struggling with a tough time in his life and with no one to talk to about it.
"He conjures up this monster healing tree that's an amalgam of a tree that's actually out at the back of his garden, way up on a hill," Neeson says. "His grandfather, his mother's drawings that he remembers from when he was a kid - he amalgamates these all together and conjures up this healing presence that helps to guide him through this difficult time in his life."
His mother, played by Felicity Jones, has cancer.
Sigourney Weaver, who plays the boy's grandmother, said she and Jones met with people who had cancer and visited hospices when researching their roles.
"We each met with people who are going through this or who had survived cancer and we also - Felicity and I - went to a couple of hospice places to see what the last stages of this illness might be and how one could make that person feel better," Weaver said.
The PG-13 film, which goes in wide release Friday, is based on a novel by Patrick Ness.