Actor Liam Neeson has come under fire following an interview in The Independent where he revealed that he had once sought out racist revenge. The Taken star was promoting his new movie, Cold Pursuit when he gave the interview during a press tour and expressed regret that he had ever felt that way.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson told the newspaper on being asked about his film character’s anger and recounted a personal story. “But my immediate reaction was … did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.”
Liam Neeson tells the world he wanted to lynch a stranger and people are arguing over whether or not he should be forgiven. I..whew. NOPE.
— ❄Mikki Kendall❄ (@Karnythia) February 5, 2019
“I went up and down areas with a cosh [crowbar], hoping I’d be approached by somebody. I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week — hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him,” he added.
He also stated that now when he looks back at it, he realises how horrible it was. “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”
“It’s awful,” Neeson continued. “But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*** are you doing’, you know?”
Here’s an audio recording of that #LiamNeeson interview. pic.twitter.com/EuhAb3FKrC
— Tom Selway (@tomselsocial) February 5, 2019
The 66-year-old actor also added that he grew up surrounded by violence in Northern Ireland and that it taught him that revenge just leads to more killing and revenge.
Liam Neeson had a terrible impulse that he didn’t act on, that he knows was terrible, and that he learned from. If we’re going to cancel people for being TEMPTED to do wrong, or for struggling with something before coming to the right conclusion … well, we’re going to be busy.
— Eric D. Snider (@EricDSnider) February 4, 2019
“I come from a society — I grew up in Northern Ireland in the Troubles — and, you know, I knew a couple of guys that died on hunger strike, and I had acquaintances who were very caught up in the Troubles, and I understand that need for revenge, but it just leads to more revenge, to more killing and more killing, and Northern Ireland’s proof of that. All this stuff that’s happening in the world, the violence, is proof of that, you know. But that primal need, I understand.”