Many people on Monday are questioning award-winning actor Liam Neeson’s sanity after he admitted to once walking the streets with the intent of killing any black man who approached him in an aggressive manner. But some people are actually defending him.
Neeson, who has starred in movies like “Taken,” “Schindler’s List,” “Star Wars,” “The Grey, and “Dark Man,” made the bizarre revelation during an interview with the UK’s The Independent about his new film “Cold Pursuit.”
In the film, Neeson plays a character who goes on a vigilante-style rampage against the drug dealers he believe have murdered his son. But while talking about the film, the 66-year-old actor described a time when he attempted to do the same thing to any black man he ran into who might want to fight.
Neeson, who grew up in Northern Ireland, told The Independent that a close friend of his was raped quite a few years ago. He didn’t specify when or in which country this happened.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said, “But my immediate reaction was ... did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”
He continued, “I went up and down areas with a cosh [a nightstick], hoping I’d be approached by somebody. I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week — hoping some [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black [expletive]’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said. “And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”
“It’s awful,” he added. “But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the [expletive] are you doing,’ you know?”
Neeson connected his vengeful attitude against the black community to his character’s vindictive attitude in “Cold Pursuit.” But it was a startling admission to make, especially as Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is fighting to keep his job after getting caught up in a much milder racial scandal.
Neeson’s publicist declined to give The Independent any further explanation to what he said in the interview. Reactions from people on social media were all across the board.