Liam Neeson says he wanted to attack a "black b*****" after finding out about a loved one being raped
The actor says he is “ashamed” of his past actions
Liam Neeson has revealed that he wanted to attack a "black bastard" after finding out that someone close to him had been raped.
The 66-year-old made the comments in a remarkably frank interview with The Independent, to promote his new film Cold Pursuit, which sees his character take violent revenge against drug dealers who he believes killed his son.
Neeson, who has also starred in similar revenge movies such as Taken, revealed the story in relation to his character's motivation in the film.
He says that many years ago, he returned from overseas to discover that someone close to him had been raped. "She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way," the actor explained, "But my immediate reaction was… [pause] I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.
"I went up and down areas with a cosh, 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' [the interviewer stresses that Neeson made air quotes with his fingers when he said this] would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could [pause] kill him."
Neeson continued: "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."
He added: "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."
You can read the full interview on The Independent, with the full context to his comments.