Liam Neeson recently did a catastrophically bad interview with The Independent in which he explained how he concocted a racist revenge plan and walked the streets waiting for a chance to carry it out.
The interview was to promote his latest film, Cold Pursuit, in which Neeson plays a snowplow driver out for revenge against the drug dealers he believes killed his son. Things didn’t start off too bad for the actor, but when the topic of conversation turned to the morality of revenge, Neeson began talking about his reaction to one of his friends being raped, saying:
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson says. “But my immediate reaction was… 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’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could…. kill him.
It took me a week, maybe a week and a half, to go through that. She would say, ‘Where are you going?’ and I would say, ‘I’m just going out for a walk.’ You know? ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘No no, nothing’s wrong.’””
Yikes. I mean, wow. That’s really not cool. In Neeson’s defense, he immediately admitted that he’s horrified at his past actions, stating:
“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.”
Neeson’s co-star Tom Bateman, who was sat alongside him, succinctly encapsulated what most of us are currently thinking:
Naturally, this has gone down pretty badly in the international media. The front page of almost every British newspaper has led with shocking headlines about Neeson’s story, and the interview has spread far and wide across the world today. Given that Neeson’s spent much of the last decade making some variety of revenge movie, with the Taken series a particularly popular franchise, it gives them an edge that’s perhaps a little too real.
In addition, it’s also probably going to completely tank Cold Pursuit‘s box office chances. This was supposed to be Liam Neeson‘s return to the screen after a short break, but I suspect that after this interview, he’s going to be spending a little bit of time in the Hollywood wilderness as people try to get over his remarks. I know it’s affected my image of him.