“Schindler’s List” actor Liam Neeson sparked a load of controversy during a recent interview in which he revealed he had entertained violent thoughts about killing a black man after an unnamed loved one had been allegedly raped by a black man.
Speaking with The Independent, the 66-year-old actor who became an action star with the box-office hit “Taken” opened up about several dark thoughts he held in the past following the rape of his loved one.
“There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” Neeson began as he recounted his story.
The rape against this loved one allegedly happened while he was overseas. When he returned to learn of the rape, he recalled the many horrific thoughts that went through his mind and how he donned an almost Charles Bronson “Death Wish” persona to make up for it.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said. “I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”
Neeson continued, “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 [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could [pause] kill him.”
Liam Neeson regrets having held these thoughts, denouncing them as a horrible product of his distress. “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,'” he said. “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.”
The greatest lesson Neeson admits to have learned is that revenge solves nothing.
Neeson said, “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.”
In Neeson’s newest film, “Cold Pursuit,” the Irish actor will be playing a father out for revenge after his son is killed by a drug gang.
Liam Neeson most recently endorsed the legalization of abortion in Ireland. “There are times when we must stand for what is right,” Neeson claimed in a letter to The Independent. “When the obvious injustice of a situation demands that we do so. For me, the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment is one of those times. A time to stand up and be counted. A moment when men must stand with women.”