Liam Neeson, best known for his work in Schindler’s List and Taken as well as playing Qui-Gon Jinn in the Star Wars prequels recounted a shocking time when he looked for a “black bastard” to kill after a friend was raped.

The Irish actor recounted the story in an interview with Britain’s The Independent while promoting his upcoming revenge film Cold Pursuit.

Neeson begins by describing his latest character and the “primal” feelings he has, “There’s something primal – God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions. I’ll tell you a story. This is true.”

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He goes on to recount how he found out about the rape after just returning to Great Britain from a trip overseas. “She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way.” He continued, “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.”

Neeson then recalls what he did after discovering the race of the man,

“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… kill him.”

Liam Neeson then reveals that he even kept his behavior from the woman.

“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.'”

After reflecting on his actions Neeson admits his actions were “horrible.” “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 continues, “It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*** are you doing,’ you know?”

He would then reflect on his younger days growing up in Norther Ireland in the Troubles. The Troubles was a decade’s long internal conflict between pro-independence Catholics and Protestants who wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

“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.”

Neeson would shift the focus of the interview back to Cold Pursuit and the violence portrayed on screen.

“I think audience members live to see [that violence on screen]. They can kind of live vicariously through it. People say, ‘Yeah but violence in films makes people want to go out and kill people.’ I don’t believe that at all. I think the average moviegoer thinks, ‘Yeah, punch him. Punch him.’ And they get a satisfaction out of seeing somebody else enact it, and they leave the theatre and they feel satiated in some way.”

Following The Independent’s story, the Twitter-verse exploded. Many condemned Neeson’s confession of his feelings and his actions. Political reporter for BuzzFeed UK, Hannah Al-Othman was one of the first to chime in:

Lead game designer for ArenaNet, Jeffifer Scheurle commented that this was what “toxic masculinity” looked like:

Others weighed in with their own thoughts on Neeson’s story with people advocating to “cancel Liam Neeson.”

Others were willing to recognize that Neeson admitted his behavior was wrong and pushed for forgiveness.

As mentioned, the actor has declined to speak about the incident any further. However, that hasn’t stopped people from already painting the actor in a terrible light for his actions and feelings he had decades ago. Actions and feelings he admits were “horrible.”

What do you think? A young man, flashed with anger, is that out of character? Did Liam Nesson do the right thing about discussing his actions he admitted were “awful?”

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About The Author

Jorge Arenas
Resident Star Trek Specialist/ Writer

Jorge Arenas is a Governmental Affairs Director working in the Southwest. If Starfleet were real his career would be in a much different place. Currently, he specializes in all things Star Trek. He loves DC but has a soft spot for Deadpool. When not writing you can find him on World of Warcraft. Battle.net, ID-PassStage6#1707

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