Liam Neeson reveals hunting for a black man to kill in revenge for friend's rape
CGTN

Veteran actor Liam Neeson revealed on Monday that he once walked the streets hunting for a "black b******" to kill in retaliation for the rape of a friend.

The 66-year-old Northern Irish star of "Schindler's List" and "Darkman" made this revelation while promoting his latest action thriller "Cold Pursuit".

In an interview with Britain's The Independent, he admitted to once wanting to find a black man - any black man willing to pick a fight - to murder on the spot.

Neeson refused to reveal the name of the raped woman or when the incident occurred.

Liam Neeson is in an interview with Chinese media in Beijing, China, March 21, 2018. /VCG Photo

Liam Neeson is in an interview with Chinese media in Beijing, China, March 21, 2018. /VCG Photo

But he detailed a week of rage during which he walked the streets with what he called a "cosh" - slang for a short, heavy baton - while in search of his innocent victim.

"I'll tell you a story. This is true," he said in the interview whose audio was uploaded to the online newspaper's site.

He said his "immediate reaction" after being told of the rape was to ask: "Did she know who he was? No. What color were they? She said, it was a black person."

Neeson said he then "went up and down the areas with a cosh hoping I'd be approached by somebody. I'm ashamed to say that."

(L-R) Caroline Goodall, Liam Neeson, Steven Spielberg, Ben Kingsley, Embeth Davidtz and Janet Maslin speak onstage at the 'Schindler's List' cast reunion during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at The Beacon Theatre on April 26, 2018 in New York City. /VCG Photo

(L-R) Caroline Goodall, Liam Neeson, Steven Spielberg, Ben Kingsley, Embeth Davidtz and Janet Maslin speak onstage at the 'Schindler's List' cast reunion during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at The Beacon Theatre on April 26, 2018 in New York City. /VCG Photo

"And I did it for maybe a week hoping some... black b****** would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know, so I could... kill him."

He said the entire episode lasted for "a week, maybe a week and a half".

"It was horrible, horrible when I think back, that I did that. And I've never admitted that."

'Need for revenge'

Neeson said he learned the "need for revenge" while growing up in Northern Ireland during years of sectarian violence in the British province known as "The Troubles".

"That primal need, I understand," he said.

The son of Neeson's character in his new film is killed by a drug gang. The plot revolves around the father's subsequent pursuit of the culprits - a subject that apparently prompted Neeson to reveal his secret.

"Cold Pursuit" is far from being the first revenge-focused film in Neeson's career. In 2008, he experienced a major, unexpected resurgence thanks to the success of "Taken", in which he plays Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative who goes on the rampage to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

Not only did this spawn two sequels but it changed his screen image from that of a prestige actor to an action hero.

(L-R) Aisha Brown, Liam Neeson and Amanda Brugel attend the 'Widows' premiere during 2018 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. /VCG Photo

(L-R) Aisha Brown, Liam Neeson and Amanda Brugel attend the 'Widows' premiere during 2018 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. /VCG Photo

The disclosure created a furor on social media. Neeson's name trended worldwide on Twitter on Monday, alongside globally discussed events such as Super Bowl LIII and Chinese New Year.

Neeson's acting career has spanned four decades and included two voice roles in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series.

The Independent said Neeson told his story during a 17-minute interview conducted in a New York City hotel.

The paper later reached out to the actor's publicist to get further comment. The Independent said the publicist declined.

Neither the director of "Cold Pursuit" nor its production companies - StudioCanal and Summit Entertainment - issued an immediate comment.

(Cover: Liam Neeson attends the Netflix The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Premiere New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center, October 4, 2018. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): AFP