It might sound like the plot to a Liam Neeson movie but the actor revealed a real-life disturbing incident from his past that led him to walk the streets hoping to find and kill “some black bastard” after the rape of someone close to him.
The 66-year-old action star gave an interview with The Independent to promote his latest film, “Cold Pursuit.” With his co-star Tom Bateman seated next to him, Neeson proceeded to recount an incident many years ago where he learned that someone close to him had been raped.
“There’s something primal, God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions,” he began. “I’ll tell you a story. This is true.”
Neeson explained he returned from overseas several years ago and learned of the rape.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said. “But my immediate reaction was … I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”
He continued, “I went up and down areas with a cosh [a heavy stick], 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.”
Neeson said this went on for about a week.
“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said. “And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid.”
Liam Neeson said that growing up in Northern Island helped him to “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.”