Liam Neeson has been engulfed in controversy every since giving an interview in which he revealed a female friend was once raped by a black man, which filled him with so much rage he roamed the streets searching for any “black b*****d” he could fight.
Following extreme backlash to the 66-year-old “Taken” star’s interview, Variety is reporting that the director of his latest film is coming to Neeson’s defence.
“He is a very honest, he is a very decent, grounded man,” “Cold Pursuit” director Hans Petter Moland declared at a Berlin press conference to promote a different film, “Out Stealing Horses”, a new drama starring Stellan Skarsgard.
Insisting Neeson is “not a racist,” Moland lamented that people who haven’t even seen “Cold Pursuit” are “commenting on [the movie] in derogatory ways” due to Neeson’s remarks, “lumping it together with something that has nothing to do with it. It’s taking my voice away.”
“Out Stealing Horses” star Skarsgard also defended Neeson. “I find it disturbing and frightening to live in a world where people get punished not only for their deeds, but they get punished also for what you say,” he said. “You can get punished for what you think. But most of all you get punished for what people think you think.”
Moland added that audiences should read Neeson’s interview in context rather than “listening to all the Twitterati,” adding: “I made a film about the futility of revenge. It makes fun of all the gangster stereotypes, all of the other kind of stereotypes you can think of. It’s a cautionary tale about revenge, and I’d like people to see it for that.”
Neeson’s controversy resulted from an interview he gave to The Independent, with the actor declaring that after he learned of the rape he “went up and down areas with a cosh [Irish slang for 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 ‘black b*****d’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could… kill him.”
He continued: “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.’ It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f**k are you doing,’ you know?”