Hollywood actor Liam Neeson has admitted for the first time that he used to have violent thoughts about killing a black person.
The Irish star said the thoughts were sparked after a female friend of his was raped.
Neeson said he used to be armed with a cosh weapon on the streets hoping someone “would have a go” at him “about something” so he could kill them.
The 66-year-old made his comments during an interview for his new film Cold Pursuit where he talked about how his character turns to anger.
Neeson told the Independent: “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.”
He said the rape happened a while ago and he found out about it after coming back from a trip abroad.
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way.
“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.
“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 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.”
The Taken star, told the publication it took him over a week to process what had happened to his friend.
He continued: “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.
“It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*** are you doing,’ you know?”
Neeson, who was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, said he understands “that need for revenge” due to his Northern Ireland upbringing.
“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.”
Representatives for Neeson and film studio Lionsgate have been contacted for comment.