Liam Neeson on Charlie Hebdo, gun control in US

The actor speaks out in light of Charlie Hebdo attacks in France and protests in the United States

Image Credit:
Hollywood actor Liam Neeson at a press conference to launch his new film, Taken 3, in Dubai on Monday January 12, 2015. Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Liam Neeson might be brandishing a gun on posters for Taken 3 all around town, but in light of the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, and ongoing protests against police brutality in America, the actor told tabloid! he’s still firmly in favour of gun control.

“First off, my thoughts and prayers and my heart are with the deceased, and certainly with all of France, yesterday. I’ve got a lot of dear friends in Paris,” the 62-year-old said.

“There’s too many [expletive] guns out there,” he continued. “Especially in America. I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a [expletive] disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”

Asked whether or not he thinks this issue extends to police responsibility, he said: “Let’s not get into it. Let’s put it this way: I think a light has been shone on the justice system in America, and it’s a justifiable light.”

The actor starred in the first instalment of Taken in 2008, and claims that Taken 3 will be the last in the series. He spoke of his role as trigger-happy Bryan Mills and why it doesn’t necessarily encourage people to go out and buy a gun themselves.

“I grew up watching cowboy movies, loved doing that [gun gesture] with my fingers, ‘Bang, bang, you’re dead!’ I didn’t end up a killer. I think that’s something the power of cinema can be,” he said.

“A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it’s fantasy. It’s in the movies, you know? I think it can give people a great release from stresses in life and all the rest of it, you know what I mean? It doesn’t mean they’re all going to go out and go, ‘Yeah, let’s get a gun!’,” he added.

Taken 3 opens in cinemas across the UAE on Thursday.