Controversial interviews that nearly killed careers

Famous and not-so-famous “Oh, boy” moments in world cinema

Liam Neeson’s disturbing revelation that he once stalked the streets of Northern Ireland looking for a black person to kill in revenge for his friend’s rape has led to much conversation on social media this week.

Most agree that the admission was – at best – bizarre, with some calling for the confession to be the end of Neeson’s career.

Neeson has since addressed the remarks, saying on Good Morning America: “I’m not racist.”

“I never felt this before, which was a primal urge to lash out,” he explained to host Robin Roberts. “I asked her, ‘Did you know the person? It was a man? His race?’ She said he was a black man. I thought, ‘Ok.’ After that, there were some nights I went out deliberately into black areas in this city, looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence.”

“I did it for maybe four or five times. It really shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me and it hurt me. I did seek help. I went to a priest. I had two very good friends I talked to, and believe it or not – power walking – to get rid of this.”

But Liam Neeson isn’t the first celebrity to say something in an interview that would cause controversy – with several iconic stars making statements they should almost certainly regret.

Sean Connery on slapping women

In 1965, Sean Connery conducted an interview with Playboy magazine, and was asked the following question: ‘How do you feel about roughing up a woman, as Bond sometimes has to do?’

“I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman – although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man. An open-handed slap is justified–if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it. I think a man has to be slightly advanced, ahead of the woman. I really do–by virtue of the way a man is built, if nothing else.”

“But I wouldn’t call myself sadistic. I think one of the appeals that Bond has for women, however, is that he is decisive, cruel even. By their nature women aren’t decisive–“Shall I wear this? Shall I wear that?”– and along comes a man who is absolutely sure of everything and he’s a godsend. And, of course, Bond is never in love with a girl and that helps. He always does what he wants, and women like that. It explains why so many women are crazy about men who don’t give a crap for them.”

Wow. Clearly, 1965 was a different time – Connery’s career barely experienced a bump, and he went on to make several more Bond movies.

Now, imagine if Daniel Craig said the same thing in 2019, we’re pretty sure that would be the last interview he did as 007. Or as a working actor.

Luckily, Craig is actually a better advocate for women than he is for Bond, saying in 2015 that: “Let’s not forget that he’s actually a misogynist,” Craig said. “A lot of women are drawn to him chiefly because he embodies a certain kind of danger and never sticks around for too long.”

Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans’ on Black Widow

Woah boy. During the press tour for Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner decided to spice up their day of interviews with a couple of edgy jokes. Big mistake.

Asked about the fact that fans want Black Widow to have a romantic subplot with their characters, as she seems to have chemistry with both Captain America and Hawkeye, Renner replied, “She’s a slut.”

Evans laughed and agreed, saying, “I was going to say something along that line … a complete whore.” Renner then joked that “she has a prosthetic leg anyway,” implying that was a reason she should be rejected.

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