Liam Neeson has admitted he shocked himself with his 'primal urge' to commit violence, saying that he sought help and is not racist.
He was speaking after an interview was published in which the Northern Irish actor said he hoped to carry out a racially-motivated revenge killing after a friend was raped.
He told The Independent newspaper: "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******' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know?
"It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that."
The comments have prompted a global outcry - while some expressed horror, others defended his honesty.
"I'm not a racist."
Actor Liam Neeson addresses the controversial headlines surrounding a decades-old incident centering around rage, revenge and race with @RobinRoberts this morning on @GMA.
Watch the FULL interview HERE: https://t.co/MPgIRwyY9d pic.twitter.com/bmAZtyux2U
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 5, 2019
Speaking on Good Morning America today, Neeson clarified his comments - saying "luckily no violence occurred".
He explained: "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 I'd say four or five times... until I caught myself on.
"It really shocked me, this primal urge I had. It shocked me and it hurt me."
He said he sought help following his thoughts of violence, and spoke to both a priest and two good friends about his urges.
He added: "Believe it or not, power-walking... two hours every day... [helped] get rid of this. I'm not racist - this was nearly 40 years ago."
The Taken star also explained that he was brought up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles - saying he was surrounded by violence and bigotry, but was "never part of it".