However, the red carpet for the screening was canceled just hours before arrivals were to begin in the wake of the Neeson’s racially charged comments he recently made during an interview with the Independent. Neeson revealed that he once was hoping to kill some “black bastard” after a friend was brutally raped over 40 years ago.
Earlier in the day, Neeson appeared on “Good Morning America,” insisting his words were taken out of context. “I’m not a racist,” he told “GMA’s” Robin Roberts.
A source tells Variety that the red carpet for “Cold Pursuit” was nixed because Neeson felt like he said all he needed and wanted to say about the Independent interview.
The screening at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square started unceremoniously without any welcoming remarks from studio execs or the film’s creative team.
As the credits rolled guests departed the theater only to be abruptly stopped in their tracks by the presence of Neeson standing in the lobby. Holding a coffee mug while donning a baseball cap and casual button down shirt, the actor happily obliged to take photos with a few attendees before quickly exiting the building.
Neeson was one of the first to arrive the the swanky after party at The Skylark. Standing at the entrance, he greeted guests with a warm smile before joining his cast members, including Tom Bateman (“Snatched” and “Vanity Fair”) and Tom Jackson (“North of 60”). Neeson departed at around midnight.