When Liam Neeson showed up at a Manhattan apartment for a Hillary Clinton fundraiser on Wednesday evening, of course star-struck attendees began making smirking references to his “particular set of skills” line from Taken. Unsurprisingly, even the person tasked with introducing Bill Clinton dropped the reference.
“He just showed up,” an attendee at the event told The Daily Beast. “I mean, it was Liam fucking Neeson. He was objectively very funny.”
The fundraiser was hosted at the apartment of Democratic donor John Fitzpatrick, president of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, which operates boutique hotels in New York City. (Fitzpatrick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.) The event, attended by roughly 30 people, was organized by Irish-American supporters of the Clintons. President Clinton is well recognized for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process, and the former secretary of state was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at a luncheon in New York City last year.
“The event was hosted by a bunch of Irish-American supporters of hers,” the attendee said. “Of course, Irish people are just a lot of fun, good people to have a party with.”
The 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner didn’t show up for the fundraiser, though her husband, Neeson (who has played Irish revolutionary Michael Collins on-screen), and a couple female stars of the USA Network series Suits come by for the pro-Hillary, Irish-American fun.
Neeson’s rep emailed The Daily Beast that the actor would not “at this time” be commenting on whether he is an avowed Hillary supporter.
Neeson’s ties to the Clintons don’t run as deep as those maintained by other celebrities, such as Katy Perry and Lena Dunham. (It was reported that both Bill Clinton and the 63-year-old actor would appear in The Hangover Part II, but alas neither ended up in the film.) Neeson’s political views tend to fit comfortably within the mainstream of the Democratic Party. In late 2014, he became another Hollywood star to attract the ire of the gun lobby.
“There’s too many fucking guns out there. Especially in America,” he told Gulf News the following year while promoting Taken 3 in Dubai. “I think the population is, like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a fucking disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”
Neeson has also enraged animal-rights activists and PETA with his support for horse-drawn carriages in New York, and last year narrated an Amnesty International pro-choice ad that was slammed for allegedly being “shamelessly anti-Catholic.” Less controversially, he worked with UNICEF to combat violence against children, and in doing so cited Taken as his inspiration.
“As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, I have long followed the issue of violence against children and the devastating impact it has on children, families and communities,” Neeson said in 2013. “It was a topic that became increasingly real to me as a child growing up in Ireland and during the filming of Taken, which focuses on one aspect of violence and abuse against children in the form of trafficking and sexual exploitation.”
Hillary Clinton’s views on human trafficking and exploitation appear to align with Neeson’s. In 2009, The Washington Post ran her op-ed on trafficking and the scourge of “modern slavery.”