Neeson gets Peta in a stew


REEL NEWS:People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) is urging punters to avoid the latest Liam Neeson film The Grey.

The snow-bound thriller (not press screened, hence its absence from these pages) found the Ballymena man stranded in a wasteland where wolves roam hungrily. Apparently, Joe Carnahan, the director, prepared wolf stew for the actors as part of the acclimatisation process. Some of the performers demurred. A few threw up. But folk raised in the land of the Cookstown sizzle are made of sterner stuff.

“It was very gamey,” Liam said. “But Im Irish, so Im used to odd stews. I can take it. Just throw a lot of carrots and onions in there and Ill call it dinner.”

The Peta statement explained: “Neeson’s stance on kindness to animals is sorely out of step with the rest of the world.” Failing to come up with a pithy slogan, the spokesperson continued: “Don’t just shy away. Run away from The Grey.”

Mr Neeson has stumbled into a few media tempests recently. A few weeks ago, while celebrating the sound of public prayer in Istanbul, he casually commented that: “It really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.” Within days, this glib remark – speculative at most – had triggered front-page headlines suggesting Liam really was set to embrace Islam.

For such a quiet man, he doesn’t half know how to scare up an empty controversy.