Donald Glover and Jordan Peele successfully enticed Liam Neeson to make a guest appearance in the highly anticipated third season of “Atlanta.”
During its 41-episode run, ‘Atlanta’ has had numerous noteworthy moments and guest appearances, and Liam Neeson’s cameo is one of them. It gained attention due to the controversy surrounding the actor’s 2019 interview where he admitted to feeling racial vengeance and carrying a gun to potentially shoot a Black man. Although Neeson apologized for his statement, Glover saw this as an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
In a cameo role, Liam Neeson appears as himself in a scene set in the Cancel Club. He is sitting in a bar at the club which is an underground establishment for publicly shamed celebrities. Despite previously apologizing for his controversial remarks, his “Atlanta” appearance sees him mocking his own apologies and taking aim at the privileges of white Hollywood actors. The scene blends reality and surrealism, showcasing the signature style of the drama-comedy.
Donald Glover revealed how he persuaded Liam Neeson to confront one of his most humiliating moments on national television by featuring in an unusual yet realistic scene in the American dramedy.
He shared that, “When I got in touch with him, Liam poured his heart out. He was like, ‘I am embarrassed. I don’t know about this. I’m trying to get away from that. ’ And I was like, ‘Man, I’m telling you, this will be funny! And you’ll actually get a lot of cream from it because it’ll show you’re sorry.’ So, he asked me to let him think about it. Then he sent me an email saying, ‘I don’t think I can do it and best of luck with ‘Atlanta,’ blah-blah-blah.’”
Donald Glover was determined to have Liam Neeson appear in a guest role for “Atlanta” despite the actor’s past controversy. After Neeson initially declined his offer, Glover found another angle to convince him to take the gig. He then enlisted the help of Jordan Peele, who Neeson had said he trusted after the incident.
While explaining his strategy for convincing Neeson and how Peele came into the picture, Glover shared that, “Liam said [after the incident] he talked to Morgan Freeman, Jordan Peele, and Spike Lee. So I was like… Jordan Peele! I hit Jordan Peele up and I was like, ‘Look, man, I got this idea. He said that he trusted you. Tell him it’s a good idea!‘”
Luckily, Peele liked the idea and successfully convinced Neeson to take the role. Glover recounted, “Jordan thought it was hilarious! So Jordan talked to him. Liam hit me back and said he talked to Jordan and his son and thought it’d actually be a good thing.”
However, Peele found the experience so surreal that he briefly wondered if he was the subject of a larger prank. Glover added, “But what was so funny is, like, I forgot to hit Jordan back. I was so excited about Liam doing it. So Jordan hit a friend of mine, and was like, ‘Am I on a prank show where Donald got me to forgive Liam Neeson? Was this a joke…on me?’”
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The resulting scene in “Atlanta” represents a perfect fusion of the real world and that wildly surreal “Atlanta” universe.
All four seasons of the critically acclaimed series can be streamed on FX through Hulu. With a wide variety of similar shows, here’s how you could watch Atlanta on Hulu outside the US.