Donald Glover: Jordan Peele convinced Liam Neeson to do Atlanta
Neeson wasn’t sure he wanted to visit the Cancel Club until Peele told him it was a good idea.
One of the most memorable moments of “Atlanta” Season 3 (which is no small feat) comes in the form of Liam Neeson’s cameo. The actor appears as himself at the bar of a publicly-shamed celebrity underground nightclub called the Cancel Club. Neeson was banished there for the real thing Comments which he made in 2019 when he said he carried a gun for a week hoping to get a chance to kill a black man.
Neeson has already apologized profusely for the statements, but “Atlanta” sees him turn his own apologies on their head and poke fun at the things Hollywood allows white actors to do. The scene represents a perfect fusion of the real world and the wildly surreal “Atlanta” universe. But how do you convince a legendary actor to account for one of his most humiliating moments on national TV? In a new one GQ Glover explained how he got Neeson to do the gig.
“When I contacted him, Liam poured his heart out,” Glover said. “He said, ‘I’m embarrassed. I don’t know about that. I’m trying to get rid of it. And I was like, “Man, I’m telling you, this is going to be funny! And you actually get a lot of cream from him because it shows that you’re sorry. So he asked me to think about it. Then he sent me an email saying, “I don’t think I can do it, and good luck with ‘Atlanta,’ blah blah blah.
But Glover wasn’t ready to give up on the idea, so he began looking for another side to convince Neeson that the role was right for him.
“Liam said (after the incident) that he spoke to Morgan Freeman, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee,” he said. “So I was like… Jordan Peele!” I hit up Jordan Peele and said, “Look, man, I have this idea. He said he trusts you. Tell him that’s a good idea!”
Fortunately, Peele liked the idea and was able to successfully convince Neeson to take on the role, and the rest is TV history—though Glover noted that Peele found the experience so surreal that he briefly wondered if he was the subject of a larger joke. e.
“Jordan thought it was funny! So Jordan talked to him. Liam hit back and said he had spoken to Jordan and his son and thought it would be a good thing. But what was so funny is that I forgot to hit Jordan back. I was so excited for Liam to do it. So Jordan hit a friend of mine and said, “Am I on a prank show where Donald made me forgive Liam Neeson? Was that a joke… on me?’”
All four seasons of “Atlanta” are streaming on FX via Hulu.
Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.