Narnia actor's comments labeled 'stupid'
Jody Brown - OneNewsNow - 12/9/2010 8:45:00 AM
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Defau ... id=1250914
Actor Liam Neeson has angered fans of C.S. Lewis on the eve of the opening of the latest installment in the Narnia film series.
Neeson -- the voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia movies -- acknowledges that "there is that whole God-like, Christ-like imagery there." But in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which opens in theaters Friday, the Irish actor prefers to think of the lion he portrays as a mentor and guardian -- and says the character is also based on non-Christian "spiritual leaders."
While he acknowledges that the story's author, the late C.S. Lewis, was a "famous atheist" who became a "very famous Christian and convert," Neeson has angered fans of Lewis's stories with recent comments to the press leading up to the film's release.
Describing Aslan, the character he voices in the film, Neeson told London's Daily Mail: "Aslan symbolizes a Christ-like figure, but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha, and all the great prophets and spiritual leaders over the centuries. That's who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids -- that's what he means for me."
The British newspaper quotes this response from Walter Hooper, Lewis's former secretary and trustee of his estate: "It is nothing whatever to do with Islam." Hooper attributes the actor's comments to political correctness and a desire to be "very multicultural."
"I don't know Liam Neeson or what he is thinking about...but it was not Lewis's intention," offers Hooper.
William Oddie, the editor of The Catholic Herald, accuses Neeson of "a betrayal of Lewis's intention and a shameful distortion. Aslan is clearly established from the very beginning of the whole canon as being a Christ figure. I can't believe that Liam Neeson is so stupid as not to know," says Oddie.
According to various news reports, Neeson, who grew up in Northern Ireland, is a practicing Catholic.