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Clive Owen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (30) | Personal Quotes (19)

Overview (2)

Born in Keresley, Coventry, Warwickshire, England, UK
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

British actor Clive Owen is one of a handful of stars who, though he is best known for his art house films, can handle more mainstream films with equal measures of grace and skill. Owen is typically cast as characters whose primary traits are a balance of physical strength, intellect, conflicting soul but forceful will. He is best known to film audiences for his work in Children of Men (2006), Closer (2004) and his breakout part in Croupier (1998). He recently portrayed Ernest Hemingway in the HBO made-for-TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012).

Born in Coventry, in England's West Midlands county, on 3 October 1964, Owen is the fourth of five brothers. He is the son of Pamela (Cotton) and Jess Owen, a country and western singer. His father abandoned the family when he was three years old, and Owen was subsequently raised by his mother and stepfather. He attended Binley Park Comprehensive School and joined the youth theater at 13 after playing the scene-stealing role of the Artful Dodger in a production of "Oliver!"

Acting was not his first choice as a profession, but he changed his mind and went on to graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987. Owen proceeded to join the Young Vic Theatre Company, where he honed his craft while performing in a number of Shakespearean productions.

Clive made his film debut in the British-made Vroom (1988) co-starring with David Thewlis as two fellows who restore a classic American car and take off on the road. Within two years, Clive became a full-fledged TV star playing devilish rogue Stephen Crane in Chancer (1990). However, the now-sought-after Clive abandoned the star-making part at the height of the show's popularity because of unwanted invasion of privacy and his fear of typecasting. His next project raised more than a few eyebrows when he filmed Close My Eyes (1991) in which he played a brother who acts on his incestuous desires for his older sister. Clive's reputation as a lovable shyster was completely shattered and he lost profitable commercial endorsements following the film's release. Offers fell off for the next two years as a result. But the persistent Clive carried on with stage work, including the role of a bisexual in a production of Noël Coward's "Design For Living." He returned to TV at that time as well and played a number of roles in both mini-movies and series.

In 1997, Clive had a huge hit on the London stage with "Closer," a cynical, contemporary ensemble piece about relationships. Controversy surrounded him again in the film role of Max in Bent (1997) playing a brash, reckless homosexual lothario in decadent pre-war Germany who finds unconditional love while interned in a Nazi war camp. His biggest film break, however, was in Mike Hodges' Croupier (1998), as a struggling writer-turned-casino employee who gets in over his head with a femme fatale scam artist. English audiences stayed away in droves but the U.S. embraced the film and Hollywood took notice of Clive, who was virtually unknown outside of England. Despite playing detective Ross Tanner in a series of successful "Second Sight" mini-movies and finding critical acclaim on stage with "The Day in the Death of Joe Egg" in 2001, Clive has focused primarily on film, including the offbeat Brit romantic comedy Greenfingers (2000), the classy and popular Robert Altman film Gosford Park (2001), the Matt Damon star-vehicle The Bourne Identity (2002), and the title role in King Arthur (2004). He has since reached the top rungs of the Hollywood ladder with the film version of his stage smash Closer (2004), in which he received an Academy Award nomination and won the BAFTA award for "Supporting Actor"; opposite Denzel Washington in Inside Man (2006); and alongside Julianne Moore and Michael Caine in Children of Men (2006). Upcoming is his portrayal of Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I in the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).

Owen is married to Sarah-Jane Fenton, who played Juliet to his Romeo at the Young Vic in 1998. The couple has two daughters.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Sarah-Jane Fenton (6 March 1995 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Deep baritone voice
Sardonic sense of humor
Frequently plays tough characters who use intelligence rather than strength
Many of his roles have him wearing a long coat, usually well worn and tattered

Trivia (30)

Had a recurring role on a series of BMW commercials as their mysterious driver. He played a valet in the film Gosford Park (2001) and played a fellow "Agent" named the Professor in The Bourne Identity (2002) who was sent to kill Bourne.
Was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1984. After he graduated, he joined the Young Vic Theatre.
Has four brothers and was raised by his mother and stepfather.
Has 2 daughters, Hannah Owen (born 1997) and Eve Owen (born 1999), with Sarah-Jane Fenton.
Is a huge David Bowie fan and has called singer "the biggest musical influence on my life." He says, "I don't know why, but no one else has ever had such an effect on me. I didn't have most of his work. I had everything." In the 1970s, when Bowie was changing his appearance and style with every album, Owen would re-dye his hair whatever color Bowie's was at the time.
Turned down the role as The Driver for BMW twice. He was sent a copy of the script for the first ad, read it and was impressed by its presentation. He immediately accepted the role, jumped on a plane to LA, and was whisked away to the set of the first ad as soon as he landed.
Two of his brothers, Alan and Lee, became musicians and released a single called "Heartbeat."
Met his wife at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art while doing Romeo and Juliet.
Mentioned in the song 'Risen Within' by MC Homicide featuring PAZ.
When his Beyond Borders (2003) co-star Angelina Jolie told him he looked sexy, she says, he "fell over laughing".
Invited to join AMPAS in 2005.
He is a supporter of Liverpool Football Club.
Was voted "Best dressed male" by GQ magazine in 2006
Began acting at age 13.
In a 2005 poll, was voted the top choice to play James Bond in Casino Royale (2006) but polled fewer votes than Pierce Brosnan continuing the role.
January 2007 - has signed on as the face of a new Lancome anti-aging cream for men. He was also be named the new spokesman of the cosmetics firm's new Hypnose Homme fragrance. The print adverts resulted in complaints to the advertising Standards Authority over the heavy airbrushing used to make him look younger.
In November 2006, he became patron of the Electric Palace Cinema in Harwich, England and launched an appeal for funds to repair deteriorating elements of the fabric.
In the original theater production of "Closer" he played the character Dan. In the film version he played the other prominent male character, Larry, while Dan was played by Jude Law.
Voted #5 in Elle (France) Magazine's "15 Sexiest Men" poll (June 2007).
Is the patron for the Electric Palace Cinema in Harwich, England.
Was named Empire Magazines #25 in the list of 100 Sexiest Stars(2007).
Lobbied for the role of Lord Asriel in The Golden Compass (2007).
After Russell Crowe turned down the role, he was chosen by Jerry Bruckheimer over Antoine Fuqua's choice of Daniel Craig for the lead role in King Arthur (2004). Owen was later turned down for the role of Lord Asriel in The Golden Compass (2007) in favor of Daniel Craig in spite of offering to screen test for the part.
Although his 'official' date of birth is 1964, the News of the World published a birth certificate stating it as 1962 as part of an article about the real age of movie stars.
Got the the role of King Arthur (2004) after Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson and Hugh Jackman turned it down and after producer Jerry Bruckheimer vetoed the director's choice of a then comparatively unknown Daniel Craig because he was convinced Owen was going to be the next James Bond.
Admitted in a Newsweek interview to promote The International (2009) that he has considered submitting false trivia about himself ("I once talked to someone about putting something on IMDB") and was surprised at how seriously people took it. In the same interview he also claimed he doesn't eat biscuits because 'He-men don't need biscuits.'.
In an interview published in the Daily Express, he said that he was terrified of badgers. In a subsequent interview in Newsweek, he denied being afraid of them and said it was a joke.
Developing a remake of popular 70s children's TV series Catweazle (1970) as a starring vehicle and as co-producer. [December 2009]
Currently filming The Boys Are Back (2009) in Adelaide, Australia. [October 2008]
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.

Personal Quotes (19)

I've never been interested in playing good guys. I'm always attracted to dangerous characters. Those roles are usually far more interesting and I hold no fears about doing them. With my character in Croupier (1998), you're never really sure where he's coming from. He's not really a good guy or a bad guy. But people generally aren't, are they?
The sexiest part of the body is the eyes. Corny, but that's what I believe. They're what connect us as human beings.
Theatre uses a different energy. It's like going to the gym and having a vigorous workout. But every few years is enough because I love filming. I am a real film animal.
When I was 10 or 11, I played the Artful Dodger in a school production of 'Oliver. From that point forward, I said I wanted to be an actor. Nobody in my family took it seriously, but I saw no other path. I was a cocky little kid. This one teacher said: 'You're a working-class kid from Coventry. What do you know?'
Theater is like exercise. I feel it's healthy. But I don't love it as much as movies. A bad experience in the theater can be so depressing. You've got to do it every night, even if the production is not working.
The lighter stuff has got to be really well written for me, or it just doesn't get me going. There's something to play if there's conflict going on. Whatever that conflict is, that's where drama is; if the character is grappling with something you've got something to play, there's layers to it. And when that isn't there it's ... less interesting.
[Talking about Daniel Craig]: "I think when Craig first took the (James Bond) part he got a pretty rough ride, which to a certain extent is inevitable because there are so many different people who have so many different ideas about something like that. You are never going to please everybody. The thing that is really exciting is that he is a proper actor. He is not shallow or posing, they have cast a really serious actor and I think that when the film comes out everyone will see what a great choice he was".
On his fear of badgers: I've never been bitten by one or anything like that, they just look evil to me. Even watching The Wind in the Willows they scared me. It was like the Devil staring straight into my eyes. It's something I've never outgrown. Even today, just the thought of badgers absolutely terrifies me. Hell to me is a room full of badgers.
Bond was the best thing that never happened to me. I was never in the running but the more I said so, the more people thought I had it in the bag. What's so funny about it all is my career in Britain was in really bad shape at the time, but my agents pretty much built me a new one in America by playing up all the Bond stories. All I had to do was keep on telling people I was never going to be Bond. I'd like to think I made it on talent, but it's really just dumb luck. If I hadn't worn that tux in Croupier (1998), I'd still be begging for the parts Robson Green turned down on cop shows.
I don't "do" emotion. Emotions are overrated. I'm more interested in creating a presence.
(On Bond) It's easy to keep saying no to a role you're not being offered. If they really had offered? I don't know. It's possible I would have said yes. It's possible. But they never asked so we'll never really know.
I've heard people say I have a dull and monotonous voice, but the truth is that I put all my effort into communicating to the audience via my eyes. An actor can say so much with their eyes. I would have loved to have been an actor in the days of silent movies. Sounding interesting disinterests me. Looking interesting is another matter entirely.
I got in a cab in Glasgow years ago and this quite surly cabdriver says to me, 'You're that actor, aren't you? You get paid to lie, don't you? That's what actors are, aren't they? Professional bullsh***ers.' It had quite an effect on me. I f***ing get paid to lie. . . . I walked out of there and I spent a bit of time thinking about it. And then I realized I think it's the opposite: It's an opportunity to tell the truth. I try to do that in everything I do. And whether you like a movie I'm in or not, I want you to believe me. More than admire me or think I was brilliantly skillful, I want you to believe me.
[on bad scripts he is reading] These are films that are funded and ready to go - expensive movies. You're amazed that people are funding them. I start to think it's me, that I'm being too choosy.
(On his plans for Catweazle (1970)) Making the film (The Boys Are Back (2009)) made me realise I've not made many films my own children can see, and I want them to see what their old man does for a living. When I was a kid, Catweazle (1970) was the bees' knees, the best thing on TV. I didn't want to be Cedric or the other kid, I wanted to grow up to be just like Catweazle. It's my dream role. You could say my whole career has just been a rehearsal for Catweazle. It (the character's look) is a bit of a problem with the Lancombe contract, but if it comes to choice between them, it'll have to be Catweazle. I hope it doesn't come to that! Maybe they can do before and after adverts - with Catweazle (1970) the before!
Before I became an actor, I remember how I hated chickens. I was sick when I even saw one. But all that is over now, for acting has shown me how foolish it was. I have learned to love chickens, to love their flesh, their voice. One day, when I'm through with acting, I'll go home to look after the chickens that I love so much. That's what being an actor has done for me.
People keep on saying I missed my chance with not being James Bond, but my films still appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.
That's the best place to be, both excited and scared. What's the worst thing that can happen? The worst thing that can happen is that I'll be bad. I've been bad before - I'll be bad again.
I like the high-wire act, playing someone who is not entirely straightforward, not something easy, palatable.

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