Masdar looks like a city
from the future: Owen

ABU DHABI — The smooth, witty, dark-humoured Clive Owen was the first to face the public in Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s (ADFF) Encounters, a live, free-for-all meeting with the movie stars.


Silvia Radan

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Published: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 11:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:26 PM

Dressed in a white Armani suit and funky shoes, the British movie star seemed quite at home among his fans in Abu Dhabi.

This is his second trip to the UAE capital, after being invited to a sport awards function earlier this spring.

On this occasion, though, he took time to venture out of Abu Dhabi and visited the new fully environmental sustainable Masdar city.

“It is hugely impressive. It’s like looking at a city from the future,” said Owen. “The world has become very conscious about the environment and I think it’s brilliant to spend money on this area. Since it looks like the future, it would make an amazing set for a science-fiction movie.”

Born on October 3, 1964, Owen recently started joining the list of top UK superstars, such as Ewan McGregor and Kate Winslet, who are making it big in Hollywood. Some of his most memorable appearances were in Croupier (1998), Gosforth Park (2001), Closer (2004), Children of Men (2006) and The International (2009). In most of his movies, Owen prefers the role of complex, rather dark characters, as he finds it more fulfilling and rewarding from an acting point of view. “It is not about the bad guy or the good guy. Just as in real life, the character has many layers, even if he is a bad one, and it is about being able to portray all these layers,” he explained. In his early theatre days, he even played most of the difficult and challenging Shakespearean roles and during one of them, as Romeo, he truly fell in love with Juliet, played by Sarah Jane Fenton, whom he married in 1995.

“I trained in theatre, which was my passion, but if I’m honest, I prefer movies,” admitted Owen.

“When I was 13 years old, I got cast in a school play and I fell in love with acting. Even though I was a working class family kid from Coventry in the Midlands, I knew this is what I was going to do in my life.”

Throughout his career, Owen did have several “key breakthroughs”, as he likes to call them and one of the most important ones was in Mike Hodges’ Croupier, where he played a struggling writer-turned-casino employee who gets involved with a femme fatale scam artist.

“It was a tiny film, destined for TV and never released on cinema in Britain, but it was released in America, where it got great reviews and became hugely popular,” remembers Owen.

Now he has just finished shooting one movie, the Killer Elite, an action thriller also starring Robert de Niro and directed by Gary McKendry, is shooting for the Intruders, a psychological horror directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and is planning to start shooting the Hemingway and Gellhorn, alongside Nicole Kidman.

“The role is about Hemingway meeting Martha Gellhorn, who is a war correspondent. They go to war together, fall in love and he leaves his wife for her,” explained Owen.

Although he still has very far to go, the actor does admit that he is eating more than he should in order to fit the part of the famed writer, who was quite a bit rounder than Owen.

“I do not take a part like that without preparation, which in this case is MORE,” he joked (or maybe not).

All these three movies will be released in 2011.

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