Clive Owen - Details


It's a funny old game this show business lark.
Clive Owen, star of Second Sight, made a little film called Croupier which vanished without a trace when released here a couple of years ago.

Interest in the Mike Hodges movie was so slight, there wasn't even an advertising poster made.

The Americans picked it up and are currently raving over ‘the little movie that could’, especially as it grossed over $6million in four months.

There's talk of Oscars and baubles aplenty. All of which is good news for one of Blighty's best thesps as it's turned him into something of a bankable star.

Owen, who made his mark in Precious Bane and the sexy drama Close My Eyes, has been looking for a solid direction after ITV drama series Chancer turned him into a small screen actor.

It looks like he's found it.

The Coventry-born actor is delighted to be back with Paula Milne's acclaimed series about a near blind detective.

Since first accepting the role a couple of years ago, he was determined to accurately portray the the character's battle with the illness AZOOR (Acute Zonal Occult Outer Retinopathy).

“I had such a strong feeling before starting on this that it had to be reasonably done,” he explains.

“You don't want to short-change the subject. The last thing I wanted to happen was for someone to label it as just a gimmick to give a new angle on the detective series.”

The first mini series won the support of the visually impaired community, with Owen singled out for his accurate portrayal of Tanner.

“I attended a charity event with the RNIB — the response was fantastic. They thought it was a very positive image of someone who was visually impaired. I was very encouraged by that,” he explains.

Making the second run proved to be a little more daunting.

“It was harder this time,” remarks Owen. “I don't think I've ever worked so hard in terms of constantly having to be on top of a part. The first film was in two parts, each 90 minutes long, and we were working five-day weeks: so there was a lot of time for me to prepare and be very specific. It was all very carefully rehearsed.

“This time we had to make six hours of television. It got harder to stay absolutely on top of it because it was my responsibility to watch out for the character. Sometimes, two days later, I would realise that I had missed some tiny little detail.”

As with the first series, Owen was helped by Michael Parsons, whose peripheral eye condition has similar characteristics to that of AZOOR.

“Michael was so fantastic on the first Second Sight that he stuck with me through this and was quite influential,” Owen explains. “As soon as the scripts were ready he would get them and blow them up as big as he could so that he could read them. He painstakingly went through the scripts looking for anything that didn't ring true.”

Clive has a lot on his plate at the moment. With Croupier revitalising his profile in Hollywood, Robert Altman recently cast him in new movie The Bourne Identity, with Matt Damon.

With that project in the can, his next role is in the West End with the much anticipated revival of The Death of Joe Egg.