Childhood & Early Life
Clive Owen was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England to Pamela Owen and Jess Owen. His father was a country singer and left him and his mother when he was only 3 years.
He was raised by his mother and his stepfather and was the oldest amongst five brothers. His stepfather was a ticket officer for the local railway. Owen has always described his childhood as rough.
Owen went to the Binley Park Comprehensive School and joined the local theatre group at the age of 13 and his first ever theatre performance was for a play called ‘Oliver’.
His studies started getting affected due to the theatre and Owen decided to leave the school and look for a job to sustain.
One of his teachers offered to help Owen to get admission into the Mountview College, a drama school in England. But even after securing admission in the college, he decided to get a job instead.
Owen could not find a good job for 2 years and claimed benefits from the government. He kept pursuing his love for theatre at the local youth club in the meantime. But in 1984, he decided to apply for RADA, London.
It was during his days at RADA that Owen worked with fellow Hollywood artists like Ralph Fiennes and Jane Horrocks. He also worked in a Howard Barker play at the Royal Court, playing the main lead.
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He did important theatre work during his time at RADA, which includes plays like ‘Cat and the Canary’, ‘Henry IV, Part I’, ‘The Lady from the Sea’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, until the late eighties.
In 1988, Owen moved from the theatre to television and the big screen by working in productions like BBC’s ‘Precious Bane and Channel 4 movie ‘Vroom’. From then onwards he started doing noticeably big role in English television and movies.
Following his success from ‘Vroom’ and ‘Precious Bane’, Owen did a television adaptation of R.D. Blackmore’s classic novel called ’Lorna Doone’. He did the part of ‘John Ridd’ and acted along with Sean Bean.
In 1990, Owen got the first big break of his acting career. He portrayed the role of ‘Stephen Crane’ in the television series called ‘Chancer’. It was a British television production and became a huge success overnight.
In 1991, he did Stephen Poliakoff’s ‘Close My Eyes’. It was the most controversial role of his acting career and affected his popularity with his audience. He played the role of a brother caught in an incest relationship with his sister.
For the next 2 years, Owen returned to the theatre and did plays like ‘The Philanderer’, ‘Design for Living’, etc. with well-established directors like Brian Cox. Owen did not go back to the big screen for a longtime.
In 1993, Owen acted in his first American film ‘Class of 61’, which was a war movie where he played the role of an Irish soldier. In the same year, he did ‘Century’, a movie made by Stephen Playoff.
From 1994 to 1996, he did many TV productions of various genres such as ‘An Evening with Gary Lineker’, which was a comedy and then he did ‘The Return Of The Native’, which was based on Thomas Hardy’s novel. He also did ‘The Turnaround’.
In 1996, he did a Hollywood movie alongside Halle Berry called ‘The Rich Man’s Wife’, which was a thriller directed by Amy Holden Jones.
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In 1998, he did a Channel 4 movie ‘Croupier’, which was directed by Mike Hodges. He played the role of a writer in the movie who takes up a job in London. He did a BBC production called ‘Split Second’ the next year.
In 2000, Owen did BBC’s ‘The Echo’ and also starred in the movie called ‘Greenfingers’ where he played a criminal. The next year, he did ‘Second Sight’ for BBC 1 AND ‘Walk on By’ for BBC 2.
In 2001, he did ‘The Hire’, a short film produced by BMW and Robert Altman’s ‘Gosford Park’, in which he starred along with Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Ryan Phillipe, Kirstin Thomas, etc.
In 2002, he did a substantial role in ‘The Bourne Identity’ and the next year he worked in Mike Hodges’ ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’. Thereafter, he starred in ‘Beyond Borders’ and ‘King Arthur’.
In 2005, Owen starred in ‘Closer’, the film adaptation of the play written by the English playwright Patrick Marber. He had earlier done the Broadway production of the play in London. The movie starred Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman along with him.
In 2005, he did ‘Derailed’ with Jennifer Aniston and ‘Sin City’, a crime thriller action movie starring Bruce Willis, Jaime King, Mickey Rourke, etc. along with him.
From 2006-2007, he did ‘Inside Man’ which is an American crime drama movie. He did the remake of the ‘Pink Panther’ and was rumored to be the next pick for the ‘Bond’ movies, but Daniel Craig was instead chosen for it.
In the following years, he did movies like ‘Children of Men’, ‘Shoot ‘EM Up’, ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ , ‘The International’, ‘The Boys Are Back’. He also did an appearance for the Ricky Gervais’ show ‘Extras’.
In 2010, he did an American horror thriller flick called ‘Intruders’.
In 2012, ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’ was released, in which Owen starred opposite the Australian actress Nicole Kidman. In the same year, ‘Shadow Dancer’ was released, which was an Anglo-Irish production.
In 2013, Owen’s ‘Blood Ties’ was released at the Cannes Film Festival, France. The movie starred a French actress Marion Cotillard and it was directed by Guillaume Canet.