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60 Seconds: Actor Clive Owen on latest film Anon and those Bond and badger rumours

Your latest film, Anon, comes from Gattaca director Andrew Niccol…

I’m a big fan. He’s always tackling subjects that are sort of science fiction but relevant to what’s going on. The pitch was the battle for privacy, which we’ve already lost. It happened without us really having a discussion about it. We can be tracked through every piece of information about us on our phones, our GPSs — you can’t do anything or go anywhere without it being recorded.

How was working with Amanda Seyfried?

Really great. She’s really very well cast in this, there’s something very strong about her. She’s got a real presence.

Anon co-star: Amanda Seyfried

Is the issue of privacy important to you?

There’s always that thing of ‘if you’ve got nothing to hide, then what’s your problem?’ but that’s not the issue — the issue is it’s been taken. I’m from Coventry and remember the first CCTV camera going up and there was uproar. People were like, ‘This is an invasion of privacy.’ And now every time we Google something we’re giving away something.

You don’t seem to have much internet presence.


Well done!

Ha ha ha! I’ve avoided it. I’ve got two girls and the slightly sad thing is I have friends telling me what they’re up to because they’re putting things on Instagram. So that’s odd — but no, I don’t want to.

I noticed there are about ten fake versions of you on Twitter.

Are there? I didn’t even know that.

Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone would believe you spell that badly.

Ha ha ha! Well, it doesn’t really interest me. When I was young, even when social media wasn’t as prevalent, I still preferred to do my work, that was the public thing, and be quiet away from that, you know?

What’s the weirdest fake rumour you’ve heard about yourself?

I think somebody for a little while was posting random facts on IMDb. And I would get asked them and I’d go, ‘WHAT?!’ One of them was that I’m afraid of badgers. Ha ha ha! And I’ve been asked about it a few times.

Nothing to fear: A harmless badger

I’m guessing that’s not true.

No, it’s not. It’s fine. I think I might know who it is.

A friend of yours?


There was talk that you were in the running for James Bond. Was that for real?

No, not at all.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m shooting an Ang Lee film [Gemini Man]. Will Smith is an agent who has been cloned. I play the surrogate father of the younger one. And I think I’m going to do another film with director François Girard, a brilliant French-Canadian director.

Do you enjoy working hard?

Yes, I find working hard fun. If I’m doing a film, I’m very serious about it. I love it all. Even though I find it hard and challenging, it’s a privilege to do it. Say you’ve got a big scene and you think it’s great writing, there’s a part of me that wants to be the other side of it and have done it and done it well.

What do you think being an actor makes you good at?

It makes you empathetic because you play difficult, conflicted characters. I play a lot of parts where you are treading a fine line to take the audience with you because you’re playing a character who is challenged in some ways. We’re all fallible and do our best.

Do you enjoy people-watching?

Yes, but it’s difficult when you’re an actor.

Do you ever wear a disguise?

No, it’s possible to carry yourself in a way that doesn’t draw attention without putting on a disguise. Some people can walk into a bar and create a lot of heat and others can walk in and be huge but the way they carry themselves and walk in… they don’t necessarily draw heat.

Do you think some enjoy that kind of attention?

Of course!

I’m getting the feeling that you don’t?


Anon is in UK and Irish cinemas and on Sky Cinema from Friday