Clive Owen is listed one of the MSN Entertaiment’s Badass Brits — The Toughest Men in Hollywood are Imports. Congrats!
It seems appropriate that Clive Owen’s biggest Hollywood breakthrough was in a film directed by Mike Hodges (a veteran of the uncompromising British crime classics starring Michael Caine, “Get Carter” and “Pulp”). The picture was “Croupier,” released in 1998, 10 years after Owen’s first appearance on the big screen. From then on, the smooth character with the slicked-back, dark hair and fine-chiseled features was in high demand, flexing his acting muscles in movies ranging from “Gosford Park,” “Closer” (which he also debuted onstage), “Sin City,” “Inside Man,” “Children of Men” and “Shoot ‘Em Up.” So classically tough yet smoothly British, Owen was the top choice to play James Bond, but turned it down for fear of being typecast. Though he would have made an absolutely perfect Bond, we’re glad he went on to other features (and Daniel Craig, see below, was a terrific choice). We can’t wait to see him star in “The International,” directed by the sometimes genius art/action filmmaker Tom Tykwer — Owen can’t go wrong there.