A 'Closer' Look At Clive Owen

With a resume that includes "King Arthur," "Croupier," "The Bourne Identity" and "Gosford Park," Clive Owen has emerged as one of today's most diverse actors.

Now, he's given one of the most critically acclaimed performances of 2004 in "Closer," which has already earned him a Golden Globe nomination and made him a front-runner for an Oscar.

Set in contemporary London, the film tells of four strangers, their chance meetings, instant attractions and casual betrayals.

Directed by Academy Award winner Mike Nichols ("Angels in America"), the film also stars Julia Roberts (Anna), Jude Law (Dan), and Natalie Portman (Alice).

Owen, who played Dan in the original London stage production of "Closer" seven years ago, is Anna's husband, Larry, the handsome, self-assured dermatologist. Dan is, actually, Anna's lover.

"It's about four very intense relationships," Owen tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "All of the characters interweave and he goes through a change because Julia Roberts' character admits to really having an affair and it is hard really to describe all the intricacies."

Asked about the Golden Globe nomination, Owen says he is "thrilled, especially because it's a film that I'm really, really proud of. I had a fantastic time making it. We all got along brilliantly. Mike Nichols is a genius. The whole experience for me was really, really special and to get the Golden Globe nomination and for the film to get five nominations is nothing short of thrilling."

Fast Facts About Clive Owen:

  • Born in Coventry, England on October 3, 1964. His wife is Sarah-Jane Fenton, whom he met when they appeared together as "Romeo and Juliet." The couple married in 1995 and has two daughters, Hannah, born in 1997, and Eve, born in 1999.
  • Attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and, after graduation, joined the Young Vic Theatre Company, performing Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet" and Claudio in "Measure for Measure."
  • In 1988, performed in the road trip tale, "Vroom" alongside David Thewlis and Diana Quick. Also displayed his darker side as a psychopath in the BBC's adaptation of "Precious Bane" (aired in the USA on PBS' "Mystery!").
  • From 1990-91, turned roguishly heroic for the British TV series "Chancer." And the following year, portrayed an ambitious businessman who is seduced by his older sister (Saskia Reeves) and then becomes obsessed in Stephen Poliakoff's drama, "Close My Eyes."
  • In 1993, was asked to play a Jewish doctor who clashes with the head of a medical center (Charles Dance) in the period piece, "Century."

    The same year, crossed the Atlantic to appear in the ABC drama, "Class of '61," as an Irish graduate of West Point who goes off to fight in the Civil War.

  • In 1994, was a seductive hedonist in "The Return of the Native" (CBS). And two years later, performed opposite Halle Berry as her lover in "The Rich Man's Wife." Also played a British private investigator in the series "Sharman."
  • In 1997, portrayed a concentration camp inmate in Sean Matthias' film version of "Bent." Also in 1997, co-starred on the London stage in "Closer."
  • In 1999, appeared opposite Alex Kingston in director Mike Hodges' crime drama, "The Croupier." The film would provide his breakthrough role as a hard-boiled croupier who conspires to defraud a casino.
  • From 1999-200, the actor's popularity increased when he starred in a series of four "Second Sight" telepics for the BBC, playing hotshot British detective Ross Tanner. And he became an icon of cool as the driver in a series of advertising-driven, avant garde action shorts sponsored by BMW (at BMWFilms.com).
  • In 2001, was in Robert Altman's "Gosford Park," playing the brooding Robert Park, who emerges as a central figure in the storyline.
  • In 2002, was cast in the big-budget studio adapatation of Robert Ludlum's spy thriller, "The Bourne Identity," as the ruthless, steel-nerved assassin professor.
  • Next starred opposite Angelina Jolie in the melodrama "Beyond Borders." And in 2004, teamed again with Hodges for the noirish "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," playing a retired British gangster who emerges from his secluded countryside life to investigate the death of his brother.
  • Also in 2004, performed in Antoine Fuqua's "King Arthur," a big-budget, action-oriented film that cast him as England's once and future king.
  • In 2005, starred opposite Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Jude Law in Mike Nichols' "Closer," about four strangers, their chance meetings, instant attractions and casual betrayals.