Hollywood star Clive Owen visits the Belgrade Theatre
More than 100 young actors from the Belgrade’s youth groups gathered in B2 on Wednesday to listen to Clive talk about his hugely successful acting career, which has seen him play both leading and supporting roles in a string of hit box-office films such as Closer and Sin City.
He answered questions from the audience and talked candidly about his experiences as a young actor at the Belgrade, as a student at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and about his experiences as an actor in theatre, TV and films.
During his visit he was also given a tour of the building and along the way he met with members of staff, including Artistic Director Hamish Glen, to discuss the theatre’s current and future artistic vision. He also met with Executive Director Joanna Reid and Justine Themen, Associate Director of the Community & Education Company, to talk about the ongoing development of the Community & Education Company and its extensive programme of youth groups and workshops that are on offer to young people in Coventry.
Clive said: “I had heard about the groundbreaking work that the Belgrade is delivering for and with young people, and I wanted to find out more, since this is where it all began for me. The work that the theatre is doing is genuinely transforming the lives of young people – providing them with creative opportunities, building their confidence, offering qualifications, giving them a voice in the city – I was very impressed with the range and quality of the current programmes. I know what an impact participating in such activity can have on a young person’s life – the Belgrade Youth Theatre made me realise just how passionate I was about acting – without that outlet, things could have worked out very differently for me, and I probably wouldn’t be an actor today.”
Hamish Glen said: “We were incredibly pleased to welcome Clive back to the Belgrade and we’re really grateful for his ongoing support of our work. Talking to him has really inspired the members of the youth theatre and given them an amazing insight into the world of theatre and film.”
Clive was born in the Willenhall area of Coventry and later moved to Binley Park where he went to school and won a part as the Artful Dodger in the school production of Oliver. He went on to appear in numerous Belgrade productions such as Bartholomew Fayre in 1979 and The Prisoner in 1982.
Since then he has enjoyed a hugely successful and varied acting career with roles in a string of box-office hits including the title role in King Arthur, The Bourne Identity, Children of Men and Gosford Park. In 2004 he won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his appearance in the drama Closer, which he starred in alongside Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman. He is currently preparing to play the role of Ernest Hemingway in a film about his life alongside Nicole Kidman.