1708878286 I dont want to flaunt my life on Instagram

“I don’t want to flaunt my life on Instagram.”

Bozouls, Aveyron, new capital of crime… At the end of 2020, Tom Fontana and Scott Frank decided on a whim to bring Sam Spade, previously played by Humphrey Bogart, to the screen. As veterans of American showrunning, we owe them some illustrious series: in Fontana, “Oz” or “Borgia”…; For Frank, “The Queen's Game,” a television jackpot he just completed for Netflix. For both, Clive Owen is perfect for the role.

Coincidence…? An original poster of the “Maltese Falcon” hangs in the British actor’s office. He listens to them as they introduce their new four-hand series… The private detective lives in retirement in deep France in the early 1960s and leads a peaceful life, which is soon shaken by a series of murders. Owen is seduced by the script, an ode to the passage of time and a homage to “Bogie”: “…I liked the idea of ​​this aging character catching up with fate. Beneath his jaded exterior, there is something irresistible about this man determined to do good.”

“I see there the echo of a time when everything slowed down…”

He learned French for the needs of the show, which includes two languages. “Phonetic,” he explains. Don't think I'm bilingual! I began studying it academically, but quickly became disillusioned. ” The star's casual yet applied phrasing gives pace to this reinterpretation of the noir genre. “ I see it as an echo of a time when everything slowed down…” he confirms. Also a troubled time… France continues to mourn the war of 1939-1945 while at the same time becoming bogged down in the Algerian War. In addition to the 59-year-old Englishman Chiara Mastroianni, Denis Ménochet, Louise Bourgoin Or Jonathan Zacca Store this in between.

Sam Spade arrives in France in the guise of Clive Owen.

Sam Spade arrives in France in the guise of Clive Owen. © DR ​

35 years of career and roles in feature films in costume, action, espionage or science fiction… Owen expresses his falsely phlegmatic temperament in “Gosford Park” by Robert Altman, “Closer, Between Consenting Adults” by Mike Nichols. Spike Lee's “Inside Man” and “The Sons of Man”… Eighteen years after its release, Alfonso Cuaron's apocalyptic fable has the feel of a prophecy. “Some films don’t stand the test of time. Unfortunately, he has proven to be a visionary,” he comments.

The need to distract oneself has become a compulsive need among the youngest. The quality of the filming suffers

Clive Owen

He was successful in the cinema in the 2000s. Ten years later, it is the small screen that challenges him with roles that push the boundaries of transgression. First with Steven Soderbergh, who made him a heroin-addicted New York surgeon at the beginning of the 20th century in his series “The Knick”. Key. “American crime story. “Impeachment,” Ryan Murphy’s legal anthology, then transforms him into a priatric Bill Clinton, stunning in his realism

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Just the mention of these scandalous interpretations makes him happy: “I love the thrill that these roles offer.” I said yes to Soderbergh in a few minutes, the wildness of his script excited me. ” Still, he thought twice before he gave his facial features. to the 42nd President of the United States:  The idea frightened me, I can't give any approximate information, they were waiting for me around the corner! 

Approach, a scourge for the actor. The emergence of artificial intelligence in Hollywood worries him less than the debauchery that now reigns on the sets…: “Half the time, people have their noses in their cell phones.” The need to distract themselves is increasing among the youngest become a compulsive need. The quality of the filming suffers.” He is allergic to social networks and emphasizes: “I don't want to add Instagram posts to my life.”

The fascination with youth has always puzzled me

Clive Owen

In a few years, the #MeToo hurricane will have made many revolutions possible. Including the portrayal of seniors on screen. In the soap opera named after him, Sam Spade is a recurring hero who suffers from emphysema. Deconstruction of the “Bogartian” myth, which was of course displayed with a cigarette in the mouth, but these six episodes illustrate above all a structural shift: Those over 50 now exist solely on screens.

A welcome turnaround for Clive Owen: “The fascination with youth has always puzzled me. Fortunately, fiction has understood that part of the audience needs to identify with more mature actors and with stories that touch them personally. “Mister Spade” remains true to the spirit of yesterday's thriller. “ also avoids the sleeve effects to adopt a muted, deliciously retro tone. “In a time dominated by the dictatorship of emotions, I find this bias healing,” he concludes. The nice thing about my job is to hint at everything instead of revealing everything. “

Canal+, from February 26th

Canal+, February 26th © DR