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Polished Edge: Clive Owen of ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’ on HBO
Q: Were you already a fan of Hemingway when you signed up to play him?
A: I hadn’t read that much. It started with Phil (Kaufman, the director) calling me and sending me the script. I pulled out of the next movie and immersed myself for months and months.
Q: How did you research the writer?
A: I traveled to Havana. When he died, his wife donated his house to the Cuban government, and it is locked down. His clothes, his records -- a lot of jazz -- his boots are in the closet.
Q: What was it like in Cuba, where he is such an icon?
A: The legacy he left is everywhere in Cuba. They so loved that he lived there.
Q: What really struck you about him?
A: His traveling was unbelievable for that time. He was 19 in Italy. He was in China and Africa.
Q: Do you always do such intense research for a role?
A: I don’t think you can take on a part like this without immersion. I am not inventing a character from scratch. It’s one of the lovely things about being an actor. I drowned in everything Hemingway.
Q: Your British accent is completely undetectable in the film. Was it difficult to talk like Hemingway?
A: I had an iPod with every Hemingway recording ever -- his essence, cadence and bytes. He was in my head every day. I did it for a long time before shooting.
Q: How do you describe he relationship between Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn?
A: I think he met his match. He never met anyone like her.
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