Clive Owen stars in James Marsh’s new film Shadow Boxer, in which he plays an MI-5 agent whose main task is taking on the Irish Republican Army during a period of great unrest. Owen sat down with Uinterview to discuss the film and how he came to the role.

“I wasn’t looking to work. I was finishing something,” Owen admitted. “I was tired, I wanted to take a break and because it was James Marsh —I loved Man on Wire — I read it and I loved it. I thought it was a really tight, well thought out script. […] I left the film I was doing and went straight to Dublin and did it.”

As the MI-5 agent Mac, Owen successfully recruits a member of an IRA family to turn against her family in return for her own freedom from persecution, who’s played by Andrea Riseborough. Owen counts the scene where he convinces her to play for his team the one he’s most proud of in the film. “This girl comes from an IRA family, and the idea that you can turn someone like them and get them work for you — you’ve got to be convincing,” Owen told Uinterview exclusively.

“In that, so it was important that that scene felt convincing to us and to the audience so that you’d then buy the fact that she would turn against her own family and start to reform so that had its own challenges for sure.”

Shadow Dancer hits theaters today, Friday, May 31.

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