Clive Owen credits David Bowie for his acting success

Clive Owen has credited David Bowie for inspiring him to embark on his Oscar-nominated career as an actor.

The 59-year-old star has been appearing on screens since 1987 when he made his debut in the TV show Rockliffe's Babies and went on to feature in major movies including The Bourne Identity, Children of Men, and Closer.

However, he says falling for the chameleon charms of music icon Bowie was what inspired him to give acting a try as he was desperate to experience different personas himself.

Reflecting on his career to Variety, Clive said, "Bowie probably has more to do with me being an actor than any actors. He showed me that you can create worlds.

"My imagination was fired - that was the beginning of going into acting. It was Bowie that provoked my understanding of the art."

While Bowie was predominantly known for his music career, through which he showcased a number of identities including Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke, he also enjoyed success on camera.

The singer featured in major films including British sci-fi classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, the David Lynch film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and the Jim Henson masterpiece Labyrinth.

Clive has also credited youth classes at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry for setting him on his path to stardom.

He revealed, "I went back to the theatre recently to do a talk. I wanted to tell the kids there that it is possible (to have a career as an actor)."

He added, "Places like that youth theatre are essential in impoverished cities. We need to finance those things."