Owen draws on Troubles memories

Press Association

Clive Owen has revealed he has strong memories of Belfast being a like a "war zone" during the Troubles.

The 47-year-old British actor attended the UK premiere of his new thriller Shadow Dancer at London's Cineworld Haymarket, where he was joined on the red carpet by star guests including former Bond girl Rosamund Pike and The Duchess of Cambridge's younger sister Pippa Middleton.

The thriller, co-starring Gillian Anderson and Andre Riseborough and directed by Man On Wire's James Marsh, is adapted from Tom Bradby's novel of the same name, inspired by his time as a journalist in Northern Ireland in the 90s.

Owen plays an MI5 agent sent to persuade Riseborough's character to spy on her IRA brothers for British intelligence.

The Sin City star revealed he had appeared on stage in Belfast during that time.

Owen said: "It was the first time I'd been there and it was during the Troubles and I remember it very strongly.

"The place was virtually a war zone. There were soldier drills going on all over the place and it had a tension about it."

Writer Bradby, who adapted the screenplay himself, said: "We tried everything we could to drain all the politics out and make just a great film about conflict."

He added: "It was a life and death struggle and that's what I tried to portray, so I stole as much reality as I could."

Shadow Dancer is released in cinemas on Friday August 24.