“I just thought it was the most original and very unusual for a period piece as well,” reveals actor Clive Owen of his new Cinemax drama series “The Knick” during our webcam chat (watch below). “It felt kind of visceral and dangerous and edgy. It was unlike anything I have read.”
The show just finished airing its first season and is set in the fictional New York hospital The Knickerbocker in 1900. Owen plays the smart, hard-nosed, drug-using Dr. John Thackery, chief of surgery. It is a graphic show filled with intense surgeries, lots of blood and gore, racial issues, sex, and class struggles.
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Along with executive producers Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, and Gregory Jacobs, the series is produced and directed by Steven Soderbergh. The Oscar winner (“Traffic”) and recent Emmy Award champ (“Behind the Candelabra“) was a key reason that the steadily-working film star Owen wanted to be the lead on a television show.
Regarding Soderbergh, Owen says, “He’s unlike any director I’ve ever worked with. He has an unbelievable brain really, to carry the whole thing and to do it with such incisiveness and such style. It was really something to witness. He does everything… he lights, he operates, he edits. It’s so refreshing and reassuring having such a singular vision. You’re in such, such great hands.”
During his career, Owen has already won a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor for “Closer.” He also earned his only Oscar nomination for that movie. For the original four-character Patrick Marber play, he had starred in the London stage version as Dan. He was then cast by the legendary director/producer Mike Nichols as the other male character (Larry) for the film version.
The actor reflects on working with the director who recently passed away: “He was probably the smartest and soundest human being I’ve ever met really. It was a pleasure just to be in that guy’s company. He was such a brilliant guy and proved himself so many times over and did such remarkable work with such grace and dignity and intelligence.”
“The Knick” has already been renewed for a second season, which will most likely go into production in February. Soderbergh will be back to direct all 10 episodes for the next season with returning cast members Owen, Andre Holland, Juliet Rylance and Eve Hewson.