Spies In The House Of Love – Julia Roberts and Owen In Duplicity

Clive Owen and Julia Roberts as corporate spooks working for rival firms after the same prize

By Robin Rowe

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RushPRnews/Hollywood Today) 3/6/2009 – George Clooney introduced his Michael Clayton director to Clive Owen and recommended Owen for the starring role in Duplicity. “I’d written for Clive in the first Bourne movie, but I hadn’t met him,” says Duplicity writer-director Tony Gilroy. “I’d been watching his work and thought he was just amazing. When George introduced us, I went right away for him for the film.”

“I finished the last page of the script and grabbed the phone and called my agent and said, ‘This is the one. This is the script,’” says Duplicity star Clive Owen. “I had a very huge, strong, instinctive response. I thought the writing was brilliant and was very keen to get involved.”

Universal Studio’s Duplicity is a romantic caper film with stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as two spies who have left government intelligence to work in counter-espionage in the corporate world…for rival corporations. Caught up in a secret love affair, the toughest part of the job for Roberts and Own is deciding how much to trust the one you love.
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“One of the huge attractions for me to do this film was to get the opportunity to say this kind of dialogue with Julia,” says Owen. “It’s so well written that, in some ways, you don’t have to make that many decisions as an actor. You have to sit in it like a very comfortable car and just drive it, because the rhythms are all there. It’s a joy when you’ve got that kind of language to play with, and to play it with someone like Julia, who is fantastic with this type of material.”

“At the end of the day, it’s funny, it’s witty, it’s very buoyant and it’s unusual,” says Owen. “It’s a guy and woman who are in love, but they argue a lot and they mistrust each other…as well as being crazy about each other. That lends to a really entertaining experience for the audience.”

“Within three pages of reading this script, I was excited by the dialogue and couldn’t wait to go to work,” says Owen. “It’s all there in front of you, and it’s very clear what’s required. The advantage of a writer/director is that he’s on set and can explain his initial impulses when he wrote the script. That’s a very nice thing for an actor.”

Gilroy’s fascination with industrial espionage came from his research as the architect of the Bourne screenplays. He noticed that many people he knew in the intelligence community going into the private sector. “There isn’t a major corporation on the planet that doesn’t have a competitive intelligence department with some form of either defensive or offensive intelligence gathering, which are basically spy units,” says Gilroy. “The statistics of corporate theft are somewhere between $50 and $100 billion every year.”

To practice the fast tempo dialog, Gilroy spent a week rehearsing scenes with stars Roberts and Owen. “You’re prospecting all the time and desperate for things to happen that are not planned,” says Gilroy. “It’s happened here. The chemistry between Clive and Julia is really strong, and it’s smart.”

Set in Gilroy’s hometown of New York City, the film travels to Dubai, Rome, London, Miami, Cleveland and Zurich. Principal photography for Duplicity began in Manhattan. Then the company moved to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for one week of shooting. The final week of production was in Rome. The interior of the hotels in London, Rome and Dubai were shot in New York City, with establishing shots of those locales captured by second units.

In the romantic drama Duplicity, CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence to work for rival multinational corporations. Their assignment is to compete for the product formula that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first. However, their personal mission is to find love, not money. Will they have to choose or can they have both?

Release Date: March 20th, 2009 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Locations: New York City, Bahamas, Rom

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