Methinks he’d make a great Bond.

Clive Owen definitely has a licence to thrill, but is he the next …OO7?
LONDON — Will the next James Bond please grab the gun, kiss the girl and catch the next evil nutter who wants to destroy the world?
Rampant speculation here in 007’s home base is that the new Bond — after Pierce Brosnan does one more movie in the famous role — is going to be Englishman Clive Owen.
While best known to critics for the superb Mike Hodges thriller Croupier, and familiar to keen observers as a valet in the nifty Gosford Park ensemble, Owen is expected to catapult to fame as “the manly man” star of Beyond Borders, which opened in theatres yesterday.
His passionate kissing scene with Angelina Jolie is as 007 as it gets.
And Beyond Borders director Martin Campbell, who directed Brosnan in GoldenEye — the 1996 film credited with resuscitating the now 41-year franchise — says Owen would be a throwback to the Sean Connery era.
The trouble is, says the amiable Owen, nobody has offered him anything to do with James Bond — and until somebody does, he does not want to join in the speculation.
“That’s exactly what they are — rumours!” Owen says. “There has never been anything substantial underneath them. It’s reared up so many times now. I’ll deal with it, I’ll think about it, if it ever becomes a fact.
“I learned a long time ago in this game that there is a lot of bulls–t and, if you worry about things that are not factual, you end up wasting a lot of time. If ever there is an official approach, or somebody talks properly to my representatives, I’ll think about it. But, until then, I read what you read. No, no, no, no … I honestly do not think about it.”
Owen is a tall, dark and handsome type from Keresley, near Coventry, in Warkwickshire, England. Now 39, he first came to prominence in a series of BMW commercials as “the mysterious driver” and was seen driving a Beemer in The Bourne Identity.
But he is actually a serious actor, having graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1984.
Contrary to reports, Owen has a wry sense of humour, even about James Bond. He likes to tell stories to illustrate how silly the speculation has become.
Story 1: “I had a phone call two weeks ago from someone saying, ‘It’s just been confirmed that you’ve signed to do two Bonds — congratulations!’ ”
Story 2: During filming of the Hodges film I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Owen was photographed by a tabloid sporting the long hair extensions and beard he wore for the role. The tabloid had a picture of him with the headline: Bond Bosses Unveil New Bond. “They had the inside scoop that I had been offered Bond, but the Bond people wanted to disguise me with long hair and a beard until they were ready to unveil me!” Owen says of the story: “That was an extraordinary page that they got out of a silly little picture. You read that and it’s just absurd!”
Campbell, however, says that Owen is not only terrific in Beyond Borders but that he would make a great James Bond — and play the role with more gusto than Brosnan.
“He’s slightly darker and more dangerous. Sean Connery had a real edge to him, which none of the rest do. I mean, I love Pierce and he’s great and he does it real well, but it’s different. I think Clive goes right back to Connery.”
Few could pull that off, Campbell says. “Where are the William Holdens and the Burt Lancasters and the Lee Marvins and the Robert Ryans and the Tyrone Powers? They don’t exist — and I think Clive is one of the rare exceptions.”
Owen grins maliciously when he hears Campbell’s praise: “He’s full of s–t!”