Theo, the hero Owen plays in Children of Men, is at best a reluctant hero. At worst Theo is a “disenfranchised character who doesn’t see the point of anything. He lacks all sense of hope, is full of cynicism,” explains Owen. Not exactly typical hero material. “Alfonso was very clear about wanting this very inept hero. The last thing he wanted was a conventional leading man for this movie. Actually we laughed quite a lot during the whole process at Theo and how pathetic he was,” says Owen. Theo is rendered all the more pathetic by his choice of footwear early in the film – thongs or, as Owen called them, flip flops. “It’s a stroke of genius really because there’s no way I could be conventionally macho and heroic if I was getting around in flip flops.”
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