Julia & Clive – Duplicity World Premiere

Pair spied at corporate espionage gala

Julia & Clive - Duplicity World Premiere

by Emily Phillips |
Published on

It was a battle of the sexes to outshine on the red carpet at London's Leicester Square for the World Premiere of Tony Gilroy's corporate espionage zinger Duplicity.

Packed with natty one-liners and sizzling chemistry, the film pits ex-MI6 agent Ray Koval (Clive Owen) against ex-CIA agent Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) who have thrown in the towel on their government work in order to cash in on the lucrative and convoluted business of corporate espionage. Heading up the two rival companies in which they position themselves, were Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson - who was first up the red carpet.

Wilkinson - who also starred in Duplicity writer/ helmer Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut Michael Clayton – wasn’t surprised that the fans outside remained subdued before the big stars arrived: “I don’t drive crowds crazy like I used to!”

Comparing Duplicity, where he plays the contained but conniving pharmaceuticals magnate Howard Tully, to his Oscar nominated role in Michael Clayton, he told us: “It’s got similar hallmarks in the sense that it’s incredibly bright. Tony Gilroy who wrote and directed it is an incredibly bright, smart writer and it has all that. And also Michael Clayton has some time shifts in it, and this has loads.”

Writer/ director Tony Gilroy was slightly taken aback by the proposition of a Duplicity 2: “A sequel? We hadn’t really thought about it – I guess it’s an economic thing, it’s not planned, so we’ll see how we do.”

But Gilroy seemed happy to have played the long game in waiting for Roberts whilst she had her baby, in order to begin the film – and had a great experience working with the pair: “They’re friends, I think that’s a great endorsement. They’re smart, they’re professional, there’s no head game - it means you can just start working every day – there’s no wasting time.”

And main man Clive Owen was glad that Julia was able to join them: “I’m just so pleased that she did the film. It’s a relationship film, it’s all about the banter, about how those two characters play off of eachother. And I think that, with this type of material which is light, and wicked and deft, she’s just amazing.”

The fact that Roberts decided take the job, was down to some serious schmoozing from a certain Mr George Clooney (who also introduced Gilroy to Owen), and from Clive himself: “I called her up and took her for lunch and said that I’d read a script which was dynamite, and which would be perfect for us to do and she pretty much said yes - but she was pregnant. So we had to wait another year before she came on board.”

But as much as he enjoyed the film and the premiere, there was only one thing on Clive’s mind- the Liverpool game being played simultaneous to the screening: “Don’t catch me out – I might have to sneak out to watch the second half. It’s our game of the season. I’m a bit nervous!”

And then came Julia, simply dressed in a black Dolce and Gabbana tuxedo - having made her way up the red carpet for the first time in a while - which, once she was safely inside, she told us, was: “just terrifying. Awful. It’s scary out there! But it’s nice.”

Beside her was husband Danny Moder, rather sweetly following her with his camera phone aloft, taping the experience for posterity. Julia attributed her ability to go back to work to him, saying: “It was surprisingly easy - lovely kids, great support, wonderful husband.”

But getting back in the leading lady saddle with Duplicity wasn’t a difficult choice to make however: “No, it was a great choice, easy to make. Great script, great director, and Clive Owen!”

And it was a choice well made, as the down-to-earth stars made their way in to watch the film (at least until it was safe to escape to the pub for Clive). And Empire covertly made a call to report everything that had just happened.

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