FOR THIS ISSUE of Prestige, we’ve enlisted the services of a genuine star to appear on our cover, an actor who has dazzled audiences with his abilities, the astonishing range of his subject matter – from classical theatre and TV to big- screen thrillers, historical dramas and even comic-book spin-offs – and, it must be said, his brooding Celtic looks, which have sent many a female heart aflutter.
In Hong Kong for a couple of days only, Clive Owen nonetheless managed to set aside an entire afternoon for an exclusive photo shoot and interview with this magazine, and in spite of jetlag could hardly have been more considerate, charming or articulate. As unpretentious as one would expect a Midlands-born Brit to be, Owen, who is currently starring as a drug-addled, scalpel-wielding surgeon in the Steven Soderbergh-directed TV drama The Knick, is predictably dismissive of any talk of his being a sex symbol. “I’m like the joke in the family,” says the father of two girls. The story begins on page 180.
Staying with the arts, we have a report from this year’s Busan Film Festival, arguably the leading such event in the region, where the focus has firmly shifted back from what starlets are not wearing on the red carpet to what’s happening on the screen. We visit St Petersburg and Moscow for an on-the-ground appraisal of contemporary art and culture in Russia. And we talk to author and historian Jung Chang on the publication of her Chinese-language biography of the Empress Dowager. In addition, of course, there’s our usual quota of high fashion, luxury, food, travel, personalities and intelligent comment.
It would be remiss not to acknowledge the protests that have dominated life in this city during the past few weeks. Opinion, which has been expressed thoughtfully and to an overwhelming extent responsibly, has naturally reflected all shades of the spectrum. To that, I would simply add for consideration a brief quote from MK Gandhi: “Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?”
I sincerely hope your November is a happy, fulfilling and ruminative one.