Clive Owen "broke the rules" to take a selfie with Barack Obama.

Clive Owen

Clive Owen

The 54-year-old actor has recalled the "incredible moment" he met the former President of the United States at a talk, and says he snapped a picture with Obama at his own request because he was a huge fan of his 2014 hospital series 'The Knick'.

Speaking on BBC Two's The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, he said: "It was an incredible moment, I went to do this talk and I joined a queue of people having their photographs taken [with Barack Obama].

"So when I walked up to the man, he went 'Okay I'm breaking the rule of a lifetime here' and took out his own phone and took a selfie, and I said 'Well if you are I am', and there was a 'No selfie' rule so I did it and he was apparently a huge fan of 'The Knick'. You can tell I don't do selfies because I looked terrible and he looked really good."

Clive is gearing up for a string of London performances in the West End for the much-anticipated stage play 'The Night of the Iguana', which is written by Tennessee Williams, and is based on his 1948 short story about different guests who stay at a dilapidated hotel in a rainforest above the west coast of Mexico.

Speaking about the play, he added: "I'm very excited. I actually took a break from theatre for about 13 years, I started in theatre and did a lot and I trained in theatre and then about five years ago I thought 'It's time to get back'.

"It's a really stunning play, I didn't actually know the play but I read it and just knew I'd have to do it there was no choice. Throughout my career I think there's been a number of times where I've done that, where I've read something and know immediately that there is no going back, you've read it, you have to do it, and this is one of those plays."

The 'Children Of Men' star performed on Broadway in the 2015 play 'Old Times' after a 13 year break, and Clive revealed that the experience helped him reaffirm his love of acting.

He continued: "We start rehearsals next week, but we get together next week and start. I've done two plays in New York, I don't think I'd have taken this play on if I hadn't done them. The first one back which was a pincher [Old Times] I did five years ago after a 13 year gap was terrifying because after such a gap, you have to reawaken everything and think 'Can I do this or have I forgotten?' It was a brilliant experience because that's kind of where I started and it reminded me why I'm doing what I'm doing really. It's such an awesome piece of writing, there's no other play I'd rather be doing."