Clive Owen Discusses His Role in the New Medical Drama 'The Knick'

Owen talks about similarities and differences between his new show and other TV medical dramas.
4:05 | 08/04/14

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Transcript for Clive Owen Discusses His Role in the New Medical Drama 'The Knick'
Test Te Clive Owen is coming back to television in a series called the nick. It's set at a hospital in 1900, when the average life expectancy was 49 years old. He's a surgeon with a few drawbacks. So excited to have you here this morning. Thank you. And the nick is not your typical medical drama. How would you describe it? It's set in 1900. I play a brilliant doctor who struggles with liquid cocaine addiction and hanging out in the evening. But set at a time when the medical world was moving fast. A hugely exciting time, making huge discoveries very quickly. And an opportunity to have a look at New York in 1900 as well. So fascinating. Very dark. But grips you from the opening scene. Dr. John thakry, that's your character, described as arrogant and self-absorbed. You don't have a problem with that, but how do you get into character? Steven sent me the script, and it was brilliant. And the character was original and unusual for kind of a leading character in a drama series, because she's brilliant, but she's confrontational, he's arrogant, you know, he's a drug addict who's also being brilliant at what he does. And I just, you know, the challenge of playing such a sort of unusual complex sort of wild character was, you know, I just had to do it. And he's also a product of the times. Because it was the beginning of the 20th century when racism and sexism were overt and completely acceptable. You have an african-american surgeon who wants to work at the nick. Let's take a look. This is where I'd like to be. If you would just give me a chance. In London and in Paris I was treated as an equal. This is New York. This is not London or Paris. You can only run away and join the circus if the circus wants you. I don't want you in my circus. As an actor, was it difficult to say those lines? It's -- I mean, there's a whole journey that goes with Andre's character through the season and I know where it ends. But it does develop the relationship. But the guys who wrote the thing did an incredible amount of research into the period and the time. And at the time there were no black doctors working in hospitals in New York at all. And it's shocking, but it should be shocking, because, you know, we're looking at what life was like back then. You mentioned Stephen soderbergh did all ten, and signed up for the second season. It's remarkable. Was it like making a ten-hour movie? It was like that. He didn't to want shoot it EP sodically. It was like a movie. We went to a location and shot everything from all ten episodes in the location. It's a challenge, but it's incredibly efficient and smart way of attacking it. And just going in another direction. Was that mustache yours? You grew it? Of course. It seems that in 1900, 95% of men had some kind of facial hair. I read a book where a girl describes kissing a guy and it felt weird without facial hair. You weren't a fan? No. I finished and I went straight upstairs and shaved it off. Our crew decided to just join Clive with the mustache look. Very 1900s of them. It's not the right shape. Guys, come on. We want to thank you so much. We like the mustache. You have to grow another one for the second season. Probably. The nick premiers this Friday on Star

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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