The Guardian's Small Talk feature has produced some delightfully strange interviews in the past and now former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Man United striker Michael Owen can be added to the list. It started out reasonably enough with his muted thoughts on the coming season and his current gig as a pundit, but then the 2001 Ballon d'Or winner who has never been mistaken for the most eccentric man in the game encountered a string of questions that proved surprisingly difficult for him.
First, he said he doesn't listen to anything in the car because he's happy with his own thoughts. Then came a subject that is apparently Michael Owen's kryptonite: films. From the Guardian:
What’s the last film you saw? It’s very boring, but I don’t watch films. I think I’ve seen about five in my life. I just can’t get into them. I do try – someone will say, ‘Watch this film, it’s great,’ and I’ll try but after half an hour, 40 minutes I can’t take it any longer.
So what were those five? They must have been absolutely terrible. Rocky, Jurassic Park, Cool Runnings, Ghost. Um, I can’t remember any more. [Small Talk drums fingers on table encouragingly] Er … and Heat. I’ve seen Heat. I can’t think of any more.
But they’re all ancient! Someone might have made the perfect film in the last 20 years! Maybe. All the films I’ve seen were when I went training with clubs, when I was about 12 and my dad wanted me to visit Arsenal or [Manchester] United or whoever wanted to sign me at the time. A lot of the time you’d go and there would be 20 trialists, all staying together the night before, and instead of sitting all night in the hotel they’d take you to the cinema. And I’d go, ‘Oh no.’
Who would play you in a film of your life? What, an actor? I don’t know any actors.
The most recent film in that meager bunch is Heat, which was made in 1995. 1995! Of course, there are surely a few people in the world who, like Owen, simply don't enjoy watching feature films, but you'd think that a couple every few years over the last two decades of his life. On a plane, with his kids, whatever. But, in fairness, when you've seen Rocky, Jurassic Park, Cool Runnings, Ghost, and Heat, you've got all the essentials covered.
Once Owen weathered the film portion of the interviewed, he provided a few more surprises. His favorite sandwich is "turkey, brie and cranberry" and one of his longest answers was reserved for discussing his favorite cheeses (twist: it's not brie!).
I think we might have found the English Andrei Arshavin.
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