21 MARCH 2006

British heart-throb Clive Owen shared the red carpet with two of Hollywood's most respected stars when he stepped out for the premiere of his new film on Monday. The statuesque performer was accompanied by Oscar-winners Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster as he rolled up to the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York for the debut screening of crime thriller Inside Man.

Jodie has been keeping a relatively low profile in recent years, but she was looking every inch the silver screen star when she made her entrance in black Armani. The flick sees her playing a mysterious power broker, while her British costar takes on the role of a master bank robber. The veteran actress, who has two Academy Awards on her mantelpiece at home, says she'd be an inept criminal in real life, though.

"I'd make a really bad one," she confessed. "Certain people, when something happens, like there's an accident, they immediately do the right thing. I freeze. I need 20 minutes to think. I don't have the good wheels turning."

Monday night's event was extra special for director Spike Lee, as he was also celebrating his 49th birthday. The renowned filmmaker told reporters he had marked his big day with a ring from his wife, a hug from his son and a cupcake from his little girl.

And London-born actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who has a supporting role in the movie, was likewise given reason to smile after Denzel singled him out for particular praise. "Chiwetel is really an elegant and good man, and a great actor," affirmed the renowned performer. "It was tougher for him, because I was just riffing, and he has this accent. He was trying to learn how to speak American, so it was more difficult for him, but he’s a good man and we had a good time together."

Photo: ©
Clive and Jodie arrive for the premiere of their new collaboration. The Panic Room star says that, despite her latest role, she's better suited to acting than a life of crimePhoto: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Denzel shares a joke with his fellow Oscar winner on their way into the screening. In the movie the hunky actor plays the cop who goes head-to-head with Clive's bank robberPhoto: © Rex
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