“Somebody used to post very weird things as if I’d said them – they’d be quotes on the IMDb page, or whatever – and one of them was that I had a phobia of badgers,” Owen said. “I’d get asked about them in junkets! ‘Is it true you’re really scared of badgers?’ And I’d go, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’”
To avoid any further confusion in the future Owen added, “For the record, I’m not afraid of badgers. I think I’m okay.”
Owen previously contested the rumor in 2009 in an interview with Newsweek. “Somebody somewhere, and I’m beginning to think I know who it is, started this thing,” he said. “You would not believe the amount of times I have to fend that question. I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life. I’ve got a feeling I know who it is because I once talked to someone about putting something on IMDB.”
Empire spoke with Owen ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strikes about his forthcoming Hulu series A Murder At the End of the World, a new show from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij. It also stars Emma Corrin and Harris Dickinson. The seven-episode series was originally scheduled to premiere Aug. 29, but recently was pushed back to November, presumably due to the strikes. Owen plays an reclusive billionaire who invites a group of guests to a remote retreat where one is soon found dead.
Corrin told Empire that the plot is especially relevant to today. “They are both a bit psychic in the way that they can feel things around them in the world, put pen to paper and capture something that’s in the ether, and almost predict it,” Corrin said of Marling and Batmanglij, who also created The OA. “To think they were writing this maybe five years ago… it’s so ahead of its time, and covers so much of what we’re dealing with now in terms of our existential dread and a world where technology plays a major part of our lives.”
In 2021, Owen played former president Bill Clinton in Impeachment: American Crime Story and starred in Stephen King adaptation Lisey’s Story. The two limited series marked his big return to TV after two seasons on acclaimed Cinemax show The Knick.