Hollywood Leading Man Ponders the Role of Internet Among Today’s Youth in 'Trust'
As David Schwimmer’s melodrama, Trust, hits theaters this weekend, Hollywood star Clive Owen (King Arthur, Sin City) sat back in his chair at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills and spoke out about the eerily real issues presented in the film which he stars in as the father of a daughter victimized by an Internet predator. Despite portraying a fictional father on the big screen, Mr. Owen said there is nothing about Trust that should be taken for granted, sharing with Buzzine and other members of the Hollywood press corps some cautionary words about the age of the Internet and today’s youth.
“It’s hugely topical, and it’s a subject everyone should be thinking about and looking at, really, where children use the Internet, relate on the Internet. It’s a huge thing,” Mr. Owen said about the wide world of the Web and the lurking dangers it presents to minors. “A big part of the story is about the fracturing of the family after the event. The reality is that kind of stress can fracture or upset people who react differently under that unusual stress.”
As Trust dives deep into a 40-year-old Internet predator soliciting a 14-year-old minor through cyberspace, Mr. Owen said it is really tough to keep up with the large can of worms opened by the combination of a growing World Wide Web and increasing knowledge of today’s youngsters of how to navigate through that large, seemingly endless universe.
“My kids know more about how to use a computer than I do. The things they can do on a computer are way beyond what I can do on a computer. There are worries that come with that,” Mr. Owen said.
Complicating matters is the increasing difficulty in vetting out potential predators and enforcing principally stringent laws and measures on the issue.
“You can regulate as best you can, but ultimately, part of the problem is, unless you take the computer away from them, they are actually more savvy than I am with the computer that they can be doing things that I am not actually aware of,” Mr. Owen said.
Even worse, the advent of the Internet creates what Mr. Owen observes as a false sense of security, a non-existent safety net, amongst young adults and children who are as Internet savvy as ever.
“There is a false safety in sitting in your bedroom, typing out and having these … intense relationships. You think you are very safe,” Mr. Owen noted, observing that human interactions were significantly different during his pre-Internet youth. “When I was young … you (had relationships) face-to-face; you saw people, you related, you found things out through engagement. It’s not the same anymore. Kids have incredibly intense relationships through what they think is the safety of just sitting there typing. They are not really experiencing the intimacy of the relationship. They think they are, but they are not.”
With films such as Trust delivering home the eerily necessary point of how such a false sense of security can go from innocence to danger with the mere pressing of a button, what with online sexual predators lurking left and right, Mr. Owen can only hope the dark drama opens the eyes of everyone who watches Mr. Schwimmer’s latest production.
Also starring Catherine Keener (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Jason Clarke (Public Enemies), Viola Davis (Eat Pray Love), Noah Emmerich (White Collar), Liana Liberato (Sons of Anarchy), and Chris Henry Coffey, Trust debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010 and opens on April 1st. The film is Rated R.