Even Clive Owen wasn’t sure if he was the right actor to play Bill Clinton on screen.

The actor portrays the former U.S. president in the upcoming “American Crime Story: Impeachment”, and in an interview with Vanity Fair, he talks about taking on the challenge.

“To be honest with you, I said to them, why are you coming to me?” Owen recalls of his first conversation with executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Simpson. “One: I’m English. And two: I don’t really look like him.”

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The series covers the scandal involving Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, as well as the ensuing impeachment trial which attempted to remove the president from office.

“In effect, it’s a period piece because it was so long ago,” Owen says. “Looking at it from a modern perspective — and actually playing out the story and seeing how everybody was treated — everybody would say that Monica Lewinsky was treated pretty appallingly.”

Talking about getting into the character, the actor says, “The idea of recreating the real footage or archival footage really was the hook for me. There’s something about a challenge that always excites me when it that feels dangerous.”

He adds, “It’s nerve-racking because they are moments that everybody knows,” says Owen. “You say, ‘Okay, I’ve got to get as close to that [footage] as possible and that includes how I sound, the rhythm, the feeling, and energy of it.’ It’s very clear. It’s not about an interpretation where you can make the wrong choice.”

Ass for his impersonation of Clinton, the actor explains that he was out to capture the essence of the former president.

“Everyone thinks of him as having that gravelly voice — and you feel that that must be some kind of strain, because his voice is catching,” Owen says. “But actually that’s not the case. His voice is actually quite free. It’s just where his voice sits and the way his voice vibrates.”

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He also reveals “it took a number of goes” to transform his face into Clinton’s.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t got the same shaped face as him at all, really,” Owen says. “I didn’t want to be buried in prosthetics because I find that super distracting. So we were able to find something that was sort of in the middle that was a gesture of him, and not be totally drowned and hidden behind a sort of false face.”

He reveals that they eventually settled on using simple a prosthetic forehead and nose, with some additional makeup, but that even this took two hours to apply every day.

As for the weighty subject matter in the series, Owen says, “I felt like the whole thing has been done as sensitively as it can. I don’t know what he’ll think about it. I just played the part as best I could and that was what I felt my job was, really.”