Published Saturday, 18 August 2012
The Sin City star, who grew up in Coventry, England, became terrified he would be embroiled in an attack by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Owen, whose new espionage thriller Shadow Dancer is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles, once lived in the city when he was starring in a local play.
He tells the Independent newspaper: "I grew up with it being part of our lives and every night hearing some report on the news about the Troubles. (It was) rough... It was a war zone.
"I remember going out in the evenings and it was disconcerting what was happening on the streets. They'd do these drills where the vans pull up and the soldiers all jump out and hit their positions and the first time I saw that, I seriously thought: 'I'm in the middle of a situation.'"