Steve Coogan Finally Gets His Breakthrough Moment As Owen Wilson's Enabler

At the height of Owen Wilson's very public personal crisis, Courtney Love uncharacteristically offered up her own, highly opinionated views on the topic—suicide and hard drugs being two subjects that run, pun only partially intended, deeply in her veins. Suspecting she knew exactly who and what led Wilson to his act of desperation, the singer told Us magazine that the culprit was Steve Coogan: A far bigger star in the U.K. than in the U.S., Coogan gained fame overseas for his TV portrayal of dim-bulbed newsman Alan Partridge. (In this clip, he fittingly admits he has no idea who Kurt Cobain is, and is baffled over why he might have taken his own life.) Coogan and Love had a brief affair, which was rumored to have caused a pregnancy, but that thankfully produced no illegitimate children—between Love's body dysmorphia and Coogan's English dental genes, the kid never stood a chance.

Once the actor befriended Wilson on the set of A Night of the Museum—the two men played warring diorama figurines—it was only a matter of time, Love suspected, before they mounted their miniature horses and galloped off into the dark abyss. Now Coogan, who was set to have a cameo in the same Ben Stiller-directed movie from which Wilson just pulled out, has rushed back to town for what will likely be the greatest damage control performance of his life. From Page Six:

Our source reports, "Coogan was in Hawaii when the news [of Wilson's suicide try] hit, but he came back Wednesday night and is trying to get in touch with Owen, Luke [Wilson] and Ben [Stiller]. He's trying to make sure that the movie ['Tropic Thunder'] doesn't fall through now."

Coogan fired back on "Access Hollywood," saying, "I do want to set the record straight and say that the allegations . . . are completely and utterly false." [...]

Love hasn't had contact with Coogan in months, except for an e-mail she sent him after Wilson's suicide attempt. It read, "You must feel really great right now. Does this feel life-affirming?" Love has said on her Web site she'll have no further comment.

There would, of course, be more comment—lots more—including this choice one from an interview with The Sun: "Hopefully the guy will leave us alone in this town and go back to Brighton or wherever the hell he's from...and stay there." If Coogan does manage to salvage his Thunder cameo, we suspect the production will quickly become The Most Awkward Set in Hollywood, marked by excruciating moments in which the actor idles up to the craft services table to see what Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. are laughing so heartily about, only to have the three stars fall deadly silent, before ringleader Downey Jr. pipes in, "At least I never took anyone down with me, you fish n' chips-eating enabler."