“I was screaming like a kid at Christmas!” says Heather DuPuis.

DuPuis, co-owner of Vie Fitness and Spa, is naturally a calm, cool, and collected kind of woman. But she went bonkers in October 2009, when she learned that actor Clive Owen would be training at her Ashley St. fitness studio. She briefly considered letting another of her personal trainers have the thrill of working with the English hunk, but decided, “Hell, no! I told them, ‘I’m taking this one. He’s mine.'” 

In defense of her decision to pull rank, DuPuis points out that “I do [personal training for] a lot of males”—and that when Hilary Swank came to Vie in April, 2009, she assigned the star to fellow trainer Darlene Sosenko. While Owen worked out on “weights and heavy stuff,” she says, Swank “didn’t want to bulk up … the women were paranoid about [developing] thick thighs.”

The two were the first of a small constellation of stars to pass through Vie between spring 2009 and summer 2010, when Michigan’s generous 42 percent tax credit lured several Hollywood movies to the area. They were followed by David Schwimmer, Neve Campbell, Rory Culkin, Hayden Panetierre, and Courtney Cox. DuPuis estimates that altogether, the actors and others associated with the films spent about $12,000 at Vie. While it wasn’t a huge windfall, she says, “it certainly was a nice little unexpected bonus to our revenue projections.”  

Of the group, DuPuis says, the only one with an attitude was Schwimmer, whose agent demanded that he be able to come in after hours. “He got a couple of massages,” she says. “He wore sunglasses and a baseball cap and asked to come through the hidden side door.”

She was much more taken with Owen. “Clive Owen was truly the most humble, modest, down-to-earth client I ever had—not just the most humble, modest, down-to-earth actor,” DuPuis says with a bit of a swoon in her voice. For his last workout, he had a big bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne delivered, with a handwritten thank-you card on his personal stationery. She has it framed on the wall at home, even though, she says with a smile, “It’s not something Carsten wants to look at all the time.”

DuPuis’ husband, Carsten Hohnke, may not have been so sorry to see Owen go. A consultant who just won re-election to city council in Ward 5, Hohnke’s no slouch in the fit-and-looks department himself—but he and Owen didn’t exactly warm to each other. The only time the two hunks met, in Vie’s men’s locker room, Owen “didn’t know Carsten was my husband,” DuPuis says. “He barely gave him the time of day.”