VULKAN – UK talent, Clive Standen, is a jack-of-all-genres in the entertainment industry; he’s played multiple roles on historical dramas and is none other than Rollo on critically acclaimed “Vikings.” In 2017, he’s set to star in Alex Cary’s “Taken” and zombie thriller, “Patient Zero.” Lucky for us, the actor took some time to talk to VULKAN about everything from his character prep, to the joys of fatherhood, and doing his own stunts!
What are some of the key differences in the acting industries in the USA vs the UK?
One of the main differences is in the UK, were far more encouraged to go to drama school and do three years of training in acting. In the US, it’s not really a thing; it’s more about learning on the job. Some British actors seem to be made in acting school, and some American actors seem to be made in the gym…which makes sense when you spend more time working on what you look like than getting into character. The way that the industry works is completely different too. It’s a far bigger country, and with the amount of casting directors and projects going on, you can get lost if you don’t have the right representation or don’t get that lucky break. England is a much smaller country and it’s a far smaller circle and you tend to bump into the same people a lot more on auditions and castings.
You’re a married father of three! How do you juggle an international acting career and being a father and husband?
I don’t think anyone has the answer to that one! The amazing thing about being a parent is that it’s the only unconditional love you’ll ever find. You mess up all the time and you wake up and your kids turn around and say, “I love you, Dad!” And so you try and be better, not mess up so much, and learn from your mistakes. There’s nothing easy about being a parent, working abroad, and being away from them. On the downside, when I’m away, I don’t get to see them very much; working with time differences and long hours on set, I’m trying to catch them on Skype whenever I can. Sometimes I miss out on the nicer things that if I were home I’d get to enjoy with them-after school clubs, football matches, and school plays. On the upside, when I am back, I’m completely there! There are fathers who get home at 8pm, when the kids are already in bed and only get to spend weekends with them. When I’m resting as an actor or done with a job, I get to be at home permanently with them and make up for lost time. I give them my undivided attention, turn off the phone and just be dad! We’ve got three children, and I look back to when I had one and I know I’m a seasoned veteran. It’s tough being a parent, even if you’re not working away; finding that balance between giving them your attention and having fun but also remembering you’re not always there to be their best friend. It’s about finding time to do the homework and other things that aren’t so pleasant that mum had to do. It’s not a 9-5 job, it’s 24/7. Sometimes all you want to do is play with the kids because you’ve been away and you feel guilt for having to do the not so fun jobs. It’s also hard to find a balance with your partner again…that might be one of the toughest things.
Vikings has made its triumphant return, but so far, no Rollo.
The History Channel show last saw the character in April’s mid-season finale, where Rollo made his allegiance clear, and battled it out with Ragnar in the waters of Frankia.
ET hopped on the phone with Rollo himself, Clive Standen, on Tuesday, where he dished on his character’s recent absence — and revealed that since the series’ time jump, Rollo has “seemingly everything he’s ever wanted.”
“He beats his brother in battle, he goes back victorious, he has this lovely princess to go home to, and a whole realm that kind of worships him as the savior of Paris,” he explained, before noting that Rollo still yearns for the Viking life. “He’s having a bit of a Viking mid-life crisis. The only difference is that in modern society, the cliché is that the man pines for his Ferrari or his Porsche, whereas Rollo is pining for a longboat to take him back to be the warrior for one last voyage as a Viking.”
Rollo’s allegiance to Frankia — and seeming betrayal of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and the Vikings who came to claim the territory in the last half of the season — was a major turning point for the characters, but Standen said Rollo’s big move is completely warranted given Ragnar’s past treatment of his brother.
“He was kept in the shadow of Ragnar for years… There’s only so much a person can take,” he said. “When Rollo goes to Frankia, he finds people who actually respect him and worship him…He may be betraying his people, but he’s not betraying his roots. He’s still a Viking. He just has no choice but to go to Frankia and start a new life, take on a different guard, and everything that comes with that in order to accomplish his fame in the society at the time.”Read More