Clive Standen News
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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.”

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If you tuned into the Season 4b premiere of “Vikings” and were sad to see it Rollo-free, fear not. Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) treacherous brother (Clive Standen) is going to play a big role in the rest of the season — and for some time to come.

When it was announced that Standen had been cast as the lead in NBC’s adaptation of “Taken,” many fans assumed that would mean the end of his “Vikings” story. Creator Michael Hirst assures viewers that isn’t the case, though.

“There’s a great line that Rollo has that you can never fully abandon your Viking life,” he teases. “Once a longship comes around the corner, the blood beats in his veins again.”

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An exclusive interview with the actor behind fan-favorite Rollo on making smart choices, building a career, work-life balance… and why just WANTING to be something isn’t enough.

You may not think of it this way, but actors are definitely entrepreneurs. To be a successful actor means overcoming challenges and obstacles, seizing opportunities, staying strong in the face of rejection… like becoming a successful entrepreneur, becoming a successful actor requires passion, commitment, and relentless drive.

Prime example: Clive Standen, the actor who plays Rollo (my favorite character) on Vikings, the History Channel ratings juggernaut that starts its fourth season on November 30th. (Clive will also play Brian Mills, the lead character on the TV version of Taken.)

When we spoke, I was definitely struck by Clive’s intelligence and introspection, but don’t let that fool you: as evidenced by one particular scene in the upcoming season (what happens is unfortunately a cat I can’t yet let out of the bag), he’s also a badass in the best sense of the word.

Because of Vikings you might seem an overnight success… but you’ve been doing this for years. How did you hang in there during the lean times?

I’m a husband and the father of three kids. I have the pressure of putting food on the table. The cliché is that when you have kids you stop worrying about yourself, but it really does. Becoming a parent changed everything for me.

When things aren’t going so well, you simply do whatever it takes. When I was struggling I had no pride in terms of what jobs I would take: I drove vans, passed out things on the street, waited tables, did bar work, cleaned houses…. the mortgage doesn’t pay itself. That was motivation enough.

On the flip side, having kids gives you less time to devote to putting food on the table.

When you have kids you think you’ll have less time, but I actually find more time. We waste so many hours in the day procrastinating.

Nowadays those hours when the kids are at school are the ones that I make sure I use to get the work done. I don’t want to take away from time with the kids. I don’t waste it; I use that time. I find myself getting far more done as a parent because I seize those opportunities. Ultimately I do everything for my family. Even if means staying up all night… you make the time.

You asked how I hung in there; when Richard Briers came to our drama school we asked him a similar question. “How do you hang in there? How do you get through the hard times?”

He said, “If you really really really really really really really really really REALLY want to act, don’t. But if you HAVE to act… then do it.”

It’s not as easy as saying, “Well, it’s not working out… so what else am I good at?” That’s another motivation for me. There is nothing else I am as good at as acting that satisfies that hunger as much.

So I didn’t have a choice. I had to hang in there.

Doesn’t that attitude make it hard to turn down less than great roles roles?

You definitely have to craft a career as well. Sometimes the quick route might not be the best route for your career over the long run.

I just finished doing four seasons of Vikings. If I take another role set in medieval times then it has to be as good or better or I’m carving out a career as an actor that just does those dramas — especially if I take on a role or a project that is a step down in quality. You may get a paycheck… but your career will fade.

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Clive Standen is no stranger to breaking a sweat. The 35-year-old British actor has starred in History’s historical drama Vikings for five seasons of wielding bulky axes and thrashing it out with his rivals in regular high-octane battle scenes.

But Vikings was shot in Ireland, a part of the world renowned for its mild climate, whereas Standen’s new role in Taken, the NBC drama based on the hit Liam Neeson movie of the same name, has meant 16-hour days filming action sequences during Toronto’s hottest months.

“There have definitely been some three-shower days,” jokes the actor who grew up in Leicester, England, and moved to Toronto this year, settling in the Rosedale neighbourhood.

Vikings was inspired by the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok and the Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia.

It has been on the air since 2013, and in that time has garnered critical acclaim for its character-driven storytelling, rich cinematography and for the actors’ performances, particularly the show’s lead, Viking chieftain Ragnar, played by Australian actor Travis Fimmel (The Experiment, Maggie’s Plan).

“I think this season is some of Travis Fimmel’s best work in the show,” Standen says. “Where [the writers] take Ragnar to in this season is really mind-blowing. Being on set and watching him has been great.”

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It’s certainly taken long enough. Today, NBC announced the premiere date for their upcoming TV series adaptation of Taken.

Based on the film franchise starring Liam Neeson, the action drama stars Clive Standen as a younger version of CIA operative Bryan Mills. The cast also includes Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Monique Gabriela Curnen, and Michael Irby.

Taken debuts on February 27th, 2017.

From NBC:

“From executive producer Luc Besson (“Taken,” “The Fifth Element”) comes a modern-day edge-of-your-seat thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen, “Vikings”) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the trauma of the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. In 30 years, this character is destined to become the Bryan Mills that we’ve come to love from the “Taken” films.

The cast includes Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.

Alexander Cary serves as writer and executive producer. Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vésinne, Thomas Anargyros and director Alex Graves also executive produce.”


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History’s hit historical drama series Vikings is moving to Wednesday nights from its previous Thursday slot for the second half of Season 4, which will premiere November 30. It’s also airing an hour earlier, at 9 PM.

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