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.
Clive Standen just wrapped filming on NBC’s spring series Taken, in which he plays former Green Beret Bryan Mills, the man with a particular set of skills that made Mills famous when actor Liam Neeson played the character in the 2008 film of the same name and its sequels.
From Executive Producer Luc Besson, the TV prequel stars Standen as a younger Mills dealing with personal tragedy as he sets off on his CIA career and hones those skills.
But first, the British actor had to polish his courtly manners for his role as Rollo, sibling to King Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) in History’s Vikings, which returns for its midseason premiere in November.
When we last saw him in April in episode 10 of season 4, Rollo was enjoying the adoration and appreciation of the people of Francia after driving back the Viking horde led by none other than Ragnar. He’s a formerly wild and woolly Viking in the French court who’s been tamed
(somewhat) and groomed (sort of) by his princess wife, Gisla (Morgane Polanski).
Debbie Day for Rotten Tomatoes: Where is Rollo at the start of the upcoming episode?
Clive Standen: We left him being crowned by the king and being called Caesar. He’s seemingly got everything he could possibly have ever wanted and ever dreamed that he could succeed at: He has the princess that genuinely loves him. He has a whole people, a whole realm of people that back him and believes in him. And he has that king, King Charles (Lothaire Bluteau), who’s like a father figure he never had. So now, he really has stepped out of the shadow of Ragnar Lothbrok, accomplished so much, and got so much faith within both Viking society and within Francia.
But as we all know, when you want something for so long and you never really achieved it, you have no idea how it’s going to feel when you get it. So may be a case of the grass is not greener on the other side. Is it all it’s cracked up to be or is he going to be in the middle of a Viking midlife crisis? And rather than be the Ferrari or Porsche that the modern man often pines for in a midlife crisis, it’s going to be the longboat maybe that Rollo is missing and wanting.
It’s still a tricky road for him going into the second part of the season. He was born to raid and fight — those are his own words from season 1. With the responsibility of being the Duke of Normandy and having the whole realm of Francia under his wing, is he going to be allowed to fight? Is he going to be too important? Is he going to be allowed to flex his muscle, so to speak? So, maybe all those type things start to get in the way of his satisfaction and happiness.Read More
Best known as playing Viking legend, Rollo, on the hit History Channel show, “Vikings,” and for his upcoming portrayal as a young Bryan Mills on NBC’s “Taken,” Clive Standen is a charming, gracious, and humble actor. He was one of the exclusive guests at Walker Stalker Convention in Atlanta, Oct. through Oct. 30. He was one of the first panelists over the weekend too, chatting about his character Rollo, as well as leaving the crowd to wonder if he would still be on “Vikings,” when the second half of fourth season premieres on Nov. 30. Standen’s not one to tell or give any secrets away, however. He also commented on his newest role as Bryan Mills in the upcoming series, “Taken,” airing on NBC sometime in January. During the panel, a lady who asked Standen a question, and we quickly learned that Standen is a fan of “Southern accents,” because as he stated, he was “digging your accent.”
We chatted with Clive briefly about Rollo, his favorite music that gets him into character, his top five albums, and more:
AXS: From first season, when Rollo’s character raped a woman, to Rollo now in Season 4, how has that influenced Rollo’s character evolution?
Clive Standen: All the Vikings did (rape). Just because it’s Rollo’s scene doing it, suddenly he’s the villain. That’s what’s interesting about TV as well. I think, sometimes you see it and you believe it. Whereas in film, it’s slightly different, as it’s always based on the one character, through their eyes. If you saw Ragnar rape a woman, would you think differently of him? They all did it, and that’s what Vikings were doing at the time. It was also a plot device, to be fair. In the very beginning, I was meant to to be a 50 year-old cousin to Ragnar Lothbrook, but Travis got the part, and I was all twisted and bitter about it (laughs). They rang me, and mentioned that they wanted to find a part for me, and didn’t want to give me just a consolation prize, because there were so many qualities they liked in my performance as Ragnar, but I wasn’t the Ragnar that they were looking for. Then Michael (Hirst) rang two weeks before we started filming, and said they wanted me to be this character; Rollo, and then they change the character from a cousin to a brother. The device was having this fat, jolly 50 year-old, and he was a drunk, and a loud-mouth. They were afraid they would have two brothers in similar age, vying for that leading man, and he wanted to make it clear from the beginning which brother to root for. So, what better way than to have one brother more interested in the monk, and the other brother more interested in raping women. It’s a classic device, to set people off against the character of Rollo.Read More
Dork Shelf sat down with Clive Standen to chat about his love of Vikings, how he feels HISTORY’s Vikingstells a great story, and what’s next for his career.
Did you know Vikings wouldn’t dare to drop their nail clippings on the ground? Lest the trickster god Loki recruit them for his longboat. A longboat made completely of human fingernails. And the Vikings just could not have that and so instead they would burn them, or keep them in precious lockets? Did you know these Vikings believed the wind, when it blew on your face, was the product of an eagle perched on the great tree Yggdrasil who flapped its wings to produce everything from a summer breeze to a gale force burst? Or, that the morning dew on shimmering grass was but sweat from the horses of the fighting gods? Did you know that? I do, and do you know why? Clive Standen told me.
And Clive Standen is fucking serious about Vikings.
History Come To Life
“I’m a bit of a history buff,” says the Vikings star. That might be a bit of an understatement given that Standen not only did “hundreds of hours of research” to aid in his portrayal of one Rollo, brother to possibly-to-be-usurped Ragnar Lothbrok. “I’m quite possibly the best person to be in your Viking trivia team.” Standen quips.
The British actor actually travelled to Iceland to visit the ancient grave of the man he portrays. Fittingly, and ice storm hit during his stay and Standen reflects poetically on how he and his professional guides swapped stories to pass the time, not unlike the era of the Vikings when, “They would turn you away unless you had a good story to tell.”
It’s true that hundreds of years later, a good a story is still worth its weight.
He’s fascinated by the idea of how the illiterate Vikings were written about. Quite misrepresented as raping marauding savages, he might say. I mean, they killed a WHOLE bunch of folks, but one interesting thing is victors often write the history; however, the Vikings are an exception to this rule. The HISTORY show, in Standen’s mind, is a way to have a closer look at a misunderstood people who are often portrayed as murderous brutes — “They did do some terrible things, though” Standen was quick to add. I mean, his character Rollo rapes and murders.Read More
Female First has posted this exclusive interview with Clive where he talks about Vikings, Taken and much more. take a look
Critically-acclaimed series Vikings returns for its third season on HISTORY tonight, and we managed to catch some time with actor from the show Clive Standen, to chat all about where his character Rollo will be going from here.
We also spoke about his new lead role in the Taken television series and much more – read on to find out what he had to say…
What should British Vikings viewers expect from the third season of the show?
Well, season 1 and season 2 of Vikings was only the tip of the iceberg of what the Vikings accomplished. Now, as we go into season 3, Ragnar’s ambitions, because he’s now the king, we’re hitting the golden age of the vikings and what the vikings were famous for. They’re far and wide – it wasn’t just about England, it was about most of Europe. What’s interesting is, Ragnar now has risen through the ranks of viking society, so he is their king and he has a great responsibility that now rests on his shoulders.
Can you give us a little bit of a tease as to what your character Rollo will be getting up to this season?
Rollo’s trying to prove to his brother that the betrayal was in the past. His ambition won’t go away but I think he realises it was misplaced, that it wasn’t Ragnar that was getting in the way. He needs to find a way of existing outside of Ragnar’s shadow, but without having conflicting interests towards his brother. As usual Rollo is going to be put through the ringer. He is gonna have some major confrontations with key characters in the series, and some of these confrontations might change him forever.Read More
The Vikings actor takes our Q&A!
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Try and persuade my wife it’s her turn to take the kids to school and then…take the kids to school.
When you walk into a bar, what do you typically order?
A pint of Guinness.
What’s the one word you are guilty of using too often
Three words…Ask your mum.
What is the last thing you searched for on Google?
The make of a hoodie someone left at my house after a party we threw last night…it’s a really nice one and fits me perfectly!
Who is the last person that called or texted you?
My cast mate Moe Dunford. He rang to say he lost his hoodie. Told him I couldn’t find it anywhere. 😉
What’s the wallpaper on your phone and/or computer?
A really unoriginal underwater shot of lots of sharks silhouetted by the sun.
What was the last awkward situation you were in and how did you handle it?
I don’t know but it’s going to be pretty awkward if I turn up to set with this hoodie on. I’ll ring him back!
What is your TV guilty pleasure?
Right now…MasterChef Australia.
What’s the first CD you bought?
CDs were too expensive when I was a kid — I could only afford cassette tapes with my pocket money. Nirvana’s Nevermind was probably my first.Read More