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
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.”Read More
Get caught up with Rollo’s journey so far in Season 4 with Clive Standen in this web exclusive
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 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.”
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