Clive Standen goes from Holy­wood to Hol­ly­wood North with Taken

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - BILL BRIOUX

It’s a long way from Holy­wood to Hol­ly­wood North. Just ask Clive Standen.

The 35-year-old actor was born in Holy­wood, North­ern Ire­land, and for the past four sea­sons has starred as Rollo in His­tory Chan­nel’s Canada-Ire­land co-pro­duc­tion “Vik­ings.”

“Af­ter do­ing the 50 hours we’ve filmed so far I feel like I’ve be­come a use­less al­manac of Vik­ing knowl­edge,” said the Lon­don Academy of Music and Dra­matic Art grad. “I’d be the best per­son to have on your team if you’re do­ing a Vik­ings pub quiz.”

“Vik­ings” shoots in Ire­land. Look­ing for new worlds to con­quer, Standen traded in his swords for a suit and tie in Toronto as the lead on the new ac­tion drama “Taken,” which pre­mières Mon­day at 10 p.m. on Global.

Standen stars as for­mer Green Beret Bryan Mills, a younger ver­sion of the char­ac­ter Liam Nee­son played in the “Taken” movies. A per­sonal tragedy drives Mills into a ca­reer as a deadly CIA op­er­a­tive. Jen­nifer Beals plays Mills’s in­tel­li­gence agency boss. French wri­ter­di­rec­tor Luc Bes­son, who cre­ated the film tril­ogy, stays in­volved as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer.

The role calls for Standen to adopt an Amer­i­can ac­cent, a skill he’s a lit­tle rusty at, he ad­mit­ted. Help­ing was grow­ing up “on a steady diet of Amer­i­can films.”

What Standen likes about Mills is that he is more Clark Kent than Superman.

“You want him to suc­ceed, and when he trips and f ails and f alls down, you want him to get back up.”

He be­comes more of a Superman later in life, in the “Taken” film tril­ogy.

“I’ve got no in­ter­est in play­ing Liam Nee­son’s char­ac­ter in the film,” said Standen. “He’s the fin­ished prod­uct. He’s this man with a par­tic­u­lar set of skills. This is about how he ac­quires them, and I think it’s go­ing to be a roller-coaster of a ride with lots of ebbs and flows and twists and turns.”

Shoot­ing in and around Toronto this win­ter was chal­leng­ing at times, said Standen, es­pe­cially one night shoot in Orangeville, north of Toronto, dur­ing an ice storm.

“We had a big he­li­copter stunt the first day and they couldn’t even get the he­li­copter up be­cause the pro­pel­lers were freez­ing.”

Standen said the ice felt like “sharp rain in the face.” He en­vied the crew “all warm in their parkas.” It wasn’t all bad, how­ever. “When we fin­ished at 8 o’clock in the morn­ing, ev­ery­thing looked like it was made of glass. It was the most beau­ti­ful thing I’d ever seen.”

Standen said he’s taken his lumps so f ar this sea­son. “Ev­ery day, it’s me get­ting my ass kicked.” He smiles when he says it though. “You can’t make mead with­out grind­ing some hops,” he said. “You sign on to a show called ‘Vik­ings,’ you’ve seen the film ‘Taken,’ you know what you’re sign­ing on to. You’re go­ing to get a few bruises and get knocked around.”

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/GLOBAL TELE­VI­SION

Clive Standen, left, stars in “Taken” an ac­tion drama that has him get knocked around a bit just like his char­ac­ter Rollo in “Vik­ings,” be­low.

JONATHAN HES­SION, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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