Clive Standen goes from Holywood to Hollywood North with Taken
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.”
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.