Taken

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Sea­son 1 M-Net (*101) 20:30 Ac­tion

If you want deadly Bryan Mills from the Taken films (2008-2015, with Liam Nee­son in the lead role), hol­ster your firearms be­cause that’s not hap­pen­ing right now. In­stead, we’re get­ting to see Clive Standen (Rollo in his­tor­i­cal drama series Vik­ings, 2013-cur­rent) giv­ing un­der­cover CIA agent Bryan emotion and lay­ing the ground­work for a much darker, more com­plex Bryan. “You need to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch,” ex­plains Clive. “And it’s tough when you are re­work­ing a char­ac­ter made fa­mous by a very fa­mous ac­tor like Liam.” Does that mean the series is chas­ing off its core fans? Not a chance!

There’s still more than enough gun­play, fist­fights and bru­tal ag­gres­sion from the lead char­ac­ter, who makes killing ter­ror­ists on a train seem like child’s play. “I weighed 100kg to play Rollo. Bryan is a spy, covert and un­der­cover. I had to lose a lot of weight and change my train­ing to get into Bryan’s shoes, but he still throws a killer right hook,” laughs the 35-year-old Ir­ish ac­tor. Film fans know Bryan in a cer­tain mind­set – calmly phon­ing his teen daugh­ter’s kid­nap­pers and telling them what he’s go­ing to do to them when he finds them. That’s a world away from Bryan in the series, be­cause right now (in episode 7), Bryan is still a young spy who doesn’t have his emo­tions in check, es­pe­cially be­cause he feels that he caused his lit­tle sis­ter’s mur­der in episode 1 (9 March).

Clive adds that giv­ing Bryan a “hu­man side” will make him ap­peal­ing to old and new fans. “I’ve got no in­ter­est in play­ing peo­ple who run up walls and do dou­ble kicks and back­flips. It has to be a real-world sce­nario and that’s what Bryan Mills is right now – a real, re­lat­able hu­man.” NB! See more on p7.

Liam Nee­son as movie Bryan.

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