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.