Clive Standen – British actor, gold fencing medallist and Muay Thai boxing expert - sat down and talked to us about his Vikings character Rollo and what it’s like being part of such a hit show.
“It’s been a whirlwind. The first glimpse we had of season one, we thought we may have made something quite special, but we had no idea if anyone would like it. But every year we meet the most passionate fans and see how invested they are in it,” says Standen.
Throughout the third series, there are rising tensions between Rollo and his brother Vikings chieftain Ragnar.
As friends in real life, Clive describes how difficult it was to film scenes of conflict with Travis Fimmel (Ragnar).
“It’s like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Rollo has felt second-best to Ragnar all his life…. Sometimes at the end of those scenes, Travis and I want to hug each other because of the things we have just done to each other!”
He compares their characters relationship similar to that of Curt Cobain and Dave Grohl.
“When Cobain is no longer there, the drummer ends up fronting the biggest band in the world, The Foo Fighters. Rollo is Dave Grohl, and there is nothing wrong with being Dave Grohl. Hopefully Dave will read this, and I’ll get free Foo Fighters tickets for life!”
As for what makes Vikings so vivid and realistic, he says its down to the cast’s authenticity.
“We do all our own stunts. We don’t have the budget of Game of Thrones, but we make it very realistic. You see the hurt and anger on our faces because we’ve really been smashed in the face… We pride ourselves on making it as real as possible. The key to the show’s success is making characters who have done questionable things the heroes of the story.”
And what’s more, Standen says it’s the show’s creator, Michael Hirst, that helps make the characters relatable and accurate.
“Michael is a historian as well as a writer. He wants the show to do justice to the Vikings…We are not trying to portray the Vikings as lovely, peace-loving people. It’s simply about humanising them.”
When it comes to the future of Rollo’s character, Standen admits it’s uncertain, as anything is possible with Vikings.
“What I love about Vikings is that Michael’s scripts are so brilliantly written. We never know where he is going to take us next. It’s a complete rollercoaster – or should that be Rollo-coaster?!”
Standen has several future film projects in the works, including 2017's horror-drama flick Patient Zero, co-starring Natalie Dormer.