Rollo is aback on Vikings, and he’s got some amateurish business to appear to.
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It’s been several seasons aback Clive Standen was a alternation regular on the History hit, but admirers will see him make his big return on Wednesday’s division 5B premiere — all acknowledgment to a abstruse agenda from the series’ actual aboriginal episode.
Things larboard off in the 5A afterpiece with Rollo authoritative his way from his new home of Frankia to his old one of Kattegat, to acutely advice Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) and his forces. But there’s article abundant bigger at pale for both Rollo and the amateur who plays him, and it’s all about family.
“I consistently anticipate that that’s what Vikings is absolutely about. It’s not about the gods and the monsters and the adoration and the battles. It’s absolutely aloof about this nuclear family,” Standen tells ET of his character’s big return. “And that all started in adventure one.”
“Some of the scenes in the [5B premiere] are affiliated to the actual aboriginal arena aback you see Rollo and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and adolescent Bjorn (Nathan O’Toole) in division one. It’s article that the actual aboriginal director, Johan Renck, aside into my ear,” he reveals. “He acclimated to booty actors from the set, and he would aloof buzz a few things into your ear. …it was like your little secret. And article he said to me, on my actual aboriginal day on set, [creator] Michael Hirst and I developed it division afterwards season.”
“It’s so advantageous to see that storyline, that it happened from a buzz into an actor’s ear,” Standen marvels. “It’s appear abounding circle.”
But what absolutely is the amateur talking about? Read on to acquisition out.
ET: We accept this abundant moment in the bivouac area Rollo says he “missed the old place” — did you absence Vikings?
Clive Standen: I did, I did absence it. Aback I was still in the show prominently, aback Travis Fimmel’s character, Ragar Lothbrok, died, I sat bottomward with Michael [Hirst], and Michael and I, we both affectionate of said, “The Rollo artifice band is actual intertwined with the Ragnar artifice line, and what’s there to do?” I don’t appetite to break in a appearance unless I can account the appearance and accord the appearance a acceptable storyline, and also, I don’t appetite to be aloof chomping on the backdrop and not absolutely blame the adventure forward. The appearance is alleged Vikings, it’s not alleged Frankia, so we can’t break in France all that time, afterward Rollo’s storyline every week. I didn’t appetite to leave Vikings, it’s one of the best fun jobs I’ve anytime had, and he didn’t appetite to lose me, so we aloof affectionate of thought, Maybe we’ll booty a division off, and aback the best adept time comes to accompany Rollo back, he’ll get in touch. So I, luckily, went beeline assimilate addition show, Takenfor NBC, so it gave me article to do. It wasn’t like I was twiddling my thumbs. And afresh I was in Toronto, and I got this buzz alarm from an English number, and it’s Michael. He said, “I’ve begin a moment. It’s happening, are you available?” So it was great.
You don’t appetite to outlive your acceptable on anything, and I anticipate this was the best accessible time to arouse Rollo, aback the ancestors it was all congenital around, absolutely needs him. It was admirable to be back.
It had been a little while aback Rollo was absolutely in the action. What was it like stepping into Rollo’s shoes again?
Katheryn Winnick and I were the alone absolute aboriginal casting associates there, because Gustaf was still alive, but he was filming in Iceland. So it was alone me and Katheryn around, and I anticipation what was absolutely absorbing was my aboriginal arena was in the abundant anteroom with Alex, who plays Ivar the Boneless, and Marco Ilsø, who plays Hvitserk, Peter Franzén as Harald and myself, and it was a funny dynamic. Those boys were affectionate of like, “Oh, Rollo’s back, Clive’s been actuality aback division one. Maybe he’s activity to be the developed in the scene.” No one absolutely knew who was activity to booty the status, or booty the reigns of the scene, because it’s like, their appearance now. They’ve been around, and they’re in everyday, but they’re still young. It was absolutely absorbing to comedy that, because it’s absolutely what happens in the scene. Rollo walks into the Abundant Hall like he owns the place. They all affectionate of went, “Wow, you were cardinal two on the alarm area already aloft a time. You developed us!” I acquainted like the ancestor of the day. Daddy’s home! It was so abundant fun.
The appearance has afflicted a bit aback Travis larboard — did you apprehension that missing attendance on set?
It’s interesting, because it depends what affectionate of scene. Travis and I consistently usually had actual accursed up scenes, which was great, I admired it. He’s a abundant acquaintance and he still is, and my kids alarm him Uncle T-bone and we would go out for a pint, and he’s a absolutely altered being to how he is arena Ragnar. So aback you get on set with him, whatever you were badinage about, bedlam about bottomward at the pub the night afore is larboard behind, and you go beeline aback into the acting, the arena and what it’s about. It was so auspicious to assignment with an amateur like that, area it’s aloof the activating changes. But the adorableness of a acknowledged appearance is you accept to accept a lot of actors like that, and Vikings, I think, is best with abounding actors that accept got that quality. And in the aboriginal adventure back, hopefully you’ll see a little bit of that with Alexander Ludwig and Katheryn Winnick in the scenes I’m in. There are some actual ablaze being amid Rollo and Lagertha and Bjorn. And that arena I aloof acknowledgment as able-bodied with Peter and Alex and Marco, that’s addition one. We’re actual lucky. I don’t accept how they got so advantageous with the casting of Vikings, because we’re, on paper, a agglomeration of all-embracing morons. But somehow aback you put us all together, there’s a spark.
Since the aftermost time you were on the show, everyone’s looks accept afflicted immensely. Katheryn now has this long, gray hair, Alexander Ludwig’s attending is absolutely different. Did you admit everyone?
It was little bit [weird], yeah. I’ve been aggravating to clue my age and Travis as well, we approved to clue our age from the actual alpha through the seasons, because that’s bisected the fun for me. I got into acting to draw absorption abroad from myself, not appear myself, and aback I can absolutely bristles myself into a character, that’s aback I’m accepting the best fun. That’s why I had such a bang arena Rollo, because usually a appearance like Rollo… I started off the show, Rollo was going to be 28 to 30, and by the end, I’m 66 years old. Usually in a TV show, you would casting an earlier amateur to comedy the earlier adaptation of Rollo, you’d skip years, and afresh suddenly, Viggo Mortensen’s arena Rollo (Laughs). But luckily they gave the reigns to do that and transform and accept that amazing appearance arc that doesn’t appear forth actual generally for an actor, so I feel blessed. And it’s been nice to be able to do that, to age up division to division and comedy a altered age. It takes a little bit best every morning, which you affectionate of regret, aback you apprehend it was your abstraction in the aboriginal place. That’s the acumen you’re advancing in at 4:15 in the morning and anybody abroad is advancing in at 5. I aloof added 45 account to my day because of prosthetic makeup! But it was funny seeing Katheryn. We all break in touch, so Katheryn, her parents absolutely alive in Toronto, so in amid [filming], I’d see Katheryn, and she would be Katheryn Winnick with her albino hair, a actual admirable lady, and afresh you’d appear to set, and that was the aboriginal time I’d apparent her with the gray bristles and the wrinkles and things, and you’re like, “Oh, so that was a shock!” But with the added guys, Alexander Ludwig, I aloof anticipation that was bottomward to adamantine living, and I was like, “Wow, I’ve been away, you guys accept been out bubbler too much. You attending asperous as hell!” (Laughs).
Rollo’s afflicted a bit too. Are we activity to see the aforementioned guy aback he re-enters the picture?
He is at a date in his activity area he is older, and he’s starting to action his own bloodshed and ask big questions about what happens in the afterlife, if there is one. He doesn’t apperceive if he’s activity to be accustomed by Odin and the gods in Valhalla, or his new god, which he allegedly worships. Is he activity to Heaven or is he activity to Valhalla? Is he activity to Hell? All these things, he doesn’t know. So he’s ambiguity his bets, he’s aggravating to put appropriate what he acquainted went wrong. He’s activity back. So aboriginal and foremost, he’s now a ruler. These bodies accept taken him on, and he’s their ruler, and he has the backroom complex in absorption the bodies of Normandy, so aboriginal and foremost, they’re the acumen to go back, for his own account and for his country’s benefit. But those backroom advance him to accept the best accessible acumen to go and accost his demons and maybe accessible up some old wounds, and maybe put alkali on some others, acceptation some baffling business with his family.
I batten with Michael Hirst about the midseason finale, and he teased that we’ll see Rollo acknowledgment to abode some questions we had in division one, like his accord with Lagertha and whether he ability be Bjorn’s father. What can you acquaint us about that?
There’s a arena [in the aboriginal episode] amid me and Lagertha central the room, aback Ragnar goes out to abate himself and things are said, and that was [director Johan Renck’s notes]. He came up to me, and he said, “You adulation these kids, because one of them’s yours,” and that’s all Johan said. It’s not like he wrote the calligraphy — it wasn’t in the script! He aloof capital to get article out of me, and he didn’t acquaint Katheryn. And it ashore with me, and for me, it’s been tracked division to season. There’s the division aback Alexander Ludwig takes over the character, aback I aboriginal see him, and antic about how he still can’t abound a beard, and it culminated area I absolutely capital to brand my bottom on that accurate plot, on division three in Paris, aback Bjorn avalanche off the battle, he’s attempt with a crossbow, and he’s dying, and he’s in the tent, unconscious. Lagertha is by his side, and Ragnar is aloof about else. He’s accident the battle, and Rollo aloof storms into that, tent, and takes on, for me, I approved to booty on this affectionate ascendancy of the scene. And that for me, was my way of going, ‘The bodies who are advantageous absorption are activity to see this, and they’re activity to see there’s a aberration in Rollo aback he’s with Bjorn. He ability accept aloof absent his son, and his son doesn’t apperceive it.’ It’s a actual absorbing arc to play, because we never knew if it was activity to appear to fruition, really, and luckily, like I said, I went abroad from the show, and Michael brought me back.
Both you and Gustaf Skarsgård accept gone on to do added shows — him with Westworld and you with Taken. What keeps bringing you aback to Vikings?
I anticipate a appearance that ticks all the boxes doesn’t appear forth actual often. You can accept a acknowledged appearance and accept a afflicted time. You can accept a ablaze time on a show, and it can get canned afterwards a season. You don’t consistently accept amazing actors to assignment with. You don’t consistently accept a abundant administrator or writing. You don’t accept a adept like Michael Hirst. I can’t accept he’s accounting over 80 episodes on his own, and he’s such a abundant collaborator. Sometimes producers on the appearance aphorism with an adamant whip. They wrote it, you accept to say it. Michael is not one of those bodies at all.
He writes and he comes to set, and he takes you out to dinner, and we allocution through the character. He listens to everything, and sometimes he calmly forgets the being he doesn’t accede with, but he doesn’t absolutely bandy it aback in your face. And sometimes, the calligraphy changes, and he listens to your notes, and he’s acclimatized the script. He’s actual acceptable at that. But it’s abundant that he collaborates, and you feel like you’re absolutely creating article together… He’s very, actual acceptable at ascendant it aback in. He’s the absolute captain of the ship.
It absolutely sounds like it.
Yeah. But I’m absolutely appreciative of the episode, and I anticipate it’s absolutely some of my best assignment as Rollo. We absolutely laid it all out. It acquainted advantageous to appear aback and absolutely abolition all that being that I had in the antecedent seasons. It’s nice. I can’t delay for bodies to see it.
Vikings allotment Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History.
‘Vikings’ Sneak Peek: Rollo Rehashes the Past in Tense Meeting With Ivar (Exclusive)
‘Vikings’: Ivar the Boneless Gets Crowned in Chilling New Poster
‘Vikings’ Debuts Action-Packed Division 5B Bivouac at Comic-Con: Watch Ivar and Bjorn Head Into ‘Darkness’!
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