Clive Standen of ‘Vikings’ for Fashionisto #9

The Fashionisto

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Published January 29, 2014

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Clive Standen–Standing tall at 6’ 2”, English actor Clive Standen perfectly fits the mold of Vikings’ menacing, often impulsive Rollo. Approaching the historical drama, which is now in its second season, Standen reveals “When I take on a role I like to immerse myself in the character’s world, it’s part of the fun for me; losing myself in another world, and researching it is a big part of that process.” Standen’s character is based off Rollo the Viking, who would later become the Duke of Normandy. Rollo is “well documented in the history books, so I have loads of material at my disposal,” explains Standen. “You have a responsibility to the people you are portraying, and you don’t just consider your character.  The entire  look of the show has to do justice to a whole culture…I take a lot of pride trying to get it right.”

The show follows the story of Rollo, his brother Ragnar who is played by Travis Fimmel, and their raids on unexplored territories. Housed in a studio in Ireland, the show’s extensive sets which include the Viking town of Kattegat as well as the English throne rooms have increased in number. Standen adds that with season two, “the sets have just grown and grown. When you walk on set now, it’s like being in the middle of a living, breathing Viking town.” Filming outdoor scenes among the Wicklow mountains and on nearby beaches, Standen finds several of the views to be breathtaking, taking note of the fact that “Ireland is an immensely beautiful  place.”

Emerging as the History Channel’s first scripted show and the number one new cable series, Vikings has been an unprecedented success. “I think Vikings has opened up the historical drama to a much wider audience and demographic. A lot of period dramas, like Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice are made because there is a specific audience that already exists in the marketplace that want to watch that sort of thing, but with Vikings, and particularly because we have Michael Hirst,” known for writing Elizabeth and Tudors “what you get is a well written historical drama in the same vein as those, but because the Viking era was full of voyage, adventure and discovery, you also get your action and intrigue thrown in on top.” With a rich mythology providing the background for the show’s engaging plots, Vikings is able to deliver period drama in a new fashion. Standen adds that, “There’s not a week where we aren’t either galloping on horses, sailing boats, fighting battles or doing some kind of crazy antic.” At every turn, there’s a new twist. Picking up where the first season left off, the show returns to a battle of brothers. Rollo, who had previously supported his brother Ragnar could no longer be in his shadow and “[they] have no choice now, but to settle their differences on the battlefield.” Standen coyly suggests that the “outcome of this battle, and ultimately  Rollo’s actions, are  going to have a knock on effect to nearly every major character in the series…some might not make it out alive.”

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Originally appeared in Fashionisto. Photos by Ben Harries. Styling by Kenny Ho. Grooming by Jay Zhang (Era Artist Management) using Bumble and Bumble and M.A.C. Cosmetics. Photo assistance by Beetle. Special thanks to Wilma.

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