“Vikings” Season 3 kicks off in just a few days, and this Canadian original co-production (with an Irish partner) is especially Canadian this time around – all 10 episodes of Season 3 were directed by Canadians and five of the lead cast in Season 3 are Canadian. The series has also received a total of 10 Canadian Screen Awards nominations (four alone this year).
UK actor Clive Standen, who plays Rollo on “Vikings,” let viewers in on the upcoming season and tells fans just how many stunts he’s done (and about the one stunt he wasn’t allowed to do).
CraveOnline: What are fans in store for when it comes to Season 3 of Vikings?
Clive Standen: From the trailers you’ll see there’s a battle in store… very quickly after that the king of Sweden is going to be looking for more places to settle and raid and very quickly we hear about the myth that is Paris. It’s nothing what you imagine it to be today – Vikings have never seen anything like it. They take 100 ships down the River Seines and it’s going to be one of the biggest battles you’ve ever seen on TV. We had four times as many stunt men and it’ll be epic – it’s a juggernaut of a show now because of the size and scale.
Vikings has become a huge hit – did anyone anticipate how popular it would be?
It’s a dream come true to work on a project like “Vikings.” I love to immerse myself in history and get under the skin of the character that I’m playing. We film in Ireland completely shut off from the outside world so when we went to ComiCon and people were showing up dressed as Vikings, we couldn’t believe it! We didn’t think anyone would show up and there were line-ups down the corridors, and we were like, wow, people are watching! Amazing! I’m so proud to be a part of something truly original. This show portrays Vikings as heroes and explores their culture without Christian propaganda getting in the way. I think it has made people reconsider their views on Vikings. I feel privileged that people have given me the opportunity to work on this project for this long.
You’re a great interview – you’ve done interviews before…
(Laughs) I’m so proud that it’s easy to talk about “Vikings.” It’s something that’s become a massive part of my life and opened up completely different doors for me as an actor. So it’s easy to shout it from the rooftops.
You have a background in athletics and even stunts/special effects – do you do your own stunt work on “Vikings”?
I do everything. There’s only one stunt to date that I wasn’t allowed to do even thought I was trying to force myself on them… but the insurance agency wouldn’t let me do it.
What was it?
It was this one scene in Season 2 where my character gets runs over by horses – they called in my stunt double whom I never let them use… poor guy (laughs). That time he did the scene. To lie on the ground and hear the thunder of hooves is one of the scariest stunts I’ve done.
You started doing stunt work quite young, didn’t you?
Yes, I did lots of stunt work when I was 14 and joined a stunt team re-enacting the tales of Robin Hood. They taught me to joust and ride horses, and I had no idea it would come full circle where I’d use those skills. I also did martial arts, which helps with things like muscle memory – you have a better understanding of your body so your spatial awareness is a lot better.
We understand that you film in Ireland – had you been there before?
I’ve been filming for four years in Ireland now (I filmed “Camelot” there too). They give you the choice of a hotel or an apartment, and I prefer an apartment so that I feel like I’m living there. So the first seasons of “Vikings” me and my family lived in the centre of Dublin and now we live in this beautiful port town. We try to live in a different place each season. Ireland is such a lovely place – everyone should travel there at least once in their lives.