It’s not easy playing a younger version of a character made famous by a seasoned star. When Clive Standen accepted the role of Bryan Mills in the NBC series Taken (based on the Liam Neeson films), he amped up that challenge by performing most of his own stunts, including being pummeled by a car three times (and cracking a few windshields).
“It hurt, but it should hurt,” says the 35-year-old Irish-born actor. “For me, it had to be real. I’m fed up seeing these actors do Kung Fu moves, get hit by a car, then get up and run their hands through their hair like they’re in a L’Oréal advertisement.”
Standen, who also plays Vikings’ impulsive Rollo, met Neeson last year. A fan of the show, Neeson was more interested in talking Vikings than Taken. However, he offered some advice. “He told me to keep Bryan Mills a real person because he has a big heart. In the films, he would do anything to get his daughter back. I’m a father of three, so I like to think I would do the same thing—only I don’t have that particular set of skills.”