A man with "a particular set of skills" is heading to a television near you. But it's not Liam Neeson.
“Taken,” a modern-day, nail-biting thriller, follows the story of Bryan Mills in a new television series that takes place 30 years before the movie of the same name. Viewers are introduced to the character before he becomes the world weary fighter made iconic on the silver screen by Neeson, as he just begins his career as a deadly CIA operative.
The role is portrayed by Clive Standen, who is bringing his own fresh take --and stunts-- to the action-heavy role.
“He’s just an everyday guy with a ‘particular set of skills,’” Standen said. “He’s relentless. He just won’t give up.”
Standen, whose credits to date include runs on the History Channel's "Vikings" along with small roles in films "Everest" and "Hammer of the Gods," insisted on doing the majority of his own stunts for the show, including fight scenes, running and parkour. He believes when a stunt double takes over a scene, the audience loses engagement with the character, since they can only see the character’s back.
“If you can put a camera on an actor’s face, then you start to tell a story through the action and you start to engage an audience,” he said.
After accepting the role Standen spoke to Neeson, who told him the main thing to keep in mind about Bryan Mills is that “his heart is what keeps him going, it’s what gets him up.”
Standen pays homage to Neeson’s portrayal through his intensity, but says the roles are quite different. He’s excited for “Taken” to debut as “an action show with no fluff,” because in his portrayal of Mills, Standen makes him a “real person.”
“When I watch a TV show, I want to connect with someone who has some kind of humanity,” he said. “I don’t want to do anything that looks larger than life; life is large enough. No one wants to go see ‘action man’ anymore, we want to see life.”
Alexander Cary serves as writer and executive producer, who Standen credited with finding an “amazing cast,” including Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.
“Taken” premieres on Monday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.