Interview Clive Standen opens up about Vikings

Clive Standen opens up about Vikings

Standen returns as Ragnar’s fierce brother Rollo and get schooled in Viking fighting styles this series.

Season Three of the hit drama series Vikings is currently airing every Tuesday night on HISTORY and sees Warcraft: The Beginning’s Travis Fimmel back as Ragnar, now King and with an urge to travel to the city of Paris which may be an ambition too far this time.

DIY spoke with actor Clive Standen who returns as Ragnar’s fierce brother Rollo and get schooled in Viking fighting styles (apparently there isn’t one) and where Rollo will end up next.

We start the season with Rollo and Ragnar in a better place as brothers. So has Rollo put his sibling jealousy behind him?
I think he’s tried as hard as he can to suppress it but obviously there’s still gonna be, from both sides, I think the relationship will never be same again. But he’s realised that maybe his ambitions and his desire to be something is misplaced, his anger is misplaced on Ragnar. I think he’s realised that maybe Ragnar actually might be the catalyst to help him achieve his desires and his destiny. But yes the rivalry is still gonna simmer underneath, it’s just whether Rollo can be in better control of it now.

We see Rollo more settled with Siggy at the start of Season Three, can you describe that relationship a little for us?
Rollo and Siggy’s relationship has always been somewhat of a tempestuous affair. I think it was a marriage of convenience at the beginning. She has had everything and lost it and wanted it back and he never had it but always wanted it but had no idea how to achieve it. They almost went into that relationship as a power couple and they both obviously selfishly wanted their own outcomes. But I think Rollo is quite a complicated man and he ended up falling for her a little bit and blurred the lines of that relationship but she always had an ulterior motive. When she ends up sleeping with King Horik and his son and says that she’s doing it for Rollo to better his ambitions and better his life I think that was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back. He felt hurt and cheated again and it’s his own fault for falling for her but now the relationship is in disrepair he still has feelings for her, he’ll still protect her, she’s still his woman but I think the fallout of her behaviour at the end of Season Two is inexcusable and irreparable. But he still can’t help himself for having feelings for her and I think some of the story lines in Season Three he’s going to have to re-evaluate his whole outlook on life and some of that may be because of his relationship with Siggy.

Rollo also seems like a father figure to his nephew Bjorn in this season, does this begin to affect his relationship with Ragnar?
I think what’s interesting about Viking times is there were no paternity tests so it’s become very clear that Rollo had a relationship with Lagertha long before Ragnar. So even though he doesn’t know if Bjorn is his or not he still treats him like a son and he does that more so when Ragnar becomes more and more obsessed with his own ego and narcissism. And his desire for fame that he kind of almost is in competition with his son and Rollo sees that and steps in as the father figure I think Bjorn needs. But yes that’s going to cause some rivalry between the two brothers because I think Ragnar will feel somewhat that Rollo is stepping on his parental responsibility. Rollo will see that as well Ragnar’s not there to be fulfilling his parental responsibilities. We all know that Rollo is very fond of Lagertha and I think he feels that Ragnar’s almost forgotten his own family. He’s abused Lagertha the fallout of which is he’s kind of lost contact with his son. There’s one thing you can’t deny about Rollo whether he may live in the grey, he’s fallen and made big mistakes but he always loves his family. He loves Ragnar but there’s one person that he’s really fond of and that’s Bjorn and I think that’s the heart of him. Floki once says: “Warriors don’t show their heart until the axe reveals it,” and I think there’s many people that Rollo feels deeply for but he hasn’t got that ability to show it in public so much but I think he feels that Bjorn is the one person worth staying in Kattegat for. 

Rollo has a specific fighting style, after 3 seasons is that now becoming second nature?
I don’t think any of the Vikings have specific fighting style, I think if they were to have specific fighting style it would be just to survive [laughs]. Or to go out fighting like they’re worthy of the gates of Valhalla. The only thing I can say about that in a historical context is that as the Vikings started to explore further afield they were confronted with stronger steel and different weaponry, so as the golden age of the Vikings goes on the Vikings are less likely to use axes and more inclined to be drawn towards the sword, so you’ll start to see that coming in to the show. But in terms of a fighting style I think that’s something that lies within the realms of computer games and fantasy shows because when you’re on a battlefield it’s pretty much just kill that guy in front of you to get to the next and hopefully you’ll survive to fight another battle. There’s no particular style and there’s nothing sexy or exciting about fighting a war, it’s bloody, it’s gory and it’s horrible.

We see Ragnar attempt to invade Paris, does this have a significant effect on Rollo?
It has a significant impact definitely. Something’s happened to Rollo in Season Three which set his course and his trajectory on a completely different path and Paris is one of those. I think it’s a chance for Rollo to redeem himself but also to maybe discover himself. Rollo goes through so many mixed emotions in Season Three and one of them is grief in a big way. Paris is a chance to escape that grief and reinvent himself.

Series Three of Vikings continues on Tuesdays at 10pm on History.

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