Jennifer Beals and Clive Standen return Friday night in "Taken." Photo courtesy of NBC
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Clive Standen says the Bryan Mills he plays in Season 2 of NBC's Taken will be "off the leash" and more like the older hero with the special skill set Liam Neeson portrayed in three movies.
The television series is a contemporary origins story for Mills. Season 1 is set before the Neeson film trilogy, introducing the character and chronicling the events that prepared him for his globe-trotting, life-saving adventures. Starring Jessica Camacho and Adam Goldberg, Season 2 of Taken is to kick off Friday night.
"It's completely different," Standen said, comparing the show's second season with its first during a recent round-table interview with reporters.
"The first season was a reboot of the character, really," the 36-year-old, Northern Irish actor went on. "With anything, it's a marathon, not a sprint. You don't want the finished product too quickly. We chose to make him a little bit rough around the edges and he's not quite in control of his emotions. Quite rightly because of what happens to him in the beginning of the show."
Referring to how Mills' younger sister is killed in front of him in Season 1, Standen said that the former Green Beret and special intelligence operative has since moved past his grief.
"Now, you're getting the start of the character you see in the film. In Season 2, it really is a guy who is more in control. He's off the leash now and Christina -- Jennifer Beals' [handler] character -- trusts him, so we can go right into these stories that actually have him form a plan and thinking outside the box. He's a lot more in control. You can't keep a show going with: 'My sister died. My sister died' all the time. He's dealt with his demons and now he has become this more well-rounded, I don't want to say 'action hero,' but 'covert action hero' because he's not the kind of guy that kicks down doors and jumps away from explosions."
The actor said five years on the epic drama Vikings taught him how to do his own stunts, but he emphasized that, for Taken, it is vitally important the fight scenes and action sequences feel as authentic as possible.
"I don't want Bryan running up walls and doing double back-flips," he said, noting stunts should always be "driving the story forward."
"When action starts in a show, the story shouldn't stop," he said.