Clive Standen

Self-styled "British cowboy" Clive Standen started his career as an action star at the young age of 12 when he joined a professional stunt team in Nottingham. His early experience with horse-riding and swordplay was to prove invaluable later in his career as he went on to play Archer -- Robin Hood's swashbuckling half-brother -- in the popular BBC TV series "Robin Hood" in 2009. Not content with demonstrating his facility with a bow and arrow, Clive went on to employ his formidable swordsmanship when he played the legendary Arthurian Knight Sir Gawain in the Starz network's TV series "Camelot" in 2011. Clive's historical-action-man status ensured that he was cast in the lead role in The History Channel's "Vikings" series in 2013, as well as the lead in the Viking-Britain-set motion picture "Hammer of the Gods" the same year. Pretty impressive for an actor who had been chosen as "the face of Evian Water" in 2008. Clive was born in 1981 on a British army base in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland while his father was serving there. A few years later, his family moved to Leicestershire, where he grew up only a few miles from Nottingham: a fitting environment for a young man who was heavily influenced by his parents' love of the classic Hollywood swashbucklers of the 1930s and 40s. Clive was already a big Robin Hood fan when Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" was released in the UK and its phenomenal box-office success helped him get his first ever paid job: a live show in Sherwood Forest, staged for international tourists, in which he played the role of Little John's son, Wolf Little. "It was a brilliant experience and the perfect place to learn stunts and sword fighting," Clive later told the BBC. A keen student of martial arts, by the age of 15 Clive was also a member of The National Youth Theatre and The National Youth Music Theatre, where his teachers encouraged him to develop his theatrical talents. For years, Clive saw his future in martial arts but when he was accepted by the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, he saw how he could indulge his passion for fighting styles without having to get beaten up for a living. A lifelong fan of Errol Flynn, Clive went on to attain an advanced gold certificate in sword fighting from the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. Clive's first TV role was on BBC's crime thriller series "Waking The Dead" in 2004. The following year, he appeared on the BBC soap opera "Doctors" and in the acclaimed TV movie "Tom Brown's Schooldays." Clive then went on to appear in the British romantic comedy movie "Heroes and Villains" (2006) and the mainstream Bollywood production "Namastey London" in 2007. That same year Clive also played the lead role of Major Alan Marshall in "Zero Hour," a TV dramatization of the Sierra Leone SAS mission Operation Barras. Clive first caught the eye of many TV viewers after he appeared in a recurring role as a UNIT soldier, Private Harris, opposite David Tennant in "Dr. Who" in 2008. Impressed by his screen presence, the BBC went on to cast Clive in the major role of Archer in their popular "Robin Hood" series the following year. Clive's performance as Robin's half-brother was so impressive that many critics and fans speculated that his character would be spun off into his own series following the show's conclusion. Though that did not happen, Clive's seemingly effortless sword-fighting skills went on to serve him well when he joined Arthur's round table in the regular role of Sir Gawain in Starz's "Camelot" in 2011. Clive held onto his sword but swapped his chivalry for ferocity when he was cast as Rollo in The History Channel's "Vikings" series in 2013. An obvious choice when it came to looking for muscular swordsmen with leading man good looks and acting ability to boot, Clive was also cast in a lead role in the British-set Viking movie "Hammer of The Gods" in 2013.