NBC’s “Taken” Origins Series Launches February 27 And BOSSIP Talked To The Stars
If you’ve been paying attention to the promos — NBC is set to launch their new show “Taken” tonight! Executive produced by Luc Besson (“Taken,” “The Fifth Element”) the show is a modern-day, edge-of-your-seat thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (played by Clive Standen, “Vikings”) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the trauma of the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. In 30 years, this character is destined to become the Bryan Mills that we’ve come to love from the “Taken” films.
The cast includes Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.
BOSSIP recently had the opportunity to sit down with “Taken” stars Brooklyn Sudano and Gaius Charles. Check out our interview below.
Asked to describe her role, Brooklyn Sudano admits she found herself relating very easily to her character Asha.
“This is one character who I felt I shared more similarities with than most,” Sudano told BOSSIP. “One of the things that drives her is, she’s a truth seeker. She’s an environmental lawyer by trade, she has this burgeoning relationship with Bryan’s characte, but she also likes the details and she wants to know what happened to her friend and sometimes that’s at odds with what Bryan’s telling her. She’s seeking the truth and sometimes that can get you in trouble and it was fun to really explore her.”
Sudano also said she was drawn to Asha’s character because they’ve both experienced loss.
“She very early on is experiencing this grief and grieving of her best friend,” Sudano described. “In the last few years I’ve experienced some of that, so I instantly connected to this character on a different level because of that and was able to understand some of the nuance and the complexity of what it’s like when your life has been kind of shattered.”
While Sudano’s character is more of a “civilian” on the show, Charles’ comes from the same strong military background as Mills, with the tactical skills to show for it.
“I play John, he is a natural born leader,” Charles told BOSSIP. “He is the guy that Agent Hart calls on when she needs someone that can get the job done and one of the elements he brings is a sense of discipline to the team.”
“Mills has a lot of the instincts and skills but my character helps develop the discipline. John is a very round character in the sense that he’s three dimensional, he’s not a stereotypical “black” character, he has a lot of different sides to him. We see him as a man of faith, we see him as somebody that’s helping out in his community, he also deals with some issues with his brother and his PTSD.
We’ve had a chance to preview the first few episodes already and can tell you guys that you will not be bored at all watching “Taken.” There’s plenty of action. We asked both Brooklyn and Gaius about being part of such a physical drama.
“Our show is like a one-hour action thriller,” Charles told BOSSIP. “Every episode we’re doing tons of stunts.”
Despite her character’s largely civilian role, Sudano also revealed that she got in on the action toward the later part of the seaons and did her own stunts as well.
“I love doing them,” Sudano said enthusiastically. “I’m like ‘Guys I can do it! Let me show you! Let me show you! My stunts come towards the end but I was into it.”
Because the show deals so much with secret government agencies and military operations, we had to ask the stars about walking the thin line between right and wrong and how often it becomes difficult to discern who the good guys really are.
“I think one thing that separates our show from a lot of shows on network, is we do have very nuanced characters,” Gaius Charles said. “Typically you would look to cable or streaming sites for these really gritty storylines and really edgy characters, but Alex Cary has done a great job of letting us explore and you see it from the very first episode.”
“As far as the politics go, our story deals with national security issues and obviously that’s been a big topic, but our show is more about the relationships with the characters as opposed to really any kind of partisan issue or stance so whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or Independent I think you’ll love our show,” Charles told BOSSIP.
“I think a lot of the things that happen are more external things that force our characters to really delve in to what’s going on underneath,” Sudano added. “It’s really about the relationships between Bryan and Christina, between Bryan and his group in the Special Ops group, between Bryan and Asha, so really that’s the undercurrent that’s really driving the series.”
“You can watch a lot of explosions and that’s fun to watch, but really what’s going to have people coming back is when they can see themselves in a character,” Sudano told BOSSIP. “One of the greatest assets of the show is the themes we talk about are themes that are universal. What would you do for family? Fighting for justice. Justice or revenge? You don’t always know who is good or bad and sometimes the good guys make bad choices. That’s relatable, that’s human. To even see the Bryan Mills character struggle with some of those kinds of things show he’s an everyman. Everybody has to come to terms with ‘why am I doing this and even though it’s justified, is it right?'”
Speaking of relationships — right from the start the chemistry between Sudano’s character Asha and Bryan is palpable, so we had to ask if she gets her on-camera swirl on.
“It is what it is,” Sudano says, playing coy. “You will see as it progresses, and you will see in all things, whether it’s a friendship or romantic relationship, there are stops and starts. In Bryan and Asha’s relationship, they are both two very strong individuals and she’s not afraid to challenge him and sometimes he likes that and sometimes he doesn’t and there is sometimes a dissonance.”
“You get to see her strength too, to see her sometimes go against Brian,” Charles adds.
“Sometimes you challenge the people you love the most,” Sudano tells BOSSIP. “Asha loved Cali very deeply and she’s just as connected to her brother — she’s not family but she’s like family. Her need for answers and justice and for the truth it really can be an issue sometimes but we have a really strong relationship throughout. You’ll see. ”
Now as for those “particular skills” — Sudano jokes — she had to do a lot of squats. Charles gave us the real though.
“The guys on the team got to work with a Special Forces operative, just to make sure we had the right body language, the right look,” Gaius told BOSSIP. “It’s important because we want people who really are in the military to look at it and think “they got it.”
Tune in tonight and you will definitely see how much they got it indeed! “Taken” airs on NBC at 10pm/9pm
Check out a trailer below