Richard Madden has joked about the devastating effect his intense horse training for Game of Thrones had on him.
The actor portrays Robb Stark, King of the North and Lord of Winterfell in the sprawling fantasy drama, which follows seven families as they battle for control.
Robb spends a great deal of time atop his trusty steed, so had to learn not to be afraid of the animal before the cameras started rolling.
“When I got the part I went into full-blown horse training – Robb has grown up with horses, so I started going riding four times a week. I couldn’t walk properly for three months. But now I’m really confident on the horse,” he told Radio Times magazine.
Gwendoline Christie portrays Brienne of Tarth in the mythical show, which is based on the novels by George R. R. Martin. The character is one of the best swordsmen in the country, which is what attracted Gwendoline to the role. She has relished playing such a strong woman.
“To be involved in something that is genuinely challenging gender stereotyping is what I’ve always wanted. I don’t have to worry about whether I look attractive. Brienne looks like a bag of dung – that’s the character and that’s fine – so I can focus on other things,” she said.
“People used to come up to me and say, ‘Excuse me, how tall are you?’ [She's 6ft. 3ins.] Now they say, ‘Excuse me, are you in Game of Thrones?’ And that is delightful. I can die happy.”
It was announced today that Richard Madden, Tim Blake Nelson, Marton Csokas and Conor Leslie will be joining the cast of Discovery Channel’s first-ever, scripted mini-series KLONDIKE (wt).
Richard Madden will be playing the role of Bill Haskell. Madden comes to KLONDIKE after recently finishing production on the upcoming feature film “A Promise” with Rebecca Hall. Additionally, Madden can be seen reprising his starring role as Robb Stark in the third season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
The mini-series, previously announced last year, is based on Charlotte Gray’s book Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike, and brings to life the tale about six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike. KLONDIKE is a co-production between Discovery, Entertainment One (eOne), and Nomadic Pictures, in association with Scott Free Productions. International distribution is handled by eOne Television. Paul Scheuring (“Prison Break,” “A Man Apart”) is the primary writer and will serve as Executive Producer, along with Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker; as well as John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg for eOne. Eileen O’Neill and Dolores Gavin will serve as Executive Producers for Discovery.
KLONDIKE follows the lives of two childhood best friends, Bill and Epstein, in the late 1890s as they undertake the next, gold rush capital in the untamed Yukon Territory. This man-versus-nature tale places our heroes in a land full of undiscovered wealth, but ravaged by harsh conditions, unpredictable weather and desperate, dangerous characters including greedy businessmen, seductive courtesans and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their people and land by opportunistic entrepreneurs.
Production begins in March 2013 under the direction of Simon Cellan Jones (“Generation Kill,”, “Treme”) on location in Alberta, Canada. The series will be produced with assistance of the Government of Alberta, Alberta Film Development Program.
Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow at a press event for the Game Of Thrones Season 2 Blu-ray and DVD, Richard Madden, who plays the forthright King in the North Robb Stark, and Michelle Fairley, iron matriarch Catelyn Stark, tease a change in the already strained relationship between the mother and son in Game Of Thrones Season 3…
“For Season 3 you’re thrust into a different dynamic – we meet a bunch of new characters in Season 2 that change the way we interact with each other as characters,” teases Madden, “and how those characters interact with other people. Which is just about as specific as I can get.”
At the end of Game Of Thrones Season 2, Robb Stark tied the knot with Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin) against Catelyn’s wishes – she’d previous betrothed the Young Wolf to one of the many daughters of lecherous Walder Frey (David Bradley) in exchange for his support for their war on the Lannisters.
Coupled with Catelyn undermining Robb’s authority by releasing their sneering hostage Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the hope his family release the Stark daughters she believes are being held in King’s Landing (one isn’t, but she doesn’t know that) in return, there’s definitely some tension there that will conspire to splinter the mother and son dynamic even further apart.
“That is an angle you can take!” says Fairley of Catelyn’s betrayal. “Yes, of course, but she is doing ultimately – or she is convinced – for a very valid and good reason, which is to get the return of her daughters and hopefully end this stupid war. In her naivety – and it goes back to the earlier question about the women [of Game Of Thrones], once they take that knock they know never to go down that alley again, you learn from your mistakes – and she gets her comeuppance.”
“I potentially have to accept a new family,” expands Fairley. “Catelyn spends a lot of time on her own in Season 3, so that’s a lot of reflection – being honest and possibly admitting to her own involvement in the demise of her family.”
Mr Richard Madden is beginning to get recognised quite a lot. At a private party in Claridge’s hotel, London, a fortnight ago, I watched a 50-year-old man ask if he could photograph Mr Madden and his Game of Thrones co-star Mr Kit Harington, for his “14-year-old niece; she’s a big fan of the show”. As if. That photograph was obviously taken for his own pleasure: the gentleman couldn’t hide his delight that there he was, next to a giant Christmas tree in Mayfair, with the show’s two young lead characters, Robb Stark and Jon Snow.
Game of Thrones - a cross between Middle Earth and The Sopranos if you’ve been hidden in a bunker for the past two years – is massive. The cult novels by Mr George RR Martin have been dramatised by HBO with no expense spared on gore, full-on arse-banging sex and eye-popping locations. And this has given Mr Madden, who has been critically acclaimed for his theatre roles in London’s West End (including Be Near Me with Mr Ian McDiarmid) and the BBC TV dramas Worried About the Boy and Birdsong, a whole new level of fame.
Mr Madden is one of those people who comes alive in front of a camera or at a party – both seem to energise him
And 2013 looks as if it’s going to be even bigger. The 26-year-old Scot, who has just finished filming a movie with Ms Rebecca Hall and Mr Alan Rickman, and is about to embark on another secret project this month, can barely contain his excitement. Talented, handsome and with absurd levels of energy, he’s in New York – where the MR PORTER photoshoot takes place – for a few days holiday to catch up with his girlfriend, Ms Jenna-Louise Coleman. Ms Coleman, who he has been dating for more than a year, is in town to promote Doctor Who, the popular British sci-fi show. On Christmas Day, she made her debut as the Doctor’s new assistant; a role that will transform her almost overnight into a national treasure. This year is going to be an eventful one for them both. (read more at the source)
Rising star Richard Madden, 26, from Elderslie, began his acting career at Paisley’s famous PACE youth theatre, and has gone on to take lead roles on stage, in television and film.
And now a portrait of him by K K Dundas is among a number of famous names that can be seen in the photographer’s show “Leading Lights”.
Hanging alongside him at the prestigious gallery are portraits of Bill Paterson, Billy Boyd, Elaine C Smith and Ruby Wax – all, like Richard, graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In 2010, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Conservatoire commissioned Glasgow-based Dundas, who specialises in theatre and portrait photography, to take portraits of past and present students from the school of drama.
These images, presented in collaboration with the Conservatoire, features some of the institution’s most illustrious alumni, from old hands to more recent graduates.
Richard got his acting break at the age of 11 when he appeared in a film adaptation of Iain Banks’s hit novel Complicity. Then came a lead role in kids’ TV series My Barmy Aunt Boomerang, before he quit acting for a while.
But he returned to the profession with a vengeance when he was 17.
Richard said: “I got to the point when I was being asked to choose what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do more. I went back to PACE and spent a year being one of the oldest ones, which wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I had to get back into acting.”
Richard then earned a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and jobs with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Globe Theatre, in London, followed.
He later gained the lead role of Dean McKenzie in the 2009 BBC series Hope Springs, followed by his roles as Ripley in the 2010 film Chatroom, and as Theatre of Hate singer Kirk Brandon in the 2010 film Worried About The Boy.
Since 2011, he has been starring as Robb Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones, the Channel 4 series Sirens and in the BBC series Birdsong.
Leading Lights runs until Sunday, March 3, 2013.