USA TODAY – It’s hard to fill a prince’s shoes onscreen, but it’s even more difficult fleshing out the famed Prince Charming from the animated 1950 classic Cinderella.
The royal task for Kenneth Branagh’s live-action take fell on Scottish actor Richard Madden — whose royal Robb Stark was gruesomely dispatched in 2013’s “Red Wedding” Game of Thrones episode.
“This search really began and ended with Richard,” says producer Alli Shearmur. “We needed inner strength and emotional intelligence. It’s crucial, since in the original, Prince Charming didn’t even have a last name.”
Here are five keys to Madden’s Prince Charming:
01. Sense of humor: Madden knew that his prince would have to relax his subjects by wielding a disarming sense of humor, which also shows humility and kindness.
“People are going to be nervous to meet him, so he had to have the quality of putting people at ease,” says Madden. “And it shows he can make fun of himself.”
02. Horsemanship: In this version, Prince Charming meets his Cinderella on horseback while hunting — almost performing a dance while circling each other on their steeds.
Madden had riding experience from Game of Thrones, but stepped up the dressage work. He also assisted his less horse-skilled co-star Lily James (Cinderella) who had to ride her steed bareback without reins.
“There was acting there and there was actually trying to stop her horse,” says Madden. “I would go up beside her and yank the horse to a stop. I was literally doing that.”
It looks perfect onscreen, but Madden admits there are outtakes of his horse simply drifting out of the camera shot. And he noticed the crew looked nervous that the horses would bolt through the filming set up. But there were no mishaps.
“I’m lucky to get jobs where I get these amazing film horses that make me look much better than I am,” he charmingly admits.
03. Sword presence: As Game Of Thrones’ Robb Stark, Madden used his sword much more. But the warrior-poet Prince Charming has his sword on his side too.
“He’s a soldier back from the war. It was good to keep that element running through it,” says Madden. “Even if he never felt the need to use it.”
04. Tight pants: This Prince Charming kept the royal britches on the historically correct tight-side, requiring wardrobe specialists to ensure that it did not show too much for Disney’s young audiences.
“You get used to it. But you do feel exposed all the time,” says Madden. “I am not used to wearing such tight trousers.”
05. Dancing: The royal ball is everything in Cinderella. So Madden had to step up his waltz game with lessons four times a week for four months.
“It doesn’t come naturally to me,” says Madden. “It was a mistake to deliberately miss those classes in grammar school. I thought, ‘I’m not good at this so why bother?’ I regretted that the moment I was cast.”
Madden was not even allowed near Cinderella’s actual ball dress until he could prove his dancing skills.
“I went through two practice dresses before they let me near the real one, they wanted to make sure I wouldn’t completely destroy it,” he says. “And I wanted to get it down, so I could focus on my acting and not my feet.”
The work paid off. The waltzing screen smile is real.
“When it finally came down to finally doing the dance, it was actually quite enjoyable,” he says. Charming. (source)
THE NEW YORK POST – When Richard Madden told his buds that he’d be playing Prince Charming in “Cinderella,” they laughed in his face. “Endlessly. They could not stop, and they made fun of me about it for a long time,” Madden tells The Post. “Then I actually brought them to London to the first screening, and after the film, they all had smiles ear to ear and puffy eyes from crying. So I got the last laugh there.”
In theaters from last Friday, Madden stars as the leading man in the live-action revamp of the 1950 Disney animated classic “Cinderella.”
Hailing from Scotland, the 28-year-old actor, who is dating “Doctor Who” actress Jenna Coleman, is best known for another royal role — as Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones.” His time on the show came to a bloody end in 2013 thanks to the now-infamous “Red Wedding.”
“It was traumatic [because] it was a long week of shooting that scene, and those were all my friends and, like, family — these people that I’ve spent a lot of time with,” he says.
Though he says that trauma isn’t responsible for his running in the opposite direction toward the squeaky-clean Disney flick, he does admit to welcoming the differences.
“I’m not going to lie,” he says. “It’s nice to be in something with a happy ending for a change!”
But for Madden, filming the fairy tale wasn’t as easy as the waving of a wand. He trained for months in dressage for his horseback scenes with a horse that he says “didn’t want to like” him. Then there were his skintight white pants that made him feel self-conscious and exposed. But the real monster was the ballroom dancing.
“I’m not a naturally gifted dancer, so I had to train my feet four days a week for about two months to try and learn these dances,” he says. “I had to do that before they let me near Cinderella’s dress so I didn’t destroy it with my feet. I destroyed two practice dresses completely,” he says.
Madden will next star in a West End production of “Romeo and Juliet” with his Cinderella, Lily James. He’s also shot the Paris-set thriller “Bastille Day” alongside Idris Elba. Now, he’d like to do a movie on a spaceship — or just anything but more dancing. (source)
FLAUNT MAGAZINE – If Richard Madden weren’t acting, he’d be a “shy, fat kid living in Scotland with no girlfriend,” he tells me. Far from Prince Charming, who the 28-year-old actor plays in Disney’s upcoming remake of Cinderella.
I find Madden sitting in the corner of Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs, bundled in an overcoat and a turtleneck, drinking Kentucky Bourbon Ale on this bitter New York afternoon. He’s handsome and his Scottish accent is as thick and alluring as one might hope it to be (he pronounces “Great Dane” with a rolling R). For someone experienced in playing the role of a king and a prince, he is remarkably laid-back, modest, and almost bashful. He plays with his hands while speaking, and he lights up whenever I ask about Game of Thrones, in which he starred as Robb Stark, King in the North. He first joined youth theatre as a kid to overcome shyness and, in the process, discovered his passion. Today, with credits in theatre, film, and television, he seems to be constantly working.
“I think I’ve had nine different permanent residences in the past year,” he says.
Check the beautiful photoshoot Richard did for Flaunt Magazine in our gallery:
VANITY FAIR – If Cinderella’s Richard Madden (formerly known as Game of Thrones’s Robb Stark) could choose between a direwolf and a fairy godmother, what would he pick? Direwolf, hands down. “It’s a massive, giant bear wolf. Why wouldn’t I want that?” So he wouldn’t be swayed by being able to wish for whatever you wanted? Not at all. “That’s good, but the direwolf would stay around a bit longer.”
Both Madden and his co-star Lily James were at Saks Fifth Avenue yesterday, celebrating the department store’s collaboration with Disney on a Cinderella-inspired shoe collection, which features dazzling work from Jimmy Choo, Nicholas Kirkwood, Charlotte Olympia, Salvatore Ferragamo, and more. (James and Madden are also in Saks’s spring catalog cover models). It was a landmark day for Saks Fifth Avenue, said Chief Marketing and Creative Officer Mark Briggs, “for the collaboration with the shoe designers, which I think have excelled in beautiful, beautiful designs.”
James had a strategic approach for what she would ask from her fairy godmother. “I would wish for 100 more wishes,” she told us, laughing. What would one of those wishes be? “I want every single one of these shoes,” she said, eyeing a particularly bedazzled pair of Jimmy Choos.
Cinderella, which opens March 13, is being heralded for a modern take on the centuries-old fairy tale, without sacrificing its traditional roots. James has no problem playing rebellious ladies—her character on Downton Abbey, Lady Rose, flouts societal norms left and right. She certainly wasn’t interested in making Ella seem like a pushover. “I wanted her to be a strong character. I wanted her to have beauty that radiated from within,” she said. “Just because she doesn’t have a sword or she’s not openly strong in that way, physically, she’s just as inspirational.” Does she see any similarities between Lady Rose and Ella? “I think they are both free spirits and they’ve both got big hearts.”
Madden knew his Prince Charming had to keep up with James’s portrayal. “I wanted to bring an equality to it,” he said of playing Prince Charming. “I wanted to make Cinderella and the prince equals and try to make a man that was worthy of the affections of someone like Cinderella.”
MOVIEFONE – Chances are you know Richard Madden from his role on HBO’s acclaimed fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” As one of the members of the besieged Stark clan, Madden stood tall while facing certain death. That’s a tough thing to play, especially when you’re so handsome.
Madden is bringing his handsomeness and his history with fantasy to Disney’s new, live-action “Cinderella,” directed by Kenneth Branagh, and co-starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett. In this version, Madden plays a kinder, gentler Prince Charming, one that Cinderella actually meets before the ball. Yes, there are complex new dimensions to this “Cinderella.” And it is glorious.
We got on the phone and spoke to Madden about what it was like going from dark fantasy to light fantasy (and what the reaction was to “Game of Thrones'” infamous Red Wedding), whether or not it was fun to play with fairy tale conventions, and grill him on his jock strap (he recently went on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to discuss). He also tells us that he’s dying to be in a movie with spaceships or dinosaurs or both. Struggling Hollywood screenwriters, you have your newest assignment.