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  May 4th, 2019   0
  AliKat

Press: Richard Madden: ‘I don’t like the look of me in the mirror’

Bodyguard made him a star – but he hasn’t always been comfortable as the lead. He talks about bullies, his inner ‘fat lad’ and new Elton John biopic Rocketman

GUARDIAN – For some lucky actors, there are moments when their career suddenly shifts into a higher gear. The right part comes along, the world notices, and boom! their whole life is different. This happened to Richard Madden with Bodyguard, in August last year. He played the tight-mouthed, tight-muscled David Budd, personal minder to Keeley Hawes’ home secretary, Julia Montague, in Jed Mercurio’s six-part BBC One thriller, and the country went bananas.

Bodyguard was great TV – gripping, unpredictable, sexy, with a madly OTT finale – but nobody could have predicted the furore it would cause. It was a national event, achieving the BBC’s largest drama audience for a decade. Social media was aflame every Sunday, with much of the heat centred on Madden, his good looks and his stoic “Ma’ams”. There were threads devoted to his eyebrows, as well as other parts of his anatomy. By the final episode, he had been upgraded from “ex-Game Of Thrones guy” (he played Robb Stark for the first three series) to potential James Bond.

Yet all this hype and bluster happened while Madden was busy doing something else. That something was Rocketman, the Elton John biopic. Madden plays John Reid, Elton’s first manager and one-time lover, and the script required him to sing and dance, neither of which are part of his natural skill set. So while Bodyguard was on, he was getting up to jazz-hands standard, while wearing a pair of 70s Cuban heels. “I loved those heels, in the end,” he says when we meet. “A double-breasted suit and a big Cuban heel. I felt pretty sharp. They gave me a bit of a wiggle.”

Madden knew that Bodyguard was doing well only because his mum kept sending him pictures of newspapers and magazines. “Like, ‘You’re on the cover of this one, and this one, and this one,’” he says cheerfully (his natural accent is Bodyguard Scottish, not GoT English). “It was nice, but it was also, ‘Please stop sending me this because it freaks me the eff out.’”

Six months on, his schedule is choreographed down to the minute. “That sudden loss of time,” he says. “Everything runs away with you. I’ve been really busy, yet there’s still more demand. You run with it, but it’s like, OK, we’re doing press for Bodyguard in America, and now we’re doing press for awards stuff, and then there’s the actual awards, and then more and more. And everything rolls into each other, so then you haven’t been in your house for two months.”

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  Articles, Interviews
  April 15th, 2019   0
  AliKat

Press/Gallery/Video: Richard Madden Is Tired of Playing the Good Guy

 

Photoshoots & Portraits > Session 056

Magazine Scans > Elle (May 2019)

 

ELLE – Richard Madden is giddy at the prospect of going dark. Hunched attractively in a leather chair at a Beverly Hills hotel, the 32-year-old Scotsman, known for playing doomed scion Robb Stark on Game of Thrones and the trauma-stricken David Budd on the BBC’s Bodyguard, is eager to shed his broken-good-guy image. “I really enjoyed being a bastard,” he says, punching his right fist in his left hand like a ball in a mitt. He’s referring to his role as John Reid, the rebrand manager and former lover of Elton John (played by Taron Egerton) in this month’s fantastical and much-anticipated Rocketman biopic. “He just loved fighting people,” Madden says. Reid also had moments of charm and generosity, the actor acknowledges, but his manipulative side was much more fun to play.

In person, the actor is a riveting combination of flinty and safe. He looks like the guy to trust in a crowd, but then his nerves seem spring-loaded, like when he catches a bottle top falling off the table like it’s a grenade. We talk about getting a beer but order sparkling water instead because it’s early in the afternoon and pouring rain and, well, that combination can make for a booze-soaked slippery slope—especially in London, where Madden’s lived for 14 years. “There, it’s dark by 3 p.m. and it’s raining and miserable and you go, ‘I just want to sit by the fire with a bottle of red wine in the pub,’ ” he says, slipping into an almost incomprehensible back-and-forth Scottish brogue: “ ‘Eh, we’re shot.’ And you’re like, ‘Well, I’ll have another one.’ ” Pause. “ ‘So, are you shot or not shot? All right, cool, I’ll have another one.’ ”

Madden will abandon his beloved London for Los Angeles next month, but he still hasn’t secured a job or a place to live. Also, he’s single, maybe. A few days ago, the British press crowed about the actress Ellie Bamber breaking up with him, but he shuts down all talk of his love life. Don’t ask him about rumors that he’s the next Bond, either. “It’s all just noise,” says the actor, a pleasant aftereffect of his success in the title role in Bodyguard, the BBC’s most-watched drama since the season finales of Downton Abbey, for which he recently won a Golden Globe for Best Actor. “By March, there will be another British TV show with another young male actor, and then he’ll be the next James Bond for the following two months.”

Things might be a bit up in the air, but Madden is loving it. “I feel quite free at the moment,” he says, like any man worth his scruffy beard. “If I’m going to be reading scripts for two months, I’d rather sit by the pool than sit in a pub in East London.” Plus, he’s got some great friends in L.A., like Elton John, who whisked him off to his concert in Sacramento last night, and fellow Iron Throne heir Sophie Turner, whom he’s going to try to meet up with tonight. “It’s quite nice because we were so close when we were kids, and then we went off and did other things but reconnected as adults,” he says of Turner and other GoT costars like Kit Harington, Gwendoline Christie, and Maisie Williams. While some of his pals are still going strong on the show, he has a no-spoilers policy: “I have to be like, ‘Just let me watch it.’ ” He does, however, have a Season 8 prediction with regard to Turner’s character, Sansa Stark. “People thought she was weak and wilty,” he says, “but she’s our mother’s daughter, you know….” Since getting offed in the infamous Red Wedding scene, Madden has enjoyed watching as a fan. “It’s weird because they talk about Robb Stark, and I don’t associate myself with it anymore,” he says. “But then I remember, ‘Oh, that’s me, I played that part.’ ”

In preparation for Rocketman, Madden spoke with a number of Elton John’s and Reid’s friends. Donatella Versace, in particular, helped Madden get a better grasp of his character’s righteous zeal. “She said, ‘The thing about John Reid was that he was never wrong.’ ” And even as the relationship deteriorated (Elton John cut ties with Reid’s management company in 1998 and later settled financial disputes out of court; Reid has since retired from music management and lives in Australia), the two men shared an intimate bond. Madden and Egerton re-create that dynamic—sometimes clad in ’70s-style double-breasted suits and stacked Cuban heels, other times naked. When asked about Rocketman’s much-hyped sex scenes, Madden shakes his head and says, “I dread doing these things.” But, to him, the differences between male and female costars are negligible. “With one you get stubble rash, right?” he says. “That’s basically it. Otherwise, there’s no difference. It’s storytelling.”

Clearly, he’s a good guy at heart, though his whole body rejects the idea that he’s anything like his most famous characters. “It’s incredible to think about me in one of them,” he says with a shiver. “I don’t like it one bit!” But whether he wants to be or not, he’s bound to the code. “I suppose there’s a thing with a lot of these characters I play—to do the right thing, to look after people,” Madden says, taking a swig of sparkling water. “I suppose that is something.”

  Articles, Interviews, Magazine Scans, Photoshoot, Videos
  September 27th, 2018   0
  AliKat

Press: Bodyguard most watched BBC drama since 2008

BBC – Hit BBC drama Bodyguard kept an average 10.4 million viewers on tenterhooks as the series drew to a close on Sunday.

The audience reached its peak – 11 million – in its final five minutes.

The overnight ratings make the show – the brainchild of Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio – the most watched drama of the year so far.

In fact, it is the biggest overnight drama figure since 10.5 million saw Downton Abbey’s series two finale in November 2011.

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  Articles, Bodyguard
  August 30th, 2018   0
  AliKat

Press: Bodyguard episode 2: 7 HUGE questions and theories after those big twists

DIGITAL SPY – With Richard Madden’s volatile veteran David Budd eyeing every other character in BBC One’s Bodyguard with suspicion, it’s can be tricky to work out who’s actually up to no good.

But we’ve got some theories after a stunning second episode that saw Keeley Hawes’ formidable Home Secretary, Julia Montague, become the target of an assasination attempt, and later end up in bed with Budd.

 

Here’s what’s going to be keeping us up nights after the latest installment.

1. Who is behind the terror attacks?

With London under siege, the UK’s threat level soars across Bodyguard’s latest episode.

The investigation continues into the aborted October 1 bombing that Budd helped prevent, and while the culprit Nadia – apparently coerced by her husband – is “too intimidated to reveal much”, it’s suspected that the couple’s “accomplices… may still be at large”.

What’s more, the bomb used in the attack on Budd’s children’s school includes the same “sophisticated mechanisms” seen in Nadia’s device, suggesting that both operations were carried out by the same terror cell.

This is all part of something bigger.

2. Who is the leak?

The attack on the school was apparently a revenge plot, with the terror cell seeking retribution on Budd for thwarting their previous bombing.

How did the terrorists identify Budd as the officer in question? Honest(?) copper Anna Sampson (Gina McKee) argues that a witness at the scene of the train bombing, or an accomplice of Nadia’s, could have fingered Budd.

MI5, though suspects an “internal leak” within the police, and later – during the attempt on Julia’s life – the boys in blue are apparently given orders by “an executive officer at SO15” that prevent them from intervening.

Is there a police conspiracy out to get Budd? Was the intention of limiting police protection to have him and Julia knocked off in one fell swoop?

Or… could Julia have given the order herself? (More on our suspicions that the Home Secretary is actually a supervillain below.)

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  Articles, Bodyguard
  August 22nd, 2018   0
  AliKat

Press: Richard Madden reveals how his own bodyguard carried him to safety in Mexico

The Game of Thrones actor plays a Personal Protection Officer in Jed Mercurio’s tense new BBC drama

RADIOTIMES – Richard Madden plays the Home Secretary’s Personal Protection Officer in Jed Mercurio’s new BBC drama Bodyguard – but he already knows just how impressive real bodyguards can be.

Speaking on set at a mocked-up Home Office in an empty Uxbridge office building, he recalls an exciting (but disorientating) experience in Mexico.

“I was doing press for Game of Thrones many moons ago,” he says, “and I had a bodyguard in Mexico City, about six foot five, a female bodyguard. She was just huge. And we were at an after party one night after some premiere, and a fight broke out.

“My feet didn’t touch the ground. She had me up, out, and in the back of a car, into the footwell in the back of the car after this fight. Because it was Mexico City, there were guns and everything, and I just didn’t know what had happened.

“But I was just thrown into the back of the car and the door wasn’t even closed before we were off. Which was quite exciting – but I spilled my drink!”

Having had “a few” bodyguards in his time (including one in Rio “that had been shot about four times and showed me all his gunshot wounds”), Madden was pretty clued in when he was cast as PPO David Budd.

In Bodyguard, he is a war veteran who is newly assigned to Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). He must protect her from all potential dangers, constantly scanning for threats and searching her home and even deciding the route of her car.

From his own experience, he knows how weird that can be.

“It was quite a bizarre thing of just being shadowed the whole time, and knowing that someone’s got their eye on you, and doing it in a way that is completely invisible,” he explains. “And you just have no idea.”

Bodyguard begins on Sunday 26th August at 9pm on BBC1

  Articles, Bodyguard