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Spotlight on: Richard Madden

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Who is Richard Madden?

From a small town in Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland, he’s certainly made a statement on what he can do in the world of acting. He’s been the talk of the town with his performance in the nationally loved BBC drama, Bodyguard. However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Madden – he’s had to take the bad with the good in order to get the recognition he deserves.

Richard’s first acting gig came in the form of Barmy Aunt Boomerang. The CBBC TV programme was first broadcasted in September 1999, where Madden starred as Sebastian. Swiftly moving on from children’s television, Richard was ‘Young Andy’ in his first feature-length appearance in Complicity, directed by Gavin Miller. It’s safe to say, he’s grown up a fair bit since then, as have his acting skills.

With the odd appearances in other, relatively unknown television programmes, he didn’t make a comeback until 2009 where he played Dean McKenzie in Hope Springs.

Not long after this, he was picked up by Channel 4 looking for the latest talent. Channel 4 made Madden the lead as Ashley Greenwick in its new comedy series, Sirens – an insight into the lives of three paramedics, who must deal with the stress and tribulations of the job as well as their personal lives. Even though Richard Madden expressed the series “could’ve been better”, critics loved the television series and it’s still got a cool 8/10 user review on IMDb.

Soon after, he began to take on a multitude of different opportunities, from TV-miniseries to video games, but what catapulted him into the public eye was his role in Game of Thrones as fiercely loyal and noble, Robb Stark.

Madden said he learned his character would be killed off early on but otherwise read the books season by season, focusing primarily on the scripts:

“I’m, as an actor, forced to bend the path I put Robb on and change it and keep the surprises coming. Hopefully, I managed to do that.”

From his role as Rob, Madden became somewhat of a heartthrob, known for his piercing blue eyes and cutting jawline. It was this (teamed with his acting skills, of course) that made him fall at Lily James’s feet as Prince Charming in Cinderella.

He managed to charm both Cinderella and critics alike. TIME magazine said:

“Nearly a century after that black-and-white cartoon short, and 65 years after a “classic” animated feature that missed the mark, Disney finally got Cinderella right — for now and, happily, ever after.”

However, with all the rights, there must come some wrongs and Madden has had his fair share. One of which being 2018 Netflix Original, Ibiza.

The plot follows a young American woman and her two best friends in the search of a ‘super hot’ DJ in the middle of Spain. Of course, Madden plays the love interest and is pursued by the ever-so-attractive, Gillian Jacobs. Ok, so his performance wasn’t bad, but accepting such a poorly written script and only appearing as many as seven times throughout, it’s fair to say Madden definitely made a mistake. With an audience score on Rotten Tomatoes of 39% and New York magazine expressing it wasn’t fully confident in calling it a movie, we’re clearly not the only ones that think Ibiza is terrible.

Luckily for us he’s ventured away from terrible rom-coms to hard-hitting TV dramas, making himself known in the BBC hit, Bodyguard – a contemporary thriller featuring the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.

Madden plays the role of David Budd, a heroic but volatile war veteran. When he’s assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary, Julia Montague (whose politics stand for everything he despises), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and beliefs. Although responsible for her safety, is he actually her biggest threat?

Forbes wrote:

“Where the show really shines is showing the differences in the way Budd acts in his professional life vs moments when he’s alone and left to his own will. Professionally, this guy is Jack Bauer level intense. Never does a moment cross where one would get the impression he is a man to be messed with. But, in those private moments, it’s when we see the obsessive compulsion, the rage, the emotional distress. We see all the things we never get to see from series of this type.”

His performance was praised and social media exploded with admiration – nothing but praise to the writing of the series and the class acting from Richard Madden.

So the question on everybody’s lips is: what’s next for Richard Madden?

According to IMDb, he’s currently in the production of Rocketman, a feature about the life of Elton John that we’re pretty excited about. And there are even rumours being spread that he could take over from Daniel Craig to become the next James Bond – talk about making an impact.  

 

What do you think? Where do you see Madden heading? Will he be pushing his way forward for the highest rewards? Let us know in the comments section below or over on Twitter.

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