Richard Madden's BiographyThe enigmatic bodyguard, impenetrable King in the North, or passionate Romeo - all these roles are embodied very organically by the British actor Richard Madden. Once upon a time, he was a shy and slightly overweight boy, but managed to transform into a movie star. "Game of Thrones", "Medici", "Eternals" - these are just a few of the high-profile projects he has been involved in.
Childhood and Early RolesRichard Madden was born in the Scottish village of Elderslie on June 18, 1986. Madden's father worked as a firefighter, and his mother took care of the household and looked after the children - Richard and his older and younger sisters. In 1997, she became a teacher at her son's elementary school, which he had already graduated from.
Madden grew up as a very shy child, despite the fact that his hippie parents' home was always full of guests, including some quite strange individuals. But while the boy had no fear of talking to adults, at school in the neighboring village of Paisley, he was too shy even to start a conversation with his peers. He was self-conscious about his weight and was often the target of ridicule.
Richard escaped from childhood cruelty in the world of cinema. On the day of his grandfather's funeral, he watched Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" and "Shallow Grave" - his parents were busy and couldn't forbid these films, which they thought were too mature for him.
Richard's parents were advised to send him to a drama studio to overcome his excessive shyness. Richard enjoyed being creative, but the bullying continued in the drama club. But the choice was such: either to attend the Paisley drama school, or not to attend at all, as there were no similar sections in their area.
However, on stage, the boy overcame his shyness and demonstrated outstanding artistic talent. Madden was noticed by film producers, and in 1999 he got his first TV role - in the film "Complicity" with Jonny Lee Miller and Brian Cox, an adaptation of a novel by Iain Banks. Richard's character is a teenager who has experienced rape. Also in 1999, he got one of the leading roles in the children's series "Barmy Aunt Boomerang," where he starred for another two years.
It should be said that his film debut did not increase his popularity among classmates. On the contrary, due to improper nutrition during filming, he gained a lot of weight, which, combined with his role as a rape victim, led to severe bullying, especially in high school.
When I went to high school, everyone knew that they would now be studying with 'the fat gay guy who was raped by a 50-year-old Scotsman.' I had a waist of 100 centimeters, and until I was 19, I didn't wear jeans, simply because my mother couldn't find a size that fit me.In 2003, Richard graduated from school and entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Scotland's capital - Glasgow.
TheaterTheatre instantly captivated Richard. He slimmed down quickly, not wanting to be a subject of new mockery. Richard combined diligent study at the Madden Academy with performances on stage - he even agreed to small roles in plays, appeared in commercials. His efforts paid off: Richard's performance in the play "The Fool" brought incredible success to the show. Initially, the production was shown in a Scottish theater, then it was decided to tour it in London.
In 2005, representatives of the famous English theater "The Globe" noticed Madden in London. They immediately recognized the young actor's talent and made him a flattering offer - to join their troupe. Richard declined, deciding he needed to finish his education first, and returned to Glasgow.
Madden returned to London at the end of 2006. The Globe hadn't forgotten about the actor and offered him the lead male role in the new production of "Romeo and Juliet". A few months later, Richard was already performing on the main stage of London in a play based on Shakespeare's tragedy. In the summer of 2007, 21-year-old Madden, in the role of Romeo, toured all the central venues of the UK with the troupe.
Career AdvancementThe actor didn't abandon his attempts to return to the screen. In 2009, he played a minor role in the psychological horror movie "Chatroom", where the main character was portrayed by Aaron Johnson. In 2011, he found himself in a key project for his career - the series "Game of Thrones". Madden was given one of the most important roles - the eldest son of the Stark family, Robb, who after his father's death should become the King of the North.
The first season of the project became incredibly popular, but critics had mixed reviews about Madden's character. On screen, he fell short compared to the more vibrant Kit Harington, the Stark's bastard, whose role was more complex. However, everything changed by the third season. Fans acknowledged that Madden became more confident on screen and highly rated his on-screen partnership with his co-star - Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter Una.
Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and I - we were all kids at the beginning of filming. We went on a kind of journey, growing up throughout the series. I haven't had any other similar job where I still maintain friendly relationships with the people I worked with.The bloody death of the characters at the end of the third season broke the hearts of Richard's fans. However, the actor later admitted that he left the series at the right time. Many of his colleagues, who were "stuck" in the plot for almost 10 years, struggled with the end of "Game of Thrones" and became typecast in one role, including Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke.
After "Game of Thrones", Madden experienced a career surge. In 2015, he brought to life on screen the classic image of the handsome prince in the new "Cinderella" directed by Kenneth Branagh. Here, Richard was able to make use of his past experience playing the infatuated Romeo convincingly in the theatre. On set, he met with renowned actors - from Cate Blanchett to Stellan Skarsgård. Madden took his role seriously: in his free time, he honed his horse riding skills and learned how to handle a sword.
That same year, he appeared in another romantic film - "Lady Chatterley's Lover". In 2016, he tried his hand at the action genre, starring alongside Idris Elba in "Bastille Day". A few months later, he returned to period drama, taking on the lead role - Cosimo de' Medici - in the series "Medici".
In 2018, showrunner Jed Mercurio offered Richard a completely new character. He wrote the script for a political thriller about a bodyguard of a female minister suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The six-part project "Bodyguard" successfully aired on BBC One that same year. The series was compared to "Game of Thrones" in terms of popularity among viewers: each episode attracted the largest BBC audience in the last 9 years. Madden was even touted for the role of the next James Bond.
His performance was recognized by critics, awarding Richard a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series for 2018. That same year, he was already learning to walk in low heels and vibrant outfits in the fashion of the 70s. The actor landed one of the leading roles in the biopic "Rocketman" about the life of Elton John. Richard took on the role of John Reid, Elton's music manager, with whom Madden shared Scottish heritage.
The film, released in 2019, turned out to be scandalous - the creators were criticized for promoting same-sex relationships and scenes involving illegal substances. The controversial story of the complicated relationship between the musician and his manager sparked rumors about the actors' non-traditional orientation.
That same year, Richard could be seen in Sam Mendes' epic war film "1917" as Lieutenant Blake.
In 2021, another blockbuster from the Marvel Cinematic Universe was released - "Eternals", telling the story of a group of ancient supergods, watching over humans and protecting them. Richard played one of the main characters, the deity Ikaris.
On set, he met again with his former "Game of Thrones" colleague Kit Harington, who in the plot is not a god, but a human who accidentally finds himself in a disaster happening on Earth. The cast of the project was incredibly "star-studded" - Richard acted alongside Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek and others.
Richard Madden's Personal LifeAfter the success of "Game of Thrones", Madden was immediately included in the lists of the sexiest men in Scotland, along with James McAvoy and Gerard Butler. Paparazzi were hot on his heels, wishing to find out who had the heart of the bachelor.
At the dawn of his success, in 2011, Richard dated "Doctor Who" actress Jenna Coleman. The affair lasted 4 years. Insiders claimed that the actors were preparing for a wedding, but in 2015 the couple announced their breakup.
Then Richard was linked to brief flings with model Suki Waterhouse and reporter Laura Whitmore. In 2017, he was first spotted vacationing with young actress Ellie Bamber. Their romance ended in early 2019, with sources reporting that the relationship did not withstand the test of time due to Madden's growing popularity after "Bodyguard".
Later, the tabloids reported possible affairs with his "Cinderella" co-star Lily James or even "Rocketman" colleague Taron Egerton. There were also rumors that he and his good friend Brandon Flynn were more than friends – based on a photo of them walking arm in arm.
In 2020, rumors surfaced that Richard had moved in with young actor Froy Gutierrez. However, Madden did not react to the gossip, preferring not to discuss his personal life in interviews.
Richard Madden NowIn April 2023, the premiere of the science fiction series "Citadel" took place, starring Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra. Even before its release, it was renewed for a second season. "It's a big challenge for me to play two characters in one body," Richard explained, admiring the directorial talent of the series creators - the Russo brothers.
Interesting FactsRichard spent a lot of time outside during his childhood, which left him with several scars as a reminder. Once, he took his father's air gun and accidentally shot off a small piece of his finger due to his inexperience. A few years later, he severely injured the same finger with a hammer while fixing a skateboard.
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