Bodyguard made him a star but he hasnt always been comfortable as the lead. He talks about bullies, his inner fat lad and new Elton John biopic Rocketman
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 Mercurios 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 BBCs 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 Maams. 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, Eltons 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.
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