“To be totally honest, buying clothes is out of necessity. I have endless supplies of pants and socks because filming overruns and I don’t have time to go to the laundrette so I end up buying more,” grins an infallibly dressed Richard Madden.
Best known for his captivating portrayal of Robb Stark in leading fantasy drama Game of Thrones - and not to forget for knocking the likes of Gerard Butler clean out of the water winning Best Dressed Man at the Scottish style awards - Richard remains perplexed as to how he scooped such a prize: “When I dress myself it’s definitely not well planned. It’s like shit, I need a shirt for now, so I’ll go into the shop and find something and then afterwards think ‘you bought that….really…why!?’ Horrible mistake!”
Today classic, understated and dashing as ever, dressed head to toe in black apart from the charcoal trench in tow, the glistening grandiose of London’s Soho Hotel couldn’t be further removed from the actors onscreen sword-laden, horseback rampages through a reminiscently medieval landscape.
“As soon as I put on my costume my physicality instantly is changed because I have to walk a certain way, that and the fact that I’m in the accent all the time really helps me get into character.”
A fantasy tale of warring families and avenging warriors, the hit television series based on the bestselling novel A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George RR Martin, sees Richard find his footing as a coming-of-age King, following the death of his father (Sean Bean).
“Sean’s an actor that knows what he’s doing in front of the camera, you can just watch him and he’s got it all in his eyes. My character follows his character so much and looks up to him it kind of mirrors me being a young actor looking up to someone who’s loads of stuff.”
Returning to our screens this April for its second season, Game of Thrones is already on everyone’s lips and the show’s second offering promises to deliver an equal level of cult hype and acclaim.
“It’s been great how many people have really tuned into it, people who don’t usually like the genre. That’s what I get a lot of the time, people saying I’m not into any of that but I love the show. This season you go deeper into a lot of the characters. Robb Stark has more confidence – he’s learning by doing – we have a little love story or two, there are some new faces, some people get more evil, some get smarter and of course there’s a bit of death thrown in their too.”
Pausing momentarily with the arrival of more coffee, Richard shakes his head in jests: “Musicians get beers and ice buckets when they do anything press related, that’s what I want!” He laughs. “On a serious note, I’m definitely not one of those actors who just want honey and lemon and think if they act like an athlete their performance will be better. To be honest going to the gym is the last thing I want to do every day, but I have to because my character has topless scenes and is meant to be fit and I need to convey that to the audience.”
It is clear that attention to detail is important to the rising star. Although his character’s journey is already mapped out in the novels, Richard explains he doesn’t read ahead, allowing the audience discover his character with him. He is also very selective about which roles he chooses to play: “Things have just jumped for me which has been nice but I’ve tried to keep it as diverse as I can. I try not to play parts that I’ve done before or that aren’t particularly interesting to me. I feel if I’m not that interested in it then an audience won’t be either.”
The result has seen Richard unleash his talent on many a role from classic characters like Romeo to a gay paramedic in Sirens, most recently gracing our screens as Captain Weir in the BBC’s adaptation of Birdsong, alongside Burberry’s new muse, Eddie Redmayne.
Unlike his ubiquitous co-star, the unassuming Scotsman has so far shied away from the flashlight of fame: “I’m terrified of a still camera but if it’s rolling I’m fine. Whenever I’ve done any photo shoots in the past we’ve had a really good photographer who’s helped me A LOT! I just become instantly terrified, totally aware of my face and body and I just crumble and hate it. I don’t know how to do it,” he smiles. “I have huge respect for people like Eddie who can!”
That’s not to say the twenty-five-year-old can’t stomach a challenge. Currently on hiatus from filming Game of Thrones he hopes to secure a ‘more adult male’ role in his next show of versatility: “I always take some time trying to find the right thing for me. I’ve been playing young men for years so I’d like to try a late twenties masculine character in a really meaty drama, I think that will test me as an actor. I want to push myself at the moment. It’s all about what catches me and what’s going to make me work…!”
Game of Thrones returns to our screens this April!