Interview with Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden

Interesting interview with Richard Madden aout Season 2 of Game of Thrones and Robb Stark. The interviewer mentions that unlike his character in GoT, Madden laughs and jokes a lot. Yup, that sounds about right, except for Tyrion, the characters in Game of Thrones seem to lack a sense of humor. Can’t blame them I guess, what with the coming winter and the rising cold winds and all that, heh.

Madden on being recognized off the set:

In Rio, we did get recognized and crowds would wait outside the hotel for us there and you’re like, “This is quite odd,” because I’m not used to it. I’m just like drinking in a bar in London like I normally do or whatever and you’re in Rio and it’s like, “Well, you can’t really go out of the hotel for a little while.”

On the quite cumbersome costumes, and how they influenced his performance:

At first, I first tried on these costumes and I was like, “These awesome. It’s perfect and I really love them.” And then you’re shooting and you’re 20 days in or whatever and it’s 4 a.m. and my back’s aching and the costumes are still wet and they stink from the night before filming. And then you’re like, “I don’t want to wear this costume. Why can’t I be in King’s Landing in a t-shirt or something?” But actually, I’ve realized that it’s a huge influence on me as an actor. The costumes are so heavy and they mold around my body in a certain way and it changes how I stand and it changes how I breathe. The cloak dragging along the ground, it changes the way I walk. So actually, these things that could have been a weird out for me were actually really useful in terms of me creating Robb.

On only reading the books relevant to the season they’re shooting:

Because sometimes I don’t trust myself as an actor. (…) And then it came to me that I didn’t want to read too far ahead, because what I loved about reading Book One and then into Book Two, taking my character out of it, is you see characters and, as an actor, I want to make decisions and stick to that and then you get to a script by David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] or you get to a chapter in the book and you see a character go in a different direction and for me as an actor, that’s my favorite. (…) If I’d read the scripts for Season Two while I was shooting Season One, it would have influenced me and I don’t want it to. I think it’s more challenging for me as an actor and it’s more exciting for an audience member to see this character change live, rather than me letting elements seep in too quickly or too early.

On the difference between Robb Stark in the books and in the show:

I think yeah, there’s got to be changes. I’m very loyal to the book, but I’ve got to remember that we are doing the TV show and not the book and they are two different beasts and there’s got to be changes. You look at the difference in my age to what Robb’s age is, for example. But then I’ve always thought as well, something I’ve realized, is that in Westeros, in the Seven Kingdoms, a 15-year-old or 16-year-old boy is much older than a 16-year-old boy in our world today. They’ve gone through so much more at such a younger age in these worlds. You get to see it in the whorehouses, for example, girls much younger and that’s a natural process of life and that’s not what we’re used to. So when people say that I’m much older than what Robb is, I say, “Yeah, physically, mentally there’s much more parallels to where Robb is in the book to where someone in their early 20s would be.” They just go through a lot more life experience.

I don’t think Robb’s age is ever mentioned on the show, and I haven’t read the books, so I’m not sure how old he is supposed to be. But it always weirded me out whenever other characters like Cersei or Tywin would refer to Robb Stark as “a boy”, because as played by Richard Madden, he doesn’t look like a boy at all, he looks like a fully grown man.

Full interview here:

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