Richard Madden

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Richard Madden
Richard Madden by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Madden at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 33)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materRoyal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Years active1999–present

Richard Madden (born 18 June 1986) is a Scottish actor. Born and raised in Renfrewshire near Glasgow, he made his screen debut as a child actor and stage debut whilst a student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In 2007, he toured with Shakespeare's Globe company as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, a role he reprised in the West End in 2016.

Madden's breakthrough role came in 2011, as Robb Stark in HBO's fantasy drama Game of Thrones, for which he received the Screen International Award for Star of Tomorrow. His subsequent roles include leading the first season of the historical fiction series Medici: Masters of Florence (2016) as Cosimo de' Medici, and starring in Disney's Cinderella (2015), and portraying John Reid in the biopic Rocketman (2019).

In 2018, Madden gained critical acclaim for his leading role as a troubled war veteran in the BBC thriller series Bodyguard, the UK's most-watched television drama since current records began,[1] for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama.[2] Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.[3]

Early life[edit]

Madden was born on 18 June 1986[4] in Elderslie, Renfrewshire, just outside the town of Paisley and the city of Glasgow, where he was brought up, with older and younger sisters. His mother, Pat, is a classroom assistant, and his father, Richard, is in the fire brigade.[5][6]


1999–2010: Early work[edit]

At age 11, Madden joined PACE Youth Theatre to help overcome his shyness.[7][5] He was soon cast as young Andy in the film adaptation of Iain Banks's Complicity; he was then cast in the lead role of Sebastian in the children's television series Barmy Aunt Boomerang,[8][9] for which he filmed six episodes that aired from 1999 until 2000.

Madden (second from right) with his Game of Thrones co-stars: Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, and Kit Harington in November 2009.

He attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, from where he graduated in 2007.[8][9] While at RSAMD, he worked with The Arches and Glasgow Repertory Company, followed by Franz Xaver Kroetz's play Tom Fool at the Citizens' Theatre, which was so well received that it transferred to London, where Madden was spotted by a team from Shakespeare's Globe.[9] In his final year with RSAMD, he was cast as Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet at the modern Globe Theatre which, after an initial run in London, made a tour of open-air stages during the summer of 2007,[9][10] this being the Globe's first tour.[11]

He played Callum McGregor in the stage production of Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses in 2008. He later gained the lead role of Dean McKenzie in the 2009 BBC comedy-drama series Hope Springs,[8] followed by his roles as Ripley in the 2010 film Chatroom,[12] and as Theatre of Hate singer Kirk Brandon in the 2010 film Worried About The Boy.[13]

2011–present: Breakthrough and international recognition[edit]

Madden at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con

From 2011 to 2013, he starred as Robb Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones, based upon the series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin.[14][15][16] Speaking in September 2018, Madden claimed that he was not paid much for his role in Game of Thrones.[17] During this period, Madden also starred in the Channel 4 comedy-drama series Sirens,and in the BBC drama series Birdsong.

In May 2013, Madden was chosen to portray the prince in the live action Disney film Cinderella.[18] The film was released in March 2015. Madden first obtained his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card for the 2014 miniseries Klondike, in which he plays Bill Haskell.[19]

Between 12 May and 13 August 2016, Madden appeared on stage in London's West End playing the part of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, where he was reunited with his Cinderella costar Lily James, who played Juliet, and director Kenneth Branagh.[20] Richard was replaced as Romeo in July 2016, after suffering an ankle injury.[21]

In 2016, he played the leading role of Cosimo de' Medici, the son of the founder of the Medici Bank during the Italian Renaissance, in the Italian-British television drama series, Medici: Masters of Florence. In the same year he played American pickpocket Michael Mason in the 2016 action movie Bastille Day, starring alongside Idris Elba.[22]

In 2018, Madden garnered widespread critical acclaim and wider recognition for his role as Sergeant David Budd in the BBC thriller series Bodyguard. After achieving high levels of popularity in the UK, the show was released to a worldwide audience on Netflix in October 2018.[23][24] His performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama. Bodyguard went on to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. Critics and viewers alike expressed disappointment over Madden's failure to receive an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, deeming it a snub.[25][26][27]

In 2019, Madden portrayed music manager John Reid in the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

In July 2019, Madden received an Honorary Doctorate of Drama from his alma mater, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.[28]

Upcoming projects[edit]

Madden will next star in Sam Mendes' war film 1917, which is set for a December 2019 release. He will also star as Ikaris in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Eternals, directed by Chloé Zhao which is scheduled for a November 2020 release.[29]


Of Madden's performance as Mark McNulty in the National Theatre of Scotland's production of Be Near Me, Warwick Thompson of Bloomberg noted his performance to be "especially good".[30] Susan Mansfield of The Scotsman reported that Madden has caught the eye of critics for his work and reported additional positive reviews of his work by The Daily Telegraph and The Observer.[8]

Madden in 2019

In reviewing the Globe Theatre's 2007 production of Romeo and Juliet as its first-ever tour, Susan Elkin of The Stage noted Dr. Madden's "gravelly Glaswegian, almost childlike Romeo".[11]

In 2010, The Scotsman touted Madden as "one of the hottest young acting talents in the business". They also noted that Madden is "tipped for mainstream glory this year" due to his upcoming roles in the film Chatroom and TV series Game of Thrones. He won Most Stylish Male at the Scottish Style Awards in October 2009 and was also named in Esquire's Hottest Stars for 2010.[16]

He was named one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow in 2011.[31]

Madden has been compared to Sean Connery and following his performance in Bodyguard is rumoured to have been offered the role of James Bond to succeed Daniel Craig. He has said that he is "flattered and thankful" to be considered for the role.[32]

In 2018, Madden won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama[33] for his leading role as a troubled war veteran in the BBC thriller series Bodyguard, the UK's most-watched television drama since current records began.[34] Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.[35]



Year Title Role Notes[36]
2000 Complicity Young Andy
2010 Chatroom Ripley
2011 Strays Elliot Short film
2013 A Promise Friedrich
2015 Cinderella Prince Kit
2015 Group B Shane Hunter Short film
2016 Bastille Day Michael Mason
2018 Ibiza Leo West
2019 Rocketman John Reid
2019 1917 Lieutenant Blake Post-production
2020 The Eternals Ikaris Filming


Year Title Role Notes[36]
1999–2000 Barmy Aunt Boomerang Sebastian Simpkins 20 episodes
2002 Taggart Christie Episode: "Watertight"
2009 Hope Springs Dean McKenzie 8 episodes
2010 Worried About The Boy Kirk Brandon Television film
2011 Sirens Ashley Greenwick 6 episodes
2011–2013 Game of Thrones Robb Stark 21 episodes
Screen International Award for Star of Tomorrow (2011)
Nominated – Scream Award for Best Ensemble (2011)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2011, 2013)
Nominated – NewNowNext Award for Cause You're Hot (2013)
2012 Birdsong Captain Michael Weir 2 episodes
2014 Klondike Bill Haskell 3 episodes
2015 Lady Chatterley's Lover Oliver Mellors Television film
2016 Medici: Masters of Florence Cosimo de' Medici 8 episodes; also executive producer
2017 Oasis Peter Leigh Pilot
2017 Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Agent Ross Episode: "The Hood Maker"
2018 Bodyguard PS David Budd 6 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2019)
National Television Award for Drama Performance (2019)
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series (2019)


Year Title Role Director Venue[36]
2005–2006 I Confess Mahmood Andy Arnold The Arches Theatre Company[8]
2005–2006 The Winter's Tale Florizel
Gordon Barr Glasgow Repertory Company[8]
2006–2007 Tom Fool Ludwig Meier Clair Lizzimore Citizen's Theatre[37]
Bush Theatre[38]
2007 Romeo and Juliet Romeo Montague Ed Dick Shakespeare's Globe
2008 Noughts and Crosses Callum McGregor Dominic Cooke Royal Shakespeare Company
2009 Be Near Me Mark McNulty John Tiffany Donmar Warehouse[8]
National Theatre of Scotland[8]
2015 Four Play Michael Jack Sain Old Vic New Voices Festival
2016 Romeo and Juliet Romeo Montague Kenneth Branagh Garrick Theatre

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2013 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate Trevor Belmont / Alucard
2014 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Alucard


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Of Mice and Men Curley Radio play
2015–2016 Scotland Home Movies Voiceover BBC[39]
2019 Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War Voiceover[40]



  1. ^ "BBC One's Bodyguard is the UK's most watched drama since current records began". BBC Media Centre. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Golden Globes 2019: Olivia Colman, Ben Whishaw and Richard Madden win". BBC News. 7 January 2019.
  3. ^ Branagh, Kenneth (17 April 2019). "Richard Madden". Time. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ redskinette86 (18 June 2016). "What's 'Game of Thrones' Richard Madden been up to since his Red Wedding death?".
  5. ^ a b Nathanson, Hannah (1 April 2011). "Game of Thrones is good news for Brit stars". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Richard Madden Biography". TV Guide Digital. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Gary (8 January 2019). "PACE congratulates golden star Richard Madden". dailyrecord.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Mansfield, Susan (21 March 2009). "Up and Coming: Richard Madden – Young man on a role". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d Cooper, Neil (12 June 2007). "Less room for doom in the great outdoors". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  10. ^ Taylor, Paul (5 September 2007). "Romeo and Juliet, Dulwich Park, London". The Independent. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  11. ^ a b Elkin, Susan (16 July 2007). "Reviews: Romeo and Juliet". The Stage. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  12. ^ Felperin, Leslie (14 May 2010). "Reviews: Chatroom". Variety. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  13. ^ Cooke, Rachel (21 May 2010). "Worried About the Boy". New Statesman. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  14. ^ Hibberd, James (20 August 2009). "HBO appoints subjects to 'Thrones'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  15. ^ "HBO Greenlights Northern Ireland Epic 'Game of Thrones'". IFTN. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Scotland's most eligible men – #15: Richard Madden, 23, actor". The Scotsman. 16 February 2010. Archived from the original on 22 February 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Richard Madden 'not paid much' in Game of Thrones". BBC News. 3 September 2018.
  18. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (8 May 2013). "Disney Casts 'Game of Thrones' Actor as 'Cinderella's' Prince". The Hollywood Reporter
  19. ^ "How Did You Get Your SAG-AFTRA Card?" TV Guide. 13 January 2014. p. 10.
  20. ^ Tennison, Harry (13 August 2015). "Stars On Stage: This Year's Big Stars In The West End". London Theatre Direct. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  21. ^ Hemley, Matthew (4 August 2016). "Richard Madden withdraws from Romeo and Juliet following medical advice". The Stage. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  22. ^ Kroll, Justin (2 October 2014). "'Game of Thrones' Star Richard Madden Joins Idris Elba in 'Bastille Day' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  23. ^ Waterson, Jim (18 September 2018). "Netflix picks up BBC's Bodyguard – and ITV cashes in". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  24. ^ Gill, James (18 December 2018). "Bodyguard on Netflix: everything you need to know about the hit BBC TV series". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Everyone's devastated that Richard Madden didn't get an Emmy nom for Bodyguard". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  26. ^ Ordoña, Michael (16 August 2019). "Richard Madden's fans are none too pleased about his Emmys snub". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  27. ^ Frederick, Brittany (16 August 2019). "Bodyguard star Richard Madden's Emmy snub makes absolutely no sense". FanSided. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  28. ^ Conservatoire, Royal (4 May 2019). "Graduation - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland". Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  29. ^ Kroll, Justin (7 May 2019). "Richard Madden in Talks to Star in Marvel's 'Eternals'". Variety. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  30. ^ Thompson, Warwick (29 January 2009). "Richard Dreyfuss, Sporting Earpiece, Triumphs in New Play". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  31. ^ "Screen stars of tomorrow: Richard Madden". Screen International. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  32. ^ McGurk, Stuart (30 November 2018). "Richard Madden on Bond, bullying and Bodyguard. The GQ interview". GQ. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  33. ^ "Golden Globes 2019: Olivia Colman, Ben Whishaw and Richard Madden win". BBC News. 7 January 2019.[verification needed]
  34. ^ "BBC One's Bodyguard is the UK's most watched drama since current records began". BBC Media Centre. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.[verification needed]
  35. ^ Branagh, Kenneth (17 April 2019). "Richard Madden". Time. Retrieved 17 April 2019.[verification needed]
  36. ^ a b c "Richard Madden". Troika. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  37. ^ Fisher, Mark (7 November 2006). "Tom Fool, Citizens, Glasgow". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  38. ^ Gardner, Lyn (4 April 2007). "Theatre review:Tom Fool / Bush, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  39. ^
  40. ^

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