Richard Madden didn’t let one wedding feast gone wrong put him off true love.
Madden’s highest-profile role, as Robb Stark in the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” came to an end at the Red Wedding massacre in Season 3. But he’s back as the romantic Prince Charming in the latest reboot of Disney’s “Cinderella.”
The 28-year-old Scottish actor tells us about working with acting great Kenneth Branagh, the movie’s moralistic message, and not being keen on a big Cinderella-style wedding.
Do you ever have déjà vu? Here, like with “Game of Thrones,” you’re playing the prince who falls in love with a simple girl?
Not at all. They are such different people with such different circumstances. I don't have any déjà vu. I think there is a parallel between how these men followed their hearts instead of their heads. And they are both good men. But I think that’s where the parallel should end. They both have a sense of what good and bad are.
Little girls dream of meeting their own Prince Charming. Do you feel a certain responsibility in this role?
I kind of feel more responsibility for the young boys who are going to watch the film. I think we've never seen a prince character like this. We never have someone so fleshed out. When I was much younger, I learned so much from Disney movies about love and loss, good and bad, grief and happiness. Cinderella is such a wonderful woman, a perfect character. My biggest responsibility was to create a man who was worthy of a woman like Cinderella. And hopefully teach kids how to treat and respect women.
Has this role influenced your own life?
Yes. Every experience influences me. But being on the set like this teaches me a lot. People like Kenneth Branagh, Stellan Skarsgård, Derek Jacobi. It was a master-class in acting and how to conduct yourself on and off the set. And Cate Blanchett, she is a true movie star.
What are your own criteria for a partner?
Someone like Cinderella: kind, funny, loving, good looks, someone who supports you and brings out the best in you, someone who makes me laugh.
What's your attitude toward marriage?
One of my marriages turned out really well, but the other really badly. So 50\50. I'm not religious, so marriage in a religious sense isn't something I believe in.
Do you want a wedding like Cinderella's?
A big old wedding? No, I think I would prefer a smaller affair without a big crowd. Quieter and more intimate would be nicer.
We live in a very cynical world. Do you believe that a story like “Cinderella” can cure it of cynicism? Will it make people believe in love again?
I think cure is a strong word. The message of the film is to have courage and be kind. And everyone would benefit if we all were a little braver and a little kinder to one another.
We can learn from Cate Blanchett's character [The Wicked Stepmother]. She lost the love of her life, but she has two daughters. They are healthy. And her outlook is very negative. She thinks that her life it terrible and she hates it. But Cinderella’s life was what was really terrible — she had nothing. But then, she finds the best in the everyday and every situation. And who knows, if we all do a little more of that everyone will be a lot happier.
That’s a bit idealistic, but I really think life is about your outlook and finding the best of something and focusing on the positive and not on the negative.