“I loved playing with the audience,” reveals Richard Madden in our exclusive webcam interview (watch the video above) about his acclaimed role on Netflix’s British action thriller “Bodyguard.” “This moral ambiguity he has, with this grey zone he operates in,” he explains, “I loved playing that.”
In “Bodyguard,” Madden plays Sergeant David Budd, a heroic army vet thrown back into the front line as he is assigned to protect UK Home Secretary Julia Monague (Keeley Hawes), a high profile politician that he initially despises. The series is a tense and riveting portrait of a man suffering with debilitating PTSD in a world plagued by constant threats of terror attacks. It has been a huge success locally and internationally, as it twists and turns over six dynamite episodes to a conclusion that many do not see coming.
Madden has just scored double nominations as lead actor in a drama series – at both the Golden Globes and the Critic’s Choice Awards. The series also garnered a slot in the Best Drama Series race.
“I waited as long as I could until I read episode six because I didn’t want to pre-empt anything within my performance before I had to so I could just let it play out,” Madden reveals. “That’s what makes him completely human, as everybody has that ambiguity in them,” he explains. “Just as David is working out his own motivations and where his allegiances lie, the audience is trying to work that out with him.”
“I loved playing him as hating someone or hating their views and where they stand for their politics but then having to protect them and put his life in front of hers,” he says. Madden was particularly challenged by the final episode of the season, in which the tension ratchets up to 11 until the explosive final scene. “He’s in a constant state of adrenalin. You’re in London and its minus degrees outside and you’re just in a short so you’re absolutely freezing and in pain and in a constant sense of hysteria,” he recalls. “It was a nightmare!”
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