EW Interviews Fitness Netflix Richard Madden TV

Netflix’s Bodyguard: Game of Thrones star Richard Madden on playing David Budd

Netflix's Bodyguard: Game of Thrones star Richard Madden on playing David Budd

Richard Madden is used to playing males answerable for the lives of others in perilous positions, however have his characters gotten any higher at defending these round them?

Within the BBC’s Bodyguard, created and written by Jed Mercurio — maybe greatest recognized for tense, crime procedural drama Line of Obligation — Game of Thrones‘ alum Madden stars as police officer and PTSD-suffering war veteran David Budd, who is assigned as a protection officer to the U.K.’s controversial House Secretary Julia Montague (performed by Line Of Obligation‘s Keeley Hawes). While a divided government deals with a heightened terrorist threat in the country, Budd has his own demons to work through — and Montague doesn’t make his job any simpler.

Because the House Secretary goals to introduce a brand new invoice that outlines elevated state surveillance, Budd grapples to guard her from these against such laws in addition to the higher menace of home terrorism that pervades London and the remaining of the nation. Throw into the combination his personal traumatic previous and a younger household to take care of, and PPO (private safety officer) Budd is in for a journey that makes the horror of Robb Stark’s Pink Wedding ceremony look, nicely, nonetheless horrific, but in addition like one other day on the workplace for the safety officer.

Initially broadcast within the U.Okay. in late August on the BBC, the present’s electrical tempo and edge-of-your-seat suspense stored audiences speaking incessantly concerning the drama (and blowing up textual content threads on Sunday nights!), earlier than tuning in with bated breath weekly, solely to be thrown for an additional loop by the multitude of careening twists and turns, and perpetually not sure who to belief.

Forward of the present’s Netflix debut, EW caught up with Madden to study extra about his mercurial character, that (probably!) explosive opening sequence, and whether or not David Budd would’ve been any good at defending the doomed Stark relations.

WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD for anybody who had not but accomplished the complete first season; learn on figuring out nobody will (physique)guard you from sure plot strains and fates.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it about this challenge that originally drew you into it?
RICHARD MADDEN: Properly, I met with Jed and Thomas (Vincent, director) for a chat about it. The day earlier than I’d been given the primary three scripts and I simply binged straight via all three of them and instantly went again to the beginning and began them once more. Once I get scripts like that I’m going, “I want to do this job because I want to know what happens next and I can’t put it down.” In order that was an excellent signal. 4, 5 and 6 got here after we’d began capturing so I didn’t know what was going to occur both.

So that you hadn’t learn all of it once you began capturing? Is it higher to not know when your characters going to finish up in a present like this?
It helped me for this one as a result of I didn’t preempt something that was going to return later, I simply variety of went to it. When it obtained to episode three and we have been capturing, the director stated to me, “Do you now want to know who did it?” I used to be like, “Don’t tell me!” It was fairly good to comply with the path.

However did you are worried at occasions that David was going to be the dangerous man?
[Laughs] No, I used to be having fun with playing each parts of it. I feel that’s what was so good about capturing it like that; I might play two parts always.

There’s clearly a political thread that runs by way of the narrative too. Was half of the attraction that it offers with related themes like excessive political stands and division, surveillance, and common public unrest?
For me, it was extra about this character. I simply beloved the dichotomy; he’s continuously wrestling himself and I simply tried to take any political beliefs and ideas out of it and look at it purely as a drama for me. It touches on rather a lot of points which might be very related simply now particularly in terms of what we name the Snoopers’ Constitution [a bill which will allow for increased monitoring of personal data] on the present; how a lot are you able to look into individuals’s texts and calls which is a matter that’s talked about just about every day, so we have been touching on that with that.

We now have to speak about that first 20 minute-scene on the practice. Did you shoot that in sequence? How do you even put together for that?
It was a cheerful accident the best way that scene occurred, as a result of it wasn’t sequenced to be like that. It was truly set within the London underground initially, in a station in central London. We had an issue with that location, so we misplaced it and ended up having to vary the entire idea and make it on a shifting practice coming into London slightly than be on the underground. I feel that was nice truly, as a result of I feel it makes it far more accessible and far much less about London and extra about the entire of the U.Okay. — and that works to tug individuals in. We truly shot that practice sequence as the very last thing we shot on the finish of the 5 months capturing which was nice for me as a result of then I knew how nonetheless David was and little or no you get from him within the first couple of episodes. So it meant that on the finish of the shoot I received the prospect to return and attempt to get some humanity into him within the opening sequence as a result of I knew after these 20 minutes he shuts down quite a bit and also you don’t get to see rather a lot of who he’s. So typically this stuff work in our favor.

That’s only one of many scenes the place it will get very intense and darkish for David in a short time. How do you get out of that mindset after a shoot like that?
It does stick with you. I’m not a way actor in any approach however in the event you spend 12 hours a day in another person’s garments, considering another person’s ideas, talking another person’s phrases…

And coated in blood…
And coated in blood! It does type of filter into you and it’s actually exhausting to shake off and it’s one of these issues I’m not excellent at. You’ve acquired to type of keep in that psychological place throughout capturing to attempt to get the strain and maintain the strain within the scene. So it actually takes ending the job and taking a month or two to attempt to get again to your self somewhat bit, since you sort of neglect that if you’re focusing on the character. It’s not a comedy, you realize what I imply?

From social media, it appeared like working with Keeley Hawes helped maintain issues mild on set?
Yeah, it did. As a result of it’s so critical on a regular basis you find yourself looking for moments to have a giggle and convey some pleasure into the day as a result of the remaining of it may be so heavy. Fortunately, Keeley and I might simply act like a pair of youngsters and be foolish collectively. I used to be glad to have her with me. I didn’t know Keeley in any respect earlier than, so on the primary day we sort of tried to determine what sort of present we have been on, what we have been making an attempt to make collectively; it was actually thrilling.

She’s so nice on the present, as are all of the robust feminine characters. I actually beloved Sophie Rundle’s efficiency as your spouse, Vicky. She’s type of quietly decided and finally ends up being so integral within the final episode. How have been these scenes?
I liked these scenes. A lot of the time you solely get to see one aspect of David and you then get to see an entire different model of him that’s in all probability closest to his most real self when he’s with Vicky. With little or no display time, we needed to set up a really lengthy historical past between these two. I’ve far more time on display with Keeley than I do with Sophie and that relationship is a for much longer, deeper one which we have to attempt to set up. She needed to be very on the ball and on level to realize that.

What was the prep wish to play a personality like this, bodily and in any other case? 
The factor about people who find themselves on this sort of place is, they don’t need to speak about it, so it was a bit harder nevertheless it additionally allowed me to get artistic with Jed and work out what we might do with David. That’s the great factor with Jed being on set with us all day, you’ll be able to actually simply flip round and ask him, you realize, “What do you think about this?” after which we will make that call collectively. I needed to be actually match as a result of of the character of capturing and the hours we have been capturing: 15 hours a day within the chilly of London throughout winter. It was simply bodily exhausting. We had a army advisor who taught me the best way to maintain a gun, learn how to verify a room, and educating me precisely how I’d get in a automotive if I used to be this sort of safety officer and all of the little belongings you’d do. It was simply these little particulars that we’d attempt to copy to make it trustworthy.

Did your neck get drained wanting forwards and backwards so many occasions in each scene?
[Laughs] Yeah, tons of eye appearing.

Does that carry over into actual life afterward? Are you, like, nonetheless scanning rooms you stroll into?
Not as a lot as I assumed I might, truly. I feel I did a lot of it, it was simply fairly good to be a passenger once more. I don’t have to be that paranoid.

You additionally acquired to maintain your personal accent. Was that your selection? 
That was a choice I made. I feel as a result of he’s such a tough character to get into, the Scottish accent actually helps in phrases of totally different sorts of tones and feelings I can put in that quick tracks the viewers into connecting with me. He’s a person of few phrases to start with and I needed to maintain him Scottish; I very not often get to make use of my very own accent and I assumed right here’s an opportunity to attempt to get it in and other people can nonetheless perceive me. Why not use it? It’s one much less factor to consider.

The response within the U.Okay. has been big. Each textual content group I’m in with British household and buddies would simply blow up each Sunday night time. Has that been actually nice to be an element of that weekly dialog?
It was actually thrilling! Game Of Thrones is the final time I had these weekly episodes the place everybody simply waits collectively. It’s humorous, often with Game Of Thrones individuals say “Tell me what’s going to happen next!” and with Bodyguard individuals say “Don’t tell me!” and get excited to attend every week and discover out the subsequent bit of the story. I favored that. We have been half of this nice second the place everybody was capable of speak about one thing through the week and it was a shared factor. It’ll be barely totally different when it goes to Netflix, however hopefully, individuals are going to have the ability to binge it and speak about it with one another simply the identical.

Would you need there to be a second season? Half of me needs poor David Budd simply to be left alone now.
Might we put him via extra? How would we put him by way of extra? I’d need to have these chats with Jed. [David’s] had a reasonably robust couple of months. He’s an interesting character and also you by no means know what Jed’s going to write down… However how can we get Keeley again?

Precisely! I really like how daring a transfer that was to only kill her off three episodes in!
For actual! I beloved that, yeah let’s simply kill her. We have been like “Whaaaat?” They’re identical to, she’s not coming again, that’s it. She’s lifeless.

It sounds horrible to say I’m glad she was lifeless, however I might’ve hated it in the event that they’d introduced her again as a twist on the finish.
That may’ve sucked. That might’ve completely sucked!

If David Budd had been Robb Stark’s bodyguard, would he have survived the Pink Wedding ceremony?
Ehhh, I don’t know. I imply David does appear to be a bit of a s—t bodyguard, doesn’t he? The Residence Secretary did die. So, I don’t know if he would’ve been any good for Robb Stark. However perhaps?

Robb was just about doomed, however would any of the talents you discovered on Bodyguard make it easier to to play one other comparable character, say, James Bond?
I’m very flattered that my identify’s even been talked about in that dialog, however that’s not one thing that I do know something about in the intervening time. It’s simply very flattering.

Properly should you do get to play Bond, I hope you retain your Scottish accent.
[Laughs] Thanks.

Bodyguard is out there to stream now on Netflix.