Richard Madden Cinderella Interview | No Throne Games Here #CinderellaEvent. Post sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own.Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com
Richard Madden Cinderella Interview | No Throne Games Here
Go ahead and stare. I will wait. Thick Irish accent. Gorgeous eyes. And the mantra “I am a professional. I am a professional.”
An interview with THE prince of Disney’s Cinderella movie is definitely a dream come true. Richard Madden, known for his role in Game of Thrones, has taken on the latest Disney prince role in the all-new Cinderella movie. So what does this young and vibrant actor have on the 1950s classic prince role? Richard Madden has A LOT to say about that, landing his first starring movie debut, wardrobe insecurities, and burping.
Let’s get lost in those baby blues, and dive into a royal interview with Cinderella’s Prince.
What was your initial reaction when you found out you got the role as the Prince?
“I was kind of just overwhelmed. I was in Canada shooting a mini-series. It was Branagh who’d called to text me to play the part. And I was like just overwhelmed and really excited and then just really terrified after that like, “Oh God everyone’s gonna’ be like he’s wrong casting and how am I gonna’ do it? And that’s not my idea of a Prince.”
And, and so all the feat of that, but like I just went back to the original animation and when actually somebody got 2 or 3 scenes we don’t get to know his name. I can build a character from scratch and I can do that with Branagh guiding me. There’s no one better to kind of take me through that then him that than him. A lot of my Prince is based on Kenneth Branagh ‘cause he is like a true gentleman.”
Can you believe he just had to audition ONCE? That’s it.Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com
Building the Prince Role
You could tell that Richard Madden was very much in tune with his Prince role and making sure that he did NOT fit the prince stereotype.
“I wanted to make him different. And there in the animation you only see him in 2 or 3 scenes. And also in the original animation there’s this kind of old fashioned view I think of you know a woman needing a man to come and rescue her from a terrible life and that’s kind of outdated enough. Not a message I think we should be telling young girls. In this version it’s not that, which is great. You’ve got a young man with all of his own problems and a young woman with hers and actually, they bring the best out of each other.
I had chats with Ken at the start and it was important how we see these two characters. I think first and foremost, Cinderella’s a daughter and the Prince is a son and they’re so influenced by their parents. And I think that’s how we get to know them and get to know their personalities and what they’re like. I think she rescues him as much as he rescues her and that’s why I was really interested in this version. We got to kind of see this real young man character and most importantly you know Cinderella’s this wonderful amazing woman that I wanted to make a man that was worthy of her affections.”
You’ve gone from a King, to a minor, to a Prince. Was this was a little bit of a softer role for you from what you’re used to? How did you prepare for that?
“There are parallels between them, I think. Robb Stark and the Prince. They’re both young men that have responsibilities on them that they’ve not asked for and, and they’re both young men that follow their hearts instead of their heads. You know that’s– you know that Robb Stark does that in The Game Of Thrones and you know both of them are young men trying to kind of come into their own.
That’s what was so important about this was you know that young man questioning what’s going on around him and questioning his father and actually being influenced by this other woman that’s come in with different ideas and, and knowing in his heart that that’s right. But there’s not a lot of parallels after that between them. They’re both kind of very different men, and it’s nice to play a character where someone’s trying to kill you or your whole family all the time.”
What was your favorite scene?
“The first scene that I show up with Lily, which is us on horseback when we first meet in the woods. I like being outside and being on a horse. It’s more fun than being in the studio most of the time. But that was our first day on set. That was the first day of shooting. That was the first time with Lily. So you kind of have all of that going on on top of us kind of trying to play that scene. And I love what Ken wanted to do [with] these 2 huge beasts. They were both trying to control their feelings and this kind of dance that they do on the horses.”
How hard was it to learn the dance routine?
I feel for whoever the dance choreographer was for Richard. Must have had LOTS of patience!
“It was miserable. I’m not a naturally gifted dancer. So I had to kind of train for like 2 or 3 months to like 3 or 4 times a week to get myself up to scratch. I mean there was 2 months before they let me near Lily’s dress because I would just destroy it. I went through like 2 practice dresses that looked like a bunch of cats have destroyed them. I think the Prince would enjoy dancing. So I wanted to make it look as if he was enjoying it and also that I could just act with Lily and not be thinking about what I’m doing with my feet.”
Richard Madden was quick to point a finger at Lily James and her burping antics during shooting. He retells the Disney Princess at her finest hour.
“Lily used to burp just all the time. She’s got this corset on and she can’t really eat anything and especially when she was kind of first getting used to it. And she’s kind of over eager and like to eat a sandwich or something and it would like– we shot them filming for like an hour because she’d be fine…she’d be fine. And then the food can only go so far and of course it actually means nothing else can go through. And then you could just see her face like tears welling up and her like burping and be like “please get the corset off now!” But you know the funny bit was the girls that had to go to the bathroom. There were lots of potties on set.”
Building Chemistry with Lily James
“You know you have to be really close with someone. You’re gonna’ build a relationship up and you know you spend most of the day being in love with someone. You spend more time being in love with them than not being in love with them. And what’s good about me and Lily is you know we’re really good friends. I still see her like on a weekly basis.
And we were both in the same situation, you know. This is like our first big movie and we’re kind of terrified and it’s big characters that lots of people have owned before us. So we wanted to play them right. So then we kind of just cling to each other like that. That kind of helped our chemistry.”
And hopefully a lifelong friendship!
Leggings, lots of them!
“They’re lots of leggings. It was a really good actually. I love Sandy Powell who designed these amazing costumes. And when I first met with her, I was really keen to make sure that the Prince retained a masculinity with these costumes ‘cause a lot of times in these Disney films they would not be very masculine, and they’re really decadent and extravagant, but actually Sandy who we talked about it.
She– that’s what she wanted too and you know they are beautiful and detailed and gorgeous, but also they’re all rigid in practicality. All of them. I mean the boots [that] I’m wearing are great for riding. You know the tight pants have a stretch in them, which is great for being on a horse. You know the jacket set– that first jacket I wear sets in a way that’s perfect for being on a horse and how it comes down. So they’re rooted in a practicality.
I mean when I first saw my ballroom outfit and I walk in and it’s like white with silver and sequins and glitter. And I’m like, “Sandy we talked about the masculinity.” We agreed on something and that’s just not it. But actually once you put it on it does make me feel regal. And you know you put them into those sets and with all the other characters and it doesn’t feel out of place. You know when you’re in a little studio room you know trying on these costumes you’re like, “How am I gonna’ pull this off?” And then you kind of get on the set and suddenly it feels completely natural. It’s actually empowering.”
Did you have any issues with wardrobe malfunctions?
You had to be there for the hand charades that were happening at the same time as this answer 🙂
“Yeah [but] just a lot of self-consciousness, you know. You’re in those trousers and you’re like kind of skirting the wall because if you really exposed you wanna’ to cover your butt up and then– Oh I know! And turn the other way and cover that up, but you get used to it eventually.”
How did you like working with Kenneth Branagh?
“I loved it. Everyday it’s like you’re on set with Kenneth Branagh, and Cate Blanchett, and Stellan Skarsgârd, and Helen Bonham Carter. It’s like kind of a master class in acting and also just in like how to conduct yourself as an Actor as well. But Ken’s just amazing because the same amount of detail was put in something like this as it would be into something like MacBeth.
And that’s great because it just gives you so much ammunition so I can into these scenes with Derek and we can improvise. And we can really play because you’ve got so much going on. Ken really kind of inspires you. And that’s why you know it brings out the best in me, and that’s why we’re working together again in 2016 because we enjoyed working together.”
If there were a blooper reel, what would be the one that would be the highlight?
“I mean that first scene is quite a lot. If you see the B-Roll stuff there’s like marks on the ground that you’re supposed to have on the horses hooves. I mean it’s hard enough just getting the horse to run a straight line sometimes. So and like this endless footage where there’s just nothing, and you’re kind of coming in and out of the shot on the horse trying to get it right.”
I hope they put they put these scenes on the DVD blooper reel!
What do you think your fandom’s translation is going to be of the movie?
“I hope so. I think it’ll be tough. It’s not gonna’ be easy because you know there’s not a lot of kind of like guys are gonna’ go to cinema and be like–Yeah should I go and see the action movie or Cinderella? You know there’s not gonna’ be a lot of people that are gonna’ wanna’ do that.
But I got this part and my friends made fun of me and laughed about it for a long time. And then I brought them out to Berlin to the screening of Cinderella, and these are full grown men. And they come out at the end of the film with grins ear to ear and puffy eyes from crying. I was like, ‘Got you back. There you go.’ So, I really do think it can work for everyone. I really genuinely do think there’s something in it for everyone. Hopefully everyone can enjoy it.”Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com
What did you learn about yourself by playing this role?
Points for even being able to sputter my question out! I stuttered and blubbered and was definitely nervous when those eyes came my direction!
“I played characters like Robb Stark star and like the Prince. They have such strong moral compasses. You know they’re really good people and it’s refreshing and it kind of reminds me how to be sometimes because you know you’re playing these people, and they have really good hearts. So you know it’s like you know better now that you’ve played someone like that.
And especially with like Lily and you know her– she had such a job on this you know. She had the weight of the movie on her shoulders and she’s a young Actress and it’s a massive piece. And that genuineness you couldn’t [INAUDIBLE] because she does it like kill everything with kindness and she’s genuine and loving and caring. And that’s kind of something that you try and take away from the film every day. You kind of go, ‘You know let’s find the best in this situation and let’s be as nice as we can.'”
How does it feel to be a role model for young men?
“Well the Prince is the role model, not me. But that was important. I grew up with these Disney films and I have 2 sisters. So we– they watch these films and say that. And I think that’s just where you first deal with first thing came to death, and love, and good and bad, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this Prince. Was, was make someone, as I said at the start, that’s not that old fashioned view of you know a girl needing a guy.
And I think I wanted to try and make a Prince that young men would have to look up to that– a Prince that you know has a built in respect for women and a compassion to the people around him, an awareness of his privilege. And so if there’s little boys that grow up and are inspired by [that], then I’ll be really honored by it.”
For the modern day woman who’s dating today, what would you tell them a Prince Charming is?
“I think he’s got to have a sense of humor. He’s got to be a gentleman, and he’s got to have a compassion, an awareness of everyone around him and particularly her, obviously.”Photo Credit: Disney
To think that I have now met a “prince” in my lifetime, it’s pretty amazing. And then to learn that Richard Madden is down-to-earth and really passionate about building this Prince to be so much more than the 1950s version, that made this interview all the more worthwhile. While he captivated me at first with his eyes, Richard Madden is so much more than a pretty face. I loved learning so much more about the man behind The Prince.
It’s been an amazing ride. To have my own Cinderella experience in line with this movie, I’m so thankful. Have you been following along my #CinderellaEvent journey? Check out my own Cinderella Moments at the JCPenney Glam Ball and My First Red Carpet Experience. Stay tuned for the last of my amazing Disney Cinderella interviews with Costume Designer Sandy Powell this Wednesday.
- Check out my exclusive Cate Blanchett interview (Lady Tremaine) as we discuss what makes a Wicked Stepmother.
- Check out my exclusive Lily James interview (Cinderella) as we find out what makes a Disney Princess come to life.
- Check out my exclusive Frozen Fever interview as we get a behind the scenes peek with Directors Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee.
- Check out my exclusive Director Kenneth Branagh interview as we go deeper into the story and making of Cinderella.
- Read my full Cinderella Movie Review, including whether I think this movie is safe for your kids.
Cinderella is playing in theaters now! Are you planning on checking out the latest Disney prince in action?
Disclosure ~ I received a free Disney media trip in exchange for this posting. All opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Saving Said Simply via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,