Richard Madden Is Happy To Take On Roles That Are Unlike Game Of Thrones' Robb Stark

Game of Thrones Robb Stark Richard Madden HBO
(Image credit: HBO)

Richard Madden is ready to change the game when it comes to his acting roles. As in: moving away from royal-centric characters like Robb Stark in Game of Thrones. Explaining the change of pace, Madden said:

I look back at my career so far and I'm like, OK, I've played many incarnations of Romeo in different ways, shapes and forms. And I've played the sons a lot, kings and princes and that kind of thing. And that's been brilliant, but I'm very much going to make a conscious effort now to --- I've done those roles. I've literally played Romeo twice. I've gone from Bodyguard being what it is to I'm singing and dancing in Rocketman. I'm happy to play around and do different things, but I'm happy to not be the young prince anymore.

Like many actors before him, Richard Madden is ready to take on a new host of roles than the ones he's been somewhat stereotyped as. Based on what he told WWD, Madden is a little "princed-out." With him having played a young royal on Game of Thrones and Disney's live-action Cinderella, among others, that is an understandable viewpoint.

Playing Romeo is one of those acting hallmarks that many younger thespians tackle during their time in the craft. Richard Madden is astute to point out how many Romeo-esque characters he has played during his career, specially portraying the Shakespearean lover for Kenneth Branagh's stage production. He certainly portrayed a version of Romeo with Robb Stark on Game of Thrones, too.

Like Romeo, it was a forbidden love that brought about Robb's end. He went back on his betrothal to a daughter of House Frey in order to marry the woman he truly loved, which changed everything. His actions set off the chain of events that would become one of the series' darkest chapters -- The Red Wedding.

House Stark has managed to recover in the wake of its most promising one-time leader's demise. Robb's Romeo-style decision almost spelled their ultimate doom, so from a fictional perspective, I get why the actor might not want to be responsible for such horrifying TV moments.

In the entire scheme of things, Richard Madden ended up playing Robb Stark for three seasons, longer than he'd stuck with many of his other princely roles. That gave him a chance to move on relatively quickly after the show caught on as a pop culture phenomenon. He'd recently opened up about the significant upside to playing the ill-fated character, too.

Considering the popularity of Robb Stark, it would make sense if Richard Madden grew content with taking on the same kinds of roles in various iterations. Of course, that evolutionary desire makes that hard for actors to stick with similar characters for the long run.

Thankfully for Richard Madden, 2018 opened the door to a major non-Robb Stark role. He took a seismic step in his non-young-prince transition with the hugely popular UK thriller Bodyguard. The actor got nominated for a Golden Globe for his critically-acclaimed performance in the show, which made its way to the U.S. via Netflix.

As for playing young royals, time will tell if Richard Madden leaves those roles behind completely. Since his departure from Game of Thrones, he has switched things up when it comes to picking and choosing the roles he plays.

In the excellent Netflix series Medici: Masters of Florence, he did play a prince type of character as Cosimo. But the variation there was that unlike Robb Stark, Cosimo was also portrayed in the later years of his life, adding depth to the performance. It is a difference that offered Madden the chance to try something new in the form of something familiar.

Find out if Richard Madden takes home the Golden Globe for Bodyguard when the award show airs on Sunday, January 6, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. As for Game of Thrones, it is among the many shows set to return during the midseason. The epic series' eighth and final season will premiere in April 2019 on HBO.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.