Bodyguard's Richard Madden Talks Unrealistic Body Expectations For Actors Doing Nude Scenes

Bodyguard Richard Madden David Budd Netflix BBC
(Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian / World Productions / Netflix)

Richard Madden has shared his thoughts on the expectations surrounding actors’ bodies as they get put on display in nude scenes. No stranger to doing those kind of scenes, the Bodyguard star has weighed in. He opened up on the atmosphere surrounding how male actors are supposed to appear in them.

It turns out that he has strong feelings about it. Richard Madden reveals what he thinks about what it projects, as well as sharing the regimen that he and his fellow male stars have undergone to look a certain way. As you might have already imagined, the pressure to present with a physical form can be intense. Madden told Vogue UK:

We’re projecting a very unrealistic body image. I find myself with actor friends – after we’ve done a kind of barely eating, working-out-twice-a-day, no-carbing thing for these scenes – looking at each other going: ‘We’re just feeding this same shit that we’re against.' I’ve done numerous jobs where you’re told to lose weight and get to the gym. It doesn’t just happen to women, it happens to men all the time as well.

There you have it. Richard Madden also revealed to the magazine that he has had his skin pinched, as well as being made to wear restrictive costumes to create a certain aesthetic. He reportedly likened those wardrobe pieces to a corset. That disclosure indicates the pressure exists

Richard Madden discussing having to wear a specific costume is revealing in that it exists whether an actor’s clothes are on and off. This is not a pressure about shirtless scenes or those of a similar variety. In other words, this not just about having a 6-pack.

The Bodyguard star joins an increasing number of male actors who are giving voice to pressure men face in the entertainment industry. Last year, The Flash’s Grant Gustin fired back against those who had criticized his physique in his costume. Shazam lead Zachary Levi also hit out against body shamers in the lead up to the Marvel film’s release.

The pressure on male actors to appear in a particular shape is getting a greater spotlight. Whatever shape he is in, Richard Madden is an exceptional actor. Thankfully for Madden, buzz around Bodyguard has involved more than talk solely revolving around his body.

Whether Bodyguard will return for a second season is still open-ended. Earlier this year, Richard Madden asserted that his character, David Budd, needed a break. He cited all Budd had endured in Season 1. Madden did seem open to the possibility of continuing the series. Time will tell if a second season ends up coming together.

In the meantime, it does not sound like Richard Madden wants to stress out regarding his physique. As Madden's comments reveal, stress to conform to body expectations is something that leads to actors undertaking unhealthy habits. You do not get in good physical shape depriving yourself of food and overly working out.

Bodyguard is currently streaming on Netflix.

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.