Oh Richard Madden how I love thee….wait wrong sotry. This isn’t my love poem it’s about the interview. So, anyways Richard Madden. Let’s talk about him for a second. I fell for him as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones and was devastated at his “Red Wedding”, but I’m happy to say In THIS film it does have a Happy Ending. Back to Richard….there is just something about him. A Combination of his blue eyes looking at you, and his accent that just makes you forget your question for a moment.
You will love his new take on the Prince. Someone who is not just a placeholder, but an actual regular guy. Even if he is a Prince, but let’s gt to the interview before I keep rambling on:
Q: (Talk About) the process of playing a Prince?
RM: I wanted to make him different. (In the) animation you only see him in 2 or 3 scenes. Also, in the original animation there’s this kind of old fashioned view I think of a woman needing a man to come and rescue her from a terrible life and that’s kind of outdated enough.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 and 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 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.
Q: How hard was it to learn the dance routine?
RM: It was miserable. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] I’m not a naturally gifted dancer. 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.
Q: Were there any scenes that made you cry?
RM: Yeah the scene with Derek playing the King. That was a very emotional day, but a really good one. I love working with Derek. (He) was kind of an icon to me. That was kind of a really moving scene. He plays it so beautifully. It was hard not to get caught up in that.
Q : (You are more of a) polished Prince Charming. Like the icon of all Princes. How did you prepare for that?
RM: There is 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. 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 knowing in his heart that that’s right.
Q: What did you learn about yourself by playing this role?
RM : I mean I played characters like Robb Stark star and like the Prince. They have such strong moral compasses. You know they’re really good people. It’s refreshing and it kinda’ reminds me how to be sometimes because you know you’re playing these people and, and they have really good hearts. It’s like you know better now that you’ve played someone like that.
Especially with like Lily. 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. That genuineness…she does it like kill everything with kindness and she’s genuine and loving and, and caring. 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, let’s be as nice as we can.”
Q: We talked a lot about Cinderella’s outfits during the movie, but yours were also pretty interesting and, and intricate in many ways. What was your thought process when you were first introduced to some of the outfits you had to wear?
RM: Yeah they’re lots of leggings. I love Sandy Powell who designed these amazing costumes. When I first met with her I was really keen to make sure that the Prince retained a, 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. That’s what she wanted too and you know they are beautiful and detailed and, and gorgeous, but also they’re all rigid in practicality. All of them. I mean the boots 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.
When I first saw the ballroom outfit and I walk in and it’s like white with silver and sequins and glitter. I’m like, “Sandy we talked about the masculinity.” [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] We agreed on something and that’s just not it. Actually once you put it on it does make me feel regal. You put them into those sets with all the other characters and it doesn’t feel out of place.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 kinda’ get on the set and suddenly it feels completely natural. It’s actually empowering.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out you got the role as the Prince?
RM: I was kind of just overwhelmed. I was in Canada shooting a mini-series and I just got a text from my Agency before. It was Branagh who’d called to text me to play the part. I was just overwhelmed and really excited and then just really terrified after that of like, “Oh God everyone’s gonna’ be like he’s wrong casting and how am I gonna’ do it? And this– and that’s not my idea of a Prince.
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, with Branagh guiding me. There’s no one better to kind of take me through that then him. He is like– a lot of my Prince is based on, on Kenneth Branagh ‘cause he is like a true gentleman.
Q: How did you like working with Kenneth Branagh?
RM: 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 and in acting and also just in like how to conduct yourself as an Actor[ as well. Ken’s just amazing because the same amount of detail was put in something like this as it would be into something like MacBeth.
Q: How does it feel to be a role model for young men?
RM : 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 watch these films and say that. I think that’s just where you first deal with death, and love, and good and bad, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this Prince. As I said at the start, that’s not that old fashioned view of you know a girl needing a guy. 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.
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***Disclosure: I attended #CinderellaEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***