I was invited on an expenses paid trip to LA by Disney to cover the #CinderellaEvent in exchange for my posts of the trip experiences. As always, all opinions are my own.
What do you say to Prince Charming? The real live amazing Prince Charming? You clap when he walks in of course. I know a lot of ladies were on the edge of their seats when he came in. It helps that he is also Robb Stark and my husband loves him. I have never watched nor read GoT so I cared much more about the fact that he brought the original ‘man of your dreams' to life in Cinderella as Prince Charming.
Question: So how did you get involved in the process of playing a Prince?
Richard Madden: I wanted to make him different. And 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fashioned view I think of you know a woman needing a man to come and rescue her from a terrible life and that’s kind of outdated enough.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. You've got a young man with all of his own problems and a young woman with hers and 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, 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.
And young girls should definitely see that men and women both should strive to be the best for their partner. No gender roles needed. I love how candid he is about that. He wanted to be a man that was worthy of her affections and he succeeded.
Q: You have had many roles lately and went from a King to a minor to a Prince. How did you prepare for being Prince?
Richard Madden: I don't know because 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. 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 knowing in his heart that that’s right.
There’s not a lot of parallels after that between them. They're both kind of very different men and I mean it’s nice to play a character where someone’s not trying to kill you or your whole family all the time.
Both men trying to figure out what to do after their fathers were taken from them. Both men maybe disagreed with their fathers in the beginning but begin to see where they were coming from when they are thrust into their roles. I have never seen GoT but I know he played his part well.
Question: What was your favorite scene?
Richard Madden: 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 it’s just like you know that was our first day on set. That was the first day of shooting. That was the first time with Lily.
I think this is funny since Lily said in her interview that she had to take lessons to even be able to ride. He seems like the type to like the outdoors and fresh air. They do this little dance with the horse like they are sizing each other up and he talked about it and said it was fun trying to control “two huge beasts and their feelings during the dance.” He told us his male friends made fun of him for being in this slightly unmanly type role until they actually saw the movie and then they clapped him on the back. Also, randomly I think Richard Madden has the best accent.
Question: How hard was it to learn the dance routine?
Richard Madden: It was miserable. 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 so that. I mean there was 2 months before they let me near Lily’s dress and 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.
He did amazing in that scene and we asked almost everyone we interviewed about it. It was a very hard scene to shoot because Lily's dress kept ripping and there were other wardrobe malfunctions as well. Richard Madden looked great in his ballroom outfit and he wore it well. His smile lit up the ballroom scene almost as much as Lily's dress.
Richard Madden: Yeah the scene with Derek playing the King. That was a very emotional day but a really good one. I love, I love working with Derek. And that was kind of a really moving scene. He plays it so beautifully it was hard not to get caught up in that.
(on being curled up in the fetal position next to the King as he is dying and that being similar to when Cinderella lost her own parent) Yeah it was directed that way, but I think it was important I think how we see these two characters. You know 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.
And they really wanted to kind of you know get that relationship going. I really wanted to have a sense of humor to this Prince. And, and Derek plays the King so well with that kind of sense of humor. I wanted the Prince to have that and, and for them to kind of be influenced by each other.
Oh my goodness. I doubt there was a dry eye in the theater. I cried and then cried again later thinking about it. Derek Jacobi played the King very well and you are left with a sense that he knows that his son can take over and he is so proud. The scene of his death is one of the saddest things I have seen this year. And as I mentioned in my review of Cinderella, I had no idea the King would die. I knew Cinderella was going to lose her parents but in the original animated movie the King lives. He loses his father and his King at the same time and you could feel the emotions rolling off him. Even when Richard Madden was recalling it in the interview you could tell it was an emotional scene for him.
Richard Madden was great to interview. I think Kenneth Branagh made the best choice by tapping him to play Prince Charming. His eyes are just as beautiful in person and he is very down to earth. He took a photo with us before he left and he was still laughing and joking around as we took it.
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