Known for his Game of Thrones character Robb Stark, Richard Madden was no stranger in carrying a heavy role. Stepping into the life of David Budd in BBC’s Bodyguard, Madden plays a British Army war veteran who suffers from PTSD. After leaving the army, Budd found work as a principal protection officer for Britain’s Home Secretary in London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter‘s Drama Actor Roundtable, Madden talked about the reality of PTSD.
PTSD “is something that people live with everyday,” Madden said. “It can be a really trickling level of anxiety you constantly live with, or paranoia, or panic attacks.” Madden had “to humanize [PTSD] within someone who is in complete denial about it.”
Playing a character with PTSD surely left Madden with some effects.
“It weighed very heavy on me,” Madden told the roundtable. “You spend more time in someone else’s clothes, saying someone else’s words, thinking someone else’s thoughts. You do lose a bit of yourself.”
“I’m not a method actor in any way, but you get a huge hangover from this,” he continued. “At the end of this I felt very isolated and broken, much like the character was.”
Madden’s role as David Budd earned him his first Golden Globe nomination, and shortly after, his first win.
“You constantly question yourself as an actor if you’re good enough, if you’re real enough, if you’re deserving of anything and that’s a constant thing … questioning your ability,” said Madden. “To even be nominated was a real confidence booster in terms of, ‘I can do this.’ And then I won it. I’m kind of blown away by it. I’ve been an actor for 20 years and been thinking ‘you’re not good enough’ … to receive something like this, it was a wake up call to believe in yourself because other people do.”
The full roundtable with Richard Madden, Hugh Grant, Diego Luna, Sam Rockwell, Stephan James, and Billy Porter will air on July 14 on SundanceTV.