Words by Mr Jeremy Langmead
Mr Richard Madden is beginning to get recognised quite a lot. At a private party in Claridge's hotel, London, a fortnight ago, I watched a 50-year-old man ask if he could photograph Mr Madden and his Game of Thrones co-star Mr Kit Harington, for his "14-year-old niece; she's a big fan of the show". As if. That photograph was obviously taken for his own pleasure: the gentleman couldn't hide his delight that there he was, next to a giant Christmas tree in Mayfair, with the show's two young lead characters, Robb Stark and Jon Snow.
Game of Thrones - a cross between Middle Earth and The Sopranos if you've been hidden in a bunker for the past two years - is massive. The cult novels by Mr George RR Martin have been dramatised by HBO with no expense spared on gore, full-on arse-banging sex and eye-popping locations. And this has given Mr Madden, who has been critically acclaimed for his theatre roles in London's West End (including Be Near Me with Mr Ian McDiarmid) and the BBC TV dramas Worried About the Boy and Birdsong, a whole new level of fame.
Mr Madden is one of those people who comes alive in front of a camera or at a party - both seem to energise him
And 2013 looks as if it's going to be even bigger. The 26-year-old Scot, who has just finished filming a movie with Ms Rebecca Hall and Mr Alan Rickman, and is about to embark on another secret project this month, can barely contain his excitement. Talented, handsome and with absurd levels of energy, he's in New York - where the MR PORTER photoshoot takes place - for a few days holiday to catch up with his girlfriend, Ms Jenna-Louise Coleman. Ms Coleman, who he has been dating for more than a year, is in town to promote Doctor Who, the popular British sci-fi show. On Christmas Day, she made her debut as the Doctor's new assistant; a role that will transform her almost overnight into a national treasure. This year is going to be an eventful one for them both.
GAME OF THRONES
Mr Madden in the second series of the acclaimed HBO television fantasy drama
Mr Madden as Captain Michael Weir in the 2012 two-part BBC series set against WWI
Mr Madden poses for pictures at the awards ceremony, Los Angeles, 2012
However, before the craziness truly kicks in, Mr Madden is enjoying New York. Shopping is high up on his agenda - burnished suede Chelsea boots from Prada, a cashmere peacoat from J.Crew - as are cocktails. Mr Madden likes cocktails; in fact, Mr Madden likes anything that takes place at night. He's one of those people who comes alive in front of a camera or at a party - both seem to energise him. At a small soiree MR PORTER throws in the Empire Suite of the Standard High Line hotel the day after the photoshoot, Mr Madden eases into the role of unofficial co-host; he greets the guests, plies them with Martinis and conversation, and relishes every moment of it: his eyes darting around for mischief and merriment. Despite a jetlagged host (me) and the fact that it's only a Tuesday night, the party finishes at around 4.30am. At 6pm the following evening, as I'm beginning to wilt at my desk, Mr Madden, despite two castings and a meeting with his US agent, is texting from the bar at the Bowery Hotel suggesting a Ketel One and soda might be just what I need. It turns out he's right.