As a young king recently galvanized in the wake of his father’s brutal execution, Game of Thrones’ Robb Stark has a future before him more daunting than most men can imagine. But Richard Madden, the 26-year old Scottish actor who portrays Stark, feels the young hero—perhaps the series’ purest-hearted swashbuckler—will triumph, guided as he is by his honesty and sense of duty, qualities the actor himself tries to live by. And if all goodness fails, let’s be fashionable anyway, cracks the 26-year-old actor. Though the fur he dons on Game of Thrones is decidedly outré today, Madden himself was recently named Most Stylish Male by Scottish Style Awards.

Learn Madden’s secrets for fighting off fame with humility—and fine-tuning your fashion sense from regal to relaxed.

After his father’s shocking beheading, Robb Stark has his work cut out for him this season, doesn’t he?

Robb’s got a lot to do in terms of dealing with what’s just happened and the state of the kingdom. There’s a lot up in the air and Robb’s pitching forward and taking on the responsibilities of his father. Now, more than ever, he’s got to lead and do what his father would do. He’s got a lot on his shoulders this season.

Robb is clear in his bravery and heroism. What are some keys to being a brave and heroic man today?

One of the things that drew me to the character, and one of the things that I try to live by as a person, is honesty. Robb is a very honest character. He takes his time to make his decisions and he follows his heart a lot of the time—which can be really fantastic for him with huge payoffs, and other times, it can be a distraction for him, or even destruction. The lines he must draw sometimes are drawn in blood, but he does everything with honesty and courage and integrity. He acts of duty. Goodness is often bigger than any one of us, and he sees that. He sees that sacrifice is sometimes a part of justice, of goodness. I try to live that like that. I try to live honestly in every aspect of my life, which can make things a bit more complicated, right? I like to get on with things.

You’ve been acting since childhood, but things have really exploded the past two years. How do you stay humble in the wake of all this success?

When I was younger, I did a TV show in the UK for a couple years, and I learned a lot from that. It taught me a lot about being known amongst your peers and having to deal with a lot of derision from them. It’s not easy being known as “the kid from the TV show.” Not in school it’s not. So even today, I try to stay in the trenches and just do the work. It’s nice to have recognition for doing a good job, but at the end of the day, I’m just an actor and I’m doing my job and I’m always trying to get better at doing that job. I suppose that’s like anyone doing any job. You want to keep getting better. That’s bigger than any successes I might have in the moment.

Nevertheless, here we are asking you for style tips. According to the Scottish Style Awards, you are the most Stylish Male.

(Laughs) I was told I’d been nominated for that award, up against guys like Gerard Butler and Alan Cumming and a couple other people, and I thought it was quite a laugh. I sent my mom and dad to the awards ceremony. I was filming in Ireland, and I thought my folks would go out and have a good night—drinks and dinner and fancy dress. I thought they’d have fun. So they went, and I was out that night at pub in Ireland with a couple of friends after shooting wrapped, and I got the call saying, “You won it!” My dad had to go up and collect the award and give a speech for me. Earlier that day, my dad called me and said, “What do I say if you win?” I said, “Dad, I’m not going to win. Just go have a good night with mom. Forget about it.”

For many fathers, a beheading would have been a kinder fate.

I think you’re right! But I tell you, my dad looked great that night—the Most Stylish Male’s father looked very good. (Laughs)

So what are the keys to being the Most Stylish Male?

I’m in heavy furs and armor all day long at work, so I don’t really think about dressing myself too much. I’m in a t-shirt and boxer shorts and I change when I remember to wash the other ones. (Laughs) When I’m not working, I like to be comfortable. I do like to dress smart, but comfort is important. Those furs are really heavy.

Interviews From 2012

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