A month ago, Richard Madden was beloved by Game of Thrones stars, but little-known beyond Westeros. Now, however, he's joined the ranks of Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston as a favourite to play James Bond thanks to his scene-stealing performance as David Budd in BBC One's The Bodyguard.
As the psychologically scarred Helmand veteran-turned-protection officer, Madden has kept the nation gripped and even inspired suggestion that the actor would make a good candidate to fill Daniel Craig's boots as the next 007.
Usually the Scottish accent sounds cringy on tv but Richard Madden's accent is just beautiful �� I'm Scottish, live in Scotland and never has the accent sounded so nice ���� think he'd make a good James Bond �� #TheBodyguard#RichardMadden— TC (@Tarzanc1) September 2, 2018
Presumably there's good odds on Richard Madden being the next Bond. He'd be good. #Bodyguard— Otto English (@Otto_English) September 23, 2018
Brilliant. Richard Madden as the new James Bond?!— Victoria Halford (@vikflortil) September 23, 2018
After last nights amazing last episode of the Bodyguard, rumour has it that Richard Madden who played Robb Stark in Game Of Thrones, could be the next James Bond, I think Richard is an amazing actor and would make an incredible Bond.— bb118 (@beatlebabe811) September 24, 2018
Bookmakers have slashed odds on Madden playing another kind of fictional government agent, with skybet offering odds of 10/1. Idris Elba and Tom Hardy remain joint favourites, both commanding odds of 4/1, with Madden just being pipped to second-favourite by Superman actor Henry Cavill, who has odds of 8/1.
Madden is also keeping tight-lipped about the notion of playing Bond, answering questions about the matter with the non-committal: "I’m saying nothing."
His father, however, told Scottish newspaper The Daily Record that Madden may well be fostering ambitions to play Bond: "I’m quite sure he does want that to be on his CV one day but he’s not making a song and dance about it".
The 25th Bond film had its new director and much-speculated release date confirmed last week. Cary Fukunaga, an American filmmaker who made his name by directing HBO crime series True Detective, has taken over from the ousted Danny Boyle, who was originally tipped to direct.
Expected to be the last Bond film to feature Craig, who is also executive producer, the 25th film in the franchise will be released on February 14, 2020.