Interview with Richard Madden on the toilet fight on the train from ‘Citadel’

As we all know, in 2023 there will be a huge amount of television. At any one time, there are a few dozen shows you might need to see just to keep up with the culture — a crowd that can feel oppressive. (In other words: this meme is real.) TV creators know that not only are they competing for your attention with countless other shows, but also with your phone and sleep, and they deserve it seize your attention as soon as possible.

This could be why, less than five minutes into the series premiere of Prime Video’s new spy drama citadelhis hero locks himself with an opponent in the bathroom of a speeding train and proceeds to destroy him.

Said hero, Richard Madden’s Mason Kane, quickly disarms his opponent’s pistol and the two attack each other with fists and feet and shards of broken mirrors, bouncing off every surface in tight quarters. You better believe a toilet bowl isn’t standard use either. Finally, Kane half smashes his opponent through the window, already damaged by misguided shots, before kicking him all the way out. All this and we are quiet less than 10 minutes into the episode!

Where did series creator David Weil (Hunter) do you have the idea for this scene? “Definitely personal experience,” Weil joked when The Daily Beast Obsessed spoke to him and Madden. “I only write what I know.”

Not entirely disagreed when Madden suggested that Weil’s main project was to develop “Ways to Torture”. [him]’ Weil described the making of the scene. “It was in that bathroom for four days to kick ass,” he said. “It’s always fun, I think, to put your heroes in incredibly impossible situations. [Executive producers] Joe Russo and Anthony Russo are masters at that. So the unique thing was how do you put a character in a situation that’s so difficult to break through?” The stakes naturally rise once a protagonist is “literally face-to-face” with the person trying to kill him, he said Because.

The prospect of collaborating with action veterans like the Russos could theoretically be daunting: how does a creator envision a fight scene they haven’t seen or written themselves? “Every blank page is such an opportunity,” Weil said. “The most unique thing about citadel is that we’re really just pushing the character and the story with this great storyline.” Because he drew a line to another medium, he said, “I see it as musical theater where the song is really used to convey a character to transport emotionally.” In citadelSaid Weil, “Using a big action set piece to advance the character and allow that character to develop is the ethos and ideology that I espouse.”

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden.

Courtesy of Prime Video

Writing the scene was only the first step; then Madden had to set it up (sort of; some moments required him to be lying on his back or side, or flying through the air). “It felt like every day was part of the rehearsal because we’re constantly changing and adapting,” he said. Weil and the rest of the team behind the camera were open to working together. “We went in to learn choreography,” Madden said, “and I came out and called David and said, ‘There’s a moment here where we can tell a character story that doesn’t just consist of firing a gun or dealing a blow.’”

Mason is joined in this remote confrontation by spymaster Bernard Orlick, played by Stanley Tucci. When Obsessed spoke to Tucci, we talked about how his role offers the best of both worlds: all the excitement of an action scene, not the wear and tear. “I don’t mind doing some of the physical stuff, but I don’t know if I want to do it all the time,” Tucci said. “This is difficult.” With management comes the privilege of… chairs. “It’s also never bad to sit in a room in front of a computer monitor and talk on the phone and say, ‘Now do that.’ ‘Now do that,'” Tucci agreed.

But the cold open is not Only Action: Before the fight, we see Mason with fellow agent Nadia (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) and learn the nature of their former relationship through their sexy banter. “We can blindfold the characters,” Madden said. “We can have a moment of interaction that shows they haven’t been together in a long time and they have so much history.” Madden worked to fill those first 10 minutes “to use every second on screen to our advantage and not taking anything for granted and asking the audience, ‘Please keep up with us. We’re going to give you a lot at once.’”

citadel This isn’t the first time a Madden character has had a crucial interaction in a train toilet: there’s also the limited series bodyguard, which released on Netflix in 2018; In the first episode, his character, Police Sergeant David Budd, opens the door to a train toilet and finds it already occupied by a young woman wearing a bomb vest. Neither Weil nor Madden had made the connection, but Madden joked, “We should cut them together.”

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden.

Courtesy of Prime Video

Setting aside, however, the two scenes are as different as train lavatory confrontations with Richard Madden characters can get. “[The Bodyguard moment] was a dramatic scene where we only had dialogue to tell the story,” Madden said. “And that’s the opposite – we don’t have a dialogue. We have to do it all physically.” Madden also had to face a full-time stunt performer. “I met the man I was fighting,” he said, “and I was like, ‘I can’t pull this off.’ He’s huge.”

Thus, the shooting restrictions imposed by Weil worked to Madden’s advantage. “We need to figure out how to combat the size difference,” Madden said. “Okay, small footprint. Let’s use the wall as the floor. Let’s flip the room so I can get an advantage.” After all Is what someone of Mason’s skill would do. “Nothing is out of reach for him,” says Madden. “He will use whatever is available to him to get what he wants.”

Sometimes it works like kicking an opponent down an alpine rock. But, Madden warns, Mason doesn’t always triumph: Sometimes “he runs away with himself and there are consequences.” Viewers will have to keep watching to see what happens to Mason when the odds are against him.

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