Bodyguard star Richard Madden criticises ‘unrealistic’ weight demands

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Madden played a PPO (Principal Protection Officer) in the BBC One drama

Bodyguard star Richard Madden has spoken out against the “unrealistic” demands he and his fellow actors face regarding their weight and body image.

“I’ve done numerous jobs where you’re told to lose weight and get to the gym,” he told British Vogue.

“It doesn’t just happen to women, it happens to men all the time as well.”

His comments follow singer Sam Smith’s recent admission on Instagram that he used to “starve himself for weeks” in advance of photo shoots.

His revelation accompanied a shirtless photo of himself he said he had decided to post in an effort to “reclaim” his body.

Madden said he and his actor friends had found themselves bemoaning the “barely eating, working-out-twice-a-day, no-carbing thing” required for certain scenes.

He said they would find themselves “looking at each other going: ‘We’re just feeding this same [expletive] that we’re against.'”

Madden, whose other roles include Robb Stark in Game of Thrones and the Prince in Cinderella, said he had sometimes been given restrictive costumes that had made breathing difficult.

The Scottish actor will next be seen in Rocketman, a musical biopic about Sir Elton John starring Taron Egerton.

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Getty Images

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Hemsworth is best known for playing Thor in the Marvel superhero films

Madden is not alone in highlighting the pressures placed on the modern leading man.

Last month, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth – soon to be seen reprising his Thor role in Avengers: Endgame – admitted keeping in shape for the camera “can start to become a drag”.

“The roles I’ve taken on have shaped my physique,” he told Men’s Health. “It just goes hand in hand with the parts I play.

“But occasionally I’ll see paparazzi poking out of the bushes and I’m like, ‘How’s my rig look? Am I on point, or have I slacked off lately?'”

Avengers: Endgame is out in the UK on 25 April.

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