Actor Trivia

31 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Madsen  

Lisa Waugh
15.2k views 31 items
There are dozens of Michael Madsen facts you may not know, even if you've stayed with him for role after role. Madsen has been around the block a time or two. With over 250 film, TV, and video credits to his name, he’s got some interesting stories to share. Any interview with the veteran actor include some of the most Hollywood stories ever -  like the time Val Kilmer sent a flatbed truck to his Malibu home so Kilmer could drive Madsen’s ’67 GTO to the Oscars, or the fact that he was Cher’s brother-in-law. And yes, he's got mixed feelings about Mr. Blonde. 
Madsen did not pass on the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction because he didn’t want it - he was contracted to do Wyatt Earp. He’s also a nice guy and probably won’t slice off your ear while dancing around to “Stuck in the Middle With You” just for the heck of it. Probably not.  
The Michael Madsen biography is a litany of brutality honest, often hilarious and dark tales. Still, he takes acting and fame in stride and considers himself lucky to have had the career he’s had. “I was a blue-collar kid, and I loved movies. The chance of me being able to do this were probably a billion-to-one,” he’s said. 
His Reaction When His Work Is Called a Bit Dark
His Reaction When His Work Is ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 31 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Madsen
Photo: TriStar Pictures
“Sometimes I’ll find that I’m called to do a voice-over for a video game, which I’ve done a couple of times, and it’s kind of funny when you’re in the booth and recording, and suddenly there’s silence, and they say, ‘Uh, you know, that’s a bit dark.’ And then I say, ‘Well, guys, you know... If that’s a bit dark, why don’t you call Scott Baio?’ Or I’ll get, ‘Can you try to do it a little more threatening?’ And I’ll say, ‘Um, well, I kind of thought it was there.’ It’s funny how when people want you in a room, but when you get into the room, you turn into somewhat of a puppet. And then in the end, after you do it 10 different ways, they go back to the way you did it the first time.”
He Doesn’t Want Us to See "Against All Hope"
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Video: YouTube
“Well, that was actually done for prisons, I think. Believe it or not, I think it was made for the rehabilitation of prisoners, guys who were getting out of penitentiaries after long periods of time. Or it was supposed to be used for some sort of message thing for, like, therapy hospitals. You know, it was really never defined to me what it was made for. But, yeah, it seems like there were dinosaurs roaming the earth when I did that thing. That was a long time ago. 
'I heard that Stallone did an adult film, and he bought the negative and burned it, and he supposedly sent his friends around to all the stores to get all the copies. Against All Hope is one of those. If I could get hold of it, I’d do the same thing!”   
And here’s a clip from it above. Sorry, Mr. Madsen, but you’re the best thing in it. 
His Audition for His "Hateful Eight" Role Lasted for Five Lines
His Audition for His "Hate... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 31 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Madsen
Photo: The Weinstein Company
Madsen read for Joe Gage at Tarantino’s house. “I hadn’t heard from Quentin in over a year. But he called and asked me to go to his house, so I went over and he got out a script and asked me to read a few pages. I’d only read about five lines when he clapped his hands and said, ‘Okay, Mike. That’s great. I’ll see you on set in December.'"
His Has Mixed Feelings About Mr. Blonde
His Has Mixed Feelings About M... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 31 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Madsen
Photo: Miramax
He didn’t particularly like the character and has called Mr. Blonde cruel. But, he says, “I really, honestly, truly never saw why people were so affected by it. I kind of thought it was kind of tame… But I basically get killed before I do anything. No, I didn’t have any trouble with it.”
He did, however, have to work out how to dance around maniacally to “Stuck in the Middle with You” as written in the script. 
“And in the rehearsals, whenever we got up to that point, I would just look at Quentin and say, ‘Listen, let me do it on the day, because I have no idea what I’m going to do.’ And I honestly didn’t! And I still don’t know why I did what I did do. It was rather strange. I asked him to play it for me, and I had a little earbud in my ear, and they played Stealers Wheel to me while I was doing that little dance, which… I don’t know where I came up with that. I’m obviously not a dancer. It’s obviously some bizarre psycho dance that I came up with on the spur of the moment. But it worked! And it’s a great film. You watch it now on the big screen, even after all these years, it’s really disturbing.”