Michael Madsen will forever be associated with his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino, starting with the director’s 1992 feature directorial debut “Reservoir Dogs” and continuing through “Kill Bill,” “The Hateful Eight,” and a cameo appearance in this summer’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” In the new Quentin Tarantino documentary “QT8: The First Eight,” Madsen reveals that their partnership almost never happened because the actor originally did not want the role of Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega in “Reservoir Dogs.” As for his reasoning, it had nothing to do with Tarantino or the script and everything to do with the actor’s feelings about one of his fellow cast members.
“I don’t know why he had me stuck in his head to play Mr. Blonde,” Madsen says. “I didn’t want to play Mr Blonde. I didn’t want to get shot by Tim Roth. I didn’t want to be killed by Tim Roth. I was like, ‘Hey man, who is Tim Roth?’ I would let Harvey Keitel kill me, but I’m not getting killed by Tim Roth.”
Madsen had already started his acting career by the time “Reservoir Dogs” came around, appearing in supporting roles in films such as Oliver Stone’s “The Doors,” Ridley Scott’s “Thelma & Louise,” and Barry Levinson’s “The Natural.” Roth was more of a newcomer in Madsen’s eyes. Despite a starring role opposite Gary Oldman in 1990’s indie “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,” Roth was not a familiar face or name by Hollywood’s standards. Roth also reveals in the documentary that he hesitated with “Reservoir Dogs” because he did not like auditioning. Anyone familiar with the film knows that both actors ended up accepting their now-historic roles.
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“At the end of the day one day, we hugged each other,” Madsen remembers. “We were both covered in stage blood. When it starts to dry it gets extremely sticky and we were hugging each other and we couldn’t get apart. We were stuck together. The wardrobe people were convinced if we forcefully separated we would tear the clothes apart.”
Both Madsen and Roth would go on to reunite with Tarantino on multiple occasions. The documentary “QT8: The First Eight” hits VOD platforms on December 4.