LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30:  Actor Michael Madsen poses next to a "Reservoir Dogs" poster on August 30, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Sebastian Artz/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Quentin Tarantino Gave Michael Madsen An Ultimatum After His Reservoir Dogs Audition
Quentin Tarantino’s debut film, “Reservoir Dogs,” was made on a small budget and was a simple film, but this allowed the acting and directing to truly shine. For Michael Madsen, who played Mr. Blonde, it was his big breakout performance, though the actor needed to meet the somewhat tyrannical demands of Tarantino to get the role he didn’t initially want.
Tarantino pegged Madsen to play Mr. Blonde, but Madsen said, “I wanted to play Mr. Pink because he had more scenes with Harvey Keitel.” Madsen recalled approaching Tarantino, “I made my case for playing Mr. Pink, and Quentin said ‘Okay, show me what you got.’ For one of the only times in my life I’d rehearsed the dialogue, so I did a couple of Mr. Pink scenes.”
Tarantino responded to Madsen, saying, “‘Is that it? Okay, good. You’re not Mr. Pink. You’re Mr. Blonde — and if you’re not Mr. Blonde, then you’re not in the movie.’” Madsen gave a stunning performance, and the movie was a critical hit, and despite their slightly negative first impressions, Madsen landed additional roles in other Tarantino movies like the “Kill Bill” films and “The Hateful Eight.”