Don’t blink or you’ll miss Michael Madsen in “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” But not to worry, Madsen promises “Kill Bill Vol. 2” is where he really gets into the action. The sole male on the Deadly Viper Assassin Squad (DiVAS), Madsen is marked as a target of Uma Thurman’s retribution.
“Kill Bill” reunites Madsen with his “Reservoir Dogs” director, Quentin Tarantino.
Madsen compares his role as Budd in “Kill Bill” to Mr. Blonde in “Reservoir Dogs” by saying, “It's a character every bit as memorable as Mr. Blonde in ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ but it's a hundred and eighty degrees a different way."
MICHAEL MADSEN ('Budd'):
From an actor’s perspective is it better to be killed or doing the killing on screen?
MM:I’d rather survive. I’d like to ride off into the sunset at the end.
Do you get to do that in this movie?
MM:Well, I wouldn’t want to tell you that or I’d ruin it for you. You haven’t seen anything yet.
Is that kind of a "Stay tuned to Volume 2" teaser?
MM:"Volume 2" is going to be pretty wild.
In "Kill Bill" it’s the women who do most of the butt-kicking. How about in real life? Is it women or men who are tougher?
MM:Oh, definitely the women. They’ve got the psychological advantage.
Can you describe ‘Budd?’
MM:I’m Bill’s younger brother. We’re both trying to escape from Uma Thurman. She’s a very dangerous woman.
What was the most difficult stunt Quentin Tarantino asked you to do?
MM:I had to deal with some snakes and I really don’t like snakes very much. It was very disturbing.
How did you master your fear?
MM:Well, I’m not sure that I did but I’m sure that it was captured on film. I guess that’s all that matters.
What is it about working in a Quentin Tarantino film? There’s a mystique that surrounds his productions.
MM:I was sure glad to be back with him. You know, it’s been awhile. He wrote me a good role. It’s always good to work with people who have an understanding of each other, you know? I’ve definitely got that with him. He’s going to go down in film history already, that’s for sure, so anything now is just icing on the cake.
Did he write the part of Budd in “Kill Bill” for you?
MM:You’d have to ask him. I originally had a different role in the film and he changed his mind and asked me to do Budd. I think he has a lot of people in his mind when he writes things. All I can say is that it’s a great role – the best I’ve had in a long time.
How did they explain the lack of a family resemblance between you and David Carradine?
MM:I think there’s some resemblance there (smiling).
How much screen time do you get in “Volume 1?”
MM:Not very much, but I can wait…
How has Quentin Tarantino evolved as a director from when you first worked with him on "Reservoir Dogs?"
MM:He’s the same guy that he was on “Dogs” but he’s got a little bit more time now to do stuff. He’s not as rushed as when we did “Dogs.” It’s nice that he has a little bit more time to be involved now. He can really do the stuff that he wants to do.
Speaking of other Tarantino projects, is there a Vega Brothers movie in the works?
MM:Yes, I believe there is. I think for a while it wasn’t going to happen, but I think that he came up with a good concept of an idea for actually making it work. Now I’m pretty sure that it’s going to happen.
There's also talk of another Tarantino project called “Inglorious Bastards.” Will you be doing that movie with him?
MM:Yeah, oh yeah. I think he’s still writing it. It’s about 95% done. You’d have to ask him but I think it’s definitely something we are going to do.
And you’re currently working on a movie in England?
MM:I’m doing a picture called “Red Light Runners” with Harvey Keitel and Peter O’Toole. It’s kind of a heist picture about the British Museum. We’re about four or five weeks into it and it’s coming along really well. I’m really happy about it.