NO SPOILERS: this behind the scenes story about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino’s upcoming film, shot with Leo DiCaprio, is too good to miss.
Montreal, 6th of July 2019
The 11th edition of Montreal’s ComicCon is well underway, and has most definitely lived up to its usual excellence. The first day ended with a packed room to see and hear the incomparable Michael Madsen share stories about his film and voice over career. Madsen is a cult-favourite actor for his integral roles as Mr. Blonde on Reservoir Dogs, Academy Award winner Quentin Tarantino‘s feature film directorial debut, as well as Kill Bill 1 & 2, The Hateful Eight, Sin City, and some many more.
Madsen awkwardly limped onto the stage, and immediately addressed it: turns out he’s just undergone knee surgery to fix an injury he picked up prior to filming his part for the upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a scene where he shares the screen with Leonardo DiCaprio. Turns out it’s quite the story, but don’t worry, this is a spoiler-free zone, friends.
During a shoot for a movie being shot in Latin America, Madsen had a scene where he had to swing on a rope. Despite being tethered onto the rope so as to avoid any accidents, on his final shot, he over-swung and made violent contact with a brick wall, hurting his hip, knee, and gashing his temple. The next day, he was on a plane back home, where he would have all of 24 hours to recover prior to filming the scene with DiCaprio.
To avoid telling Quentin about his injury, for fear of forcing Tarantino to have to reschedule the production and potentially miss deadlines, he rushed into the set a few hours earlier, and went straight to makeup. After an hour’s worth of work to hide the wounds on his head, he put on his cowboy hat and joined DiCaprio on set. Still trying to avoid talking to Quentin, Madsen took Leo into a nearby tent, to show him his wounds “Leo, brother, look at my hip! It’s purple! Look at the gash on my forehead… I need you to get me through this scene, man”.
DiCaprio, visibly stunned that Madsen had even shown up to the set replied “I got you, Michael. Let’s get this done right and fast so Q can’t tell”. In his role as a tenured sheriff, the scene called for him to take the hat off, but he just wouldn’t do it. Annoyed by this, Tarantino walked up to Madsen and asked him why he wouldn’t take it off, so he did and told him what had happened.
Tarantino was silent for what Madsen described as the longest two/three minutes of his life, until, in the classic way that only Tarantino speaks, he said: “Hmm… Michael… Your character… A Sheriff with a long career behind him… He’s probably put countless badasses in jail, and just has to have a bunch of dudes wanting to squeeze his neck… Might have had to defend himself lately… yeah… You look badass with the scars, let’s get all this makeup off and show off those bumps, man!”
When Once Upon a Time in Hollywood comes out in theatres on July 29th, you’ll know that Madsen’s scars are not makeup or prosthetics, but the real deal!
These are the types of behind the scene stories that you can only hear at Montreal ComicCon, so make sure to be there for the closing day of the event tomorrow!
For tickets: https://www.montrealcomiccon.com/en/tickets/
Enjoy one of the most classic Tarantino scenes, featuring Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde: