Star-studded doc honors life and career of Chicago’s Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen
Michael Madsen

There is an impressive group of Hollywood’s A-List in the new documentary American Badass: A Michael Madsen Retrospective.

Among those who honor the life and career of Michael Madsen are Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Ron Perlman, Virginia Madsen, Charlie Sheen, William Baldwin, Paul Sorvino, the late Harry Dean Stanton, Daryl Hannah, Chuck Zito.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Michael Madsen’s mother, Elaine Madsen was an Emmy-winning writer, producer, and poet, and his father, Calvin Madsen was a Chicago firefighter. His sister is Academy Award-nominated actress, Virginia Madsen

Parts of the film take place in Chicago at Second City and the old Chicago neighborhood where Michael grew up. Producer Todd Causley, a Chicago native himself, even located the original firehouse where Michael’s father worked and where Michael frequented during his youth. 

The documentary takes a look at the life of the actor, writer, producer, and poet. With a career spanning over 40 years and 170 films, Michael Madsen has played iconic characters in box office hits such as Kill Bill Vol 1, Kill Bill Vol 2, Sin City, Hell Ride, Die Another Day, Donnie Brasco, Species, The Getaway, Thelma & Louise and Free Willy. Madsen is notably recognized for his role as Mr. Blonde, in Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Michael Madsen

Playing the role of Hollywood’s iconic, badass bad guy came naturally to Madsen. In 2014 Madsen told Felix magazine, “I was always in trouble all the time when I was younger,” Madsen explained. “I was that bad kid. My sister [on the other hand] would be taking acting lessons and I would be stealing cars. I ran with a bad crowd when I was young.”

Madsen has received Multiple awards for his acting including the Golden Dolphin Award at the 25th Festroia Festival in Portugal, an award also given to veteran actors Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum, the actor whose work inspired him to pursue acting. 

Madsen is also well recognized as an accomplished poet. His first book Burning In Paradise with a Foreword by Dennis Hopper, won the Independent Firecracker Award. He has a world-wide following with his work, honored at International Poetry Festivals in Genoa, Italy and Mexico.  His book The Complete Poetic Works is an international bestseller and was followed by Signs of Life dedicated to his friend, the late Chris Penn.  

The documentary is a Playmaker LLC/Jolia Corporation production, directed by Italian born Dominique Milano, CEO of Playmaker Pictures LLC, and took three years to make. Milano is best known for the 2001 film The Plotters, a drama starring Chelsea Handler

The film is about to hit the mainstream market.

Watch the trailer here:


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