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Kill Bill: Volume 2 - Michael Madsen Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. It says in the production notes that the scene you were most concerned about involved a black mamba snake. Were you apprehensive?
A.
Well, I'm not very fond of snakes, they have their own agenda. It's also hard to get them to snap at you, so you've got to get them very agitated. They have a tendency to go the other way; all they're really thinking about is escaping.
I was glad when that sequence was finished, actually, and I wouldn't want to do that again.... being poked in the eye by a special effects guy, with a steel rod in his hands, and a rubber snake on the end of it. The rest was all make believe, of course, but it's a hell of a way to go.

Q. Can you describe what it's like working with Quentin?
A.
Well, it would take me a long time to do you a really great picture of that, but the one thing that I really like about him is that he hasn't changed at all, he's still the same guy that he was a few years ago, when we did Reservoir Dogs.
He's got a lot bigger toys to play with now, and a lot more time, but he deserves that. However, a lot of people when they get well-known and wealthy, they completely change, and he's not done that. I feel very lucky to have worked with him twice, and I think he's got a lot of films left in him. He is inspirational, he loves making movies...

Q. I believe that Quentin is known for borrowing the clothes and possessions of his lead actors, to use on the set, did he borrow anything from you? Did he, in fact, raid your wardrobe?
A.
Well, as a matter of fact, Quentin visited my house with the wardrobe department. We tried to figure out what Budd was going to wear, and I overheard Quentin telling the wardrobe person to 'go to Michael's house and go through his closet'.
I did keep a lot of things; I have the head of the expired Budd; my kids think it's an evil things. It's stuck on a pool cue. I have Budd's belt, but I wore my own boots.
There was a time when I was doing a fitting and I had two different cowboy boots on, and Quentin thought that was a good idea for the character, because Budd can't make up his mind [laughs].
If you watch the wide shot of the assassination squad when they are going into the church, I have two different cowboy boots on, but we didn't follow through with that later on.

Q. There is clearly quite a strong element of violence and possibly sadism in the film, do you think directors should be allowed to show whatever they fancy, or do you think there should be some form of censorship?
A.
I think violence existed long before movies were being made, so if you stopped making movies tomorrow, there would still be violence all over the place. So blaming one for the other is preposterous. The one has nothing to do with the other.

Q. Do you aspire to play violent characters in your films, like the roles you portray in Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill?
A.
I aspire to stay employed! I didn't write the screenplay, I just interpreted the character. But I'm not really such a bad guy, after all, I do have a sensitive side. It's just that I have become best-known for my more violent roles.

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