True outlaws have always been a rarity in the entertainment industry. Rarer still is act of capturing their unique world view and creative essence on film. Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Ron Perlman, Virginia Madsen, Charlie Sheen, William Baldwin, Paul Sorvino, Harry Dean Stanton, Daryl Hannah, Chuck Zito are among those who honor the life and career of Michael Madsen in a new documentary American Badass: A Michael Madsen Retrospective.
Co-produced by Playmaker Pictures and Jolia Corp, directed by Dominique Milano, CEO of Playmaker Pictures LLC, it took more than three years to complete. Milano states “It was a very difficult task to assemble together such a complex documentary and we were so blessed and honored to have Michael bring incredible, talented artists to participate in it so we wanted to make sure we got it right.” All of the hard work was rewarded when Quentin Tarantino viewed the final cut and gave his stamp of approval, saying “the director and his team did a great job.”
American Badass takes a look at the fascinating life and impressive career of actor, producer, writer and poet Michael Madsen. Madsen’s iconic 40+ year career and more than 170 films including Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2, Thelma & Louise, Die Another Day, Sin City, Free Willy and perhaps most notably Reservoir Dogs.
Production was halted for about 5 months at the early stages around 2017. Michael had an issue with some of the people involved in the project and it got pretty heated. Milano and his partner Samuel had to re-crew and start fresh to keep the project alive. They learned very early that Michael was respectfully hands on. Milano felt it was very important to depict the alcohol and the crime spree segments, he had no interest in making a puff piece. Milano said “It’s either we show the real thing or we don’t do it.” Michael accepted, agreed to candidly open up about his difficult past and the documentary was kept alive.
Madsen states: “It was the right time and the right thing to do. Being an actor is one thing and it’s glorifying, but people out there need to know that I am also human and I have my issues like everybody else. Some of them I am not proud of.”
On Madsen, Milano says: “When you’re a 12-year-old kid and your own father beat the crap out of you with a belt, there is a strong chance you’ll grow up doing stupid things. you are going to mature very fast with a strong core and a presence that will give you an undeniable edge on the screen.”
Principal cinematography was completed early 2019 but the project was not out of the woods yet, the raw footage was locked up in the adobe edit bay, it was time to start cutting and figure out on how to assemble the piece the proper way. Milano quoted “For me the most important factor was to have a final cut with a Tarantinesque Flavor to honor their friendship, but editing turned out to be very challenging.Hollywood legendary producer Mario Kassar also brought his magic touch to the project, spending precious time with the director, reviewing and giving important notes. “I ended up cutting this doc from scratch 8 times, I had to make sure the final product would not only properly cover Michael’s life story but would also honor all the celebrities involved and most importantly, to be real.”
The film is now ready to hit the mainstream market.
Check out the trailer for the film below and visit the official website for the project at www.michaelmadsendoc.com.
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.