Can you imagine Reservoir Dogs without Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde? That almost happened, when Michael Madsen very seriously considered walking away from the classic gangster pic, which also happens to mark the official directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino. The actor didn't want to die on screen at the hands of an unknown, which happened at the time to be a young Tim Roth. He wanted his character to be killed by seasoned actor and Martin Scorsese alum Harvey Keitel.
Mr. Blonde eventually meets his ultimate demise at the hands of Tom Roth's undercover cop Mr. Orange, during the thrilling climax of Reservoir Dogs. But Michael Madsen had decided he was ready to walk if he didn't have it a different way. This new info comes courtesy of the new documentary QT8: The First Eight, which chronicles the first 8 movies in Tarantino's filmography as a director. Madsen says this about not wanting to be killed by an unknown actor.
"I don't know why (Tarantino) had me stuck in his head to play Mr Blonde. I didn't want to play Mr Blonde. I didn't want to get shot by Tim Roth. I didn't want to be killed by Tim Roth. I was like, 'Hey man, who is Tim Roth?' I would let Harvey Keitel kill me, but I'm not getting killed by Tim Roth."
Tim Roth was new to American audiences at the time Reservoir Dogs was going into production in Los Angeles, California. He had a few acting credits in his native U.K. Michael Madsen on the other hand was becoming an established entity in U.S. movies, having already appeared in Thelma & Louise, The Natural and WarGames. Both would eventually go onto appear in a number of Quentin Tarantino related projects.
Michael Madsen has since appeared in Kill Bill and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tim Roth has gone onto play memorable parts in Pulp Fiction and Four Rooms, though as noted by the credits, he was left on the cutting room floor when it comes to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, though he gets a credit at the end of the movie anyway for his participation. The pair would appear together again in the 2015 Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight.
QT8: The First Eight is an expansive new documentary that almost got buried during the Weinstein scandal. It is now making its round on theater screens before it comes home. The movie explores his directorial career so far, though his true directorial debut My Best Friend's Birthday is not considered as one of those 8 movies. Things kick off with his first true feature Reservoir Dogs, and tracks through Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill (with both volumes being looked at as one movie, since they were shot and intended to be one giant epic), Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. The movie was finished and ready to go before Once Upon a Time in Hollywood debuted in theaters this past summer.
Quentin Tarantino has also directed an episode of ER, a segment for the anthology movie Four Rooms, a scene in the Robert Rodriguez movie Sin City, a two part episode of CSI, and he may or may not make his Star Trek project the final directorial film of his career. This info comes to us by way of The Independent.