Does actor Michael Madsen always play bad guys? It sure seems like it.
—Leslie Olsen, Amble, Mich.
Madsen, 50, the brother of actress Virginia Madsen, has portrayed a variety of characters in more than 150 TV and movie roles. He admits he’s often been cast as a “heavy” after playing a memorably sadistic cop torturer in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs—a trend that continues with his part in the recent movie Hell Ride. Still, he’s trying to rise above the stereotype. In Strength and Honor, an independent film that’s been getting rave reviews on the festival circuit, he plays a Rocky-esque boxer in a fight to save the life of his dying son. “It’s a fine story and not like anything I’ve done before,” he says. “I finally got a chance to do something heroic.”