Oscar-nominated actress receives career achievement award, participates in Conversation With series and has new movie showing Three decades after visiting Bradenton to film one of her first movies, Virginia Madsen returns to the area in celebration of a career that’s since earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
The “Sideways” actress will receive a career achievement award at Sarasota Film Festival and participate in the festival’s In Conversation With series Saturday. She also co-stars in the centerpiece film “1985,” about a gay man struggling to come out to his parents (Madsen and Golden Globe-winning “The Shield” star Michael Chiklis) during the early years of the AIDS crisis.
In a phone interview with the Herald-Tribune, Madsen said part of what attracted her to the film was her familiarity with the era the film depicts. “I was a very young person during that time when nobody knew what AIDS was,” Madsen said. “Now I knew more about it because I was an actress and I’d already had a couple of friends die. But people outside of my community, it was just talked about in hushed tones and they still called it ‘gay cancer.’”
At the same time, she felt the movie had a relevancy to today’s world despite its period setting. “This story is not just about 1985,” Madsen said. “This story is still going on now because there’s still young people who can’t come out to their family, there’s still families who don’t want to talk about their identity of their kids.”