Virginia Madsen had plenty to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Last month, she was an official honoree of Hollywood’s LA Femme International Film Festival, an annual celebration of films written, directed or produced by women, for her achievements during 27 years in TV and film, and also for her recently formed production company’s maiden offering: I Know a Woman Like That, an acclaimed documentary about the lives of women 64 and older whose youthful vigor remains defiantly undiminished.
In March, she will be seen starring opposite Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried in Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke’s live-action adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood. Later next year she’ll be playing Aidan Quinn’s goddess-worshipping wife in the romantic drama The Art of Love. Yet on this evening, the Chicago-born Madsen, 49, has not come to the city’s Sundance Kabuki Cinemas simply to discuss the future, but to revisit her Oscar-nominated turn in Alexander Payne’s 2004 comedy Sideways.
In person, Madsen is friendly, forthright and refreshingly candid about a career that’s had its share of highs – including award-winning performances in Candyman (1992) and the heist drama Artworks (2003) – and lows. Tonight, as part of a Chase Sapphire rewards program that entitles cardholders to participate in unique meet-and-greets with stars of stage, screen and sport, she seems eager to talk about the movie that landed her back in the spotlight, and which has made her a magnet for autograph seekers.
On Sideways, and its effect on her personal life and career:
“It’s a wonderful film, but the fact that the movie was successful, too – what are the odds? These days, it seems like one in a million. Was it the most memorable experience of my career? It was one of them, but it certainly stands out the most in terms of how it changed my life. It brought me opportunities, and I was at a place in my life where I knew what to do with them. I made the right choices. And as an actor, to be given opportunities is so rare. Read More