Category: News

Virginia Madsen on AIDS Drama 1985!

“It’s expected that I’m going to have an opinion about things,” actor Virginia Madsen said Thursday in a Midtown cafe. We were meeting to discuss 1985, Yen Tan’s acclaimed black-and-white drama about a man named Adrian (Cory Michael Smith) who goes home to visit his family during the titular year, knowing it may be the last time he gets to do so because he has AIDS. Madsen plays Eileen, his mom who, in the words of Glenn Kenny’s New York Times rave review, is “almost desperately radiating affection.” It’s a complicated role, one that finds Madsen playing a woman who’s playing her own role as cheerful caretaker, while clearly aware that something is wrong.

Madsen’s performance is a highlight, as it is in most of her films. She’s best known for her work in the 1992 horror film Candyman and for her Oscar-nominated performance in 2004’s Sideways. But lately, she’s taken on supporting roles in smaller indies like 1985 and Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, as well as television work (she appeared in the first season of ABC’s Designated Survivor).

When our conversation turned to #MeToo and the sexual harassment she experienced as a young “hot babe” in Hollywood in the ’80s, Madsen surprised me with her candor—she had previously mentioned said harassment in a brief Facebook post last year in the wake of reports about Harvey Weinstein. She doesn’t name names, but she did talk about about her experience and the emotional fallout in detail. We also discussed her experience with Hollywood ageism at 56 and her late realization that she’s “kind of slutty.” An edited and condensed transcript of our conversation appears below.

JEZEBEL: What did you think when you received the script for 1985?

VIRGINIA MADSEN: You know, I read a lot of bad scripts. I read a lot of bad writing. I try to be nice, but it’s work. This script was not work. It was something I fell in love with and felt very moved by. I felt there was an importance to this story, and I was looking for that. “Send me something with meaning, goddamn it.” I do need to pay the rent, but I need something that has depth and meaning. I’d been doing television. That’s the only place where the money is now, but that’s not satisfying. That’s a job. You make sure at least you’re having fun doing it, but I wanted something that people could feel something and learn something from.

Continue reading Virginia Madsen on AIDS Drama 1985!

Virginia Madsen to attend Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival in September!

Join me in Cincinnati for this inspiring film festival Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival check out their site and schedule for more info! I’ll be attending and participating in a panel discussion on September 26th!!

The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, a four-day celebration of diversity, disability and difference, debuts September 26-30 with more than 65 juried films celebrating the shared human experience.  Centrally located in downtown Cincinnati in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, the festival features five film tracks showcasing stories around diversity, freedom, identity, disability and faith; along with celebrity appearances, panel discussions and special events.

Some 20 Hollywood celebrities, including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee, Virginia Madsen, Zach Anner of ABC’s “Speechless,” Merle Dandridge star of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Greenleaf,” Drew Lachey, Member of “98 Degrees” band, and Tanika Ray, Co-Host of “EXTRA,” will participate.

More information on tickets, films and events is available at OTRFilmFest.org or by calling (513) 487-3939. Follow the festival on Twitter @OTRFilmFest and Instagram @OTRFilmFest and on Facebook at facebook.com/OTRFilmFest. You can buy your tickets here: https://otrfilmfest.org/tickets/

Virginia Madsen attends the 2018 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival!

Virginia Madsen looks so fresh on the red carpet as she arrives at the premiere of her new film 1985 in the 2018 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival at the DGA Theater on July 16 in Los Angeles, California. She was supported by her boyfriend the actor Nick Holmes also being joined at the event by fellow cast members Cory Michael Smith, Aidan Langford and Christopher Racster. Take a look to all the photos added on the photo gallery, you can see some previews below!

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2018 Lineup Announced for 30th Vancouver Queer Film Festival!

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) released it’s complete lineup for the 11-day celebration, taking place August 9-19, which includes artists visiting from India, Philippines, United States, and Canada. More than 70 films from 15 countries are featured at this 30th anniversary Festival presented by RBC, along with 11 visiting filmmakers, 27 local directors and numerous local performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions. Festival passes and tickets are available online today.

Curated by Co-Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn, VQFF 2018 opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with Malaysian-born writer and director Yen Tan’s 1985, brought to life by an acclaimed cast including Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Virginia Madsen, and Jamie Chung. Yen Tan will be joining the Festival from Texas. This year’s Festival will feature LA-based comedian, writer and actress Vivian Bang, who co-wrote and stars in VQFF’s Centrepiece Gala Film, White Rabbit. In this comedy that premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Vivian Bang plays a Korean-American performance artist who tries to remain dedicated to her art and struggles to pay the bills by doing odd jobs on “TaskRabbit”. Vivian Bang will join audiences for both screenings of her film – August 15 and 16.

Festival program guides are now available at Festival venues as well as Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium and Black Dog Video. The complete Festival lineup can also be viewed online at www.queerfilmfestival.ca. Full ticketing details, including pricing, can be found at www.queerfilmfestival.ca/tickets.

HIV PLUS Magazine: HIV Time Traveler

In her latest film, Virginia Madsen plays a mother whose closeted gay son comes home to let the family know he’s dying from AIDS complications.

The 1980s have enjoyed a recent surge in relevance, from the spectacle of Ready Player One to the nostalgia of Stranger Things. But the era remains one marked in sadness in the history of HIV, a time when the still-misunderstood virus claimed countless lives.

Actress Virginia Madsen launched to stardom in the mid-‘80s thanks to roles in Dune and Modern Girls, becoming one of Hollywood’s sexiest stars. Even as her fame rose, she was well aware of the growing tragedy. Now, as she promotes her new film, the nostalgic AIDS drama 1985, Madsen remembers the loss of life, telling press and film festival audiences about the deaths of close friends — and an uncle she never got to truly know.

“It was talked about in hushed tones,” she recalls. “People were trying to hide when they were terribly ill. If somebody developed a bad respiratory infection, people wanted to move away. Nobody knew anything. They wondered, could you get it from touching or from tears?”

Families, including her own, suffered irreparable ruptures. She recalls her uncle Chicky, who moved away from the family’s small Illinois community while Madsen was just a child.

“I didn’t know him well, but remember him as a little kid because he was extraordinarily beautiful,” Madsen says. “But he had to leave and move to San Francisco. I was robbed of knowing him because no one could accept who he was in our community.”

Continue reading HIV PLUS Magazine: HIV Time Traveler