Virginia Madsen: “The Magic of Belle Isle”


Virginia Madsen stars in the heartwarming story “The Magic of Belle Isle” as the recently-divorced mother of three girls who befriends the writer who moves in next door (Morgan Freeman).  I spoke to her about making the movie, which is available now On Demand and will be in theaters July 6th.

•• What was it like for you working with three young actresses who played your daughters?  How do you develop a level of trust with them?
– Well, I raised a child. I had a boy child who’s now 17 and I’ve worked with kids before. I know that this was a big job. We had a lot to do, they had a lot of dialogue and I really, really wanted them to trust me. One of the greatest things is that they all had nice parents. We struck gold with that. They were nice kids, they weren’t Hollywood-ized and the mothers really allowed me to mother their children which was incredibly trusting and generous. Slowly, I gained their trust and they could see how I wanted to be with their daughters, and that I was going to take good care of them. Before the movie started, I asked the art director and [director] Rob [Reiner] if I could have a space on the set, a room that I could set up arts and crafts.  Because that’s what I did with my son, and decided to bring music, and all the supplies.  I said, “Just give me this room, but no one is allowed to go in it but us, that is the O’Neil house, and I don’t want a sound cart in there, I don’t want lights being stored, no makeup touches go on in this room, this is the O’Neil house and this is our sacred space.”  And they loved it. And then the art department said, “Actually, there’s a sun room, we’ll make it a part of the movie.” And so when there was a break, this allowed me to keep us al together as a family and allowed them to remain focused and quiet when it wasn’t alright for them to play in the yard especially if it was raining. The next great thing was, they bonded as sisters.  Madeline Carroll [who plays the oldest daughter] is really something special, and she helped shepherd the girls, she really loved those girls. She would sit and make necklaces with them. She was never bored or impatient like a lot of teenagers naturally would be. Continue reading Virginia Madsen: “The Magic of Belle Isle”

Virginia Madsen at Aruba International Film Festival

•• More pictures of Virginia Madsen attending BMW Party and a Q&A Session at Aruba International Film Festival have been uploaded at the photo gallery.

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Madsen, Liotta rock Aruba film fest por reuters

– Gallery Links:
June 23rd » Q&A Session at AIFF 2012
June 24th » BMW Party at AIFF 2012

Virginia Madsen attends AIFF 2012

•• The 3rd edition of Aruba International Film Festival opening night welcomes Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actress Virginia Madsen, festival Co-founder and Exe­cutive Producer Jonathan Vieira welcomes her on the Red Carpet at Paseo Herencia in Palm Beach for the World Premiere of “The Magic of Belle Isle” co-starring Morgan Freeman. She was in attendance (with actor Nick Holmes) for a Meet & Greet cocktail party wearing  a beautiful cyan dress.

For more information and updates, visit the AIFF website: http://www.arubainternationalfilmfestival.com or their Facebook page for the latest news updates.

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– Gallery Links:
Events in 2012 > June 22nd » Meet & Greet Cocktail Party at AIFF 2012
Events in 2012 > June 22nd » Opening Night Red Carpet at AIFF 2012

MGU Interview with Virginia Madsen

•• The Movie Geeks speak with actress Virginia Madsen about her new film The Magic of Belle Isle, which is directed by Rob Reiner (Misery, The Bucket List) and stars Morgan Freeman.  You can listen the interview below.

“The Magic of Belle Isle” LA Premiere is tonight!

•• The Magic of Belle Isle’s Los Angeles red carpet premiere is tonight. The film is now available to rent on iTunes, on demand and in theaters on July 6th.

Meet Virginia (Interview for Sheridan Road Magazine)

•• Versatility of roles is a feat most Hollywood actresses can only dream of. Very rarely are actresses able to break down the barriers of Hollywood typecasting and transcend roles, each more different from the next. Vivacious and always unique, actress Virginia Madsen has done just that. From her Independent Spirit Award-winning performance in 2004’s hit Sideways, which helped turn us all into seasoned oenophiles, to her latest project, The Magic of Belle Isle, which shows us the softer side of Morgan Freeman, Madsen’s résumé boasts incredible costars, fantastic directors, and remarkable individuality.

Born in Evergreen Park and raised on the North Shore, Virginia and her equally talented family members have been making “Madsen” a household name since the early ’80s. Her mother is director Elaine Madsen, while brother/actor Michael Madsen is notably remembered for his role as “Mr. Blonde” in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 hit Reservoir Dogs.

•• On the North Shore & Chicago
“I lived in Evanston up until high school. Then I moved to Wilmette, Winnetka, and then back to Evanston—we moved a lot. I think the thing that I miss the most [about the North Shore] are the trees. I miss the foliage, the beautiful, giant, towering trees on the North Shore. That drive up Sheridan Road, I mean, almost any time I come to Chicago, I rent a car and just drive up as far north as I can on Sheridan Road, as much as I have time for, just so that I can see the big houses and the trees. The drive along the lake, I just love it there so much.

What makes Chicago such a great city is its design. It’s always been a haven for architects to have creative and artistic freedom. I think we have the most beautiful skyline in the United States. Do I sound homesick? I’m a little bit homesick today. My dad is still out there in Oak Lawn, so I try and get back whenever possible. My friend Rusty Schwimmer just moved back to Chicago, so at least there’s another reason to visit [Chicago]. She’s my best friend; we went to New Trier together.”

Continue reading Meet Virginia (Interview for Sheridan Road Magazine)