•• Virginia Madsen is one classy lady! The veteran actress made her film debut in the early ‘80s movie Class, and went on to work with such iconic directors as David Lynch (Dune), Rob Reiner (Ghosts of Mississippi), and Francis Ford Coppola (The Rainmaker). But it was her role in Alexander Payne’s Sideways that earned her an Academy Award-nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Madsen would eventually work with legendary director Robert Altman on A Prairie Home Companion, and then appear in a string of high profile films including Firewall, The Astronaut Farmer, and The Number 23. Her latest film entitled Walter will open in theaters on March 13th.
Walter stars Andrew J. West (TV’s The Walking Dead) as the title character, a ticket-taker at the local cinema that believes he is the Son of God. He has agreed to decide the eternal fate of everyone he comes in to contact with. But when a ghost in purgatory (Justin Kirk) starts to haunt him, Walter begins to question everything he thought he understood about his world. Madsen plays Karen, Walter’s brokenhearted mother. In addition to West, Kirk and Madsen, the movie also features performances from Milo Ventimiglia (WildCard), NeveCampbell (WildThings), PeterFacinelli (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1), Jim Gaffigan (ThreeKings), and William H. Macy (Rudderless), and was directed by first time feature filmmaker AnnaMastro.
I recently had the honor of speaking with the absolutely delightful Virginia Madsen about her work on Walter, as well as her memories of making Sideways and A Prairie Home Companion. The Oscar-nominated actress discussed Walter, how a first time filmmaker gets an Oscar-nominee to be in their movie, what she looks for when she is choosing projects, shooting her scenes with Andrew J. West, our shared experience on Sideways, working with the great Robert Altman on A Prairie Home Companion, and the truth about director Paul Thomas Anderson’s contributions to that film.