Virginia Madsen

  1. Beate Ednie, Highlander, 1985.    The Americanauditioned for Heather. So did the talenteddaughter of the 50s/60s UK movie queen, Sylvia Syms (Ice Cold In Alex, Expresso Bongo, Victim),Beate also won a role in the 1991 sequel, Highlander II – The Quickening, that was so badly quickenedby the suits that Aussie director Russell Mulcahy tried to Alan Smithee it.
  2. Robin Wright (Penn), The Princess Bride, 1986.    Director Rob Reiner thumbed through a veritable little black book of Hollywood’s newyoung hotties!  Suzy Amis, Valerie Bertinelli, Yasmine Bleeth, Phoebe Cates, Courteney Cox, Kim Delaney, Rebecca de Mornay, Cathryn de Prume, Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger, Lauren Holly, Patsy Kensit, Juliette Lewis, Carey Lowell, Kelly Lynch, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexandra Paul, Amanda Pays, Meg Ryan, Mia Sara, Greta Scacchi, Annabella Sciorra, Kyra Sedgwick, Tori Spelling, Catherine Mary Stewart, Brenda Strong, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Uma Thurman, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton, Nancy Travis, Amy Yasbeck, Sean Young.

  3. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.  
    Awful thing to say. Except it is true. Jodie Foster would never have won her (first) Oscar for this trenchant drama – if actress Kelly McGillis had not been raped in 1982… At first, the role of the rape victim Sarah Tobias was written for Andie MacDowell. She passed. The Paramount suits then saw 34 other young actresses for the (real life) victim. Or, for their own rape bait fantasies – including 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Foster was refused a test because she was “not sexy enough”! And, anyway, the studio had decided upon McGillis, a high flyer in  Paramount’s Witness and Top Gun. And, naturally, she refused point-blank! She knew what it was to be brutally raped and Kelly had no wish to   revisit the horror and agony of her own (and her roommate’s)  attack six years before.   The suits were iivid. They 
    needed her. She was hot at the box-office, their box-office. They had made her a star!!  Eventually, McGillis agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that unsexy Jodie played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… So is the huge list of talent also seen for Sarah.   Starting with the Fatal Attraction also-rans: Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Diane Keaton, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger.   And moving on to the younger Madsen, Melissa Sue Anderson (trying to break her Little House on the Prairie image), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly LeBrock, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman.  Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!

  4. Bridget Fonda, The Godfather: Part III, 1991.
  5. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  6. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  7. Gina Gershon, This World, Then The Fireworks,1997.     The lead roles?   Incestuous siblings.  “I thought of Michael and Virgina Madsen,” directorMichael Oblowitz told me in Cannes, “or Eric and Julia Roberts…But everyone freaked out.”No, really!
  8. Elizabeth Shue, Number 23, 2006.  When Madsen proved pregnant, Elizabeth  was a Shue-in co-star for Jim Carrey.  They never seemed to be having as much fun…  Carrey was paid $23m for director Joel Schumacher’s 23rd film, their names (like those of Carrey-Shue) contain 23 letters, the numbers of Carrey’s  PO Box, foot-locker and  the 9/11/2001 attack each adds up to 23 and, naturally, the movie opened in various countries in  March 2007 – on  March 23rd!
  9. Cate Blanchett, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2007.









 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9