According to a report from Salon.com, rumors have long persisted that Quentin Tarantino originally had Michael Madsen in mind for the role of Vincent Vega in his breakthrough movie, Pulp Fiction, which later went to John Travolta instead.
Fans of the iconic director know that the pair had worked previously on the set of Reservoir Dogs, which saw Madsen as Vic Vega, and essentially put him on the map as an actor. Quentin’s movie, Reservoir Dogs, featured Madsen in what became an iconic movie scene in which Mr. Blonde, Vega, cuts a man’s ear off to the song, “Stuck In The Middle With You.”
Quentin has a brand new documentary coming out called QT8: The First Eight, and Madsen confirmed the rumor in the documentary. Madsen turned down the role so he could portray Virgil Earp in Wyatt Earp from Lawrence Kasdan.
Madsen said he was obligated to star in Wyatt Earp during a conversation with reporters from Entertainment Weekly. While most actors would be upset at the fact they weren’t able to star in the classic movie, Madsen is fine with it.
Michael has since stated that he was glad John was given the role instead because his performance in it added to Pulp Fiction’s genius. At that time, John’s career was slowly deteriorating, until Quentin cast him as Vincent Vega, essentially kick-starting his career again.
In the early 1990s, John was still reeling from the box office bomb, Shout, however, his role in Pulp Fiction cast him in the light again. Pulp Fiction earned John an Oscar nod for Best Actor, which marked his second following Saturday Night Fever.
According to Madsen, audiences were not prepared at all to see Mr. Travolta with a gun, as the actor had just gotten finished movies such as Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too. That’s a huge, huge, huge, reason why the movie worked,” Madsen explained.
Michael has been a frequent collaborator with Quentin over the years, including in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, The Hateful Eight, as well as Kill Bill.