Faith in the Present
On this afternoon, cross-legged on a black leather chair and wearing blue jeans and a batik T-shirt and a tattoo on her left arm that says "Faith," Madsen is 100 percent mother as son Jack buzzes around her. So far their topics have included Jack’s appraisal of Candyman, a 1992 cult horror classic starring Madsen ("God, it’s a good movie!" he gushes). After that comes a back-and-forth about The Number 23, a psychological thriller starring Jim Carrey and Madsen.
The famously focused Carrey was the third in a recent succession of leading men (first, Harrison Ford in last year’s thriller Firewall, then Thornton) who Madsen says have helped create a new niche for her in Hollywood. "I’m the actress who can work opposite intense men," she says. A born-and-bred Chicago girl with a tough-guy character-actor older brother, Michael Madsen, she never worried about forging a bond with Carrey. "He’s Canadian; I’m Midwestern. We’re down-to-earth." Then, in the midst of a story extolling the virtues of Billy Bob Thornton, her hands fly up to cover her bright pink cheeks. "I’m blushing," she says, genuinely embarrassed. "Can you tell I haven’t had sex in so long?"
Is she looking to be in a relationship?
"I’ve been happily, happily single for a long time," says Madsen, who shares custody of Jack with his actor father, Antonio Sabato Jr. She went through a being-fixed-up-a-lot-by-friends phase and has moved on to trusting that when the right man walks in, he’ll sweep her off her feet. Her life is so full, she is content to wait.
"I like everything about the age I am right now," she says, though how old her great love will be is unclear. "Men my age or older are intimidated by me," she says. "Younger guys are not! I mean, they’re ready!" The richly experienced actress laughs, adding, "But I don’t have a lot in common with them."
Originally published in MORE magazine, April 2007.
Virginia Madsen speaks to MORE magazine about her comeback in films like Sideways, The Number 23, and The Astronaut Farmer.
Faith in the Present