Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen Q&A: ‘The Hateful Eight’

"The thing I was most gratified about is that Quentin Tarantino asked me to lend a hand," says Bruce Dern about working on the new western film "The Hateful Eight." In our recent interview, he adds, "It's a collaborative meeting. You're only as good as the people who are with you, your teammates. Ultimately I never did a team sport because I was a runner… but movies can be what this turned out to be."

In the latest movie from director and writer Tarantino, Dern plays General Sanford Smithers, a former key officer for the Confederacy in the Civil War. He and characters played by Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, and Tim Roth are taking refuge in a haberdashery during a blizzard in Wyoming. A stagecoach arrives bearing a fugitive (Jennifer Jason Leigh), bounty hunter (Kurt Russell), sheriff (Walton Goggins) and major (Samuel L. Jackson).

Madsen joins Dern for this chat and discusses playing his role as cow-puncher Joe Gage with lots of secrets and lies. He says, "Everybody does that to a certain extent in reality. It's hard to get the truth out of a waitress nowadays… because it's her job to be nice about it and ask you what you want. I read an interview with Marlon Brando where he says a waiter and a waitress are the two greatest actors in the world. Joe Gage is trying to get something accomplished, and things get very confusing very fast."

Dern was nominated for an Oscar just two years ago for his lead role in the film "Nebraska." That project also brought him nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards. Earlier in his career, he was an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee for his supporting work in "Coming Home" (1978). 

Madsen has worked with Tarantino several times before including "Reservoir Dogs" and the two "Kill Bill" films. His lengthy resume also features the movies "Thelma and Louise," "Wyatt Earp," "Free Willy," "Donnie Brasco," and "Sin City."

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UPLOADED Dec 16, 2015 8:25 pm