Michael Madsen almost turned down role in ‘Reservoir Dogs’ because he “didn’t want to get shot by Tim Roth”

The revelation comes in a new documentary that looks at Quentin Tarantino's first eight movies

Michael Madsen has revealed that he almost turned down the role of Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs because he didn’t want to get shot by co-star Tim Roth.

In the 1992 movie, Madsen’s character meets his maker at the hands of Roth’s character Mr. Orange, who doubles as an undercover cop, during the climax of Tarantino’s debut film.

In new documentary QT8: The First Eight, Madsen reveals that he didn’t want to be killed by Roth, who at the time was an unknown actor.


“I don’t know why [Tarantino] had me stuck in his head to play Mr. Blonde,” Madsen says in the documentary. “I didn’t want to play Mr. Blonde. I didn’t want to get shot by Tim Roth. I didn’t want to be killed by Tim Roth.”

He continued, “I was like, ‘Hey man, who is Tim Roth?’ I would let Harvey Keitel kill me, but I’m not getting killed by Tim Roth.”

At the time of production, Madsen had appeared in movies such as Thelma & Louise, The Natural and WarGames, while Roth was relatively new to the American film industry with just a few acting credits to his name outside of the UK.

Both actors went on to star in a number of other Tarantino projects. Madsen appeared in Kill Bill and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, while Roth starred in Pulp Fiction and Four Rooms. The pair also reunited in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight in 2015.

QT8: The First Eight arrives in the UK on December 13 and explores the making of Tarantino’s first eight movies.


Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino will not recut Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood for the Chinese market in the wake of Chinese regulators pulling it a week before its scheduled release.

According to reports, the director is taking a take-it-or-leave-it stance after the acclaimed movie, which was due to be released in China on October 25, has been put on hold indefinitely.