No one plays a bad guy with quite the gleeful menace of Michael Madsen. In films such as "Reservoir Dogs" and "Kill Bill" alone, he's earned a black belt in black hat.
But he's got a serious jones for changing that image now, and he has a film this fall, "Strength and Honour," that may do it. It's already won a slew of awards at film fests. "It's really a father-son story, and I think people will really enjoy it," says Madsen, 49. "It took a lot just for me to get that part."
If you still like your Madsen on the wild and woolly side, check out "Hell Ride," out next month on DVD.
OLD HAUNTS: The Formosa Cafe [in Hollywood] brings back a lot of memories of when I first came to L.A. It used to be a dark little run-down place, but they've added to it and fixed it up since then. Still great atmosphere.
ABOVE IT ALL: The Griffith Observatory is a great place to spend some time or just walk around; it's beautiful on a clear day.
BEST-KEPT SECRET: When I want to see a good sunset, I go to a restaurant by my place out in Malibu that used to be called Monroe's, after Marilyn Monroe. Now it's called the Sunset, and I like to take out-of-town people there. They have a great chef who makes some really good mussels. It's kind of an out-of-the-way place that nobody knows about.
DIGGIN' UP DIRT: I like riding motorcycles around my property and on the dirt-bike trails above Malibu. My youngest, Kalvin, is 10 and is quite good at the motocross stuff. I'm going to encourage him to become a professional.
FIGHT CLUB: I had to quit smoking to get in shape for the boxing scenes in "Strength and Honour," and ever since then I've been trying to stay in shape at Malibu Fitness. It's easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. I also bought some weights, a heavy bag and a speed bag for my house.
TOAST O' THE TOWN: For a good old-fashioned breakfast, you have to love Du-Par's. The French toast is incredible, but I also like the chicken pot pie. Now that is phenomenal.
OLD HOLLYWOOD: For a big night out, I'm a real old-school guy, so I like Musso & Frank. You park in the back and then walk down the stairs and through the kitchen into those great little booths. I've been there with a lot of different people through the years, and it's never changed. And I hope it never does.