VIRGINIA MADSEN (Charlotte O’Neil), A cool, classic beauty, with a vibrant blonde mane and an exuberant flair for the dramatic, Virginia Madsen is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and unique actresses to date. Not only did she receive amazing reviews for her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated performance in Alexander Payne’s hit film, Sideways, but this Independent Spirit Award-winning actress has an illustrious resume of roles alongside the most notable and respected actors in the business. Virginia can next be seen in the Rob Reiner directed film for Magnolia Pictures, The Magic of Belle Isle, opposite Morgan Freeman coming to theatres this July. Virginia also recently wrapped the independent features The Hot Flashes alongside Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, and Wanda Sykes, Long Time Gone directed by Sarah Siegel-Magness, and TNT’s “Hornet’s Nest.” Virginia stars opposite Kevin Spacey in the indie comedy Father of Invention directed by Trent Cooper, released in 2010 and she stared in Red Riding Hood, released in 2011. Virginia was recently seen starring on ABC’s comedic drama series “Scoundrels” based on the New Zealand series “Outrageous Fortune” alongside David James Elliott. She was previously on USA’s final season of “Monk” alongside Tony Shalhoub and starred in the Lions Gate thriller The Haunting in Connecticut in March 2009.
Also on Virginia’s slate is her production company with partner Karly Meola called TITLE IX PRODUCTIONS. Their first project is the documentary I Know a Woman Like That which previewed at the Phoenix Film Festival in April 2009 and premiered at the Chicago Film Festival in October 2009. The doc was directed by Virginia’s mother, Elaine Madsen, about the lives of extraordinary women ages 64-94. Next in the company’s lineup is the documentary Fighting Gravity about women ski jumpers’ ongoing battle for the right to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics. TITLE IX will team up with Empire 8 Productions and Vancouver-based Screen Siren on the project. The duo also has several projects in development that they’re shopping around for financing including screenwriters Sebastian Gutierrez’s screen adaptation of Martha O’Connor’s novel The Bitch Posse and a remake of the 1984 film Electric Dreams in which Virginia appeared.
Her other films include starring roles opposite Harrison Ford in the action thriller Firewall, Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in the comedic drama A Prairie Home Companion, and Forest Whitaker in the existential drama The Ripple Effect. She also starred opposite Jim Carrey in New Line’s 2007 psychological thriller The Number 23, directed by Joel Schumacher, as well as opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the 2006 comedy The Astronaut Farmer. In 2008, she starred in the Sundance hit Diminished Capacity alongside Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda for IFC.
Virginia also appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker with Matt Damon in 1997, the cult classic Candyman with Kasi Lemmons, Hot Spotdirected by Dennis Hopper, HBO’s first feature Long Gone and David Lynch’s Dune. Virginia’s versatility was seen in the independent film, Almost Salinas, opposite John Mahoney and in American Gun, opposite Academy Award winner James Coburn.
It was destiny for Virginia to become a star as her determination and talent quickly paid off. When a Polaroid landed on the desk of the famed director David Lynch, he instantly cast her in his film Dune. Immediately following, Virginia landed a role in the first “computer” film, Electric Dreams in 1984.
When Virginia became pregnant with her son, Jack, she put her successful career on hold. It wasn’t until Jack was in pre-school that the actress had notions of reentering into her Hollywood career. Upon hearing of Virginia’s desire to act again, Francis Ford Coppola asked her to audition for his latest project, the film version of John Grisham’s legal thriller, The Rainmaker, a role that reestablished Virginia’s dynamic career. From there, her career began to soar again. And with the critical acclaim she received for her portrayal of “Maya” in Sidewaysand her roles in Firewall, A Prairie Home Companion, The Astronaut Farmer, The Ripple Effect and The Number 23, it is clear that her hiatus to raise a family did nothing to hinder this go-getter from resilient success.
Virginia comes from a very talented family. In addition to her Emmy award winning mother, Elaine Madsen, her brother is the gifted actor, Michael Madsen. Virginia lives in Los Angeles with her teenage son.