Interviewed VIRGINIA MADSEN several days ago at her hillside home near Thousand Oaks. Not to kiss her ass, but she certainly looks much younger in person! Her hair is naturally blonde, but currently brown due to just finishing up her latest film with Kevin Spacey, Father of Invention.
Honestly, I never really paid much attention to Virginia as an actress until Sideways rolled ‘round. From then on, I was captured. What a tender, moving performance she gives as waitress cum horticulturist, Maya.
Virginia is a proud mom of fifteen year old, Jack, who we met that day, and his father is Antonio Sabato, Jr. Virginia has been very upfront with Jack about HIV/AIDS and they both are active in Elizabeth Glaser’s Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Virginia explained the backstory to photograph below. This was their first scene on the production in the rolling hills of Santa Ynez mountains [California wine country] and not far from Michael Jackson’s Neverland. Alexander Payne, the director and then husband of Sandra Oh, gave them a picnic basket with a bottle of wine inside. “Go over there,” he said, pointing to an area near a tree. Abound with curiosity, all four actors do so. They walk quite a distance, far from Alexander and the cameras. Sitting, they all kind’a look at one another, like “What do we do now?” Sandra cups her hands around her mouth to make a megaphone and yells, “Do we start eating?” “YES!” yells Alexander. They grab a couple sandwiches, but still not sure what to do. Then they eye the bottle of wine. Sandra yells out once again, “ Do we drink the wine??” Alexander responds in slow cadence, “ Yes….drink…the…wine…and…have….a…picnic!” They did.
When I show Virginia this photograph during the interview she smiles, chuckles and says, “We all were so happy.” Then she adds, “We were all toasting because we were employed.”
At the end of our interview, Virginia gave us a “Hitching Post” bottle of wine that was given to her on the Sideways set. They filmed several scenes in the Hitching Post restaurant located just outside of Solvang, California.