When you think of a typical “good guy” action hero, the first face that comes to mind isn’t likely to be Michael Madsen – Which is truly unfortunate because he’s so damn good at playing one! Michael recently launched an all new animated series on The El Ray Network called ‘Explosion Jones’ and it’s probably the most fun you’re going to have watching cartoons in years!
‘Explosion Jones’ is a new animated action comedy starring Michael Madsen, Carl Weathers, Vivica A. Fox, James Hong, and Danny Trejo on The El Ray Network! It’s set in the 1980s and tells the story of ex-Army commando turned rogue detective Explosion Jones (yes, that is the character’s actual name). Explosion is balancing his life as an action hero and a single father after his wife was killed and is doing his best to blow up as many bad guys as possible along the way! The show is a pretty fantastic send-up of 80s action films, and takes things way over the top to the point of ridiculousness that you just can’t get enough of!
We were recently able to sit down with series star Michael Madsen at New York Comic Con 2017 to talk about ‘Explosion Jones’, what it means to him as an actor and how the show really came to be! Check out the full interview below!
So what made ‘Explosion Jones’ the perfect project for you?
Michael Madsen: Ya know, I’m a little tired of playing the villain! I’m very very tired of playing villains. I’m always the bad guy, or the guy that kills everyone or hurts everybody, shoots everybody and does all the bad things. I mean, some of them are good. Quentin Tarantino’s films are good because they’re written well, but I get offered a lot! Like Steven Seagal? He wants to kill me so bad! But I don’t want anything to do with him because he’s going to make me really bad, and really mean, and the whole story. And at the end? He’s going to throw me down the stairs or shoot me. It’s flattering, but I do like the play the hero, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I started off with ‘Free Willy’! I started off with ‘Thelma and Louise’! I started off with Bump Bailey in ‘The Natural’! I wanted to be a good guy, I wanted to be a good person.
Where do you think your career took off in the other direction?
Quentin came along and he wanted me to be “Mr. Blonde”. I didn’t want to be “Mr. Blonde”, I honestly didn’t. I wanted to be “Mr. Pink”, which is silly to think about now because you can’t picture it without Steve (Buscemi)! But in the first script? Before you knew it was Steve? I wanted to get away at the end with the diamonds. I didn’t see anything wrong with that. My career kind of went to ‘Kill Bill’ and I buried Uma in the box… she got out though! She got out, and I was the only one she didn’t get! She didn’t get me, Daryl got me!
And now you’re back working with Vivica A. Fox from ‘Kill Bill’!
MM: Yeah! They asked me who I was thinking of to play my wife, and I’ve seen her in a lot of stuff, and I wanted her very much and asked if they could get her! And they did! And I’m so happy because she’s so smart and such a good actress. You know?
So you’re married to Vivica A. Fox and Carl Weathers is your best friend? How’d that happen?
I was in Copenhagen at one of these events, and there was Carl Weathers sitting at the bar, and he was very stoic. And I remember thinking “oh man, it’s Apollo Creed!” and I went over and I remember I said “hey man!” and he gave me that look. So I say “are you alone?” and he says “uh… yeah” which is ironic because he was alone at the bar, so of course he was alone it was a stupid question. So I sat down next to him and bought him a drink and we were chatting and talking a while. And I never forgot it! So when I was doing the third or fourth episode of ‘Jones’, they introduce my best friend Duke, to be my best friend on the show. So they said to me “Michael, who do you think would be Duke? Christopher Walken? Dennis Hopper?” and I said “Well Dennis Hopper is dead so he’s out!” and I thought of Carl! I remember seeing him and said ‘Carl Weathers”! They said “Carl Weathers?” and I said “Yes Carl Weathers, he was Apollo Creed! What’s wrong with you?” So we got together with Vivica and Carl, and it was my idea! And I am so happy that they did it! They’re both very good actors and good decent human beings.
What’s your favorite part about doing a show like this?
MM: Just being a hero! Him hanging with his daughter, just being a good guy. Saving my little girl, being big and strong!
Is it fun to be able to have all of the action scenes without having to work so much for it to accomplish everything on the screen?
MM: Well, I ride motorcycles, and I ride horses, and I shoot guns… I’m a pretty active guy, so it isn’t a big stretch for me. I understand what he is about, and I get it! But it’s fun to do the voice, fun to go into the studio and just do the voice. Sometimes I just go in my robe, just go to work in my pajamas in the booth. It’s a nice job! That’s the thing with this, ‘Explosion Jones’ isn’t about the money. I do it because my sons like it, and because it’s nice for me not to be a villain!
You can catch the first season of The El Ray Network’s ‘Explosion Jones’ streaming here! Be sure to watch the whole season, it just gets better as it goes! Michael Madsen can also be seen in a number of upcoming projects including ‘CobraGator’, ‘The Witching Hour’, and ‘Rock, Paper, DEAD’! Be sure to stay tuned to ScienceFiction for all of the latest updates on ‘Explosion Jones’!