Michael Madsen’s a big softie (but please don’t tell him we said that)

A man whose voice is best described as “pants-crapping terror given aural form” isn’t who you expect to be staring benignly at a nightclub photographer’s camera from behind a garish Hawaiian shirt. Something’s wrong. Either the gravelly voice and years of roles as men who’d just as soon shoot you as look at you are miles from the truth, or else the stone-cold killer is biding his time, planning something. Something nightmares have nightmares about.

As much as we secretly hope it’s the latter, truth is, it’s the former. Michael Madsen, veteran of dozens of roles, all of them badass, is a poet and an artist. He also had multiple club gigs over two nights surrounding the Las Vegas Film Festival—and in the process made sure his wife got plenty of attention for her birthday.

Madsen split time July 15 at Gallery, where he was drinking pinot grigio (white wine, Mr. Blond? For real?), taking pictures with fans and leading the club in singing “Happy Birthday” to his wife, DeAnna.

On July 16, Madsen was at Chateau, along with the Indie Icon Award with which the festival honored him. This time around, he and DeAnna started with dinner at the Sugar Factory, along with their son, Christian. He then went up to the club to again celebrate DeAnna’s birthday. He couldn’t cut one cop’s ear off with a straight razor, or even muster up the energy to shoot one blonde with a samurai sword full of rock salt? We feel like Quentin Tarantino has lied to us here.

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