PARIS – There’s more than meets the eye with actor Michael Madsen, known for his cold-blooded and violent roles in films like “Reservoir Dogs.”

In an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press, Madsen showed his little-seen soft side, saying he writes poetry, loves children and still misses his “inspiring” friend Dennis Hopper, who died of cancer in 2010.

The American actor is in the French capital as the president of the first Champs-Elysees Film Festival, which opened Wednesday and runs for a week on one of the world’s most famous avenues.

Quentin Tarantino’s 2004 film “Kill Bill 2,” which stars Madsen as Budd, will be screened at the festival, alongside new movies such as Charlize Theron’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” The cinematic selection pays homage to American and French film, both mainstream and independent.

A special tribute is also being given to legendary movie producer Harvey Weinstein for his role in bridging U.S. and European cinema with films such as 2011’s “The Artist.”

Madsen, 54, called Weinstein a “genius,” and said he was humbled by being asked to come.

It was a decade after Madsen’s 1982 film debut that he shot to international fame as the violent Mr. Blond in Tarantino’s hit film “Reservoir Dogs.”

Since then, roles in “Sin City” and the critically acclaimed mobster film “Donnie Brasco” have secured his image as one of the meanest guys in Hollywood. But speaking candidly about the infamous “ear” scene in “Reservoir Dogs” — in which he slices off a victim’s ear with a razor — Madsen spoke of how tough it was to play the thug after becoming a father shortly before shooting started on the movie.

During the take, the victim played by Kirk Baltz ad-libbed: “Don’t (kill me). I have children.”

“I just said, ‘Oh my God.’ I couldn’t do it, I didn’t want to do it,” said Madsen.

So is the bad boy finally showing his sensitive side?

Madsen argues that this softer side was there from the beginning, saying that being pure evil is one-dimensional — simply bad acting.

“I’ve always tried to show that,” he said. “When you play a character that’s quite evil, you need to find the nobility in the man.”

Crow says she has benign brain tumor

LOS ANGELES – Sheryl Crow says she has a brain tumor — one that was found after she became concerned about her increasingly spotty memory.

Crow’s benign meningioma showed up during a screening that the breast cancer survivor had done in November on a hunch.

“I worried about my memory so much that I went and got an MRI. And I found out I have a brain tumor,” Crow recently told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And I was like, ‘See? I knew there was something wrong.'”

Meningiomas actually form in the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Usually benign, they can press against the brain or spinal cord if they grow.

Miley Cyrus, 19, is engaged to Australian star

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It turns out “The Last Song” was only the beginning for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.

The couple who met on the set of that movie in 2009 announced their engagement Wednesday morning. Publicist Jeff Raymond confirmed a People Magazine report of the news.

Hemsworth, the 22-year-old Australian star of “The Hunger Games,” and Cyrus, the 19-year-old “Hannah Montana” star and singer, were engaged on May 31. Hemsworth proposed with a 3.5-carat diamond ring, People reported.

“I’m so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam,” the daughter of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus told People.

The magazine report also said Cyrus is recording a new album, and Hemsworth is scheduled to shoot two movies before tackling “The Hunger Games” sequel.