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Rosanna Arquette talks ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’

The movie was really groundbreaking even though it’s a comedy — it’s entirely about women, written and directed by women, starring women, produced by women. Did it feel like it was breaking ground in that way at the time?
I’ve been talking about that recently, that Desperately Seeking Susan was totally groundbreaking. And Barbara Boyle brought it in — it was her film. It felt that way then, too. It was cool. I don’t think we understood the impact, but it did feel good. Hollywood wasn’t evolved enough to understand it and get it. Now, it really means something.

I know the script took a long time to get off the ground. At what point did you get involved?
I think I was one of the first people they reached out to. But there were a lot of Susans [thrown around]. They wanted Ellen Barkin at one point; she would’ve been fantastic. I would’ve loved that. Melanie Griffith. Some great actresses that were up for the Susan part. I didn’t audition; it was just an offer. I was with my friend Kenny Ortega, who’s a famous choreographer, and he asked me,”Look, I have a woman who wrote this script, and she’d love you to do it.”

Rosanna Arquette Answers All of Our Questions About Desperately Seeking Susan

Had Madonna been cast by then?
I was cast first. And then they told me about this pop star that was just blowing up while [the casting] was happening. Suddenly it was like, “Who’s this beautiful girl singing this pop song?” I remember watching her in the “Lucky Star” video and just going, “Oh my god.” It was electric. Everybody at that time fell in love with her. Including me. I remember her cool outfit — I’d just got one too, and I wasn’t wearing it, but the Agnes B. pencil skirt. Her whole look, with the black rubber bracelets — she just had this whole vibe. She was very much like, [affects Madonna voice], “Hi stranger.” Exactly like it was at the end of the movie.

Vulture: Rosanna Arquette Answers All of Our Questions About Desperately Seeking Susan

‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ star Mark Blum dead from coronavirus at 69

Actor Mark Blum, known for playing Madonna’s love interest in the legendary 1985 New York City film “Desperately Seeking Susan,” has passed away due to coronavirus complications. He was 69.

Madonna and Mark Blum in Desperately Seeking Susan

A New Jersey native, Blum also had a role in 1986’s “Crocodile Dundee” and appearances on a string of TV series, including “NYPD Blue,” “The Sopranos,” “The West Wing” and recently the cult hit “You,” playing bookseller Mr. Mooney.

“With love and heavy hearts, Playwrights Horizons pays tribute to Mark Blum, a dear longtime friend and a consummate artist who passed this week,” the off-Broadway theater tweeted. “Thank you, Mark, for all you brought to our theater, and to theaters and audiences across the world. We will miss you.”

His onscreen wife in “Susan,” Rosanna Arquette, also expressed her sadness at Blum’s passing, after being told of it by author Sharon Waxman.

“Sharon Waxman informed me of this very very hard news today,” wrote Arquette. “I’m so deeply sad for his family and for his fans. he was a wonderful actor and a very good and kind man. May you Rest In Peace and power mark. God bless you.”

Blum, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, is recalled by his colleagues and critics for the intensely high quality of his work. He was particularly beloved in the theater community.

“There are actors whose names appear in the announcement of a play, and you instantly think, without knowing any details: This will be work worth seeing,” writes Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks. “Mark Blum was of that wonderful caliber. Made me believe, every time I saw him. It’s terrible to read of his death.”

Writer Christopher Shinn also took to Twitter to salute Blum’s life and kindness.

“In 2011 Mark Blum starred in my play Picked @vineyardtheatre, in a tricky role — a narcissistic filmmaker whose more human instincts collide with the desire to protect himself from emotional risk,” Shinn writes. “Mark’s performance took huge risks. He was magnificent. And the kindest man. RIP.”

Blum leaves behind his wife and fellow actor Janet Zarish, also 69, whose credentials include guest appearances on “Law & Order,” “Seinfeld” and “Blue Bloods.”

New York Post

Billboard: Madonna in 2000 – Reinventing Pop ‘Music’

Following our Billboard staff-picked list of the 100 greatest songs of 2000, we’re writing this week about some of the stories and trends that defined the year for us. Here, we look back at the way Madonna, arguably the most iconic pop star of the ’80s and ’90s, entered her third decade: with an album that pushed both music and her own songwriting into new and unexpected places.

The year 2000 was a good time to be Madonna. Through the ups and downs of the ’90s, she’d followed the musical standard she’d set on 1989’s Like a Prayer, extending her range as a singles artist into a more personal, album-driven format. The birth of Lourdes Leon, her first child, sparked the creation of 1998’s Ray of Light — still her most critically acclaimed album, which led to her three of her first four Grammy Awards all at once the next year.

Madonna Music

But most importantly, Madonna’s influence on the next generation of musicians had begun to manifest. Maverick Records, her imprint under Time Warner, was in full swing, releasing albums by acts as big as Alanis Morissette, Marilyn Manson, and The Prodigy. In the mid-’90s, the Spice Girls had kicked off a new wave of teen pop, branding pop-feminism as Girl Power, and the likes of Britney, Christina, and Destiny’s Child were now taking up the reins in America. These were self-possessed, ambitious young women who knew their potential, singing over dance beats and R&B grooves, not guitars — all of whom looked up to Madonna, whether she liked it or not. In 2000, she said to Rolling Stone (with an apparent eye roll), “I’ve been told that I have inspired Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. So maybe it’s not so strange that I could be in the mix of them. I’m not sure.”

Seventeen years after her self-titled debut album, Madonna had come full circle. Enough time had passed that even her biggest skeptics had to concede to her body of work, but she remained a driving force within popular culture. Into the new millennium emerged her eighth studio album Music — a concise title that would come to speak volumes. Though the album cover (along with the subsequent “Don’t Tell Me” video) suggested a cowgirl reinvention, Music was in fact a globalist, Warholian pop-art take on Americana — largely recorded in London, with exclusively British and French collaborators. read more →

Madonna on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar V&A Edition

Madonna is featured on the cover of April 2020 issue of Harper’s Bazaar’s Collector Edition for Victoria & Albert Museum:

Madonna on the cover of Harper's Bazaar V&A Edition

“This limited-edition cover of the Harper’s Bazaar April 2020 issue features a striking photograph of Madonna wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier kimono, originally shot for the magazine’s 1999 issue. Gaultier’s eye-catching design is now on show as part of the V&A’s landmark exhibition, ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’, which is celebrated inside the issue with a deeply personal piece by the award-winning novelist Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.”

Victoria and Albert Museum

Diplo on Madonna

“I love Madonna so much,” he shares. “I used to be a huge fan of Madonna… Basically she was my first idea of a pop star. So when I got to meet her and hang with her and work with her it was like a dream come true. And I’ve done I think four songs, six songs with her now. And we’re friends, we speak a lot so, she’s one of my heroes.”

Billboard