“The seats are named as you get to the center of the ring, and I was ring side so I was really very close to this fight. I’m keep getting closer and closer and I wasn’t seeing my name, and then I see several famous people names until I see ‘Madonna’, ‘Zac Efron’, and I was like ‘what?’. I was like, ‘I’m next to Madonna for this entire fight.”
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1985 was the year a rising pop star named Madonna went supernova thanks to her starring role in the hit comedy Desperately Seeking Susan and her first blockbuster North American concert tour. But the singer didn’t look like the next big music sensation when she turned up on the set of the high school wrestling movie Vision Quest — which was released in February 1985, two months before Susan and the Virgin Tour — to film a small role as a nightclub singer serenading the movie’s stars, Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino.
“She looked like Boy George,” Modine tells Yahoo Movies. “The producers were saying this girl was going to be such a big star, but I remember people not really being impressed.” Even her songs left listeners cold. First, she performed the largely forgotten “Gambler,” followed by “Crazy for You,” which has since become a staple of proms around the world, but slightly underwhelmed listeners at the time. “We thought, ‘Oh, that’s a sweet song,‘” Modine says of hearing that slow dance anthem for the first time.
Within a year, though, the actor discovered just how big a star Madonna had become. While visiting Rome to discuss a potential film role, Modine saw a giant poster of the singer’s face, with “Crazy for You” printed in Italian. “I thought, ‘Oh, she must be doing a concert here.’ But then I looked at the poster a little bit closer and at the bottom I saw myself [in a scene from the film] with my arms in the air. The movie had gone from being a Matthew Modine movie that Madonna was in to a Madonna movie that Matthew Modine was in! That’s how fate would have it.”
Thirty-two years later, Vision Quest‘s Madonna-scored montages are among the highlights of a teen sports movie that’s clearly made in the image of The Karate Kid — a box-office sensation the year prior — but has its own unique moves. Available for the first time on Blu-ray, Vision Quest is notable for how it avoids giving the underdog hero, Lowden Swain (Modine), a Cobra Kai-style nemesis to defeat on the wrestling mat. Instead, his final opponent, Brian Shute (Frank Jasper), is presented as a decent guy who is on his own “vision quest” — a self-imposed rite of passage that leads teenagers into adulthood. In Lowden’s case, that quest involves dropping 22 pounds to wrestle Brian, who is in a lower weight class.
And when the two meet before their climactic match, Shute reveals himself to be anything but a Johnny Lawrence clone. “He’s a good athlete trying to be the best athlete,” Modine says of Jasper’s character. “He’s not this monster Lowden is going to slay. Anyone who has ever put on a wrestling singlet knows that the person you’re actually wrestling is yourself. It’s about discovering what your own personal strengths and weaknesses are.” In fact, in the novel that inspired the film, author Terry Davis declined to reveal the outcome of the Swain vs. Shute throwdown, from which Lowden emerges the victor onscreen.
“It’s just about him achieving his goal of being there to wrestle Brian,” Modine says. “Of course, with a movie we want a little bit more than that. We want that euphoric moment of seeing a person accomplishing their goal. There’s been talk about remaking this movie, but I think whenever a screenwriter tries to approach it from a 2017 perspective, it’s impossible to make. The world that Lowden Swain exists in is so different than the world we live in today.”
Patti LuPone slammed Madonna’s acting abilities during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Tuesday, May 9.
The Broadway legend, 68, and the pop superstar, 58, both played Argentinian First Lady Eva Perón in Evita; LuPone won a Tony Award for her role in the original 1979 Broadway production, while Madonna won a Golden Globe for the 1996 film adaptation.
During Tuesday’s WWHL, Cohen asked LuPone to share her thoughts on Madonna’s performance in Evita, and she didn’t hold back. “I was on the treadmill. You know when MTV used to have music videos, right? I saw, I believe it was ‘Buenos Aires,’ and I thought it was a piece of s–t,” she said. “Madonna is a movie killer. She’s dead behind the eyes. She cannot act her way out of a paper bag. She should not be in film or on stage. She’s a wonderful performer for what she does, but she’s not an actress.”
LuPone also told viewers that she and the “Vogue” singer have never had a conversation about their respective performances in Evita, though they have crossed paths. “She was downstairs at the Mitzi Newhouse [Theater in New York] when I was upstairs doing Anything Goes in the Vivian Beaumont, and a press agent actually put a sign up that there was only one diva allowed in this theater at a time,” LuPone said. “It wasn’t me! It was the press agent that did it. I don’t know whether she ever found out about it. I did meet her after her opening night party, and the only thing that Madonna has ever said to me was, ‘I’m taller than you.'”
In general, the theater vet isn’t a fan of many film adaptations of stage musicals. “I don’t know why people assume they can do musicals or make movie musicals without ever having been involved with the process of making a musical,” she said, noting that she didn’t enjoy 2012’s Les Misérables. “That’s the thing I don’t understand.”
Guy Ritchie says the breakdown of his marriage to Madonna was “like a death”.
Although the 48-year-old director is now happily married to Jacqui Ainsley, 35, he admitted that his divorce from Madonna, 58 – the mother of his sons Rocco and David – in 2008 was tough.
He told the Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine: “A marriage breakdown is a death. That is all I can say. Now I just want to say positive things about her. I don’t regret being married to her, I don’t, you know, not in the slightest.
“She’s a wonderful mother and has been very good to the kids, and her new kids, the twins, will have a wonderful education and receive lots of love. No one could say anything negative about that.”
5 – Madonna, Ray of Light
Don’t call it a comeback. Because while Madonna’s immediately preceding genres of choice—R&B, adult contemporary, Broadway—were quickly rendering her relevance a thing to be admired only in the past tense, her chart prowess was still in fine form. No, Ray of Light was a rebirth, the sound of a queen, sitting on her throne, taking inventory of her icy, empty fortress—and not liking what she saw one bit. From “Drowned World” to “Frozen” to “Mer Girl,” water is a recurring theme, serving as a symbol of purification throughout. Madonna’s lyrics are notably devoid of any trace of cynicism here, and though it’s tempting to interpret her “answers” as obvious or absolute, it’s her sense of wonder and searching—and, of course, Patrick Leonard’s gorgeous melodies and William Orbit’s immaculate yet playful production—that elevates Ray of Light above mere trend-chasing New Age hogwash. Cinquemani Full list here.
If the Universal project does get greenlighted, it will have to survive the wrath of the Material Girl.
Most scripts on the Black List — an annual ranking of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays, voted upon by the people who read them (many of them agency and studio assistants) — remain just that: unproduced.
But not always. Certainly landing in first place on the list doesn’t hurt. Such was the case with Blond Ambition: The biopic from first-time screenwriter Elyse Hollander about Madonna’s rise to fame earned 48 votes on the 2016 list, 13 nods ahead of the second-place entry from veteran scribe Dan Fogelman (This Is Us).
The script impressed Universal enough to snatch up the property, with two major producers — Michael De Luca and Brett Ratner — attached. Still, no director has yet been attached and the film is not yet an official green light.
Definitely not on board, however, is Madonna herself. The singer has posted several Instagram messages denouncing the project. In the first, posted just hours after The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of the project on Tuesday, she writes, “Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool.”
On Wednesday, a copy of the script now in hand, her criticism crew more pointed and personal. “Why would Universal Studios want to make a movie about me based on a script that is all lies???” she writes. “The writer Elyse Hollander should write for the tabloids.”
As an example of the script’s inaccuracies, Madonna singled out a line of dialogue on the first page, in which Madonna tells Dick Clark in an interview on American Bandstand, “I was born in Detroit. I’m a famed high school dropout.”
Here’s an excerpt from The Times interview:
…Harry orders a bowl of tomato soup. The steam hasn’t settled before she calls Madonna, a star heavily indebted to her, an “a**hole”. She is referring to the speech Madonna made during the women’s march in Washington in January, when she talked about having “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House”. Harry is disapproving. “I don’t feel like I have to be an asshole and say stupid things like ‘Bomb the White House’, but I am speaking out on politics now. I’m sleepless since Trump’s election.”
Geena Davis was interviewed about “A League of Their Own” for USA Today, here’s the part about Madonna…
Madonna was a question mark: Davis admits she wasn’t sure what it would be like to work with Madonna, then in her prime.
“She was Madonna. We wondered if we were going to be able to talk to her. Was she going to have an entourage? Were they going to put up walls around her where she stands?” Davis recalls.
Ultimately, Madonna was a team player who trained hard and insisted on sliding head-first into bases. “That was painful. But she was so game. She was a trooper,’ says Davis.
#2 Madonna, Erotica
No Madonna album was ever met with a louder backlash or was more rampantly misrepresented than this dark masterpiece, so you know it was doing something right. Released on the tail end of AIDS hysteria, Erotica is far from the opus to guiltless sexual fulfillment it—and its even more ridiculed accompanying tome Sex—was made out to be. Though there’s no doubt it espouses taking joy in physical pleasure (“Let me remind you in case you don’t already know/Dining out can happen down below”), no album seems more empathetically haunted by the act’s countless side effects (i.e. “Bad Girl,” “Thief of Hearts,” a purposefully monotonous house cover of Peggy Lee’s “Fever”). Underneath Madonna’s bondage getup and Shep Pettibone’s oversized drum tracks beats a truly pained heart. Henderson Check out the full list here.
The Queen of Pop brought the heat when she teamed up with Timbaland and co-producer Pharrell Williams for her Hard Candy LP — and not just metaphorically. Madonna has been known to turn down the air-conditioning at concerts and during recording sessions over concerns that colder, drier air could affect her voice. “The studio was hot,” Timbaland remembers. But apart from her high-temp preferences, there was no diva behavior in the booth. “She was down-to-earth Madonna,” he says. “She’s just brutally honest about a lot of stuff: ‘I’m doing this, I’m not going to sing that.’ She’s very matter-of-fact but still very fun and loving and into her craft.”
Katy is on the cover of the latest issue of Vogue, she mentions Madonna in the interview:
…Nevertheless, “I miss references all the time,” she admits. “Amy Grant was our Madonna. We knew about Madonna and Marilyn Manson in my family because we picketed their concerts.” At a Manson concert in Santa Barbara, she handed out pamphlets titled How to Find God. She ended up going in to watch the performance with her youth pastor and, to her surprise, found it “really interesting and weird—I got it. But my house was church on Sunday morning, church on Sunday night, church on Wednesday evening; you don’t celebrate Halloween; Jesus gives you your Christmas presents; we watch Bill O’Reilly on TV. That was my whole childhood and youth and early teens. I still have conditioned layers dropping off of me by the day.”
Later in the interview, she says about Madonna: “She did the art of evolution so well.”
“For the women that are out there now, I would always ask the question, “Do you feel more empowered by using your body to draw attention to your art? Or do you feel more empowered by wielding a talent that moves the molecules?” And to me, I choose the latter, because – I mean, I wouldn’t put it all on Madonna – but there’s a certain part of me that says when you start exploring sex as a woman’s power and you project that into art as a business form, you change the way women are forever looked at.” – Sheryl Crow on The Big Interview show