Madonna Gets Real
You think I’m going to guest-edit an issue of EW and not talk to the Queen of Pop about the year’s biggest world tour. kicking off Sept. 9 in Montreal? In late July, Madonna, 56, rang me up and we dished about Instagram, Beyonce, Truth or Dare… and, oh, she called me sexist.
Madonna! Hi! How are you?
I’m tired, not gonna lie.
You’re working your ass off, aren’t you?
I am. We work really late hours, and I got into the vicious cycle of working late then sleeping late.
Where are you right now?
I’m in New York.
I mean, are you in your tub? In your bed?
Ha, no. I wish I was in my bed. If I got in my bed, though, I wouldn’t get out. I’m in my office.
And are you in sweats?
I’m in silk pajama shorts, if you must know. They were made for me by Dolce & Gabbana, I don’t know, eight years ago, so there’s sort of tattered, vintage look about me.
Perfect, you’re giving me full Madonna now! I can’t wait for you get to get back on tour – I love screaming your name at the top of my lungs. Am I going to see dancing nuns on stripper poles?
Did somebody tell you that?
I saw the trailer.
Oops, so I guess the cat’s out of the bag.
Was that your idea?
I mean, yeah. It was. I just like the juxtaposition. I’m very immersed in deconstructing the concept of sexuality and religion and how it’s not supposed to get together, but in my world it goes together.
That’s one of the reasons that I love you. I assume we’ll be hearing “B*tch, get off my pole” while the nuns are on the stripper poles.
Mmmm, you might. I don’t want to give away the details. I want people to be surprised.
How many hours a day are you rehearsing at this point?
Well, I consider meeting for video and fittings all part of the rehearsal process, so that’s, I don’t know, 10 to 12 hours a day.
What are you eating?
[Laughs] Anything I can get my hands on.
No, really, I have to keep eating so I have energy. I eat food, you know, normal food. Omelets for breakfast, healthy lunches, and things like that, but i’m also supplementing that with power shakes and those energy bars. I have a woman who follows me around. I call her the food police. “Aare you eating? Did you drink enough water?” I’m like, “Bitch, get off my pole!”
By the way, can you cook?
Wow, we’re really jumping around.
I’m just curious!
No, it’s not one of my talents, I’m sorry to say. Everyone asks me that, including my 14-year-old son [Rocco], who is absolutely not satisfied with all of my accomplishments. He just wants me to cook for him. I’m like, “Okay, I’ll get to that. I promise you, when this tour’s over with, I’m gonna cook for you.”
I loved seeing Rocco on the last tour. Are we gonna see him doing anything on this one?
I think he’s probably gonna work behind the scenes. He’s not interested in performing on stage with me right now. There’s cooler things. Your mom is not that cool when you’re 14.
So do you still have the Truth or Dare mother-hen thing going on with the dancers?
Of course. Yep. Every day. They’re my little babies.
Tell me how you balance hits and new material on your set list.
Well it’s tricky. Of course, the thing I’m most excited about doing is my new stuff, because I haven’t done it yet and it’s fresh.
But I realize that people want to hear my older stuff, so for me it’s always a tricky balance trying to keep some kind of continuity, not only with sound, sonically, but also thematically. Because when I first started writing music, I was a young girl, and I didn’t write about very deep things. And now I do. Although going from what I consider to be slightly superficial topics to more profound ways of thinking is also a challenge. That’s why a lot of times I have to take the songs and turn them inside out and make them more ironic than straightforward, so that they work for me.
You’ve been teasing your set list on Instagram.
Madonna: Yeah, of course I have.