Madonna has proclaimed this the year of keeping her clothes on. She proved her point Saturday by showing up for a date with the press dressed in a dark velvet pant suit, circumspect blouse and eyeglasses. Given the nudie double whammy of her kinky book, Sex, and her new movie, an erotic thriller called Body of Evidence, she said she’s going to stay covered in 1993 — “except when I take a shower.” Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Madonna’s body in evidence, not only on virtually every page of the book but also in Body of Evidence, opening Friday. In it, the Bay City bombshell plays a sexual adventuress who may also be a killer.
Her sex scenes feature nudity, paraphernalia and behavior that pushes the R rating to its outer limit. Nipple clips and handcuffs are business as usual to her character. In one scene with Willem Dafoe, who plays her lawyer, she brings hot wax and cold wine to the foreplay. In another scene, set in a crowded elevator, she unzips his trousers and, with his briefcase covering her hand, makes it the mast exciting ride of his life.
In other words, before Madonna called the moratorium on nudity, she bared everything but her soul. That she unveiled, if only in fleeting glimpses, during a 45-minute session with the press last weekend in New York City.
“I think it’s impossible for anyone to say they know me or write as if they know me unless they actually know me,” she admonished. “These so-called psychological profiles are a sham.
“When you’re a celebrity, you’re allowed (by the media) to have one personality trait. Which is ridiculous.
“I am strong. I am vulnerable. And I am everything else in between, just like everyone else.”
Asked whether she wakes up every morning, looks in the mirror and congratulates herself for being the most powerful, glamorous woman in the world, she replied wistfully, “I wish. I wish I could wake up thinking that.”
True to her reputation as the most hard-working, disciplined of performers and self-promoters, Madonna didn’t let a bad cough keep her from the scheduled press conference on the 54th floor of a midtown hotel.
In person, she looks much, much smaller than she does on screen — tiny, really. There’s nothing diminutive about her personality, though. She gives as good as she gets from a group of about 40 journalists, demonstrating again the qualities that long ago gave her most favored media status: sassiness, candor and a lively, often self-directed sense of humor.
Q. How do you feel about this feminist role (in Evidence)?
A. (airily) I feel great.
Q. Do you consider your body a weapon?
A. (briskly) I think anybody’s body has the potential to be .a weapon. But ultimately, it’s your mind that tells your body what to do, so it’s the mind that is the weapon.
Q. When are you going to do a role that’s different from your sexy, liberated image?
A. (demurely) When someone offers it to me.
Q. How do you feel about the boycott of Colorado (a result of anti-gay legislation)?
A. (vigorously) I support the boycott myself.
Q. Do you feel sympathy for Princess Diana?
A. (playfully) Oh, yeah. My heart goes out to her.
Q. Do you have any advice for Di?
A. (forcefully): Oh, yeah: Get rid of him.
Q. How do you feel about the movie ratings?
A. (earnestly) I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy when it comes to the ratings. Children are allowed to watch people being blown up to bits but love is an evil, horrible thing.
Q. How will you react if there is not wide acceptance of this film?
A. (testily) You mean if everyone says it’s horrible, what will I do? I’ll slit my wrists.
Q. How do you want people to view you in this film?
A. (impatiently) As an actress. That’s it. I hope to be viewed as an actress.
Q. Is being a tycoon a kick?
A. (guilelessly) There’s no way I get as much excitement about the business side of it as I do about the creative.
Q. Which do you like better, the music or the movies?
A. (thoughtfully) That’s like saying which child do I like better. I can’t decide. And besides, they’re so different. Acting is so much about surrendering yourself to the director’s vision and the character. Music is all about gathering yourself and being more than what you are.
Q. You’re an icon. Could any man deal with that?
A. (coyly) Could you?
Q. How do you see a middle-aged Madonna?
A. (sarcastically) Me?? Middle-aged? Oh, boo-hoo.
In addition to the volley of quips — her preferred method of handling the wide-ranging queries tossed her way — Madonna stated and in several cases restated her philosophical position on a variety of subjects.
Her most interesting, substantive comments were about mating for life and motherhood, as well as middle age. Now 34, she allowed that she’s ready and eager to settle into a new phase of her personal life.
“I definitely see (myself) having a child,” she said. “I don’t think you have to be in a long-term relationship to have one, though. But that would be nice, too. So yes, I’m looking for the chicken before the egg — no pun intended.”
Does that, paired with the pronouncement that she’s going to keep her clothes on, mean there will be new, tamer Madonna for the ’90s?
Nah. Not a chance.
After the “boo-hoo” with which she initially greeted the subject of her own middle age, Madonna dropped
the smirk and told her future.
“I don’t think age has anything to do with wanting to challenge society or with questioning society’s motives,” she said. “I don’t think because you reach middle age you suddenly become acquiescent and give up.”
To be continued, no doubt.
© Detroit News