Your children are quite grown up by now. Did they help you choose the songs for “Rebel Heart”?
Yes, for many years now we do that together. I played them every song and asked them for their opinion on the sound and the lyrics.
How was their feedback?
They liked many songs right from the beginning. Sometimes though they opposed to my decisions – which always lead to discussions. I had to watch out for them not to undermine me. My kids know exactly how to influence me.
Who’s your biggest fan in the family?
David loves my music. He is really into the faster tracks and dances around in the room.
And who is your biggest critic?
Lola, definetly. Of all my kids, she is the one closest to me. She knows exactly what she wants. Just like me (laughs).
Lola turned 18 in October and now studies dance, music and theatre in Detroit. How hard was it for you to let go of your first child?
When she moved out of my house, in autumn, it was the hardest day of my life. I was destroyed. Even when my long-term relationships ended I did’t feel the pain I felt in that moment. It almost tore the heart out of my chest.
How long did it take for you to get used to this new situation?
I didn´t get used to it just yet. I miss my daughter every day. Lola is like my soulmate. She is a part of me and so it feels like losing an arm.
As a mother, are you scared of many things?
Yes. I really annoy my children with that. I am very caring and overly protective. I can be a real mother-hen and I don´t like the thought of Lola dancing the night away in clubs without me having the possibility to control at what hour she returns to home.
But isn’t it normal for a young woman to test herself?
Yes, of course. I was even worse at that age (laughs). But it is a sad fact, that we live in a crazy and scary world. Every year it seems to get worse. There are so many freaked out people out there. That is why I am often very scared for my kids.
Is your family complete now or could you imagine adopting another child?
No, I have my hands full raising four children. But I still take financial care of the orphans in Malawi, trying to provide them with education. The children in Malawi in some ways feel like mine anyways.
What is the greatest misconception people have about Madonna?
Oh well, there are plenty. One, for sure is that I am not vulnerable. Some people honestly think that I am never neither sad nor depressed, exhausted and that I never suffer from a broken heart. They think of me as bigger than life. Or they believe that I am cold-hearted and calculating. But you know what? I hate this question (pours tequila and hands it over).
Hold on for a second: you said I had to drink for every stupid question.
Well, I extend it with another category: annoying. Cheers. Drink it up!
And where is the salt and the lemon?
We didn´t have enough money for that (laughs)
Your answer to the question about misconception shows that you are also a vulnerable person. “Rebel Heart” shows this part of your personality. Have you grown softer in the last years?
In some ways, yes. But even 25 years ago I already was romantic and sensitive. The other part of me will always be a rebel.
How do you handle the hostility directed at you?
Sometimes I am very hurt, when I read the hateful and nasty comments people make about me on the Internet. I think it’s shocking how mean and vicious some people could be. Even more, since it’s a very cowardly behavior. Those people would never say the mean things to my face, if they met me in the streets.
You really read the nasty comments about you?
Every now and then, yes I do.
Why do you hurt yourself this way?
Because, I am a very curious person. And luckily, there are not mainly nasty comments, but a lot of positive things. For me it’s exiting to see what my fans are thinking. And, concerning the haters: I should have grown a very thick skin by now, since I have always been critisized. Some people think I am an invulnerable superwoman. But I am not. Some offense directed at me really go under my skin and hurt me. After all, I am just a normal woman.
Why do you think you polarize as much as you do?
In many cases it’s enviousness. Many people just can´t bear the fact that I am still there. And I am a woman who pushes peoples buttons, who scandalizes and polarizes. Many people are put off by that. That´s what I don´t understand: Why do people put so much energy in dealing with someone who they think is terrible.
Since 31 years you are a part of the “pop-circus”. Are there moments in which you feel exhausted and wonder if you should carry on?
No, I love my work. I have too many ideals, plans and creativity to stop now.
Are you sometimes sad by seeing how time flies?
Yes, sometimes I really feel sad, but foremost nostalgic. I miss the good old days, in the beginning of my career. I was friends with so many great artists – Warhol, Haring, Basquiat. I experienced the upcoming of the Rock Steady Crew and the Graffity-Scene. New York was so full of life, we all pushed each other. Nothing was censored, everything was new, unique and exsessive. It was a wonderful time. Nowadays many things have become very nice and boring.
But your life remains exiting: In November you will start a new world tour.
To perform live in front of my fans is the greatest thing for me. But on the other hand it is also a huge effort. That´s why I train so much. I need to be super fit to be able to give my best every evening for months.
What do you say to people who think you are too old to participate in the Pop-Business and who think that you generally don´t behave age-appropriate?
I only have one answer to that… (pushes the button which is standing on the table next to her. A squawking voice exclaims: “Two words – one finger”)
“F*ck you” and the middle finger? There it is, Madonna`s rebellious side!
Yes! I am sick of this age-racisms in our society. Should women over 50 just vanish from the public? Is there a law saying that we can’t be adventurous and experimental after that? That we are not allowed to feel sexy and celebrate sexuality after we have turned a certain age?
No, but many people think it is embarrassing to be sexy in a offensive way after a certain age.
That is not my problem. I never followed rules and I love pushing people´s buttons. If you don´t like it; don’t watch, don´t listen.
© Gala / Translation by primaveraballad