You seem to avoid the paparazzi far more these days. Is that because you’re being a protective mum?
Madonna: Yes. My daughter is too young to understand stardom. She doesn’t see the point of the press and she thinks the paparazzi are silly! I’ve only let one photographer take my daughter’s picture and that was for the article in Vanity Fair. The rest are all paparazzi pictures of her on the streets.
Does fame become harder now that your family has grown?
Madonna: Yes, absolutely. I can’t go for a walk on the street with my children. I can’t do the things that other people do with their children. Where Lourdes goes to school is affected by my fame. I can’t make those decisions in the way that other people do.
How much does being a mother affect your career decisions?
Madonna: Very much. I want to be at home, being a mom, as much as possible.
Do you sing to your kids?
Madonna: Oh, yeah. But I won’t tell you what. I make up songs that are really silly and completely embarrassing.
Are there times when you’ve thought ‘forget it!’ and wanted to disappear?
Madonna: Oh, yes, absolutely. I’d just like to go to the countryside. Nothing more than that.
You appear to have fallen in love with everything English. Why is that?
Madonna: I spend a lot of time in LA so it’s a refreshing change. London is very inspiring. I love to read and so few people in LA read books for any other reason than to make movies. In London, you read because you love good books.
Have you been to India yet?
Madonna: No, I’m dying to go. Ricky Martin goes to Nepal by northern India. I’d go to southern India to study with Pavati Joyce.
How much time do you spend practising yoga each day?
Madonna: An hour and a half. It gives me a sense of balance, focus, serenity and wisdom. It’s been a great influence on my life. All of my friends have started doing it. I do Pilates too.
Do you think you’re judged unfa irly in your acting?
Madonna: Absolutely. People are more judgemental when you’ve already been really successful in one area.
Do you look for projects that have a political statement?
Madonna: To a certain extent, yeah. I wouldn’t want to be in a movie that promoted violence, I wouldn’t want to be in a movie that’s shocking just for the sake of being shocking. I don’t want to just be in a movie because I’ll get paid a lot of money or it will be a big huge hit.
It’s never crossed your mind to do a big action film just for the hell of it?
Madonna: No. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything just for the hell of it.
What do you get from making movies as opposed to making music?
Madonna: Well, you get a nice, big trailer when you’re making a movie! It’s a different art form. When you’re writing a song it’s very direct. It comes out of you and nothing stands in the way of that emotion. Making movies is a much more collaborative effort. There are a lot of people involved.
Has the fact that others are in control of your art affected you?
Madonna: It’s been a lesson in submission but not in a weak sense. I’ve learned that you can terrorize and steamroller people or you can learn to do it in more subtle ways.
You now have your own production company. Are you working on anything?
Madonna: Yes, I’m working with someone to develop a screenplay that I’d like to direct. It’s called Going Down and it centres on a year of a young girl’s life in New York City. She’s a 19-year-old budding actress and she becomes a prostitute for one year to pay for her acting classes – it’s very funny.
Will you star in Going Down?
Madonna: No, I just plan to direct it.
Any future films in which you’ll star?
Madonna: I’ve read at least 50 scripts over the past year and they’re all a waste of time. There’s not very many good movies made, period. There’s even fewer with a strong, important woman’s role. I don’t see myself playing the sort of roles that many other successful actresses play.
Do you think Next Best Thing weakened your image because we saw you pining after a guy in the film?
Madonna: Well, I don’t think people were that shocked. I mean, that’s certainly happened to me. I’ve had my heart broken.
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