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Joe Mantegna says working with Madonna is like ‘working with Godzilla’

A 400-foot-tall radioactive lizard is probably not what comes to most people’s minds when thinking of Madonna. Yet Joe Mantegna, who costarred with her in the 1993 film Body of Evidence, insists that comparing the iconic musician to Godzilla is meant in the best possible way.

“It’s not because of her acting ability, and not about her personally. It’s like working with Godzilla because she was so huge in the whole world,” Mantegna explains in the latest episode of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. He adds that the two of them “got along really well,” both while working on the infamous film and, earlier, on the original Broadway production of David Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow in 1988.

“Some of the things about Broadway, I think, confused her a bit, because it was new territory for her,” the Criminal Minds star says. “So a lot of times, she’d call me at night, after rehearsal… because sometimes the director would say things to her that she didn’t quite [understand]. And I’d tell, her, ‘Honey, relax, don’t worry about it. Just do what you do, you’ll be fine.’”

Asked if he worried that Madonna’s star power and “notoriety” would “overshadow either of the projects,” Mantegna notes, “I think producers love that, because it’s like, ‘Well, we’re selling a lot of tickets.’” (Not exactly, in the case of Body of Evidence: The critically derided film grossed just over $13 million, on a $30 million budget.)

People