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Madonna Interview : Attitude

The press has reported that, if any of your friends don’t study Kabbalah then you freeze them out [she rolls her eyes]. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in the film, with Stuart Price taking the piss at your prayer meetings before the show.
He’s always taking the piss. I love Stuart because he always has the opposite point of view. He just pretends he doesn’t care. I love his responses when we were in the prayer circle and everyone’s being really earnest, and he’s smiling at the camera and hamming it up. I considered writing “Typical Brit” on the screen, when he says he doesn’t believe in God.
We don’t tend to, really.
In a way, it’s kind of good that you don’t. In America, it seems everyone’s a born-again Christian, and in Britain it seems like no one believes in God. I think people here think in a far more analytical way, and they often think religion or God or whatever, is just nonsense, which I think is a healthier attitude than just accepting things without asking questions.
Religion is seen as very uncool.
But that’s why it’s cool. It’s so cool to be uncool. It’s subversive to be spiritual! Yes! [Laughs]

Madonna - Attitude / November 2005

It’s really nice to see that stuff in the film with your dad…

That he’s forgiven me… Yeah, for a while we did have a strained relationship. I love my dad – even though he did vote for George Bush.

Did he?
Yeah. But here’s the irony of all ironies: he’s now really good friends with Michael Moore. They live near each other in northern Michigan, where my father has his vineyards, and several things happened. It was Michael’s birthday, and I wanted to send him a gift. I said: “Dad, would you drive over a case of your wine? Can you do that for me?” He put a whole basket together with pasta and sausage, and he and my stepmother went bearing gifts.
He called me later and casually said: “Oh, yeah, we stayed and had a cup of tea. He’s so nice; we really liked him.” I’m like, “You are kidding me, Dad!”
Michael’s just started a film festival this year in Michigan, and my dad’s involved with the community, and they ended up having the opening function in my father’s barn. Then, finally, every time I got a new cut of the film, I would send someone on a plane to show Michael. They’d stay at my dad’s house, and he went over to Michael’s house, and they all watched it together!

Now they’re all friends. I think there’s something beautiful about that. [Laughs] My dad knows he made Fahrenheit 9/11, and he was very opposed to it. I love the fact that they’re friends now.
I love the part where you mention being photographed naked in a gay porn cinema as something a father can be proud of…
Yes, I think he had a little bit of trouble with that.

Do you regret the Sex book now?

I struggle with it. I go back and forwards. There’s a part of me that thinks that, if I hadn’t done that, there would have been so much shit I wouldn’t have had to take. On the other hand, I don’t know – it sort of turned me into a renegade, albeit unwittingly. It certainly made me stronger.
You say in the film that you were “very careless with people’s feelings” in those days. That’s a bold admission.

It’s true. I was really shitty to my boyfriends in the past. I feel horrible for that and I’m not proud of it. I was careless to friends, not everyone, but, you know, sometimes. I went through a period of my life where I was just going forward. It’s not like I wasn’t capable of acts of generosity, but I was careless.
But you grow up – usually when you suffer. It isn’t until you feel pain that you feel the pain you caused other people. Hopefully, you then wake up and say, “That’s what it felt like.”
There’s the line from 1998 – “I had so many lovers who settled for the thrill of basking in my spotlight” – which seems to be you complaining about them, but really that must have been as much your fault…
Sure. I created it. It felt great to have some gorgeous man on my arm, idolising me. I created that for myself. I resented it but asked for it at the same time.
Aren’t you naughty?

[Laughs] Yes. I deserve a spanking!

© Attitude Magazine