Q: What about “Different World,” the album’s opening song, where you talk about trading love for fame?
Madonna: It absolutely addresses my relationship with fame. . . . The song is all about me coming to terms with it and understanding what place it has in my life.
Q: The song seems to be saying the price you paid for fame was too high, that you needed to balance your life. Is that correct?
Madonna: Yes, essentially. Fame is a great substitute for feeling approval, for feeling love, and it does give you a certain kind of fulfillment. But at the end of the day, it’s not what love is, so you do get very distracted by it and you end up not taking care of things that you need to take care of. So, you do need to balance.
Q: It seems that maintaining a long-term relationship has been difficult for you. Is that because of your busy lifestyle or something deeper in your nature?
Madonna: I think it is a combination. Probably I’ve had a real fear of intimacy growing up without [one] parent [her mother died when Madonna was 6]; not wanting to be hurt, not wanting to be left again by someone who loves me. So, I built up a wall. Getting people to love me in a mass way was a much safer thing to do. But on top of that, I’m sure other people have a very [strange] view of my lifestyle. People probably look at me and think, “Oh God, she can have whatever she wants. She lives in a really fast-paced way. She’s probably independent. She doesn’t need anyone.” It adds up to a pretty frightening place for most people to want to step into.
Q: How about your film career? How pleased were you with the “Evita” experience?
Madonna: Very pleased. It was very fulfilling on every level. In the end, it was great being able to learn to sing that score, and it was great working with [director] Alan Parker and [actors] Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas. It was also great learning about this incredible woman.
Q: Is there any way you can compare the movie world and the music world, both from a creative and business standpoint?
Madonna: It’s not very different from a creative point of view because it is all about finding your truth in those moments, whether you are singing or acting. But as a singer, I am the architect. It’s much more hands-on. I have an idea. I write songs. I go into the studio and it’s pretty much instant gratification. When you make a movie, it’s just a huge bureaucracy because movies cost so much money. Millions of people get involved, and pretty soon the creative idea gets tramped on and watered down or filtered through a huge system. Just imagine [a process where you preview] a movie for an audience and let them tell you how to change the ending. You let people give it scores and then you work your movie around what they think. Could you imagine if people did that with their records? I love the art form, but working in film can be a disheartening experience. Just from my own experience, at least five or six films I was going to do have fallen apart just since I’ve done “Evita.” They couldn’t raise enough money for it or the actors dropped out.
Q: What film are you doing next?
Madonna: I’m supposed to be doing a movie called “Recycle Hazel.” It’s a true story, set in the South, very Tennessee Williams-esque. It’s a beautifully written story. We are trying to find a director right now. It’s going to be for Mad Guy [the film company she runs with Oseary]. After that, I plan to go on tour, which will take me to the end of the year. Then I’ll do [the film] “Chicago” with Goldie Hawn and director Nicholas Hynter.
Q: Did you see the line in Vanity Fair where someone called you and Courtney Love the Joan Crawford and Bette Davis of today?
Madonna: Yes, and I thought it was stupid. You know Crawford and Davis had this serious rivalry. People love pitting strong females against each other. Besides, at the end of the day, which one is supposed to be who?
Q: Finally, what about the future? Do you think you ever want to get married again?
Madonna: Marriage? I don’t know what I really think about marriage. I’m a bit confused on that issue.
Q: But more children?
Madonna: Oh, yes, I would love to have a brother or sister for Lola. I don’t know when, but it’ll happen. . . . There’s a song on the album called “Nothing Really Matters,” and it was very much inspired by my daughter. It’s just about realizing that when the day is done the most important thing is loving people and sharing love, so of course I want more of that love in my life.
© Los Angeles Times