What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
I don’t buy silly things at all. Actually I don’t buy many things. If I buy something and regret it I always send it back. I never think, ‘Oh, it’s only money and I’Madonna, I can afford it.’ I’m far too puritanical to be like that. I abhor waste. I can’t stand having things lying abhor waste. I can’t stand having things lying around on purpose, or things in my closet that I don’ wear. Clothes I give to my nannies and assistants and friends instead. Every six months or so I have a clean-out-closet party. Everyone comes over and we get rid of stuff, and I am so relieved. I’ve got to make room for all the new frocks, don’t I?
You could always buy another house.
Yeah, and that’d be a waste too. I hate too much stuff. Also, I am always thinking, ‘Hmm, I think I’ll wear this item of clothing today,’ and I’ll look all over for it and then realise, shit, it’s in Miami or somewhere. So I call up and make them FedEx that shirt right to me.
In the early 90s you often said, “i’m being punished for having an opinion, for having a sex life, for being a woman who gets by without a man,” and so on. And most people thought, what is that punishment? She’s one of the most powerful women in the entertainment world, she’s rich, she’s got loads of houses, a string of men… did you honestly feel this was a period of punishment? Those were the years when you could do whatever you liked.
With hindsight it was mostly about the media and their attempts to undermine what I was doing. They presented me as someone who was only interested in advancing myself through publicity. That felt like punishment.
But the Sex book and the ‘Erotica’ album looked very much like that. How do you feel now about that time, when it felt like you were on every TV screen and front page?
(Carefully) I look back on it as a painful but incredibly growing experience. Everybody who interviews me, by the way, brings up that area of my life and says, “Do you regret it?” Well, no, no, I don’t regret anything. I embrace it as much as I do any other period of my life in retrospect, because I learned so much from it. Everything I have done has led me up to now. I wouldn’t change any of it. I am opinionated and strong-willed, and I’m not afraid to voice my opinions. I also still have loads of insecurity about my singing, my acting, my writing, being a mother. In everything I do, there are moments when I feel I’m not good enough. I have cynical and melancholic sides – I’m Italian, what can I say?
What makes you happy?
Hearing great music, spending time with my daughter, buying an excellent pair of shoes. Simple things.
What’s the worst thing about being Madonna?
That I can’t cook. Really. I feel very guilty about it because I’m Italian and we’re supposed to be able to do it instinctively. But I can’t, so I don’t try. But one of the good things about being me is that if you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to.
And the best thing?
You get to meet a lot of interesting people.
What’s your most treasured possession?
She’s not a thing.
But she is my most treasured possession. I intend to possess her, ha ha! For the rest of her life! You mean an inanimate object? I don’t really care for things, you know.
What’s your favourite journey?
The one I’m taking right now. I don’t think I’ve had it yet.
Do you ever wish you could talk to people without them knowing who you are?
I guess so, but I’m not really conscious of it. If they can’t get past the Famous Me then they’re missing out on me on whole different level.
What do you want most in life?
To finish my record. To get a pizza. And to get a good night’s sleep.