Does that frighten you?
“Frighten me? Yeah, sometimes when they’re relentless and they never leave us alone.”
And yet you expose yourself to it. You play the seductress on your album covers. You invite that sort of reaction. Don’t you ever think that it’s a very dangerous role to play?
“Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m not really afraid of that. It’s meant to be provocative. But it’s not only meant to be provocative in a sexual way. I don’t think about it. Not that aspect. I like to provoke people. I don’t think about the danger of it. And if there is a dangerous element, that’s exciting to me.”
Does your relationship with Sean ever strike you as bizarre? Here’s this bubbly, famous singer and actress married to this sulky, rather aggressive man.
“Well, opposites attract! I specifically don’t want to discuss Sean and how he handles himself. He’s a grown man and he makes his own decisions abaut that. When he wants to talk to the public about it he can do that. But I don’t want to.”
Let’s talk about your character in your new movie Who’s That Girl? What made you want to play Nikki Finn?
“She’s fun and she’s sweet, and she’s tough and she’s street-smart and she’s vulnerable. She just has lots of interesting personality traits. Also she’s resourceful and she’s funny. I think I identify with the last two points the most.”
Griffin Dunne, your co-star has described how sometimes he would look at you during filming and ask himself ‘Just who is that girl?’ It’s a fair question. Who is Madonna?
“Oh well, that would be giving all the mystery away. I mean, I’d be glad to explain my character in the movie. But I think Griffin was asking that question because when we first met and we had our meetings and stuff, I think I was fairly low key. Then when I got into character – I mean my character has no-stop energy and she’s extremely loud and chatty and she’s just like this human fireball – I had to maintain that energy all the time. Even in between takes. So, yeah, I think I drove him a little bit insane.”
Tell us about your childhood. Where did you come from?
“I came from Michigan, I was born in Bay City — a little smelly town in northern Michigan. When I say ‘smelly’ that’s because there was a lot of chemical dumps there. But I don’t mean I hate it. I have a great affection for Bay City.”
How does someone like you happen to come from a “smelly little town”?
“I think a lot of it has to do with imagination and the great desire and need to get out of that small town kind of feeling and go somewhere and be somebody because you feel like you’re missing something.
I think, also, coming from a big family had something to do with it.
There’s that competitiveness that you have when there’s a whole bunch of you and you want your parents’ attention and you don’t want the hand-me-down clothes. You wanna stand out, you wanna be treated special. And then also my mother dying when I was six and a holf, I think that had a lot to do with me saying – after I got over my heartache – well I’m gonna be really strong ond if I can’t have mother to take care of me then I’m gonna take care of myself.”