Stuart Price, who is in the film as much as Ritchie, appears in an early scene telling Madonna a joke, which she loves: “What’s so great about fucking twenty eight year-olds?” Answer: “There are 20 of them.” Later, Madonna asks: “What’s the difference between a terrorist and a pop star? You can negotiate with a terrorist.”
“Hopefully people will see the film,” Stuart Price told me after a screening, “and realise that M is actually one of the kindest and most personable people you could hope to meet, and not the lunatic most people think she is.”
Interviewer: It’s interesting that you’re not slowing down.
Madonna: Hell no. It’s probably the sign of a very sick person. Part of it is a true desire to grow and a searching, and part of is just good old-fashioned obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Everyone who knows me thinks I’m a bit of a work Nazi.
Interviewer: And you’re keen to ensure that your children aren”t slowing you down. You know that Sylvia Plath or Cyril Connolly or Cyril Knowles quote about the pram in the hall being the enemy of creativity and promise?
Madonna: There’s a thing I say in the film when I’m with all the musicians and dancers and it’s the last show and I’m saying goodbye, and I’ve got my eyes closed and I start crying. Where I cry is when I say I feel the pull between my family and my creative life, and the struggle to keep it all balanced and to do it all right. It’s a struggle, and I know where Sylvia Plath is coming from, to a certain extent, though I’m not as depressed as her. I was obsessed with her when I was in high school. The Bell Jar is my bible.
Interviewer: So if you didn’t have kids…
Madonna: My work probably wouldn”t be as good. Having children made me go down a road of serious introspection and self-examination. I think it’s informed and hopefully enhanced my creativity.
Interviewer: How do they like your music?
Madonna: My son likes songs here and there. He’s really into Usher and he likes R&B. He does the bump to it in the playroom. He’s actually quite a good dancer. My daughter is a fan of mine but she doesn”t want to be too obvious about it because I’m her mum and it’s not cool. So she loves Beyonce and what’s that boy group that every English girl’s obsessed with?
Stuart Price and Interviewer: Backstreet Boys? McFly? Blue? Westlife?
Madonna: No, get with it. This is pathetic.
Interviewer: What about your husband? He doesn”t seem to me to be a Disco Queen.
Madonna: No, he’s not. In fact, he stormed out of the room when I played him some of these tracks. He thought it was ‘shit”.
Interviewer: What does he like?
Madonna: He likes Irish folk music, OK? I don’t know the names of it, it’s not something you hear on the radio. He likes songs with stories, pub music.
Interviewer: What do you listen to now?
Madonna: I like film soundtracks. Incessantly I listen to Talk to Her, 2046, Frida and The Hours. I like the soundtracks better than the movies.