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“Lucky Stars” Madonna & Rosanna : Rolling Stone

Amid the production’s turmoil, Madonna took consolation from Mark Blum (so likably obtuse onscreen as Roberta’s husband, Gary). “If I’d get upset, he’d take me aside and tell me a joke or make an analogy about the situation, chill me out.”

Rosanna, fresh from her dream collaboration with director Martin Scorsese on his forthcoming After Hours, was not to be chilled out. She and Seidelman staged tense debates over the degree of Roberta’s amnesia, and during one twenty-hour day, an angry Rosanna burst into tears. Stalled and frustrated, Seidelman cried too. “You could say it was cathartic,” says Seidelman. “You scream, cry, get it out and go on.”

“Our whole souls were in it,” says Rosanna now, “but any film I’ve ever made was hard. By the second month, she would look at me and I would know what she wanted. It’s just that I had never worked with a director who needed complete control of me. See, I never rehearse my lines exactly how I’ll say them. I just memorize them and know my character.” While making After Hours, she points out, Scorsese was “never negative. In one situation he came up to me and said, ‘Do you think you should laugh in this scene?’ and I said, ‘Oh, no, Marty. I can’t see where she’d laugh in this scene.’ He said, ‘Oh, yeah. You’re right. You’re right. Forget I ever said anything.’ And he walks away. That’s what he does, very subtly. It’s like he planted the seed, watered it and split. And as I was doing the scene, I don’t know where it came from, but I just started laughing.”

Arquette also had few problems making Lawrence Kasdan’s next film, Silverado. “I’m just a pioneer woman heading west who has a very strong vision. And she wants to work her land.” She’s completed two other projects, a public television play, Survival Guide (“It’s just a very bizarre half-hour comedy”) and the recent disaster The Aviator, which prompted At the Movies reviewer Gene Siskel to say, “This is garbage,” while Roger Ebert confirmed, “Transcendentally bad.” Rosanna’s one-time boyfriend, Toto drummer Steve Porcaro, had been so upset at the love scene in The Executioner’s Song that she says she made The Aviator partly because “it didn’t have any nudity, it was safe – one of those all-American kind of movies.” Her eventual breakup with Porcaro spurred her recent spate of work.

Now Arquette is with L.A.-based record producer James Newton Howard, and things seem… serious: “We work hard on our relationship. We have an incredible therapist. Our guy’s name is Don, and he’s great. We’re gonna work out all the shit in our relationship before we make a giant decision like getting married.

“I don’t want to talk about my relationship with Steve Porcaro anymore,” she says, with some heat. “We’re very good friends. But everybody’s gotta ask me, ‘Well, you’re the Rosanna in the song,’ and blah-blah. Isn’t it boring? Say this: ‘I am so bored talking about my relationship with Steve Porcaro.'”

She made another change around the time of the breakup. “I had gone to drug program with a friend. That was another thing {reported in the media}, that I was the one with a drug problem. I did take drugs. I smoked a lot of pot. I don’t think I was an addict.” (These days, Rosanna will not touch drink or drugs, and her choice for lunch is a spinach-and-avocado salad and mineral water.)

“Life is wonderful. Why do you guys have to look for the shit? ‘Cause it’s bad karma for you to do that, do you know that? It’s not proper journalism.”

It has become clear that Rosanna just had a crash course on this subject: “I did nine interviews yesterday.” The actress and her publicist seem determined to blow back the Madonna promo machine by filibuster. The problem is that the quick-draw dramatics that are a blessing in front of the camera make her emotional dynamometer shudder ominously during what should be a simple talk.

“I grew up pretty fast,” she says of her gypsy-like upbringing on the artsy-hippie circuit traveled by her actor father and writer mother. “I think I was nineteen when I was fifteen. And now I’m fifteen. Madonna taught me a good lesson, because she just laughs off the band press. They think they’re hurting her, and she just laughs: ‘Ah, that’s bullshit.’ But I still get hurt.”

She’s balancing her promo chores with acting class: three times a week, she joins a group of about fifteen (Nicolas Cage among them) for four-to-five-hour-sessions with Sandra Seacat. “She’s also Jessica Lange’s coach,” says Rosanna. “She’s a very spiritual, highly realized being, a guru.”

Her list of professional heroines includes Lange, Christie, Hawn, Winger and Spacek, but hovering above them all is Natalie Wood. The cat who shares Rosanna’s hillside retreat is named Natalie, and when Arquette was being costumed for her character in Baby, It’s You, she balked at a pageboy haircut until someone reminded her it recalled Natalie.

Wood is an interesting point of reference for Arquette – two beauties whose acting carries a seemingly artless transparency. Right now, Rosanna is a capital-A Actress, and as a result she’s in many ways a considerable snob. But for the last three pictures she shot, she took pay cuts that left her with perhaps half of her real price. She’s pouring her life into her work, and that leaves rough edges. She’s walking contradiction in terms, a Topanga Canyon firecracker.

Rosanna abruptly jumps up and reaches into her coat pocket, fetching a plastic bag of sizeable vitamins in assorted colours. She counts out a handful, recounts and down them with water: “Stress depletes your body of vitamin B and C.” As an afterthought, she pops one more. The ritual seems to take the pedal off the floor, and she looks across the table apologetically, coat over her arm. “This is who I am, just hyper and emotional. I always have been. My emotions have always been right there.”

© Rolling Stone