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Madonna Interview : Chicago Tribune

Madonna - Chicago Tribune / August 02 1987

“I said, ‘Goodbye, I love you, goodbye.’ ”

That’s what Madonna said were her parting words to her husband, actor Sean Penn, before he went to a California jail Friday to begin serving the first part of 60-day sentence for punching a movie extra.

“I said goodbye to him here in Chicago a couple of days ago,” she said Saturday afternoon, sitting on one of the many sofas in her two-story Ritz-Carlton hotel suite, which rents for $2,000 a night. “It’s nice they’re letting him serve only 32 days, and in chunks.”

Madonna was in Chicago for a Friday-night concert before 47,000 screaming, joyful fans in Soldier Field, where her powerhouse dancing to such hits as “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Material Girl” easily replaced memories of the Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle.

“They bait Sean in ways I can’t even tell you,” Madonna said, on this, her day off in between concerts. The next stop on her tour is Sunday night in Alpine Valley, Wis.””

“They call me obscene names in front of him just to get him to react. How would you react if someone said that about your wife? And that movie extra he hit, he wasn’t really an extra – he was a paparazzi posing as an extra. You’d have to be a pacifist or a Buddhist to be able to handle it.””

“But Sean is trying to learn not take the bait,” she said, “and I think he will emerge from jail as a better person and as an even greater actor. Now, that’s enough about Sean,” she said firmly.

Madonna was dressed in a black tank top and stretch jeans. Only her spiky, blonde-dyed hair and quick mouth provided color. She was asked her height. “I’m 5-foot-4 1/2,” she said. Told she looked much taller on stage dancing in flat, black half-boots, she replied, “That means I was coming across as powerful.”

About those boots: “They’re size 7 1/2, lace-up, wing-tip boots I bought at Neiman-Marcus. (Fans, take note: The boots are Neiman’s 1986 fall model, No. 8726; they sell for $205, if you can find them).

“I bought a whole bunch from a lot of different stores. You wanna know my measurements? I’m 34-23-33. You wanna know what kind of underwear I wear?!”

She’s a smart and tough and joyful entertainer, this Madonna, born nearly 28 years ago in Bay City, Mich., named Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Her birthday is Aug. 16.

Her first three albums have sold 15 million units; a fourth is just out and should put her over the 20 million mark. She fills outdoor stadiums now rather than auditoriums.

She has one hit movie (“Desperately Seeking Susan”) and one flop (“Shanghai Surprise”) under her boy-toy belt. Little girls and teenager girls follow her every fashion move, from bare belly to bangles to black shiny bustier.

Her latest movie, a screwball comedy called “Who’s That Girl,” opens Friday nationwide, but Warner Bros. has been reluctant to screen the film early for preview audiences or critics–not a good sign.

“Get mad at them, not at me or the movie,” said Madonna. “I think it’s a good film. I could have done others, but I liked my character in this one. She’s a very funny girl who gets thrown in jail on a false charge by this big businessman, who panics and then sends his superstraight, son-in-law-to-be (Griffin Dunne) to bail her out and get her out of town. That’s all he’s supposed to do, but of course we do a lot more.”