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Madonna Interview : Elle

Madonna - ELLE / April 1998

Herman: Apparently you’ve “changed your mind” about family. What do you want now?

Madonna: There was a great longing in me to find myself. Throwing myself into the entertainment world was like a journey. I was looking for a certain kind of fulfillment. And while it was a great and fulfilling experience to know that people loved me for what I was giving them, there is nothing that compares to one true act of love or intimacy with someone you truly reveal yourself to, whether that’s my daughter or a lover. In a song I say “I traded fame for love” – in other words, fame was my source of love – and I realize that the true love I require has nothing to do with fame. Not that I have regrets. It’s just that my needs have shifted. It’s always been easy for me to go on stage and reveal myself to people in a mass way. What’s been hard for me was connecting with people in a relationship, and that’s what I’ve come to terms with.

Herman: Your critics think you’re in this business to constantly reinvent yourself.

Madonna: I hate this obsession people have about me reinventing myself. For me, it’s all about revealing. I keep taking off the layers. It’s not something I’m calculating. I’d say that on this record I’ve come closest to revealing who I really am.

Herman: Are you through with shock tactics?

Madonna: My goal is to be revolutionary in a quiet way.

Herman: Is this the result of studying Kaballah [an eastern religion]?

Madonna: Yoga, Kaballah, having a baby – it’s just a new approach.

Herman: Are you concerned about how you’re viewed as a mother?

Madonna: I’ve already screwed that up, haven’t I? I have a child without a father – I mean, she has a father, we’re very good friends. But we’re not living in wedded bliss.

Herman: And your best friend is a lesbian….

Madonna: I only have lesbians as friends. I don’t know why, it just happens.

Herman: Those friends represent the ultimate threat to men, since they don’t really need men.

Madonna: I guess men have to get over that. The greatest guy in the world is one who doesn’t feel threatened by an independent woman.

Herman: Apparently the Spice Girls are big fans of yours.

Madonna: I’m very flattered. I love the Spice Girls. They’re just having fun and not trying to be terribly deep and profound, just running around wearing sexy clothes. You know what? I was a Spice Girl when I started out. Give them a chance and see how they develop. They’ve just started. There is infinite hope for them.