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Madonna Interview : Good Housekeeping

Would you ever consider getting married again?

I’ve thought about it. It’s an interesting old scary concept. Sometimes I think about it, and it makes perfect sense. Other times I think, “What’s the point?” I’m very conflicted about it.

It seemed to me that you were very, very much in love with Sean Penn — that when you took those vows in 1985, that really meant something to you.

It did. And it does. I’m very Catholic, and I’m generally a woman of my word. It was devastating for me that it didn’t work out, and it was really hard to throw in the towel. Because I’m one of those people who will fight and fight and fight to make something work — to the end. So that has a lot to do with my squeamishness, because I would never want to make that mistake again. I mean, I don’t want to get married again and get divorced. I want to honor that vow.

You’ve never seen marriage as a casual thing.

No. Absolutely not. And you really have to get to know someone. Courtship, the whole idea of courtship is such a boring, dated thing, but I am a big fan of it. I think most of the relationships I’ve had that have not worked out, or had started really passionately and then crashed and burned, were because I didn’t spend enough time getting to know the person. But I definitely entertain the notion of another marriage — the idea of it.

You are romantic?

Unbelievably so!

You’re 41 now. Have you made peace with being a celebrity?

There is a turning point, where I think if you’re getting beaten tip on a lot, or everybody seems like they want a piece of you, if you hang in there long enough, you get to the other side of it. And then you can take a breath. Anti you can have a sense of humor, and you do get…my confidence has definitely grown. I mean, I had confidence when I started, but I didn’t have the self-awareness that I have now. You know, you grow into it. And you start feeling comfortable about who you are.

Is it difficult living with a reputation like yours? Because sacrificing your privacy and facing judgment from the public seems to be part of the equation for celebrities who mine their sex appeal. And I guess you can never go back after you’ve captured their imagination.

The thing is, you can’t be a sexually provocative creature one day, and then the next day go, “Leave me alone!” Once you invite them in, you have to accept a certain level of privacy invasion. “That’s the way it goes. “That’s the rule of the game. But not everybody has the personality for it. You definitely have to have the resilience of…help me out here…

A rhinoceros.

A rhinoceros. (Laughs.) Really thick skin.

Even so, you must have been surprised by the magnitude of your fame.

Of course. But you take it on board and you accept it, and you get on with your life. And you somehow figure out ways around it, and find friends who aren’t threatened by it — and life goes on.

I see you as a performer for your entire life. You’re so vital that I can’t imagine you…

Retiring? (Laughs.)

Yes. But it seems to me that as soon as a star reaches 35 or so, she starts getting truly obnoxious questions like, “What are you going to do when you retire?”

Yeah. ‘The other thing that’s funny is that until you reach a certain age, they don’t print your age. Then suddenly when you’re 40, they print your age. It’s really weird. It’s like, “She’s only got a few more minutes.”
But you know, in terms of retirement, I can’t imagine not working. Obviously I’m going to change and grow and be interested in different things. But I can’t remember when I wasn’t doing this. I mean, when I was a teenager, I was throwing myself into dance and doing crazy musicals, and I have not stopped since then. I cannot imagine not being creative in some way. I can’t live without it. I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll do it. No retirement. So there!

a few of her favorite things :
Sound: “My daughter’s voice when she wakes up and she’s in a really sweet mood: ‘Hi, Mommy.'”
Indulgence: Shoes.
Novel: “Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. It’s so romantic.”

Makeup: “Concealer, because I have adult acne.”
Item of clothing: “My low-rider linen pants that Stella McCartney [Sir Paul’s daughter] made for me.”
Drink: Lemon Drop, a shot of vodka and lemon juice in a sugar-rimmed glass.
Food: Caviar!

© Good Housekeeping