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Madonna interview : Rolling Stone

Madonna - Rolling Stone / June 13 1991

Carrie: She was a lsbian and insane. Kit was based on the writer Jane Bowles.

Madonna So they say. Anyway, I loved the book, but after I saw the movie, I didn’t want to be Kit Moresby anymore, because it was so disapointing. I didn’t want people to think that I was Debra Winger.

Carrie: So we’re staying with Dita until further notice.

Madonna Until I find someone else to be enamored of.

Carrie: Someone from the past who’s dead. Dorothy Parker?

Madonna She’s good, but I don’t like the name Dorothy.

Carrie: Dotty. She wore those little puffy dresses and was apparently a really mean drunk.

Madonna Well, you know what we have to say about mean drunks.

Carrie: What? Oh, that’s your ex.

Madonna Shhhh.

Carrie: Yeah, it’s a really big secret. Nobody knows.

Madonna Okay, back to things we have in common. Let me ask you something: Did you fuck Warren?

Carrie: No.

Madonna You didn’t?

Carrie: I’m one of the few. I could have.

Madonna Okay, but we both made a movie with him, so we both could have fucked him.

Carrie: At the time I was seventeen and making “Shampoo”. He offered to relieve me of my huge burden of my virginity. Four times. That was the big offer. I decided against it. I decided for reality over anecdote.

Madonna Next, we’re both fag hags.

Carrie: I prefer “fag moll”.

Madonna Next, we both have a hostility toward men, which rears its ugly head often in our work.

Carrie: I guess so.

Madonna I’m not saying it’s bad. I think it’s good to work it out. Which leads me to the next common thing – our work tend to be confessional and semi-autobiographical.

Carrie: But yours hasn’t been so autobiographical until lately. “Truth Or Dare” is wildly so.

Madonna I finally decided that it was okay. That’s the most interesting thing to talk about. I couldn’t go on pretending that everything was peachy keen.

Carrie: They always say, “Write about the truest thing you know.”

Madonna Exactly. And another thing in common, last but not least – mother complex.

Carrie: And probably father complex.

Madonna For different reasons.

Carrie: Well, you didn’t have a mother. How old were you when she died?

Madonna Five.

Carrie: And did you have a stepmother?

Madonna Yeah, my father remarried three years later. So that’s a lot we have in common. And – we both have the same shrink.

Carrie: And also a lot of your humor is not dissimilar to something that I do. It is shock over wit. I’ve read interviews in which you say things like “Look how big his dick is!”

Madonna It’s a kind of vulgarity.

Carrie: It’s funny to me that you do it, because sometimes it seems like you have the attention of the world and sometimes you behave as though you don’t. It’s like you haven’t caught up with the reality. It would be a very abstract reality to get behind.

Madonna It’s not something I sit around and think about. It’s rather unconscious. I just sort of naturally say things to shock, not necessarily to offend. It’s like pulling the tablecloth off the table to disarm everybody.

Carrie: You enjoy being controversial. That used to mean talking about things that were never talked about. Now, it seems controversy is just a diluted form of pornography or obscenity. I’m not suggesting that you do pornography, but you do obscenity.

Madonna You want to be more specific about that?

Carrie: You express yourself in crass language. Like the woman in your documentary that you say finger fucked you when you were schoolmates.

Madonna But that’s what really happened!

Carrie: Well, she denied it in the film. But you wanted to ask about that. Who is that girl?

Madonna She was a girl that I grew up with when I was little. She lives in North Carolina now; she moved there with her family. She recently had a baby and named it after me. I have spoken to her and written to her since then. To me, a lot of obscene things happen to people in their lives. I just didn’t happen to cut it out of my movie.

Carrie: I don’t think it’s obscene, actually, it’s personal. The language you use to talk about it can be obscene.

Madonna Yeah, but I ended up making a personal movie. To me it was like “Where do I draw the line?” Should I cut this out? If I cut out that, then why aren’t I cutting out this?

Carrie: And you have total say over what you can cut and what you can’t?

Madonna In the end, Alek [Keshishian], the director, has final cut, but we never disagree on anything.

Carrie: And he was there for how long?

Madonna He was there through the whole rehearsal period, which was a couple of months. He didn’t start filming until we got on the road. In total, he was with us for about seven months.

Carrie: So you were constantly being observed?

Madonna Absolutely.

Carrie: But you are constantly being observed anyway, so the experience was probably just heightened.

Madonna Yeah. I didn’t really know Alek that well. I was a bit wary of him in the beginning, and I didn’t set out to make such a personal movie. I wanted to document the show because I thought it was really theatrical and I wanted it to be a film. But before we even got on the road, I started developing a relationship with my dancers. I was so fascinated with them that I thought: “No, I don’t want to make a movie about the show. Fuck the show. I want to make a movie about us, about our life”. I thought they were so amusing and inspiring.

Carrie: Why inspiring? Because they worked hard?

Madonna They were hard workers, extremely talented, and I didn’t think they were jaded. They hadn’t been on tour with other people and hadn’t traveled. They hadn’t been associated with – I hate to say the word – “celebrity”. Everything was completely new to them.

Carrie: You could trade on their innocence a little bit.

Madonna Absolutely. And I could show them things and be a mother to them. Take care of them. Assuage my guilt for having so much money by taking them shopping at Chanel and buying them everything their hearts desired.