Carrie: I like the idea of preparing for me, like getting cookbooks or something.
Madonna Exactly. But I always see you and go, “Oh!” You seem to always kind of be –
Madonna You’re on the periphery, but you have a very commanding personality. Maybe I see some of myself in you and I can’t deal with that.
Carrie: I offend you greatly. My line is that too many village idiots spoil the village. So if you’re in the room, it’s your village, man, and you be the idiot. I would certainly take a backseat to your drive. You’re what I would call a focus puller. You would have been a star in any incarnation.
Madonna You mean whatever I chose to do?
Carrie: But you could not have been chosen to do anything but what you do, could you? Did you ever want to do aynthing else?
Carrie: Like John Lennon once told Paul [Simon] that he wanted to be a hairdresser. Yeah, right.
Madonna Well, I wanted to be a nun. I saw nuns as superstars.
Carrie: How could you have been a nun, given your attitude? Sister Mary Blowjob.
Madonna Sister Mary Fellatio. When I was growing up I went to a Catholic school, and the nuns, to me, were these superhuman, beautiful, fantastic people. To me, that was as close as I was going to get to celebrities. I thought they were really elegant. They wore these long gowns, they seemed to glide on the floor, everyone said they were married to Jesus. I thought they were superhuman and fabulous.
Carrie: So you grew up believing in God.
Madonna I still believe in God.
Carrie: Do you go to church?
Madonna I don’t like to visit God in a specific area. I like him to be everywhere.
Carrie: Here with us now.
Madonna Part of my air.
Carrie: Well, I like the idea. My doubt is heavier.
Madonna You probably weren’t raised with devoutly religious parent. It sort of rubs off on you.
Carrie: So your father is devoutly religious?
Carrie: Does he go to church still?
Madonna Every Sunday.
Carrie: So your big thing is probably rebelling against the church. I’m going to figure you out yet.
Madonna Rebelling against the church and rebelling against the law decreed by my father, which were dictated through the church, I suppose.
Carrie: Do you believe in the afterlife?
Madonna Oh, I believe in everything. That’s what Catholicism teaches you.
Carrie: So you go to confession? I’d love to be there.
Madonna I don’t know, but I did.
Carrie: You don’t even go to your shrink.
Madonna But mind you, when I did go to confession, I never told the priest what I thought I’d really done wrong. I’d make up other, smaller crimes. I thought, look, if I think I’ve done something wrong I have a private line to God, and I’ll just tell him in my bedroom.
Carrie: Do you still think that you have a private line to God? “Hello, God, it’s Madonna.” No, not even Madonna, just say, “God, it’s me.”
Madonna He knows my voice by now. I suppose I still pray.
Carrie: Well, you do before your shows, as we see in your film. I was so impressed. My brother is a born-again Christian, and though we fought over it, I always sort of envied his ability to suspend doubt.
Madonna It’s not that my doubt has been suspended, it’s just that if something’s really horrible and I say enough prayers, it will get better.
Carrie: I believe in God in strong air turbulence.
Madonna God seems to be there whenever things are really horrible. I do try to remind myself – I know this sounds corny – to be thankful for things when they’re good, to be conscious of God.
Carrie: Even during your masturbation reenactments onstage?
Madonna Well, I don’t practice Catholicism now. The Catholic Church completely frowns on sex.
Carrie: Sex is okay for procreation.
Madonna But only for procreation and nor for enjoyment.
Carrie: Men have to have an orgasm in order to procreate, while we certainly don’t.
Madonna Right, that’s another thing – Catholisicm is extremely sexist.
Carrie: Thank God.
Madonna For what?
Carrie: That we don’t have to have an orgasm in order to procreate.
Madonna Yeah, it sort of takes the pressure off of us.
Carrie: Who told you about sex, your father?
Madonna Who did tell me? My stepmother told me, and I remember I was horrified. I was ten and had just started my period. It was like “Okay, we better tell her.” I remember my stepmother was in the kitchen, and I was washing the dishes. Every time she said the word penis, I’d turn the water on really hard so it would drown out what she said. I thought what she was telling me was horrifying, absolutely horrifying. And I hated the word. I just hated the whole thing.
Carrie: You certainly had a lot of brothers, so you must have seen theirs.
Madonna I did, and I thought they were disgusting.
Carrie: I saw my stepfather’s – which was alarming – from the back.
Madonna I never saw my father naked, and I really thought about that.