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Madonna Interview : Rolling Stone

What the hell is going on?
Well, you can’t go to London and not start drinking Guinness. And I have been known to eat fried fish and french fries. When in Rome — right?

Right. Your video for “Music” looked like a good time, with your old friends Debi Mazar and Nikki Harris in there as part of your entourage.
The thing is, at first I tried just doing it with some girls that they were gonna cast, and I didn’t feel comfortable. All the pretty, model-type girls were too stiff, and none of ’em had any personality. So I said, “OK, I’m gonna call my girls.” I literally called them on the day of the shoot, and I said, “What are you guys doing? Please save me!”

And you were fairly pregnant at the time? You can’t even tell.
Five and a half. Yeah, you can. As you can see, I’ve got my coat shut half the time. And that was the idea. It’s like, “Where could I be sitting all the time? OK, I’m in a limo [laughs]. And you can’t not have fun with Ali G. around, ’cause he’s such a troublemaker. And he’s always goofing on everybody, in character. He just had us rolling the entire time we were shooting. The whole thing was a spoof, anyway, so there was not too much seriousness going on on the set. I mean, the outtakes of me going up to the window and knocking on the window — I couldn’t keep a straight face. Have you seen his show in England? You have to see it. You will die. He has a talk show, and he interviews people in that character. He interviews really conservative, older, established-like members of Parliament. And it’s outrageous.

I was discussing you with your publicist, Liz Rosenberg, and the first thing that she said about you was that you are not extravagant.
This is true. I mean, I appreciate it in other people. Like when I go to the Versaces’ homes and see the way wealthy people live, I think, “I know I can live that way, but it wouldn’t come natural to me.” But I do appreciate that people can sort of go full-bore and get into it and live a super, glamorous, decadent life. And have gold faucets and statues everywhere. I do appreciate beautiful things, and I have nice things in my house — nice art, and I like Frette linens and all that stuff. But I just don’t — I don’t have to show off. I like to show off when I’m onstage. I don’t like to show off, like, “Come in and check it out. Look how rich I am.” That’s not my style.

Because I’m just a middle-class girl from Michigan. It’s just not in me. I think you have to either be born into money or born into no money and be ghetto-rich. I just think it’s too hard for me.

Was there any serious wealth in your town when you were growing up? Were there rich kids?
Yeah, and I hated them. Because they had nice clothes and cool cars and cute boyfriends. And I didn’t. I just wore the same brown corduroy bell-bottoms every day and felt terribly unfashionable. And they had nice houses and lots of bathrooms. In my youth, I somehow gauged lots of bathrooms with being incredibly wealthy, instead of having to share one bathroom with eight children. And I could tell the difference between the sort of generic food that we had in our refrigerator — you know, buying food in bulk, and there’s no label on it? — and the serious labeling going on in other houses. And, of course, you envy all those things. Because when you’re growing up, you associate that with being accepted and being attractive and being popular.

And you say you were hind of a weirdo. But I’ve seen cheerleader photos of you where you looked like a football player’s wet dream.
Are you kidding? I was so not — I was a football player’s nightmare. Everyone thought I was a freak. They didn’t go out with me. I only got the weirdos. Because I didn’t shave under my arms, and I didn’t wear makeup, and I was really confrontational. And I just didn’t know how to play the game. My sister Paula and I formed this pact, and we decided we were just not going to do anything conventional. I think we read too many Carson McCullers novels or something. It didn’t go over very well — with the football players, anyway.

What was your worst high-school job?
I had to clean houses. It was gross. I had to clean the toilet bowls of boys I went to school with. No, there’s nothing more degrading than being someone’s housekeeper. I mean, God bless my housekeeper and — well, all my housekeepers.

Your fleet of housekeepers.
Well, it’s a tough job. Mind you, I’d rather be my housekeeper than some horrible, slobby twenty-year-old guy’s.

On the domestic front, you also do not cook.
No. I do not have the cooking gene. I just can’t keep up. I don’t want to go in the kitchen and do things. I want to go to the kitchen and be served. I just don’t know how to do it. It’s like, lettuce, bowls, knives, seasonings — what? [Laughs] I tell you — I just can’t function.

Surely you have a specialité de la maison.
Not really. Nothing that’s interesting. I could toss a salad, I guess, if you held a gun to my head. Guy [Ritchie] likes to cook. Actually, he’s a really good cook. So I’m happy to sort of chop up vegetables for him and get all the utensils and run around being his slave, ’cause I don’t want to do the cooking. I have a tendency to eat my salads with my hands. My boyfriend doesn’t like that. I like to scoop lettuce with all the … accessories that go with a salad.

Accessories! What, like a belt and gloves?
You know … the bread bits, some orange bits.

Boy, you really don’t cook, do you?