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Madonna Interview : Tatler

‘Dreadfully dreary, darling,’ she adds, sounding like a latter-day Lady Bracknell. ‘I’ve been practicing my posh accent all week,’ she says proudly. ‘I’ve been getting good grades.’
‘For any particular purpose,’ I enquire, ‘or just to annoy people?’
‘The only person who is annoyed is my boyfriend. He likes to keep me on my toes. he thinks I’m really good at the posh British accent, though. He says, “American birds really get upper-class accent down but nobody can do a good London accent.” I told him I’ll work on it.’
Madonna’s boyfriend is 30-year-old Guy Ritchie, the handsome and remarkably down-to-earth British director of Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels, who has just finished directing Brad Pitt in his latest film, Snatch. The couple were introduced to each other some time ago by relatively new British friend of Madonna’s, Trudie Styler, wife of pop star Sting.
‘Do you want to discuss your boys…?’
‘No,’ she interrupts. ‘Oh God, no. Well, only in an extraneous way. He was bound to come up in conversation several times, especially as we’re talking about England, pub-going and accents,’ she continues. Aha – the investigator of the pub-visiting episodes? A bit of a lad? ‘Oh God,’ she sighs. ‘You are trying to get me to break one of my rules. I never mention boyfriends. I feel like it jinxes everything.’
The New York Times recently carried a report concluding that the best marriages were the ones in which the women were in charge. Would she be happy in a marriage like that, or would she see it as the man being too weak? ‘I have no interest in being in a relationship with someone who is a pushover. I want someone who’s strong and opinionated. I don’t even mind if they want to do something that’s “just not cricket”, you know what I mean?’ she says. I’m just throwing in my English expressions every once in a while to prove to you that I’ve been hanging out in England.’ She goes on: ‘I think the recipe for a good relationship or marriage is when two people really enjoy life, and love what they’re doing, because if they don’t, it just never works. If you’re both busy and working, then obviously you’re going to spend some time apart, and when you come back you are filled with nex experiences to share. I like that. I think it’s boring to spend every minute of the day with somebody – that’s death. I quite like the way Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn did it. They owned houses a couple of blocks away from each other. It’s good to miss someone. it’s horrible to take someone for granted.’
One person Madonna doesn’t take for granted is her three-and-half-year-old daughter, Lola. I recall her telling me a story recently about Lola looking through a magazine pointing to all the people she knew personally. Has Lola been affected by Madonna’s immense fame? ‘She’s too young to understand what celebrity is. All I really care about is that she’s surrounded by good people with positive energy and love. She’s just as fond of someone who isn’t in a magazine as might be of someone who is, and just as suspicious when she first meets anyone. She doesn’t treat anyone differently and she doesn’t get treated differently. She knows what paparazzi are and she says they’re yucky. But she doesn’t really understand what it’s all for. I don’t think anyone could at that age.’
Would she like to have another baby?
‘Yeah, I would but I want be in a stable relationship. I do think Lola should have a brother or a sister. I think she’s incredibly spoiled. She could do with a bit of competition.’
After all this talk about personal stuff, I ask her why it’s taken her so long to make another film since she starred in Evita. ‘Evita was such a full, all-encompassing, experience, incredibly stimulating on every level,’ she says. ‘I decided I’m never going to do another movie again unless it’s all those things. I’ve made too many mistakes in the past where I liked certain elements and I just thought. “Oh, it will get fixed”, and then it never did. And then I paid the price for it. I just don’t want to take those chances.’
‘Anyway, acting has always taken a back seat to music’, she explains. ‘For the past 10 years, I have been much more involved with making records and going on tour. I don’t think I was that scrupulous in ,y choices. I’ve made 10 movies now. If you count Truth or Dare, 11. I think half of them have been good and half of them have been shit. I’ve got two things working against me. One is that I’m really successful in another area and it’s really hard for people to let you cross over into anything else. Also, because I was in a series of really bad movies, it was given people a license to say “Oh, she can’t act, she can’t do this, she can’t do that”, but honestly I can think of Academy Award-winning actors and actresses that have done more shit movies than I have.’