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Madonna Interview : US Magazine

Madonna - US / January 1997

Well, way to go!

Well, you know, it wasn’t something I was trying to do; but after I got over the shock of knowing it, I felt that it was kind of poetic that it happened while I was trying to give birth to another sort of baby. And it just seemed like the right moment, though there were days. Really, it felt like we couldn’t acknowledge too much that I was pregnant, because then you start worrying about everything: about the temperature, and how long I was on my feet, and all the dancing. I think we all went around, or I went around, in and out of pretending that I wasn’t pregnant, because it was really difficult to focus on the character and worry about whether I was getting the right kind of rest. So, I don’t know, I think, I thought about it as if it were some sort of a gift, and I thought if it’s happening in this way, then nothing will get in the way of it – this baby’s coming no matter how many hours I stand on my feet.

What are your feelings about Dennis Rodman’s book? I guess it’s unlikely that you’ve dreamed since girlhood of being characterized sexually not as an acrobat but not a dead fish, either.

Well, I somehow think he had some help with the writing, because to tell you the truth, I don’t think even he would say that. But you never know.

You do never know. I like to watch him in interviews and I wonder what it is he thinks he’s saying. What he’s actually saying makes so delightfully little sense.

Well… It’s hard for me to play him any compliments because I thought what he did was really low, but there is some truth about people who don’t fit into categories or are rebellious or defy convention or whatever, though not at the expense of hurting people. I do think that is one of the things I found interesting about him. I also fantasized somehow that there was a great mind behind all that rebellion, and I think there’s actually just a scrambled brain; so it was sort of disappointing.

How did the material in “Evita” change from the stage version?

A lot of lyrics changed that were too abstract, because some of the rhyming that [Evita lyricist] Tim Rice did had a little bit of a crossword-puzzle thing going on – it sounded good, but it didn’t make any sense. Alan [Parker] went through everything and made sure that the songs were telling a story. And they expanded certain musical themes; the one song that was written is a love song between [Juan] Peron and Eva, so that adds a dimension of their love versus just two people who are using each other.

I ask because, to me, the original version is kind of misogynist.

It’s beyond misogynist. The funny thing is when I was cast in the movie, I was psyched to play the part; then, the more research I did, the more I hated the point of view. I thought, this is unfair, it’s so sexist, this is so awful. And I came to realize that it was the typical reaction that all the aristocrats and most men had toward her; they were completely frightened by the kind of power that she had. And it’s always easy, it’s the most obvious and predictable way out, to call a woman a whore and imply that she has no morals and no integrity and no talent. And God knows, I can relate to that. It’s the oldest trick in the book. And Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice fell for it, and… well, it was extremely popular, that story. But it was popular because it was anti-fascist as well. [The Perons] were considered to be fasists, and you know, there was a time when we were against all that.

So how do you fell you changed the character?

I just tried to make her a human being. I certainly don’t see her as a saint. But what I tried to do was flesh her out and show her humanity and her sadness and pain, and give it some connection, you know? She came from a big family; she was an illegitimate child; she came from extreme poverty. And I think this really disturbed her. I think that her whole life was that, really. But who knows? I could say the same thing about myself. Why did I emerge from my family and say, I’m getting the f— out of here, I’m going to New York? I think it would be fooling to paint her one way or the other, and I think that a person who attained the kind of power she attained and accomplished what she accomplished could not be stupid or just opportunistic. You know? You’ve got to have something going on up there.

What are your happiest expectations about motherhood?

I think it will be a very healing experience because I didn’t grow up with a mother and I envision hugging and tactile pleasure and the happiness of that. And I think how amazing to have someone in my life who’s a part of me in a way that no one else can be, no matter how much you love them. There’s also the feeling of responsibility that’s different from any other love. People would always say, “If you have a baby, you’d better pray that it’s a boy,” because they think that a daughter would be some sort of competition. But it doesn’t feel that way.

And with a girl you get to play dress up.

Oh, my God, yes. That gets me through my worst moments.

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