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Madonna’s Evita Diaries : Vanity Fair

Budapest [Wednesday, April 10, 1996]:
The last few days have been extremely worrisome. We’ve been shooting what will look like a documentary footage from the famous Rainbow tour, when Evita went to Europe as a goodwill ambassador. She was very well received in Spain and Italy, but when she got to France things started to go wrong. There were anti-Peronist demonstrations, and she had eggs and bricks thrown at her car and crowds chanted, ” Whore, go home!” I didn’t have to try very hard to imagine how she felt, and perhaps all this negative behavior toward my character is getting to me. Too close to home. Being pregnant should be cheering me up, it’s not. I keep having this nagging feeling that I’m going to destroy what we’ve all work so hard to accomplish. More and more people are starting to find out because Alan has to explain to the producers and the art department why he wants such drastic changes in the shooting schedule. Everyone’s scrambling and being very sweet and supportive, but I feel guilty that I’m inconveniencing people. I feel like a 14 year old who is trying to hide the fact that she is pregnant from her parents. It makes me feel like I have something to be ashamed of. The people that do know congratulate me when they find out, but this embarrasses me. Why? Haven’t figured this out yet. I feel like we are all in a race against time. How will I do all those glamorous photo shoots to promote the film when I can’t even fit into my costumes? What will the press do when they find out? I keep looking into the mirror expecting to see that glow of pregnancy and all I see are dark circles under my eyes and acne. I should be happy end excited, but instead I am scared. Some days I even feel trapped, but they say this is normal, I’m sure all of this would be easier if Carlos was here. Thank God he arrives next week. This is not exactly how I envisioned starting a family.

Budapest [Sunday, April 14, 1996]:
Woke up with a stomachache. Did not sleep nearly enough. We worked late last night in extremely cold weather. Marching up and down Heroe’s Square, leading the workers, who were carrying torches and singing for Persón’s freedom, for rights for the working class, for all Argentina. I came home and crawled under every blanket I could find, but I just couldn’t seem to get warm enough. I heard that the extras revolted after I left because of the cold and started burning banners and signs with the kerosene torches. I don’t blame them. I would have done the same thing.

Budapest [Monday, April 15, 1996]:
Last night was hell. On my feet for 14 hours, mostly dancing. We filmed in a huge museum that had a beautiful ballroom. Of course the building was ancient and there was no heat. Lighting was minimal, so we stayed cold. Antonio still doesn’t know I’m pregnant and he keeps asking me what I think of different baby names that he and Melanie like. I just try to hold my stomach in. Who am I trying to kid? At the end of the dance I fall to the ground clutching my cancer-riddled womb, crying and cursing God for making me so vulnerable. Over and over again for what seemed like a million takes. I am covered in bruises from falling, and the floor was icy cold, but it was worth it. I know it’s going to be a very moving scene. I was bitching and moaning all night, but secretly I was proud of myself and excited. I felt for a moment the potential of this film.

Madonna - Vanity Fair / November 1996

Budapest [Wednesday, April 17, 1996]:
Well, the world knows and I feel like my insides had been ripped open. The front page of the Post, CNN, even Hungarian radio. What’s the big deal? Don’t millions of women get pregnant everyday? Most of the reaction has been positive, but I wish everyone would just let me do my work. Some people have suggested that I have done this for shock value. These are comments only a man would make. It’s much too difficult to be pregnant and bring a child into this world to do it for the whimsical or provocative reasons. There are also speculations that I used the father as a stud service. Implying that I am not capable of having a real relationship. I realize these are all comments made by persons who cannot live with the idea that something good is happening to me. Something special and wonderful that they cannot spoil. I have been avoiding all my friends’ calls because I know I will be berated for keeping it a secret for so long. They will want to know when and where and how and what my plans for the future are, and I haven’t got a clue. I mustn’t think about these things, but I do anyway, which only frustrates me because I haven’t got any answers. In any case, I have to resist the inclination to want to be taken care of. I must remain independent and strong in order to finish this film. Today I am going to call my father and tell him the rumors are true for a change. I hope he’ll be happy.

Budapest [Saturday, April 20, 1996]:
I’ve just spent the last two days doing a Vanity Fair photo session by day and the movie at night. Burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. Not a good idea when you are almost fourth months pregnant. When you’re paranoid and neurotic every little twinge you feel is a signal that you’re about to have a miscarriage. I have been able to fall asleep only on my stomach my entire life and now that I am pregnant I am trying to learn to sleep on my side. Still, every morning I wake up with my face down on the mattress and I’m sure I have broken my baby’s nose. I’m always tired and cranky. Ironically, this feeling of vulnerability and weakness is helping me in the movie. I’m sure Evita felt this way every day of her life once she discovered she was ill.

Budapest [Wednesday, April 24, 1996]:
Thank God we’re leaving in five days. My call time has been delayed and I’m sitting in my room with smoke coming out my ears. I just wrote a letter of outrage to the boss with the applesauce, Andy Vajna, as I am sick of being made to feel grateful for being allowed to be in this movie. Production screwed up and forgot to make reservations in London near the soundstage where we’ll be shooting and now either I have to stay in a crappy hotel an hour away from work or I can rent a house for the month. But because it is last minute it’s more expensive and production refuses to pay the extra. So basically I have no place to stay in London. I don’t like to be petty about money, but in the end it’s about respect. I know comparing myself with other actors and how they are treated gets me nowhere, but I feel like I am being taken advantage of.

Budapest [Friday, April 26, 1996]:
That giddy feeling is back. Two more days of shooting in Budapest! I feel like I’ve survived yet another war. My second tour of duty. Building strength as I go. But I’m afraid I’ve acquired a world-weary look in my eyes that may never go away. Spring is thawing out the universe. It’s sure to be warmer in London and Andy has agreed to the house in Holland Park. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all.

Budapest [Sunday, April 28, 1996]:
Last night I dreamt again about my teeth falling out and I tried to disguise my problem with the teeth I wear in the movie. I was embarrassed and frightened that this was a sign of a more serious health problem. Why do I keep dreaming about death? What do I have to be worried about? Today is our last day of filming in Budapest and I should be a very happy girl. Last night I had a celebration dinner with Jonathan Pryce and Jimmy Nail, who plays Magaldi, the tango singer who takes Eva to Buenos Aires for the first time. We had Thai food and it was spicy and fragrant and I ate too much and went home with a stomachache. There was a lovely Merlot that I sampled and I was longing for a glass of it, but I don’t want to add fetal alcohol syndrome to my list of worries. Have also been craving martinis. Maybe it’s the olives, she said wistfully.

London [Tuesday, April 30, 1996]:
I’m sitting in the living room of my cozy new home in Holland Park. There’s a bust of Mozart as a boy on my desk and a fire roaring in the fireplace. The front window is shaded by an ancient magnolia tree and there’s a garden in the back which I hope to be spending some time in when it gets a bit warmer. Doesn’t it sound cozy? It wasn’t when we got here, but Caresse and I have beaten it in to submission. When we arrived there was no heat, no towels, no television, and no fax. Worst of all, only one phone line. How could a girl survive such primitive circumstances? We have since rectified most of the unpleasantness. This of course required several threatening phone calls to owner and realtor. A friend of mine has donated some Pratesi linens and finally I can sleep without scratching myself to death from harsh hotel detergents. The woman who owns the house is an interior decorator who believes that a well-furnished room has no empty space. We have cleared out some of the over stuffed couches and chairs, but we’re not going to touch the artwork, which covers every inch of wall space and adds up to exactly nothing. It’s frightening to think that her husband is the chairman of Christie’s International. Still, I can’t complain. It’s not a hotel and I can make my own damn cup of coffee. I was bewildered as to why the owners would rent their house out for a month and move into another one in the city, until the jackhammers started at 7:30 A.M. Maybe that’s why they wanted to rent out the house. The house next door is being renovated and we will be awakened every morning by a chorus of pounding, scrapping, and drilling for the next four weeks. I considered going outside this morning and giving the workers a piece of my mind, but I didn’t think I’d be too convincing in my flannel pj’s and zit medicine. Why is God punishing me again? Had a great dance rehearsal for the big dance number we’re shooting on Friday. Tomorrow we show it to Alan. I hope he likes it.