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Madonna’s Evita Diaries : Vanity Fair

London [Friday, May 3, 1996]:
Woke up this morning feeling like a truck had run over me. My insomnia has resurfaced the last few nights and I’m trying to figure out why. Is it because a certain disgusting basketball player I made the mistake of going out with deciding to publish an autobiography and devoted a whole chapter to what it was like to have sex with me? Complete with made-up dialogue that even a bad porno writer would not take credit for. It’s so silly I ‘m sure no on will take it seriously, but I don’t feel like reading the headlines, and of course I feel exploited once again by someone I trusted and let in to my life. Maybe it’s the not-humanly-possible shooting schedule or because I miss my dog. We had to send her back to the States because of the stupid quarantine laws in this country. Today is the first day of shooting at Shepperton and it’s all dancing and I’m worried about my tummy showing and I’m worried I’ll be too tired to get through the
day and I’m worried that the corner of Xanax I’ve nibbled on the last two nights is going to deform my baby for sure. Dear God, please let this day go smoothly and please let me sleep tonight. And please let my baby be O.K.

London [Monday, May 6, 1996]:
I survived the weekend, but just barely. We filmed a scene where Magaldi brings me to the big city and we go to a cantina and I end up in the arms of several men, dancing and whooping it up. Enjoying my new freedom and showing off. I was winded after every take and had to lie down on a couch every 10 minutes so I could recover from dizzy spells. I was worried that I was shaking the baby around too much and that I would injure it in some way. The second day I started getting a cramping feeling and I got worried, so a very comforting Indian doctor came to the set to examine me. When I could hear my baby’s heart beating, I was instantly reassured. I spent the rest of the weekend feeling guilty about working too hard and apologizing to my unborn child for any anxiety and uncomfortable bouncing around I was causing it. Today I am having amniocentesis and I’ve never been more scared in my life.

London [Tuesday, May 7, 1996]:
I am writing today as therapy. As damage control. To keep from crying out or destroying something. Women who are educated, women you call themselves feminists, women who are gay and have the nerve to attack me in the press and say that my choice to have a baby and not be married is contributing to the destruction of the nuclear family. Camille Paglia, a notoriously gay feminist and journalist, went as far as to imply that I had a child out of wedlock because I’m unable to bond with a man and that the public is justified in being outraged because people are concerned for the welfare of the child. They are afraid that I will raise my baby [a la Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest] all alone in a dark mansion. There are discussions and arguments in editorial columns all over the US concerning my status as a single mother and whether I am a good role model for young girls. Does anyone complain that neither Susan Sarandon nor Goldie Hawn is married to the father of her children? Who said a word when Woody Allen and Mia Farrow had a child and continued to live across the park from each other? Why are these people not expected to be rolemodels? Why are these things never an issue with men? I believe that most people would be more comfortable if I got married and the marriage failed. I believe that divorce is more socially acceptable than single motherhood or being honest about your future. What a hypocritical society we live in! But the surprising thing is how sexist women are. On a good note, I survived my amniocentesis, though I won’t pretend it was painless. The doctor was very comforting and we watched the baby move around for a while before invading its space with a seven inch needle. For the first time I felt fiercely protective, like a mother with her cub. He put the needle in with out numbing the area, which really hurt. Then I proceeded to dig a hole in Caresse’s hand with my nails while the doctor withdrew the amniotic fluid. Instead of bumping into the needle, which was what I feared, the baby instinctively moved away from it and raised its hand into little fists to hide its face. For some reason this gave me relief. When the procedure was finished we tried to determine the baby’s sex by moving the camera between its legs, but it showed its complete and utter annoyance with the intrusion by turning away from the camera and refusing to give up any information. A girl/boy after my own heart.

London [Thursday, May 9, 1996]:
I am so tired. I’ve been getting up all week at six A.M., which isn’t such a bad idea considering that an hour later the jackhammers next door will start up and send me running out of my bed anyway. It’s also good because it allows for 45 minutes on my Lifecycle or Stairmaster before going off to work in the hope that I will avoid water retention and weight gain and that my costumes will continue to fit. Production seems more chaotic than ever – a last minute scramble to fit everything in. There never seems to be enough time to finish our work each day without going into serious overtime. In addition to this, journalists from a number of publications have been frequenting the set like birds of prey, writing on their little pads and looking away nervously when they make eye contact with me. It causes me to feel so paranoid. They intrude into our private world; they don’t understand that our silly behavior or emotional outbursts are a result of exhaustion. It’s tedious to constantly edit everything that comes out of your mouth for fear that you will be misquoted or, worse, misunderstood. This one writer in particular [from Vogue magazine] has me feeling really very nervous. We had a long interview on my day off while I was recovering from the giant needle invasion. I thought that things went well, we had a long philosophical discussions about everything from motherhood to being Catholic to fearing death. Not exactly exchanging pleasantries. She spent the next day on the set, asking several members of the cast and crew if they thought I was intelligent. Now, I know I didn’t sound like an idiot the day before, but I guess she was so surprised she had to go around asking people to verify her findings. Needless to say, she did not endear herself to me. I’m trying to think when I turned against her. It was probably when she asked me what method of birth control I used after I told her that I didn’t discover I was pregnant until my eleventh week. The astonished look on her face when I told her it was none of her business leads me to believe that she will not be kind.

London [Saturday, May 11, 1996]:
Two weeks left of filming and the discomforts of being pregnant and the future demands of motherhood are becoming my sole preoccupation. I know I have every right to be distracted by these things, yet I feel guilty. I need to stay focused and hang on for two more weeks. I have some very important scenes coming up. In fact, the most important scenes in the film have been very sadistically saved for the last two weeks of filming. I need to hunker down with my nose to the grindstone. Not give in to thinking about where I’m going to have my baby and where I want it to go to school and what the results of the amnio test are going to be. You know, trivial things. People ask me if I’ve gone shopping for baby clothes or thought about names and I stare blankly at them, thinking, Oh yeah, mothers do these sorts of things, but I feel I cannot give in to this sort of gooey sentimentality until I have breathed Eva’s last breath. I mustn’t be unfaithful to her. I even hide the numerous books I have on being pregnant and having children from friends and coworkers lest they think I’ve turned into some weepy domesticated female.

London [Sunday, May 12, 1996]:
Today is Mother’s Day and as usual I’m depressed. I always get sad around this time of year for the obvious reasons. I long to know the sensation of having a mother to hug or to call up and say conspiratorial things to about how difficult men are, or to simply share my joy with. This year I am even sadder because I’m sure she would be the happiest to know that I am having a baby. But God works in mysterious ways, for I received several gifts on the set of the movie today. I was giving an angry speech to a group of union leaders in my office when I felt the baby kick for the first time. I had to resist the temptation to hold my belly and laugh out loud. It had to remain my delicious and lovely secret. There I was in a room full of suits and cigars and mustaches, pounding my fists on the desk and feeling like some kind of deranged monster, and my beautiful baby kicked me in the side as if to say, “Happy Mother’s Day!” Then later on, we were shooting a scene in my office, where I meet with poor people and promise things like houses and bicycles and jobs, and three of the sweetest little girls who were extras, decided to attach themselves to me. They were all about eight or nine years old and they were so affectionate and the would anxiously grab my hands and smother me kisses in-between takes. On the longer breaks they told me about their cats and dogs and horrible brothers and what they wanted to be when they grew up. They saddest and most forlorn of the group [her name was Levi] said she wanted to be like me. Figures. By the end of the day I was madly in love with her and when we had to say good-bye she said she wished I were her mother and my eyes welled up with tears. I’m such a sap. In two weeks I’ll be back on a plane flying away from all this lunacy with the only thing that really matters growing inside of me. Carlos has been very sweet and supportive on the phone. Today he sent me flowers.

London [Tuesday, May 14, 1996]:
Today I died a thousands deaths. Take after painful take. I was a wreck, even off-camera. My movie family was there, with Jonathan holding my hand, and the entire room was a snot factory all day. The work we are doing now is so hard and so intense and I am so profoundly tired. The most complicated things I can think about outside of the movie are along the lines of whether I should remove my belly button ring now or later and what nationality I want the nanny to be. God, I feel so old and worn out. If someone came into the room right now he would see a sagging, gray haired hunchbacked old lady and say, “Jeez, I didn’t know women could bear children in their 80s!” Yep, that’s me. Old before my time.

London [Thursday, May 16, 1996]:
I’ve developed a strange nervous-stomach condition that causes so much pain that sometimes I have to lie down in the middle of a scene. Everyone chalks it up to my being pregnant, but I know the real reason is that I don’t get enough sleep and my nerves are shot. Throw in the anxiety of waiting for the results of the amnio test and you have the makings of what feels like an ulcer. I alternate between swilling Mylanta and sipping ginger tea. This movie is destroying my body. This baby is, well, not destroying my body but altering it beyond recognition. Even my complaining is boring me.

London [Saturday, May 18, 1996]:
I’ve been waiting in my dressing room for hours to do my close ups of the famous balcony scene. In a moment of panic I called my voice teacher, Joan Leder, for an emergency voice lesson in case I had to sing live. The lesson went great even though we did it on the speakerphone with her two year old screaming in the background. I’ve dreaded shooting this scene in the way I dreaded singing the song in the studio. It’s like throwing a New Year’s Eve party. You know everyone’s coming to have the time of their life and you’re just so sure you’re going to disappoint them. I can’t take the pressure. The fact that they are making me wait is torture. I’m trying to feel nonchalant, but it’s not working. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and I’d get into some sort of silly trouble and my stepmother would give a me a wooden spoon and tell me to go upstairs and wait in her room with the door closed and she would come up later to spank me. Later: Well, I did it and it wasn’t so bad after all. The twenty extras who were hired for me to react to were poor substitutes for the enthusiastic Argentineans, so I asked Alan if we could fill the room with people working on the movie. In a matter of minutes all my favorite crew members, secretaries, runners, security guards, and miscellaneous children were standing below my balcony beaming up at me. I felt so much love and support in the room that I forgot we we not in Argentina. For the first time I thought, We truly are a family, and I realized I had grown to love each and every member of our traveling circus. Even the ones who got on my nerves. My faith in the humanity has been restored.