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Madonna’s Like A Virgin Music Video

The Video, Credits & Info

Premiere: November 13 1984
Director: Mary Lambert
Producer: Simon Fields
Director of Photography: Peter Sinclair
Art Director: John Ebden
Editor: Glenn Morgan
Stylist: Maripol
Cast: Madonna
Production Company: Limelight Productions
Filming Location: Venice, Italy and New York City, United States
Filming Dates: July 1984

Making Of The Video

Madonna introducing the Video

Video Facts

Mary Lambert (director) on making the video:
“For “Like a Virgin,” Jeff Ayeroff said, “We want to do something outrageous.” I said, “Let’s do it in Venice!” The idea of Madonna singing in a gondola was the most outrageous thing I could think of. And Madonna dug it, because she has the whole thing with the Catholic Church and her Italian heritage. It turned into a huge party. One night, we were waiting to take a ferry back to where we were staying. Everyone had been drinking, and somebody bet the photographer Larry Williams that he couldn’t put his fist in his mouth. He did get it all the way in his mouth, but then it got stuck and he couldn’t get it out. He won the bet, though.
“Madonna stayed at the Hotel Cipriani, partly because she was avoiding Simon Fields, who still wanted to sleep with her—so did everybody else, for that matter—and partly because there was a pool there, and she swam every morning as part of her exercise routine. The rest of us stayed at a sleazebag hotel on Lido, a little island just outside Venice. There were 3 million mosquitoes and the mattresses were stuffed with rocks. Shooting in Venice was definitely excessive. We shot during the day, ate in little cafes, and partied with Madonna at the Cipriani at night.”
“There’s this famous yearly Carnival in Venice where everyone wears elaborate masks. I loved that idea, of things not being what they seem. Madonna’s love interest in the video wore a lion mask, and that gave me the idea to get a real lion. I wanted to have the guy in the lion mask turn into an actual lion. Nobody else liked the lion. Madonna went along with it.”
“You can’t be in Madonna’s presence, ever, without feeling the raw sexuality and sensuality she exudes. And that’s something I encouraged in all the videos we did. When you’re near her, and she turns that charm on you, it’s like somebody switching on a spotlight. The camera sees it.”

Jeff Ayeroff (producer at Warner) on making the video:
“By that point, Madonna was on the cover of Rolling Stone. So we went to Venice, like a bunch of fucking whack jobs. I don’t know what we spent — $150,000? $175,000? — but it was way more than we’d ever spent on a video. Simon Fields was having an affair with Madonna, Mary Lambert was having an affair with somebody else. What did I do on the shoot? I sat on the back of the barge and yelled “Duck,” so Madonna didn’t smack her head on the bridges.”

Simon Fields (producer) on making the video:
“The lion started to get crazy around Madonna. No one else. And then we found out that you can’t have a lion around a woman when she’s on her period.”