From the interview by journalist Laura
Ayerza, originally published in Hello!
Magazine, in February 1996, before starting the film.
were you so keen to do Evita?
"Because it was in my destiny, that's the simple truth. This
is something that goes way back. I've been planning it for
a long time and I've just got it now.
First I was chosen by Oliver Stone for the role, but
we had creative differences and the project fizzled out. When
Stone went to Argentina, there was some unpleasantness and
President Menem's government stopped helping him. Now Parker's
reaping what Stone sowed and he has to placate and persuade
the government that this project is serious and that he's
not trying to twist Argentina's history"
You were determined to play Eva
"When I found out that Alan Parker was working on a project
and that Michelle Pfeiffer would be playing Eva, I got very
nervy and I heard a voice inside me saying: Madonna, you've
got to do it.
I don't know if God took a hand or what happened, but I soon
heard that Michelle wasn't interested because she'd had a
baby. So then, one night, I sat down and wrote a letter to
Alan Parker. It was like an inspiration from God. I couldn't
control what I was writing, I didn't know what I was doing,
but I sent it all the same. In it I used all the arguments
I could to convince him that I wanted to do Evita. It's not
about money, just simple fascination".
And what happened next?
A month after I sent the letter, Alan Parker rang me so that
we could meet and chat about the film. It was a slow, painful
process because the budget for Evita was enormous and Parker
didn't want to take any false steps. After several meetings,
he formally asked me to play the role of Eva. Me, Evita!
I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was really happening.
I didn't want to get too excited about it while the process
was still going on.
The uncertainty was killing, I was a bag of nerves, but I
just had to wait. I don't think anyone, not anyone, could
have prayed as hard as I did for Evita to go ahead. I put
on amulets and crosses, lit candles, and even consulted fortune
tellers who told me that I was going to get the role of Evita.
Do you think people want to see Madonna
in this role?
I do think people want me to do it. But they want me to do
What attracted you to Evita?
Her courage in not letting herself be beaten, ever.
She fought to the end. Evia had influence over a lot of people
who believe she was a saint and a source of inspiration.
In what ways do you think Eva and
Madonna are alike?
I too came from nothing. I never had any relations in the
world I move today. Both Eva and I had our hearts broken at
a young age. I felt I'd been abandoned when my mum died. I
understand Eva's beginnings very well because they were similar
to mine. We both achieved our objectives, but in totally different
ways. Everything Eva did was in the name of Peron and his
government. What I do is in the name of freedom of speech,
Is there a new Madonna these days?
Yes, there is. I was always a spiritual person, but the thing
is that I've grown; what I did and my way of expressing myself
went through many stages.
As I grew, I learnt to fight my battles more intelligently.
Now instead of fighting for everything I only blow up about
the things which are most important to me.
I feel as though I'm at the start of something new, like a
completely different stage of my life. I feel as though I've
just left my childhood behind, and I had really long childhood!
But I don't regret anything I did. Because what I did before
brought me to what I am today. I love what I'm living now.
I'm happy with my change.
Wouldn't you like to get out of the
fast lane sometimes?
My life isn't that crazy, believe me. I have quiet moments,
and I've had relationships with moments of peace, too.
Nowadays, being with someone I love is a top priority. Before,
none of the men In had relationships with could understand
why I was so restless. Why I couldn't listen. The I changed,
and my priorities are changing too.
What does a man who's not famous
do to approach a star like yourself?
That all depends on the man. If he hasn't got money but is
confident within himself, then he won't have any problem finding
me. But if he's insecure and thinks, I'm not good enough for
her, I don't think he'd attract me.
Don't they get scared off by all
On the occasions when I've frightened men and they've run
away from me, either they came back, or I did. But it's understood
that I ahve to go through that stage.
Do you believe everything is predestined?
I believe in reincarnation. I've spoken to a lot of people
who know about it, and I'm just beginning to understand. For
years, all the fortune tellers I went to told me I was going
to play Eva Peron in the cinema. And now it's coming true,
so it was predestined.
I have a strange affinity for Latin culture, in my music,
friends, the relationships I have, food and art. A lot of
people have told me I could have been Latin in my older life.
Everything is connected, nothing exists by chance. Life gives
us symbols and it's up to us to discover and follow them.
Do you believe you were Eva Peron
in a previous life?
I don't, but a lot of people do. I'm convinced I have a connection
with Frida Kahlo and Lola Martinez
Was that other, more scandalous,
Madonna anything more than just a clever publicity stunt?
No, it wasn't a gimmick to get publicity. A lot of the things
I did, like the book Sex, were quite abviously an expression
of what was happening to me at the time. Unfortunately, since
sex is a taboo subject, the world rejected many of my words
and ideas, and wrote me off as a strange, demoniacal creature.
Something I'm not.
But because I really get to people, touch them where it hurts
most, they react in a very strange way: first they're interested,
then they get angry with themselves and then they punish me.
They did the same with Eva Peron; they criticised her like
hell for everything, for her jewels, the clothes she bought,
the swear words she used, for the manners she lacked. And
they all said: She's so cheap and horrible that she can't
be intelligent. Yet of course she was. People are always afraid
of women who stand out, who are pretty and don't repress their
sexuality. In this society, if you want to be respected as
an intelligent person, you have to repress your sexuality.
Does fame have a high price?
When you're up on a pedestal, they say you're a prostitute,
a crazy woman, a nymphomaniac and I don't know how many things
besides. I get mad when people make judgements about famous
people they don't know. Ninety five per cent of what they
write about me is false.
How would Eva Peron have got on in
this era of press freedom?
Poor thing, they'd have driven her crazy, the same as they're
doing to me. The press can make or break you. Look at Lady
Are you friends with her?
No. Once we chatted for ten minutes at a dinner at Roberto
Devorik's house. Through Roberto, I invited her to a dinner
I held in London, but she couldn't come because Prince Harry
was on his own. That was it; we talked a bit about life that
one time we met.
What are your current ambitions?
Filming Evita. Doing it well. And then, maybe, thinking about
And what does Madonna think about
I always have a high level of anxiety because I'm an artist.
But I think Madonna's better now than she was two years ago,
for example. Then I couldn't even sit down and listen to someone
quietly. I had to be moving. I needed to be motivated the
whole time. I needed to be busy. Now I can value peace and
relaxation. My yin and yang are more balanced.
As for film premieres, I try to avoid all that, it makes me
The business of Hollywood and all the stupidity surrounding
the film world makes me sick. When I was in London recording
the music for Evita, I loved the fact that no one talked film
to me. I felt like just another person. My friend, David Collins,
introduced me to some great people. I was scared when I went
there because I didn't know anyone, but I had to be fabulous
They can talk about anything: art, literature, architecture,
design. In Hollywood all they talk about is the next film
that's coming out, or the contracts that have been signed.
It's really boring. Film is important, but a lot of the films
that are being made today aren't at al interesting. Nobody
makes films with a message. Film has become just business.
It's very sad.
What is good cinema to you?
Films by Pasolini, Bertolucci, Bunuel. Those people made movies
that meant something. With small budgets they created unforgettable
cinema. I'm interested in that kind of film, not the sort
produced by Hollywood today.
Is it true about your romance with
John John Kennedy? That you waited for him nude, wrapped in
No, it's not true.
Marilyn Monroe used to sleep in nothing
but a few drops of Chanel No 5. What do you sleep in?
I feel really boring: I wash my face and teeth and put on
my pyjamas just like everyone else to go to sleep.
Chocolates and whipped cream.
What are you hoping from your trip
to Buenos Aires?
To convince the Argentinians that I'm serious. I admire Eva
Peron and I'm going to depict her the best way I can. It's
a great honour for me to do Evita.
Are you going to leave something
behind in Buenos Aires?
Yes, the real Madonna.