(Image by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott via Billboard)
In Billboard's new cover story, Madonna — the trade publication's choices for Woman of the Year 2016 — speaks articulately about the Trump phenomenon, as well as her own past with the Not-My-President-elect. Fabulously, she is interviews by the politically passionate Elizabeth Banks, who deliciously references their appearance together in the abysmal Swept Away, Madonna's so-far-last starring movie role.
[Madonna] told me that my audition was funny and that I’d be good in the movie, and I just tried to keep breathing. I assume it was in that moment that Guy concluded I’d be the perfect, nubile idiot to cast in Swept Away. I won the part. The next few weeks were surreal for all of us. I had seen Madonna in concert as a teenager and had splurged on tickets for her Staples Center show scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001. Needless to say, that concert was postponed as the world came undone. But a couple of weeks after we met, I watched Madonna finish her Drowned World Tour. Before the music began that night, she started with a prayer for peace: “If you want to change the world, change yourself,” she told the crowd. Through tears, I sang along for the entire show.
On the topic of relevance and ageism, Madonna is painfully on-point:
I don’t ever think about my age until someone says something about it. I feel that I have wisdom, experience, knowledge and a point of view that is important. Can a teenager relate to that? Probably not. But that’s OK. I understand that. “Relevance” is a catchphrase that people throw out because we live in a world full of discrimination. Age is only brought up with regard to women. It’s connected to sexism, chauvinism and misogyny. When Leonardo is 60 years old, no one is going to talk about his relevance. Am I relevant as a female in this society that hates women? Well, to people who are educated and are not chauvinists or misogynists, yes.
Saying she felt “like someone died” when Hillary lost, Madonna speaks of interacting with Trump in the past. She is surprisingly even-handed, if clearly a critic:
I did a photo shoot years ago at [Trump’s] Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach [Fla.] for a Versace campaign. He’s a very friendly guy, charismatic in that boastful, macho, alpha-male way. I found his political incorrectness amusing. Of course, I didn’t know he was going to be running for president 20 years later. People like that exist in the world, I’m OK with it. They just can’t be heads of state. I just can’t put him and Barack Obama in the same sentence, same room, same job description.
On why so damn many women voted for the cheerfully misogynistic Trump, Madonna goes there fearlessly and ain't lie:
Women hate women. That’s what I think it is. Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad. Men protect each other, and women protect their men and children.
More of Madonna's pearls of wisdom from this fascinating piece here. Madonna will receive Billboard's Woman of the Year award at Billboard's Women in Music event December 9 in New York City. It airs on Lifetime December 12.