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Madonna says writing movie of her life is her “most draining, challenging experience”

By | Published on Wednesday 13 October 2021


It’s over a year now since Madonna announced that she was planning to write and direct her own biopic. So, how’s it going? Well, it’s been “the most draining, challenging experience I’ve ever had”, she says. Still, so long as that’s not what the reviewers say about watching the finished product, it’ll all be alright.

Madonna revealed last year that she was co-writing the film with Diablo Cody, prompting a range of reactions from delight to disbelief. Both mainly due to the breaking of convention – the subjects of biopics generally not being the people to make them. Though, we all expect people to write their own autobiographies and then get all pissy if it turns out they didn’t, so maybe this is fine.

Plus, biopics are almost exclusively shit pieces of mostly fiction regardless of who makes them. Perhaps what’s been going wrong with the biopic genre all these years is that the wrong people have been making them. If Madonna gets this right, it could open the door to a flood of self-made autobiographical movies. And, at the very least, some of them would almost certainly be hilarious.

Anyway, the first hurdle for anyone self-penning a biopic is spending an extended period of time mired in a lifetime’s worth of memories, good and bad. It turns out, that’s not such an easy thing.

“Writing my script is the most draining, challenging experience I’ve ever had”, Madonna says inĀ a new interview published by Rolling Stone. “It’s kind of like psychotherapy in a way, because I have to remember every detail from my childhood till now”.

“Remembering all the things that made me decide to be who I am, my journey as an artist, my decision to leave Michigan to go to New York, all the things that happened to me when I was young and naive, my relationships with my family and friends, watching many of my friends die”.

“Sometimes, I have writing sessions where I go to bed and I just want to cry”, she goes on. “The thing is, I realise I forgot a lot of things, and reliving, digging deep, trying to recall emotions that I felt in certain moments, both joyful and traumatic experiences. I realise I’ve lived a crazy life … But I would find myself at night, lying there in bed, thinking, ‘My God, did that really happen to me? Did I really know that person?'”

The potential downside of this project – compared to writing a book – is that having gone through that process while writing the script, Madonna will have to relive all of this stuff again several times during the making of the film. That could be the recipe for a great movie, couldn’t it? And maybe the reason Madonna’s previous two outings as a film director have been critical and commercial disasters was that she wasn’t making a film about herself. I’m sure it’ll be fine.