You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Media storms Madonna’s Venice press conference

Journos more interested in singer than her film, 'W.E.'

Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday.

Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser sked.

Dressed in a sober black frock with period flourishes which wouldn’t have looked out of place on Wallis Simpson, Madonna arrived to whooping enthusiasm from one part of the hall who gave her a standing ovation.

“W.E.” narrates a parallel story in which a Manhattan divorcee (Abbie Cornish) obsesses about the love story between Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) from the latter’s POV.

Early critics’ responses to the film were less than enthusiastic.

But while Madonna came to Venice to talk about “W.E.,” many scribes attended the presser to ask about a global entity: Madonna.

So questions ranged from the obvious to out-there personal.

What first attracted Madonna to the story of “W.E.”?

“I was deeply and utterly swept up by the reasons why Edward VIII would give up the throne, relinquish his great position of power, for love.”

Would Madonna give up her throne for a man or woman?

“I’d give it up for both, or all three.” (Laughter, cheers)

“How long have you worked on this movie”?

She researched “W.E.” for seven years, and wrote with Alek Keshishian for three, Madonna answered.

How did Madonna handle her spiritual path?

“When you make a film, you have to have strength of mind and karma and soul.”

As with any director’s film, multiple personal references can be read into “W.E.” Madonna wanted to make the point, she said, that “no matter how beautiful and glamorous your surroundings, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed happiness.”

There were moments of candor: Madonna admitted “W.E.” was “a really big project for me to take on.”

But the press conference with Madonna ended up being about Madonna. As a last question, key cast were asked their opinions of her (D’Arcy was probably the best, saying earlier Madonna was “a very clear communicator and a good laugh”).

At the presser’s finale, another scrimmage of journos formed around Madonna to take photos of her on their cell phones — proving they’d been in the same room as a worldwide icon.

More Film

  • village rockstars TIFF

    Village Rockstars,' ‘Summer 1993’ win Mumbai Film Festival

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

  • Vivien Leigh

    Vivien Leigh Biopic in Works From 'Feud: Bette and Joan' Writers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

  • Bill Nighy

    Film News Roundup: Bill Nighy, Jack Lowden to Star in Comedy 'Made in Italy'

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

  • Busan: Director Kamila Andini on Balancing

    Busan: Director Kamila Andini on Balancing Motherhood and Filmmaking

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

  • VidAngel logo

    VidAngel Declares Bankruptcy to Put Copyright Fight on Hold

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

  • Morgan Freeman Colin Powell

    Morgan Freeman to Play Colin Powell in Biopic

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum Pulls Sexual Abuse Movie, Cutting Ties With Weinstein Company

    Presenting out-of-competish “W.E,” her first full-length directorial feature, Madonna took the Venice mass media by storm Thursday. Journalists formed a rugby scrimmage to get into one of the most-packed press conferences in recent years — only to discover they’d battled their way into the Q&A for “Summer Games,” one film before “W.E.” in the presser […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content