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Interview with Madonna

Aired October 10, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a rare one-on-one with Madonna, up close and personal with an icon. And her husband Guy Ritchie. Madonna and Guy Ritchie, what an hour. Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's a great pleasure to welcome Madonna to LARRY KING LIVE tonight. She'll be with us for most of the program, but her husband, Guy Ritchie, will be us at the end.

They're here in connection with the movie "Swept Away," which opens tomorrow everywhere. I saw it last week. It's a terrific film.

So remake -- why do a remake?

MADONNA, SINGER: Well, we didn't intend to make a remake, and I don't -- I think Guy probably said in one of his interviews he'd never do a remake of a movie. But we saw it together and he -- and I don't know. It just somehow evolved and he ended up wanting to make it. He thought it would be great as a remake. He thought he could do something...

KING: Something that wasn't done...

MADONNA: Yes. Yes. I thought I he thought -- I think he thought he could make it more modern and funnier.

It is a great story. The premise of the story is great.

KING: You like playing someone that ratty?

MADONNA: You mean that unsympathetic?

KING: Unsympathetic. Bitchy.

MADONNA: Yes. Yes, that's another way to put it. Thanks Larry.

KING: Was it fun to get into that?

MADONNA: It was -- yes. It's fun doing a villain.

KING: She is the villain for the first third of this film.

MADONNA: Totally. And then -- and then suddenly things turn around and he becomes the villain. And then for the last third...

KING: There ain't no villain, nah husband.

MADONNA: Yes, and then he's the bad guy.

KING: And I will get to that later, but the cast, the supporting cast, which is important in any good film, was terrific.

MADONNA: Yes. They're really good. Guy is really good at casting, and I love all the characters on the boat. Aren't they fantastic?

KING: Oh, every one of them well drawn.


KING: And you've known people like that.

MADONNA: Yes, totally. Yes.

KING: Changes in your life. You've given birth to a boy. What was it like? Any difference, girl and boy?

MADONNA: Huge. Huge.

KING: Biggest difference?

MADONNA: Huge difference. The biggest difference is that they're just from the minute they can express themselves. All they're interested in is cars. Cars.


MADONNA: Toys. Cars. Wheels. Mechanics. How things work. You know what I mean? I mean, it's just in their molecular structure.

KING: And girls?

MADONNA: Girls, you know, dolls and dresses and putting makeup on and wearing high heels and, I mean...

KING: And from a parenting standpoint do you see a difference? Because there are some who contend more are boys are much more harder to parent.

MADONNA: I think boys are harder in the beginning, and I think they become more independent later. And I think it's the reverse.

Girls are easier in the beginning. They learn to walk quicker. They learn to talk quicker. They're easier to potty train. All those things. But then I think they become a little bit more high maintenance when they get older.

KING: So much to talk with you it's been three years since you've been on the show -- you were on the show two months before the birth of my three year old so...

MADONNA: Yes, wow, so a lot's happened for both of us.

KING: The wife was bigger then a lots happened. MADONNA: Yes.

KING: A lot of changes have happened for you.


KING: All for the better?

MADONNA: Yes, all for the better.

KING: This has been a good ride?

MADONNA: It's been great. How many years was it?

KING: Three.

MADONNA: Like three years. So much has happened.

KING: How do you do all you do? MADONNA: How do I do it?

KING: You're an entrepreneur. You're a marketer.


KING: You're a singer.


KING: You're an actress.


KING: You're a mother.


KING: You're...

MADONNA: I'm a wife.

KING: You're a wife.


KING: Yes. How do you -- how do you have a balance?

MADONNA: I live -- I live a highly scheduled life. There's absolutely no time wasted. I'm very focused. And I have a great assistant.

KING: Very important.

MADONNA: Very important, yes.

KING: She or a he?

MADONNA: She. Yes.

KING: But emphasis is first children?

MADONNA: Yes. My emphasis -- my priority is my family, absolutely, 100 percent. But somehow we make things work. We don't sleep very much.

KING: So how about you doing -- where'd you shoot the movie?

MADONNA: We shot the movie in Malta in Sardinia, and obviously it was, you know, a huge benefit that I was married to the director and so we were together as a family the entire time. And that was fabulous. I loved it.

KING: How do you think people do it without help? People who have jobs and...

MADONNA: You know what? When my nannies have days off...

KING: Yes? Yes.

MADONNA: ... I ask the same question. How do people do this all the time? I mean, you don't have a job. You can't -- taking care of children is a full-time job, and I have total respect for women who do it completely on their own.

KING: Ever feel -- you never feel sorry though that you have children? You ever say to -- you know, you've seen people go, oh, I'm better off.

MADONNA: No. Absolutely not.

KING: Do you like things, you know, you're a person always looking down new roads, right?


KING: Always been like that?

MADONNA: Yes. I am. I have, yes.

KING: You look for a different way to do something.

MADONNA: Yes, I'm always looking for something new, a new inspiration, a new philosophy, a new way to look at something, new talent. I like people that are hungry. And I like to take old things and reinterpret them in new ways so...

KING: Which led to -- did that lead to Kaballah too?

MADONNA: "Swept Away."

KING: "Swept Away" as well. No, "Swept Away" is an old thing new. MADONNA: Yes. Yes.

KING: Kaballah. You were born Catholic, right? MADONNA: I was born Catholic.

KING: You are now Jewish? You wear the Jewish star.

MADONNA: Well, I wear the Jewish star, but I'm not -- I haven't converted to Judaism and I'm not -- I'm not -- I'm not Jewish in the conventional sense because the Kaballah is a belief system that predates religion and predates Judaism as an organized religion.

KING: Explain that. MADONNA: -- it's a belief system. It's incredibly scientific and, as I said, it predates religion.

I think people -- a lot of the rituals, well, all of the rituals have been appropriated by the Jewish faith. KING: But...

MADONNA: But I think people have misinterpreted and/or have left out the true and deep metaphysical reasons for all of those things.

KING: What attracted you to it?

MADONNA: I was looking for something. I mean, I'd begun practicing yoga and, you know, I was looking for the answers to life. Why am I here? What am I doing here? What is my purpose? How do I fit into the big picture? I know there's more to life than making lots of money and being successful and even getting married and having a family.

You know, where does it go? What is the point? What is the point of my journey and everybody else's journey and...

KING: What's it all mean?

MADONNA: What's it all mean and why's there so much chaos in the world? And is this just the way it goes? You know, and I wanted to know the answers.

And I heard about these classes they were teaching. I heard they were very scientific in nature and not dogmatic and religious. And it didn't matter where you came from or what religious faith you were brought up in. And I heard the teacher was brilliant.

KING: And he's a rabbi.

MADONNA: He's a rabbi, yes.

KING: So it's generally considered a sect of Judaism, is it not?

MADONNA: It is the mystical interpretation of the Torah, yes.

KING: But you don't...

MADONNA: The Old Testament. But you know what? Jesus was a cabalist. Jesus was a rabbi. And essentially Christianity took a very important concept of the Kaballah, which is love thy neighbor as thyself, and that became the foundation of Christianity. Obviously it's been, you know -- unfortunately Christianity has taken certain things out of context. I mean, there's no point in killing people if they don't become Christians. That's not -- it's got nothing to do with loving your neighbor as yourself.

KING: Of course. Some Christians have done that.

MADONNA: During the crusades for instance. Yes. Yes. Yes.

KING: Do you go to synagogue?

MADONNA: Yes, I do.

KING: Is your husband...

MADONNA: A kabalist?

KING: Yes.


KING: He is. Did you bring him in?

MADONNA: Yes. Well, I, you know, I introduced it to him because I study it and he was curious, and he was very skeptical at first being a Darwinist and not at all interested in spirituality, but...

KING: Are there -- are the traditions or laws you have to uphold as the dietary laws or you can't work on a certain day of the week?

MADONNA: First of all, like I said, there's no dogma, and, I mean, things like -- things like eating kosherly or honoring the Sabbath. There's a 1 percent reason, the reason that we -- that most Jews know about and even Christians know about. And then there's the metaphysical reason behind it.

I would say the most important aspect of the Kaballah is recognizing that we are all one and that there's no such thing as fragmentation.

KING: And it accepts the golden rule, right? Do onto others...

MADONNA: As you would have them do unto you.

KING: Madonna is our guest. Tomorrow "Swept Away" opens. I've seen it. I loved it a lot. You're going to like it. You're going to get involved in it and bring your handkerchief or a tissue or two. Trust me.

Her husband later. Back with more. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Captian would you show my wife to her quaters, please?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Of course, Professor.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (speaking in foreing language)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This is your cabin, sir. Madam.

What you can't fit in here, you can keep in my room.

MADONNA: Did you ask him about the gym?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Yes, OK. Giuseppe, would you show my wife the gym, please?



UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: She's crazy, that woman.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What were they screaming about?


I thought she would like that -- me bringing the gym to her.

MADONNA: Well I wasn't very happy. What kind of a gym could you possibly carry?


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Then I showed he the gym.

MADONNA: He showed me the gym.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Your gym, madam.

She just had to scream.

MADONNA: I was pretty understanding, actually.







UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Really? I think it's beautiful.

MADONNA: What are you doing haunting our corridors when you have beautiful there?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Because you want to eat my fishes, madam, I'm taking it to the kitchen.

MADONNA: I hope I haven't hurt your feelings.


MADONNA: And don't be so touchy (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Can't we just get along?


MADONNA: I see you've got your dancing shoes on.

A one, two. A one, two, three.


MADONNA: What's the matter? Don't you want to dance with me?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I don't want to dance with people I don't like.


KING: We're back with Madonna. "Swept Away" opens tomorrow.

I don't know if I asked you this three years ago. Why do you have one name?

MADONNA: As opposed to what?

KING: Two names. Like a Madonna...

MADONNA: Ciccone.

KING: Libowich (ph).

MADONNA: That's good. I like that.

KING: I mean, did you market yourself kind of like that way or...

MADONNA: No, I didn't. I didn't. I had no idea. I mean, when I started -- when I got signed to a record deal I was Madonna Ciccone. And just got shortened. And then it was Madonna. And then it -- I mean, I didn't want to like rock the boat, I guess, in the beginning.

KING: Do you know why you were named Madonna?

MADONNA: It's my mother's name. I was named after my mother.

KING: So you were a junior on your mother's side.

MADONNA: Yes, I'm a second.

KING: Did you have a good childhood?

MADONNA: Yes. I did. I mean, I think I had a -- I had moments of chaos and sometimes I suffered. I mean, my mother died when I was little, and that was difficult for me for a while.

KING: Father raised you?

MADONNA: Father, and then eventually he remarried and my stepmother, yes.

KING: How did that work? Sometimes that can be very hard.

MADONNA: I mean, truthfully, I didn't accept my stepmother when I was growing up. In that retrospect I think I was really hard on her.

KING: Was she trying?

MADONNA: Yes, she was.

KING: You were close to your mother, though, then?

MADONNA: Yes, and I'm very close to my father, and I didn't want to accept change...

KING: Did you always want to be in show business?

MADONNA: Everyone tells me I did. I mean, when I talk to my relatives they all say, you know...

KING: You sang when you were ...

MADONNA: You've been a showgirl since you were 5, and I don't remember it, but I guess...

KING: Did you ever think as you were a teenager of doing something else?

MADONNA: When I was a teenager I wanted to be a dancer. I wanted to move to New York and be a dancer. That was my goal, and that was my dream. It was pretty small.

KING: From where? Move from where?

MADONNA: Michigan.

KING: Where?

MADONNA: Detroit. Pontiac. Rochester.

KING: What took it into singing?

MADONNA: Well, I was dancing for years in Manhattan and not making a very good living. And I started auditioning for a musical theater, and somebody saw me at an audition singing and dancing and...

KING: Put you in a show?

MADONNA: ... and they said hey, sweetheart, we're going to make you a star type of thing. And they were French. And they took me to Paris and they kind of put me into this star making machinery, but I wasn't ready for it. And after six months I flipped out and had to come back to New York.

Too much, too soon and I wanted to earn it.

KING: What was your first break?

MADONNA: It probably started off as a song on the radio, and then it -- and then I think it was an appearance at the MTV awards, where I think I was rolling around on the stage in my underpants. And I think I did something like that.

KING: Did you dane to do that? In other words, did you -- was it in the sense...

MADONNA: Was it planned? Was it...

KING: Yes.


KING: Why'd you do it?

MADONNA: I don't know. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. I was very impulsive in my youth.

KING: Still are?

MADONNA: I'm trying not to be. I'm trying to think before I say and do.

KING: Even it was a no connect between brain and mouth?

MADONNA: I just was living in the moment and living like an instinctive animal.

KING: A lot of that can work for you, but it can also work against you.

MADONNA: Sure. Absolutely.

KING: So there's a lot of pluses and a lot of minuses.

MADONNA: Yes. It's important to see the end and the beginning. KING: How did you deal initially with fame?

MADONNA: Well, I thought it was fun in the beginning. I mean, I didn't mind it at all.

KING: You liked people pointing to you and knowing you on the street?

MADONNA: Yes, sure. It appealed to my ego.

KING: Did it at any time turn sour?

MADONNA: Sure, I mean, when people start chasing you down the street, and I never had a moment of privacy, you know, or when people started taking shots at me and being nasty in the press. Things like that.

I mean, then I went through a period of feeling like really put upon. Oh, the press is beating up on me. They're not being fair, but now I just don't care.

KING: Really?


KING: Don't read the stories?

MADONNA: Don't read the newspapers. Don't read magazines, and don't watch TV, sorry. I'll watch this interview though.

KING: But you. Would you get - but if you stay away from print and broadcasts...

MADONNA: I mean, at the end of day I just don't -- it's not going to do me any good. I mean, most of it is sensationalists, television, magazine, press, whatever.

And if you get attached to the good things or nice things people say about you, and you get attached to wanting approval from people, then you're going to also be affected by people saying negative things about you, and I'd rather just be detached from it all because it doesn't mean anything in the end. It's completely afemorale. Completely illusionary, and so I'd like to pay attention to what's real.

KING: Is it also weird that so many people are interested in your personal life? I mean, is that kind of weird? Do you think it...

MADONNA: It's weird, but, you know, I suppose they're interested in all celebrities' personal lives.

KING: Yes, why, do you think?

MADONNA: Living vicariously through everybody, you know.

KING: To them is larger than life and...

MADONNA: Yes. Yes.

KING: ... and enjoy seeing them have troubles.

MADONNA: I think everybody does. It's like the old watching the car accident thing. You know, you can't take your eyes off of it. People like to see you go up and they love to see you go down.

KING: Do you do it about others?

MADONNA: I'm sure I'm guilty of it, you know. I'd like to say, you know, I do find myself -- I hear a little bit of a snippet of gossip about someone and then they go, oh really? And then I go I'm doing that. I'm doing that. That's not good.

KING: Easy to get caught up in it.

MADONNA: Totally. Totally. It's our nature. And I'm trying to work against that so...

KING: You also became akind of a marketer, didn't you? I mean, you knew how to...

MADONNA: Meaning?

KING: ... merchandise yourself. You promoted yourself well.

MADONNA: Yes, I mean, don't all singers and...

KING: No, some don't.

MADONNA: Well, I mean, you are selling your own image, right, when...

KING: Yes. Some are very good at it and some are not so good at it. Some choose wrong management. Some choose...


KING: You've always been good at that.


KING: Right? Haven't you?

MADONNA: Pretty good, I won't say I've never made...

KING: Then you also are a risk taker. Is that what you did?

MADONNA: "Speed the Plow."

KING: "Speed the Plow" on Broadway.


KING: Now most people would say, hey, she's a singer. She's a dancer.

MADONNA: Why's she doing a Davd Mammet Play...

KING: This is a risk. A David Mammet play. She can't be making $8 billion a week.


KING: They don't pay that on Broadway.

MADONNA: No, they sure don't.

KING: Why'd you do it?

MADONNA: For the experience. I mean, I don't need the money, and I'm in -- I'm in a very luxurious place in my life. I can do things because I want to do them, because I want -- I want the experience.

KING: You just did a play recently, right?

MADONNA: I did. I did a play and I...

KING: What, in London?

MADONNA: ... didn't get paid for that either.

KING: London?

MADONNA: Yes. Yes, but it was a fantastic experience, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

KING: What do you like about theater?

MADONNA: I like how real it is. I like that you are really out there with no protections. When you make a movie you get a chance to do another take. When you're on stage you say the line wrong, that's it. It's out there, it happened, and I like the immediacy of it.

I like how you can feel the energy of the audience. It's real acting.

KING: And you go from start to finish.

MADONNA: You go from start to finish...

KING: No shooting it out of sync.

MADONNA: No, no, no. It's preferable to acting in film.

KING: But boy, you must have something when you came out of the dressing room, right, being a star as you are.

MADONNA: The crowds, you mean.

KING: The crowds. MADONNA: Yes, it was insane. It was insane. Yes. We had to have police barricades to get me out of the theater every night.

KING: You worked -- did you work with Joseph Montana?

MADONNA: I did for "Speed the Plow."

KING: "Speed the Plow". We'll be right back with Madonna when we talk about her husband, other aspects of her life, and "Swept Away," the movie that opens tomorrow.

I'm Larry King. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Carol Channing tomorrow night. Don't go away.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I said, "Dance for me."

MADONNA: There's no music.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well make some. Sing as well.

MADONNA: (singing)






KING: We're back with Madonna. The movie opens tomorrow. It's "Swept Away."

We should say something about her co-star before we talk about the director because this guy, he's the son of the guy who originally played it.

MADONNA: I know. How freaky is that?

KING: Did you know that when they hired him?

MADONNA: Well, by the time we hired him we knew it, but when he auditioned for it we didn't know it. Even when we were watching the videotapes of the auditions we didn't know. It wasn't until we went back and looked at the piece of paper that said his name, we're like no, that's too weird.

KING: Has he had a long career in -- it can't be very long. He's...

MADONNA: He's been a camera operator for eight years. He's been -- the movie he did with us was his second film.

KING: You're kidding.

MADONNA: No, but he's a real natural.

KING: He's a natural -- there are such things, right? He's a natural actor.

MADONNA: Absolutely.

KING: Where was it -- now I'm trying to think of this. You obviously had a lot of chemistry with him...


KING: ... because if you faked that, that was pretty good.

MADONNA: No. We really liked each other. We enjoyed...

KING: That came through.


KING: Also the hatred came through. You worked well when you were challenging each other, which makes for a lot of funny things in this movie.


KING: Now, we'll ask -- I guess it's better to ask Guy this.


KING: Does it feel weird to make love to someone while your husband's watching?

MADONNA: Well, now Larry I wasn't really making love to him.

KING: But you had to hug him, you had to kiss him, you had to...

MADONNA: I had to hug him. I kind of kissed him.

KING: You hugged him. You never really -- there's no sexual scenes per se.


KING: There's all implied.


KING: But to lead to the implication.

MADONNA: Yes. Well, I mean, and it's implied for a reason. I mean, you don't need to see it. You get it, right?

KING: You're on an island. What else is happening (ph)?

MADONNA: Exactly. So was it weird? Yes, it was totally weird, especially with the man I love directing me. It was strange, and Adriano felt strange too, but we tried to just kind of jolly each other along through it all.

I mean, we recognized the absurdity of it so in a way we were laughing -- we were cracking up in between every take, you know.

KING: What's it like to work for your husband?

MADONNA: It was surprisingly easy I have to say because, I mean, we have a shorthand with each other in terms of communication so he didn't have to beat around the bush and say, oh, can you, you know. He'd just say, you know, wife, over there. You know, over there.

I mean, I'm used to him and I'm used to the way that he talks to me, and so he didn't have to butter me up. He didn't have to manipulate a performance out of me. We've had so much time to talk about it before we ever got on the set and...

KING: How did this come -- did he say he wanted to direct you in something, or did you say I'd like to be directed?

MADONNA: Well, we did a video together. I...

KING: For MTV...

MADONNA: Yes, for a song called "What It Feels Like For A Girl," and I loved working with him on that. And that we did a five minute commercial for BMW for the Internet, and we really enjoyed working together.

And so we kind of tossed the idea around of working together, but nothing specific. It was, you know, we'd like to work together on something if it comes along there's or you know, but Guy has a tendency to, you know, to do very male ladish guy oriented films so I always thought it would be some kind of quirky character in one of his films. You know what I mean?

KING: But he picked this one.


KING: How'd you meet him?

MADONNA: I met him at a lunch at a sort of garden party in the middle of the summer in the backyard of Sting and Trudy's house in London in the English countryside.

KING: He's a great guy, Sting.

MADONNA: Yes. Yes.

KING: Was it right away?

MADONNA: Love at first sight?

KING: Yes. No, immediate heavy attraction?

MADONNA: Major chemistry, yes, absolutely.

KING: Both parts.


KING: How soon after that were you married?

MADONNA: Gosh, two years after that?

KING: So you went together a long time.

MADONNA: Well, it was a long distance relationship for a while because he lived in England and I lived in America. So for a year it was long distance angst, a very high phone bill, and a lot of trips back and forth on the Concorde from New York to London and vice versa.

KING: Did you learn the last -- did you learn a lot from prior experiences that didn't last?

MADONNA: Relationships?

KING: Yes.

MADONNA: Yes, I think I pretty much -- I mean, the main thing I learned was that I was always, you know, jumping to conclusions, making decisions too quickly, and chasing people for the wrong reasons so...

KING: And how do you know you got it right now, because we never know this having gone through similar things. How do you know this is it?

MADONNA: I don't know, I just do.

KING: It's not explainable. In fact if you can answer it probably there's something the matter.

MADONNA: Yes. It's just in my gut. Yes.

KING: Is the -- is the father of your daughter close to his daughter?

MADONNA: Absolutely. And we're good friends. And he's a great person. And so I have no complaints. I'm very lucky that all turned out really good.

KING: Now what about money? When you -- when you reach a position in life where you don't have to ask the price, right? You see something in a store...

MADONNA: I still ask the price.

KING: But you don't have to ask the price.

MADONNA: I know, but I do anyway.

KING: OK. What's that like?

MADONNA: To not have to worry about...

KING: To not have want. We all have needs, but to not have want.

MADONNA: Well, it's, you know, it's great to have that luxury in life to not have to worry, to know that, you know, I don't ever have to worry about where my food's going to come from and the roof over my head. But obviously you and I both know that that's not the most important thing in the world. I mean...

KING: Well, before you have it you think it's kind of important.

MADONNA: Oh, God, yes.

KING: I used to...

MADONNA: But money is like everything. Money is like sex. It's like food. It's, you know, they're all manifestations of God. They're blessings that we get, but they're not -- they're not -- that's not what's going to make us happy. They're not real. They don't last.

There's only one thing that lasts and that's your soul. And if you don't work on that, and you don't pay attention to that, then all the money in the world is not going to help you.

KING: You believe in God.

MADONNA: Absolutely.

KING: Where were you on 9/11?

MADONNA: I was in Los Angeles. I was on tour.

KING: Sleeping?

MADONNA: Not after that.

KING: No, did someone have to wake you up though or...

MADONNA: Yes, yes, yes, no, I woke up to my nanny crying and telling me what was going on at 6 in the morning.

KING: Remember your first reactions turning on the TV?

MADONNA: I just, you know, I felt -- it felt really surreal like it wasn't really happening.

KING: Did you doubt your faith? MADONNA: No.

KING: Our guest is Madonna. "Swept Away" opens tomorrow.

We're going to spend some more moments with her and then meet her husband, the very talented Guy Ritchie, who directed "Swept Away," which opens everywhere, and I know this is kind of a cliche but you might well be swept away by this film. Cute, very Jewish. I don't know.

We'll be right back. Don't go away.


MADONNA: I'll have you arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: By who? The sand police?

If you keep being so polite, you'll force me to give you all my fishes.

I can see you're a very clever woman. Is there anything else I can do for you while I'm waiting to get arrested?

MADONNA: Sell me that fish.


MADONNA: I want that fish so sell it to me.

I'll give you $100 dollars. Two hundred. OK, I'll give you $500 for just half of the fish.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: There are some thing in life that can't be bought. And this fishes is one of them.




MADONNA: What are you doing?


What are you doing?



KING: We're back with Madonna. Spend a few more moments with her and then Guy Ritchie. And the movie, of course, is "Swept Away" and it opens tomorrow.

Someone asked me to ask you are a -- do you eat a macrobiotic diet?

MADONNA: Yes, I do.

KING: Which of consists of what? A little rice? Some seeds?

MADONNA: That is not true. Do I look like I've missed any meals?

KING: No, no. No, but you don't look like you're not -- you're not voftig either, you know. What's the number one treat in the macrobiotic diet?


KING: Boy, we can't wait for this one!

MADONNA: No, you're not allowed -- well, it's not good to eat toast because it's...

KING: Oh, it's not good to eat toast.

MADONNA: No, that's why when I'm sneaking and I'm having a moment of decadence I eat toast with strawberry jam...

KING: That's decadence. What's a typical quick...

MADONNA: Well, macrobiotic means big life and it means getting the most of life -- most life out of your food. So...

KING: A sample dinner?

MADONNA: Fish. Grains, some kind of grains. Some kind of cooked vegetable. Salad. Simple, but tasty.

KING: Not part of Kabbalah though is it?


KING: No, it's not part of its teaching.


KING: You're doing the theme for James Bond movie?


KING: What's the name of the song?

MADONNA: It's called "Die Another Day." It's just the same as the title of the film.

KING: Have you sung it already?

MADONNA: Yes. It's all...It's in the can.

KING: When does the movie come out? MADONNA: -- late October, early November.

KING: A lot of people, major people. Do they -- was this a no question you were going to do this when they asked you?

MADONNA: Well, no, I hemmed and hawed about it for a while because just for that reason though. Everybody wants to do the theme song of a James Bond movie, and I never liked to do what everybody else likes to do. It's just some perverse thing in me, right? So, but then I thought about it and I said, you know what? James Bond needs to get -- needs to get techno so...

KING: Needs a little hip.


KING: Modern.

MADONNA: Yes. KING: Got a new album coming?

MADONNA: I do in the beginning of next year.

KING: Done that already?

MADONNA: Almost done with it. I'm going to finish it in the next few months.

KING: How many -- what's the title of the album? Or you haven't picked one yet?

MADONNA: I don't know. I'm thinking of a nice Hebrew word. What do you think?

KING: A Hebrew word for an album.

MADONNA: Ein sof. What do you think of that?

KING: Ein sof is...

MADONNA: Ein sof means endlessness.

KING: I know. That's very good.

MADONNA: What do you think?

KING: You're going to have trouble selling it though because the average guy in, you know, Puerto Rico don't know...

MADONNA: How about i'n sof?

KING: That'll work. That'll work. Mazel is a good word.


KING: Luck. You could use some luck.


KING: Are you happiest you've ever been?

MADONNA: Yes, I am. Life is good.

KING: Where do you live?

MADONNA: I don't know. London, New York and Los Angeles.

KING: Any favorite among the three?

MADONNA: My favorite city is New York. Yes. Love it.

KING: First city you went to after Detroit, right?

MADONNA: Yes. That's where I really grew up.

KING: Now you keep three homes. You have to have three sets of people working these homes...

MADONNA: Yes. Yes.

KING: Life is on the go a lot.

MADONNA: Life requires a lot of organization.

KING: Do you ever wonder if the little girl and the little boy grow up in an unreal world?

MADONNA: Well, I'm going to try my damndest to make sure that doesn't happen.

KING: That ain't easy though.


KING: Right?


KING: They don't see commercial airports.

MADONNA: No. They don't watch TV.

KING: You don't let them watch TV?


KING: So in what frame of reference do they get information?

MADONNA: They read books. They hear what we have to say. They have friends.

KING: TV would be harmful why?

MADONNA: Because there's a lot of junk on TV. KING: Oh there's a lot of good things though too ain't there?

MADONNA: I know, but I'd rather -- I'd prefer that they read books and that they communicate with each other.

KING: Of all the things you do, we've discussed how the children is the favorite.


KING: What about in the show business end is your favorite? In other words, if you could do only one thing, it would be...

MADONNA: That's a tough one. I mean I think.

KING: Because you like everything you do, right?

MADONNA: I do. I love everything I do. I would never -- I don't know.

KING: How about dancing?

MADONNA: Dancing's my first love.

KING: That's your first...

MADONNA: My first, first, first love. Yes. And then I would be singing. And then it would be writing. And then it would be acting.

KING: You like writing too?

MADONNA: Yes. Love it.

KING: Madonna, it's always good seeing you. Let's not make it three years again.

MADONNA: OK. Otherwise you might have a whole tribe the next time I come back.

KING: Don't they. I'm getting too old.

MADONNA: OK? Knock that stuff off.

KING: Sein bin glick. You should have good luck.

MADONNA: And mazel tov to you too.

KING: And mazel tov to you too.

KING:We'll be right back with Guy Ritchie. No, that sounds too formal. We'll be right back.

MADONNA: You'll be right back with my husband.

KING: Don't go away.

MADONNA: Don't go away.






MADONNA: Go, go! Oh, yeah!


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. "Swept Away" opens tomorrow.

Carol Channing's our guest tomorrow night.

And we devote the rest of the program to one of the great directors, screen writer of "Swept Away" as well. Guy Ritchie, nice to have you with us, finally.

What made you choose to do a film that was already done?

GUY RITCHIE, DIRECTOR: Well, first of all, I promised that I'd never make a remake. But never say never as they say. And I was sitting on the bed with the wife and she (UNINTELLIGIBLE) video in and it's simplicity for its message had too much resonance with me so I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) remake a remake. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) seeing this film...

KING: It never went much anywhere did it?

RITCHIE: No, I think it did something in the art house scene but never even got released in the U.K., and every time I mention it to someone here no one had ever heard of it. It was an Italian movie, as you probably know, originally.

So I wanted to make it articulate in English, so to speak.

KING: And they go for it right away, the people who put movies together and put up money and...

RITCHIE: Not right away. I've got to tell you, Larry, but...

KING: Not an easy sell. RITCHIE: It wasn't an easy sell, and I thought it was going to be an easier one than what it transpired to be, but people are very nervous about husband and wife teams.

KING: Really?


KING: That they won't work well together... RITCHIE: They won't work well together. And I think there's probably some history that will...

KING: Probably have Cleopatra in mind.

RITCHIE: Yes. So however it transpired that one thing led to another and eventually it managed to manifest. But it wasn't an easy -- it wasn't an easy sell.

KING: Nor an easy shoot, one would gather.

RITCHIE: The shoot wasn't too bad, apart from the fact that it transpired that we didn't have the rights until the last week of shooting. We bought the -- as it turned out we bought the rights of a second-hand screenplay salesman, but that had its ramifications.

KING: But I mean shooting on the high sea is not hard?

RITCHIE: Well, it felt as though great forces were with us, Larry, because (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we were shooting more or less in winter, in November, in Mediterranean, which is famously bad for its rockiness. And it was a mill pond.

KING: OK, what was it like to -- now you directed her as she told us in an MTV thing, a video, you directed her in a commercial...


KING: What was it like full film in which she has to play the obvious (UNINTELLIGIBLE) stupid almost to ask it, very strong love scenes with someone else?

RITCHIE: Yes. Tricky, to say the least. And I was very nervous about that initially because it's, you know, it's a passionate movie, and it takes two to tango and...

KING: But you Brits have a way of just overlooking those things.

RITCHIE: Well, I had a sharp stick that I (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The thing is is that, you know, I'd have to prompt them into what positions. And he was a very nervous chap, this chap, because he knew the old man. So he was particularly sensitive to exactly what -- how far he could stretch himself in the romantic capacity.

KING: Do I dare to touch her?

RITCHIE: Yes. I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not a problem. So occasionally there was a miscommunication.

KING: But he was wonderful.

RITCHIE: The miscommunication?

KING: He was a wonderful...

RITCHIE: Yes, he's rather good, isn't he? It's been a while since we've had this real Italian on the screen, and it was another reason why I wanted to use an Italian, because he's all man, so to speak.

KING: Are you happy with the total finished product?

RITCHIE: Yes, I'm very happy. I got swept away, forgive the pun, in the negative press that the Brits throw out. This was before anyone saw it, and I was thinking, sure, it was an all right -- sure, it was an all right film. And gradually the Brits were so (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that it started, you know, can't we just forget (UNINTELLIGIBLE) insidiously worrying about...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) making this movie?

RITCHIE: Yes. Yes. It was too cute for comfort, you know, out there, husband and wife. The package was too pretty or too (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: Without having seen it, of course.

RITCHIE: Yes, no one had seen it. I mean, these people (UNINTELLIGIBLE) started seeing it last week. So...

KING: What's been the reaction from the early viewers?

RITCHIE: You know better than I.

KING: I was just one of them. I loved it. I was just one. I don't know what the others...

RITCHIE: Well, so far it seems to be all right, but I've only, you know, you're about the third person I've spoken to that's really seen the film.

As I said, the negative press had some impact on me because it just keeps picking up, you know, there's no way this movie will ever get released, this, that, and the other. I've wondered if people were screening it and I just wasn't knowing about it.

But I saw it about two weeks ago, three weeks ago, which is the first time I've probably seen it. And I was starting to get a bit shy about this movie up until this point. Anyway, I went and saw the movie and I was practically relieved. And yes, it was a good movie, and I was happy with it.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with Guy Ritchie. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Don't be in a rush. You might hurt yourself.

MADONNA: Oh, forgive me for being in a rush to get back to civilization.

I can't believe I found them.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: The adventure is over.

MADONNA: The adventure is just starting for you, my friend. Jsut wait until my lawyer speaks to your captain.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What's wrong with you, madam? You are safe. You should be happy.

MADONNA: Oh, so "madam" is it now? Changed our tune now that we're on land, haven't we?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Just wait here. I'm going to have a look around.

MADONNA: Why? So you can forget about me? No chance, sailor.


KING: We're back with Guy Ritchie, the director and screenwriter of "Swept Away," which opens wide, as they say, tomorrow.

Did you have any trepidation knowing you're falling in love with someone who is, like, world famous, has had other relationships, and here's the new kid on the block, and you're younger than her. I mean, you would think there were a lot of obstacles in the path.

RITCHIE: Well, there are a lot of obstacles in the path, and I'd be a liar if I didn't take into consideration the obstacles that were en route. However, you know, there's obstacles on which to everyone's -- certainly in the terms of relationships. So I don't -- I mean, the only thing that makes ours unique is the fact that she's so famous.

KING: That (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is something.

RITCHIE: Yes. It is something. But it's funny enough, it pretty much rubs away after a while.

I mean, it's, you know, not by accident that it dropped away. We gave up reading the papers and watching the television about three years ago.

KING: Yes, she told me. You're trying to adopt Kabbalah, right? You're learning the faith she's interested in? That's what she said (ph).

RITCHIE: Yes. It's a -- it's a tricky one to explain, Kabbalah, because really it's rather than being a faith, it's more technology than it is a faith. And unfortunately it's been shrouded in mystery...

KING: Has it helped your relationship?

RITCHIE: There's no question, but the thing is is that it (UNINTELLIGIBLE) up everything because it's technology, and that's very important to -- that's why -- that's why the demarcation lines between that and faith. Really it's an empirical perspective of faith so...

KING: Yes. How do you -- how do you -- so, but it's part of your lives together.

RITCHIE: Yes. Yes. Well, the thing is is once you have the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on a curtain it's very hard to ignore.

KING: How do you like fatherhood?

RITCHIE: Yes, I love fatherhood. Love fatherhood. Very happy with that.

KING: Anything surprising about it to you?

RITCHIE: Yes, it's surprising, you know, how much work goes into it. And how people -- and it's also the one altruistic thing that humans really have in common is to keep bringing little ones into this world.

KING: And it's unrequited love. You've got to love them.


KING: But they don't have to love you.

RITCHIE: No. No. And it often catches me unawares that one because, you know, it's such a -- such a tremendous undertaking. But, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) rewarding.

KING: Couple more things. Madonna said as soon as she saw you, bam. Same for you?

RITCHIE: I'm not sure what I'd articulate as bam exactly.

KING: I'm (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I'm Jewish, I do bam.

RITCHIE: Oh, OK. Yes, I think -- I think we were both aware that there was significant that would take place.

KING: Did it frighten you to have that feeling for someone that's in this...

RITCHIE: The trouble is you're not sure it's the ego interfering in some respects because...

KING: Madonna likes me.

RITCHIE: Yes, exactly. So you have to relegate that concept to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of your mind and try and try and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) whether it is genuine. And, well, I suppose it is.

KING: Obviously. The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of your mind. Not a bad name for a song. RITCHIE: I think I started something (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Guy, a pleasure meeting you. Congratulations on a terrific movie.

RITCHIE: Thank you very much (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Keep going. Have more babies too.

Guy Ritchie, director and screenwriter of "Swept Away," a terrific movie that opens wide tomorrow.

Carol Channing, Dolly is back, tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.

Stay tuned now for NEWSNIGHT with Aaron Brown.

For Guy Ritchie, Madonna, and the whole crew here in Los Angeles, good night.


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