This week on Soundcheck, we’re talking all about Madonna, who released her debut album 30 years ago this summer. But soon after her music career began, Madonna also embraced another creative calling: film. Since the mid-‘80s, Madonna has appeared in 19 movies, including Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, Who’s that Girl, Dangerous Game, and A League of Their Own. Madonna has also directed a number of films as well – her most recent being the 2011 film W.E.
Kristen Meinzer, on why Madonna’s talent doesn’t necessarily translate to the screen:
I think it’s because she can’t be realistic. She is such a performer and she’s so much a big show. That’s what makes her a great stage act, a great concert to see. When she tried Broadway, people said she was fantastic there. But the subtleties of the camera, dealing with close-ups, interacting with others as opposed just being the center of attention — I think that’s a big challenge for Madonna…. There’s a big difference between showmanship and great acting.
Rafer Guzman, on Madonna’s solid performance in Evita:
I think people actually were quite impressed with Madonna [in Evita]. I remember this was one of the times when people thought, “Oh! Maybe there’s something more to her. Maybe she actually can act….” This is a perfect role for Madonna. All she has to do is basically sing her way though it. It's sort of acting the way an opera singer would act. It’s not quite movie acting.
Guzman, on Madonna’s reality-television-esque documentary, Truth or Dare:
She does give this kind of monologue, and it’s funny because when I first saw the film, it seemed real enough to me. And now when I went back and saw it, I thought, this is exactly the kind of monologue you see everyone in every reality show do. They always cut away from the action, sit that person down and say, “OK, spill your guts — in this particular way….” She’s doing that. For better or worse, this film was light-years ahead of this time.