Madonna: Vibrant Dilettante Or Desperate Opportunist?


Directing, designing, marriage counseling — is there anything Madonna won’t try?

Last week, Variety reported that Madonna will direct W.E., a biopic about the legendary affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Over the weekend, it was announced that Madonna will be a judge on The Marriage Ref. Today, WWD claims that is claiming that Her Madgesty will do a clothing line.

Madonna has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide and has an estimated $900 million net worth. She doesn’t need to work. So what’s with all of these (seemingly) random projects? Is anyone clamoring for a new celebrity fashion line? Couldn’t the Wallis Simpson story — about a formidable woman for whom a king gave up his crown — be told by a more seasoned director? For more than twenty-five years (“Like A Virgin” was number one on the pop charts in 1984), Madonna has been an entertainer described as someone who “reinvents” herself. But is “reinvention” really just “staying current”? And is “staying current” actually “desperately trying to be relevant”? Sometimes it seems like she’s not so much a creative force as she is a person who’s good at latching on to pre-existing good ideas.

That said, in a world which chews up and spits out many female pop stars before they turn 25, Madonna manages to stay in the limelight. You can question her taste level, her originality, her likability and her vocal talents, but there’s no denying that she’s a savvy businesswoman — with the chutzpah to keep putting herself out there, critics be damned.

And the truth is, none of these “new” projects Madonna has signed on for really involve her branching out in a new direction: She’s familiar with a film set (from Desperately Seeking Susan to Evita to her directorial debut, Filth And Wisdom). She did a “trendy” collection for H&M in 2007, and is known for her fashion risks. As for being a judge on The Marriage Ref, well, the lady has been married — and divorced — twice. As she says in “Material Girl”: “Experience has made me rich and now they’re after me.”

Madonna Said In Talks For Apparel Line [WWD]
Madonna To Appear As Judge On Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘The Marriage Ref’ [NYDN]
Madonna Directing W.E. [Variety]

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin