After the world premiere of Madonna: The MDNA Tour, an amalgamation of footage taken in multiple cities from May to December 2012, the singer herself took the stage last night at the Paris Theatre. Looking very Marlene Dietrich in a top hat and white bow tie, she admitted that MDNA “was probably the hardest tour I’ve ever done.”
Indeed, it looked exhausting. The movie showed clips of Madonna fighting off masked intruders in a “motel room,” marching as a drum majorette ahead of a cheerleading squad, strip-teasing down to her Gaultier teddy atop a piano, and walking on a tightrope — all while singing.
“I was a mess. Just talk to my manager. But in my book, if you don’t leave a pound of flesh on the stage every night, you did not do your job. Go hard or go home,” she explained during the audience Q&A. And given what we'd seen in the film, one could hardly blame Madge for her blunt reply when an audience member asked how she stayed in shape on tour. “I hate those questions,” she said cheerfully, to much laughter from the crowd. “I did the show every fucking night, okay? Is that a workout? I mean, did you watch? My workouts got smaller and smaller as the tour went on, because I became more and more exhausted. There’s your answer.”
More from the audience Q&A:
On having her 12-year-old son, Rocco, on tour with her:
Um, well, he was going to go on my tour whether he liked it or not … He’s a Leo. What can I say? He’s disconcertingly comfortable onstage, and I was thrilled to see him every night. He gave me a little boost of energy. So, go, Rocco, wherever you are! However, he does not look like that. In one year, he has grown. He’s six feet tall, his voice has deepened, and I’m a little bit scared of him.
On her stage costumes:
I collaborated with Jean Paul Gaultier, who I’ve been collaborating with for years. And he loves to push the envelope and play with gender confusion, and wear your underwear outside, and girls that play boys and boys that play girls. But all that’s pretty sexy and hot, so. The last section of the show was a strange marriage between martial arts and Joan of Arc, and I don’t know — there’s something wrong with me!
On pumping herself up to perform when she’s not in the mood to perform:
There’s no such thing as "not in the mood," because the show must go on. I mean, I’m a human being like everyone else, so I would have my bad nights, and I would cry and say, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ But you know, I sold the tickets and I can’t let my audience down. Even if I hadn’t slept the night before and I’m exhausted, before every show everyone came into my dressing room, and we got into a circle and we held hands and we said prayers. Fifty percent of the time I said them, and 49 percent of the time I was crying — usually from overexhaustion.
There’s something about pushing yourself when it’s pouring rain or it’s freezing cold or you don’t feel well or something really shitty-crazy happened in the world, like Hurricane Sandy. There were so many weird, bizarre things happening [during the tour], from the trial of Pussy Riot to gays being arrested at my concert in St. Petersburg to the election of Obama. The world was changing rapidly — the shooting of Malala — it was just a crazy time. And I was personally and tremendously affected by it, and sometimes I just didn’t feel like I had the strength to go on and sing and dance and pretend that crazy shit wasn’t happening in the world. But by the end of each show I felt victorious that I had pushed through something. The world needs to be inspired — it’s my job, it’s all of our jobs to bring people up.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Viewed Stories
Report: Donald and Melania Trump Don’t Sleep in the Same Bed
Former Thinx Employee Accuses Miki Agrawal of Sexual Harassment
Am I Finally Done With White Guys?
Anna Wintour’s Daughter Got Engaged to Franca Sozzani’s Son
Ask Polly: Why Does My Terrible Ex Get to Be So Happy?
Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away
What I Remember About the Moms Who Paid Me to Babysit
Ashley Olsen Reportedly Broke Up With Her 58-Year-Old Boyfriend
3 Relationship Counselors On What Big Little Lies Tells Us About Domestic Violence
When Ivanka Trump Was a Cool Teen, She Reportedly Went ‘Missing’ in Aspen
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.