Madonna has done it all. She sings, dances, acts, directs, you name it. She lives by the rule that there are no rules, and no regrets. Except maybe a tiny little one; she turned down a role in The Matrix!
“Can you believe that?” she exclaimed. “That’s like one of the best movies ever made. A teeny-tiny part of me regrets just that one moment in my life.” She also turned down Catwoman in Batman Returns and a leading role in Showgirls. “I saw them both and I regret that I turned down Catwoman, that was pretty fierce,” said the singer of the role that ultimately went to Michelle Pfeiffer. “Showgirls? No.”
Ok, we can all see Madonna wearing the famous catsuit. She’d probably wear it to the grocery store, if it was on hand. We can all picture Madonna giving people hell and drinking milk from a saucer. We can all see why that casting choice was tossed around. Stripping in Showgirls? Again, we wouldn’t be surprised if she was doing that at the grocery store.
But. The Matrix? I can’t imagine her in any role in that film. We could all jump to Carrie-Anne Moss’ role as Trinity, but that couldn’t have been it, could it? Madonna didn’t say. My guess is Oracle. I could definitely see Madonna smoking a ciggie at the kitchen table doling out life wisdom. However, Gloria Foster was a perfect fit! We couldn’t have Breathless Mahoney bringing the sexual tension in her house slippers.
Joe Pantoliano’s Cypher? Absolutely not! No matter how many great films that man does, and there are many, I always think of Eddie and the Cruisers and that song On the Darkside. Oh yeah, yeah!
I was crushing hard on Tom Berenger that year, even though we were supposed to be swooning for Michael Par&é, The Big Chill came out that same year, too. Par&é didn’t have a chance. Where the heck was I? Right.
No, there was no room for a Madonna Morpheus, an Agent Madonna Smith. Don’t even speak the name Neo. I don’t see her anywhere, except maybe in one of those battery bubbles. Anywhere else and she would have popped us right out of the sci-fi world they so hypnotically placed us in. Please let me know if you see a place where she would have fit. I’d love to hear your theories.
My argument, for the record, is not that Madonna doesn’t belong on film. She was perfect in A League of Their Own as Mae. Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy was perfectly executed. Her performance as Eva Per&ón in Evita won an Oscar for Best Music. Honestly, you could make an argument that her groundbreaking music videos rest the case of whether or not we love to see her on the screen. We enjoyed all of her offerings, because it was a reflection of the woman herself. But our cherished sci-fi classic? One word. Whoa.