In an interview scheduled to air tonight on Piers Morgan’s British ITV show, Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals that he’s eying another dream project with Madonna in mind. The two famously collaborated on Lloyd Webber’s cinematic adaptation of Evita, but this time around, he reportedly tells Morgan she’s yet to return his calls. Wonder why? The project is a remake of Sunset Boulevard, and the starring role is Norma Desmond.
Really, AL-Webb? You want Madonna to play Norma Desmond, the addled washed-up silent-film queen who has delusions of a great comeback, and you wonder why Madonna hasn’t called you back? It’s a juicy but pathetic role that fit Gloria Swanson like a glove back in 1950, but we’re talking about the Material Girl! She might be 52, but if you hadn’t noticed, she’s not exactly sitting around some macabre mansion watching an endless loop of her Vogue video. She made out with Britney. She canoodled with A-Rod. I can’t envision her jumping at the opportunity to play an unstable character who’s stuck in the past, no matter the artistic challenge.
Maybe Lloyd Webber is right and Madonna would be great in the role, but I’m inclined to believe that saying a woman is “perfect” to play Norma Desmond might be the biggest backhanded compliment you can throw at an actress over 50. At the very least, Lloyd Webber has to improve his pitch. Saying “she’s the right age” isn’t likely to win callbacks from Madonna or any other actress.
Do you think Madonna is ready for her closeup, Mr. DeMille? Should Lloyd Webber be waiting for his phone to ring?