Madonna cleans up her act. She says she's less into flaunting her sexuality than her interest in children's books, Kabbala, and Cat Stevens

By Gary Susman
September 04, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Madonna: Dave Bennett/Alpha/Globe Photos

Madonna’s last literary project may have been a book called ”Sex,” full of naked pictures of herself, but her next will be a set of five allegorical children’s tales, cowritten with husband Guy Ritchie. It’s part of a new focus for the former Material Girl, now that she’s a 44-year-old mother of two, she tells Vanity Fair. Hard to believe she’s no longer living in a ”me-me-me universe” of her pre-Lourdes and Rocco days? ”Hey, nothing is what it seems,” she says.

The chameleonic performer says her interests currently lie in kiddie lit, Kabbala (Jewish mysticism), and Cat Stevens. She says she started taking guitar lessons after Rocco was born two years ago. ”Lately I’ve been doing Cat Stevens songs, just singing to myself. ‘Wild World’ and ‘Morning Has Broken’ — I play that song every day, practically,” she says.

The 44-year-old also says she’s baring less flesh than usual in her upcoming movie ”Swept Away,” directed by her husband, though she says that’s more his doing than hers. She says the remake of the 1974 Italian film contains a fraction of the original heroine’s ”rolling around and making out and staying naked in the movie. I didn’t mind it, but Guy didn’t want to do it, to tell you the truth.” Agrees Ritchie, ”I don’t want to see my missus naked all over the place.” Uh, Guy, it’s probably a little late for that.

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