At 49 years old, Madonna is just as fierce as she's ever been. Madge sat down (with her boxing gloves on) with Interview magazine to talk about working with Justin, her kids, and her work in Africa. Here are some highlights from the interview:
On working with Justin Timberlake:
"I really enjoy writing with Justin...We had psychoanalytic sessions whenever we wrote songs first. We'd sit down and we'd start talking about situations. And then we'd start talking about issues or problems or relationships with people. That was the only way, because you know, writing together with somebody is very intimate...that was fun, because he's open and he's got talent. He's a songwriter. I haven't worked with a lot of songwriters where I'm instantly connected and start riffing and playing with the rhythm of the words. He's as interested in the rhythm of the words as the meaning of the words."
On adopting her son David:
"He wouldn't have lived if I hadn't taken him. It's not even a possibility."
On gaining perspective:
"We live very comfortable lives, and unfortunately, we have to have our noses rubbed in other people's pain and suffering to realize how much we have and how much we have to be grateful for."
On bringing daughter Lourdes with her to Malawi:
"She spent several weeks working in the orphanages, particularly one with newborn children, and most of them were HIV-positive. She so came into her own and was so responsible and stayed for eight hours every day and worked tirelessly. I thought, why am I babying her so much? She's capable of so much more. We don't let kids do anything. We think, Oh, they're kids -- they can't take care of other kids; they can't do this; they can't do that. And after you go to Africa, you drop all that silliness."
"Freedom is a funny word because when we think we're free, we're not really. I think freedom is quite illusory....When I stop thinking about myself all the time and put other people before me on a regular basis, that's real freedom. When I can love unconditionally...then that's real freedom. So it's something to strive for, but I'm not free."