Many people credit “Desperately Seeking Susan” as Madonna’s motion picture debut. But that honor actually goes to “Vision Quest,” another major motion picture that Madonna acted in earlier that year. In “Vision Quest,” Madonna has a cameo appearance as a club singer. She even performs two of her own songs in the film.
“Crazy for You” and “Gambler” are featured in the movie, and both songs remain inherently tied to Madonna’s career. “Vision Quest” was even renamed to “Crazy for You” in some other countries in order to capitalize off Madonna’s fame, which had blown up by the time the movie was released internationally.
The Ultimate “Material Girl”
One of Madonna’s nicknames is “Material Girl,” thanks to her hit song by the same name. The music video is truly iconic and is considered one of the reasons her pop career took off. The video features an almost frame-by-frame recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
The music video’s obvious correlation between Marilyn and Madonna clued everyone into the fact that Madonna was here to stay. “Material Girl” was like an 80s version of “Diamonds,” mostly because the lyrics are cheeky and celebratory of materialism. Looking back, some fans can easily interpret both “Material Girl” and Marilyn’s song as an ironic jab at the objectification of women in our popular culture.
Like a “Rolling Stone”
Madonna rocked her very first cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine on November 22, 1984. The magazine cover coincided with the release of “Like a Virgin,” the sophomore album that would launch her career to the next level. “Madonna Goes All the Way,” the magazine cover reads, quite cheekily, we might add.
This magazine debut would mark the start of a record for both Madonna and “Rolling Stone” that still holds strong today. Madonna holds the record for gracing the cover of “Rolling Stone” more times than any other female artist in history. As of 2021, she has 23 “Rolling Stone” covers to her name. Pretty impressive.
Overwhelmed by Fame
When Madonna kicked off “The Virgin Tour” in 1985, she had no idea what she was in for. By the time she went on her first large-scale tour, “Like a Virgin” was already a huge hit. Her fame had reached new heights. But none of that hit her until she walked out on stage for her first performance of the tour.
When she reflected on her first tour decades later, Madonna said she felt sort of an out-of-body experience. She recalls it as being an otherworldly feeling that nothing could prepare her for. Though as she walked on stage, she felt like something sucked the air out of her lungs, it was not a bad feeling.
Art Imitates Life
As Madonna’s star was rising, she was invited to audition for a little movie called “Desperately Seeking Susan.” She was cast in the role of Susan even though she had never starred in a mainstream movie before. The main reason she got the part was because the studio wanted to cast an “up-and-comer” as Susan.
Interestingly, art imitated life for Madonna’s first big-budget acting role. The movie takes place in New York City and is an homage to the club scene, which Madonna was heavily involved in before her career took off. Her real-life experience brought authenticity to the role. It’s a funny example of how life comes full circle sometimes.