”Madonna’s passion was infectious”
“W.E.” stars Andrea Riseborough and James D’Arcy reflect on their roles as Edward and Mrs Simpson – and being directed by “the most famous woman on the planet”.
“W.E.” is the story of the affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson – the couple who caused a constitutional crisis in the 1930s.
But it is also the story of Madonna – pop star turned film director.
The singer has spent years developing the idea for W.E. – including two years co-writing the script about the woman for whom a king gave up his throne.
So is it fair to call W.E. a passion project for Madonna?
“And for all of us!” exclaims Andrea Riseborough, when we meet in London’s Soho to discuss Madonna’s second directorial outing.
“She was so passionate about the story from the first moment I met her – it was the thing that was so infectious.”
Madonna had sent Riseborough the W.E. script after seeing her Bafta-nominated performance as Margaret Thatcher in BBC drama The Long Walk to Finchley.
“I went to meet her the she was so ignited with the story. From that day on we were together every day for seven months,” says Riseborough.
Riseborough’s co-star James D’Arcy first met Madonna in rather different circumstances.
“It was in cyberspace!” he laughs.
“We met on Skype and the picture froze but the sound kept coming through. So she was talking to me about the film and I was thinking: ‘Do I say something?’ and ‘Is my picture frozen at her end in a deeply unflattering look?’
“In the end I kept listening – but I was blown away by how fantastically well-prepared she was.”
Read the full interview on bbc.co.uk.