The Dowager Queen of Pop speaks to the Hollywood Reporter on everything from 50 Shades of Grey (“I’m sorry but no one eats p*ssy as much as the guy in that book) to Miley Cyrus (“People are always telling her she’s dirty or crazy or trashy, and she doesn’t care’) to still being sexual in her 50s (“I get a lot of shit for it”). Read excerpts from the interview after the jump.
Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?
Yes, I have. It’s pulp fiction. It’s not very sexy, maybe for someone who has never had sex before. I kept waiting for something exciting and crazy to happen in that red room thing, and I was like, “Hmm, a lot of spanking.” I also thought, “This is so unrealistic because no guy goes down on a girl that much.” I’m sorry, but no one eats p*ssy as much as the guy in that book.
Do you think your views on sex have changed during the last, say, 25 years?
Absolutely not. Nope. Sex is a wonderful, necessary part of life.
You invented this idea of revealing yourself fully to the audience at a time when critics sniffed, “Real artists don’t reveal themselves in that way.” Now it’s mandatory for artists to overshare.
You must have a reality show.
Right. If you were 22, would you be addicted to Instagram?
I am addicted to Instagram. I don’t know what I would do if I was 22.
But do you think social media is a viable means of self-expression, or is it just marketing?
It’s both. You can take 1,000 selfies every time you have something to sell and use it as shameless self-promotion, or you can use it as an art form to express and share things that inspire you. I find it very revealing about people, what they choose to show about themselves.
What do you binge watch?
I watch Game of Thrones with my kids. That’s a good family bonding experience. My own personal obsession is True Detective, because Matthew McConaughey is so brilliant and the writing is genius. And an Irish series, The Fall. I mostly watch old movies, over and over again. All of Godard’s, and Visconti, Fellini, Pasolini. I love Alain Resnais.
What do you make of Miley Cyrus?
I like her. She seems like she doesn’t care what people think. People are always telling her she’s dirty or crazy or trashy, and she doesn’t care. I love that about her. In her peer group, she stands out.
When you look back on your career, what part do you think you played in changing taboos about growing up female in America?
I don’t think there was one part. I think it’s an ongoing activity in my life. I’m continuing to open doors for the women behind me. I don’t know many women who have had a successful career in pop music as long as I’ve had. And I waited until I was older to have children. I raised children and wasn’t married. And I continue to express myself — my sexuality — in my 50s, even though that’s also considered taboo, and I get a lot of shit for it. But in 20 years, Miley Cyrus probably won’t get shit for it. Then, it’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, that’s nothing new.”