Madonna thanks exes for encouraging movie career

Thu Sep 1, 2011 10:04am EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna thanked her ex-husbands for encouraging her to take up a career in movies, as she arrived in Venice on Thursday for the world premiere of her lavish royal drama "W.E."

The 53-year-old American has been married to actor and director Sean Penn and British film maker Guy Ritchie -- and has spent much of the last few years behind the camera rather than on the stage.

W.E., her second feature film, appears at the Venice film festival outside the main competition, but the presence of one of the world's biggest celebrities inevitably dominated the attention of the world's press.

The film re-tells the story of American divorcee Wallis Simpson, whose affair with Britain's King Edward VIII led him to abdicate the throne.

It does so through the eyes of another American Wally Winthrop, played by Abbie Cornish, who lives in New York in the 1990s and becomes obsessed with the life of a woman with whom she bears an uncanny resemblance.

"I am and was attracted to very creative people which is why I married Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, two very talented directors," Madonna told reporters after a press screening of W.E.

"They both encouraged me as a director and as a creative person to do what I did, and they were both very supportive," added the singer, who wore a short-sleeved black dress with white trim.

There was applause for the movie after the first screening and one early review, in the Daily Telegraph, gave W.E. three stars out of five.   Continued...

 
<p>Pop star and director Madonna poses for photographers on the "W.E" red carpet at the 68th Venice Film Festival September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo</p>