Patti LuPone Calls Madonna a "Movie Killer," Says She's "Dead Behind the Eyes"

"She cannot act her way out of a paper bag," the Broadway legend says on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen

By Zach Johnson May 10, 2017 12:15 PMTags

How do you really feel, Patti LuPone?

The 68-year-old Broadway legend appeared as a guest on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen Tuesday when a fan called in with a question. "Did you and Madonna ever have a conversation about your two iconic performances as Evita?" the viewer asked LuPone.

(LuPone played Argentinian First Lady Eva Perón in the original 1979 Broadway production of Evita, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Madonna starred in the 1996 film adaptation, winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.)

"No," LuPone said. "But she was downstairs at the Mitzi Newhouse when I was upstairs doing Anything Goes in the Vivian Beaumont, and a press agent actually put a sign up that there was only one diva allowed in this theater at a time. It wasn't me! It was the press agent that did it. I don't know whether she ever found out about it. I did meet her after her opening night party, and the only thing that Madonna has ever said to me was, 'I'm taller than you.' Bada-bing!"

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Egging her on, Andy Cohen asked, "What did you think of her role in Evita?"

And that's when things got shady AF.

"I was on the treadmill. You know when MTV used to have music videos, right? I saw, I believe it was 'Buenos Aires,' and I thought it was a piece of s--t," she said. "Madonna is a movie killer. She's dead behind the eyes. She cannot act her way out of a paper bag. She should not be in film or on stage. She's a wonderful performer for what she does, but she's not an actress. Bing!"


In fairness to Madonna, LuPone isn't generally a fan of movie adaptations of stage musicals. When Cohen asked what she thought of 2012's Les Misérables, starring Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, LuPone replied, "I only saw a little bit of it."

LuPone played Fantine in the original London production of Les Misérables, winning the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Hathaway played the role onscreen decades later, winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. "I'll tell you—I'm going to be honest—I think the only people who know how to do movie musicals on camera is Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She is the only one that understands how to go from dialogue to song so that it makes sense. Her camera department knows how to shoot these rather large production numbers," Lupone told Cohen and fellow guest Christopher Meloni. "And what I saw in Les Mis…I didn't see Les Mis after I left it. I'm too involved in it to go see it. But what I did see, I wondered why the hell they were doing close-ups of these people so that you were seeing the snot, you were seeing down their throat. You were not seeing the scene that perpetuated this emption in this song."

"I just...I don't know why people assume they can do musicals or make movie musicals without ever having been involved with the process of making a musical," the living legend continued. "That's the thing I don't understand. So, what I see on camera...I can't believe that it looks like this. Like I said, Rachel Bloom is the only one in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. If you guys haven't watched that, you should. She just...boom! And now you're into a musical number and it makes sense."

Cohen wanted to know definitely whether LuPone liked director Tim Hooper's Les Misérables, and it became clear she's not a fan of the film. "I didn't see all of it," she said, "but what I saw..."

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