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This Star Called Madonna "Dead Behind the Eyes": "She Cannot Act"

These two did not bond over both playing Eva Perón.

You might assume that two actors who have played the same role would feel a kinship about it, but that is definitely not the case with these two stars. Madonna and Patti LuPone have both played the role of Eva Perón in the musical Evita, but when LuPone was asked about Madonna during an interview, she didn't have kind words about her performance. In fact, the Broadway great went as far as dissing Madonna's acting career as a whole. Read on to find out what the LuPone  had to say about the queen of pop and to learn more about their shared role.

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Both actors starred in versions of Evita.

Patti LuPone in the studio for the Broadway cast recording of "Evita" in 1979
Michael Putland/Getty Images

Both LuPone and Madonna starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita, about the controversial former First Lady of Argentina. LuPone appeared in the original Broadway production in 1979 and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Madonna starred in the movie adaptation in 1996 and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

LuPone and Madonna have barely spoken.

Patti LuPone on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2017
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen / YouTube

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2017, LuPone was asked by a fan if she and Madonna ever talked about the performance they have in common. The actor said that they hadn't, but shared that at one point, they did both work in the same theater at the same time.

"A press agent actually put a sign up that there was only one diva allowed in this theater at a time," LuPone said. "It wasn't me. It was the press agent that did it. I don't know whether [Madonna] 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 is, 'I'm taller than you.'"

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LuPone isn't a fan of Madonna's acting.

Madonna as Eva Perón in "Evita"
Madonna / YouTube

After sharing the details of her brief meeting with Madonna, LuPone was asked what she thought of the Evita movie adaptation. Of Madonna's performance during the song, "Buenos Aires," she said, "I thought it was a piece of [expletive]."

She continued of Madonna's acting, "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."

She shaded the pop star again a year later.

Patti LuPone at the 2019 Olivier Awards
Cubankite / Shutterstock

In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, LuPone was again asked what she thought of Madonna in Evita, and she responded, "Madonna? Euch! But I can't really talk about Madonna. Madonna's Madonna—I'll leave it at that."

Madonna's best friend responded.

Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell at "Lotsa De Casha" by Madonna Book Party in 2005
Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images

Madonna hasn't said anything publicly about LuPone's critique of her acting, but her friend Rosie O'Donnell addressed LuPone's comment when she was on Watch What Happens Live herself in 2017.

"I saw it!" O'Donnell said. "I love Patti LuPone, and I guess it's hard if you were Evita to watch the other person be Evita. And, you know, Broadways legends, divas, are notoriously catty, so I don't know." She added, "I forgive Patti LuPone," and launched then into a line from the musical.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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