Ozark star Julia Garner is now one of the most hated blondes in Hollywood—well, maybe not hated, but fellow actresses Florence Pugh, Alexa Demie, Odessa Young, Bebe Rexha, Sky Ferreira, and Emma Laird are certainly kicking themselves for having watched the “Papa Don’t Preach” video on repeat.
Garner has beat out a slew of other contestants to land the coveted role of Madonna in the forthcoming Universal Pictures biopic, which we know very little about besides it being in production. The actresses reportedly had to undergo a grueling competition the Hollywood Reporter described as “bootcamp,” in which they had to do Madonna’s choreography and sing and dance with the Queen of Pop herself.
Just imagine: You audition to play one of the most iconic pop stars in our lifetime, but before you do, you will have to pass a series of death-defying tests. Every leggy blonde in Hollywood, or any brunette within a 5-mile radius of a bottle of Revlon’s Ash Blonde bleach, has shown up to audition. They all bite their nails in suspense. Will I be chosen? Can I run through a deserted field, fall gracefully, then sensually kiss the feet of Jesus? Do I have the right combination of sex appeal and vulnerability to sing “Like a Virgin” through a tulle veil? Can I lean back in a pink satin dress and not have my tits pop out?
One lucky lady has clawed her way to the top in diamonds and a black tulle skirt. The scrappy chameleon Julia Garner has passed the test, proving that she and she alone is worthy. She probably nailed the famous armpit sniff pose, ya know where Madonna is in all white lace, rocks 10 cross necklaces, and sensually turns her head to sniff her armpit. Maybe she crawled on stage for two hours with no knee-pads and passed a three-hour immersive course in singing while pelvic thrusting in a suspended cage.
I like to think that Garner had to leap up and straddle various buff, bare-chested men on stage, in front of a dead-eyed Madonna herself. She had to survive being stalked by a 100-pound lion while staying calm and keeping her eyes forward, and dancing on an Italian gondola without busting her ass. She teased out her hair in less than five minutes. And then the last and final test: running 5 miles in a rhinestone cone bra and leather pants without passing out or puking. Whew!
Sorry. What we actually know is that casting director Carmen Cuba put each actress through intense choreography training sessions lasting up to 11 hours a day with Madonna’s choreographer and the pop icon herself. For the callback portion of the process, the actresses had readings with Madonna as well as singing auditions. Can you imagine?
Madonna, who is directing the film, told fans in her Instagram Live that the biopic is a “struggle as an artist trying to survive in a man’s world as a woman, and really just the journey,” which the pop star described as a “happy, sad, mad, crazy.”
Garner honestly deserves a medal for surviving one of the hardest auditions of her life. After this, she can retire, or at least deserves to. She is now a legend in her own right, and I hope the corset chafing isn’t too bad.