"Madonna and the Breakfast Club" Star Jamie Auld-On Inhabiting Madonna, Early & Unheard Recordings, & What It Was Like Seeing The World Through A Young Madonna’s Eyes
Before “Vogue”, “Material Girl” and “Don’t Tell Me” there was The Breakfast Club. Before Madonna Louise Ciccone became Madonna she was a drummer, keyboard player, guitarist and songwriter in The Breakfast Club, which she formed with Dan Gilroy, who she also dated in the late 70’s. The film Madonna and the Breakfast Club is based on interviews with not just Dan Gilroy, but his brother Ed, as well band mate Gary Clark. One of the biggest treats of director Guy Guido’s entire film is that the Gilroys’ are sharing never before heard audio recor`dings and music which feature Madonna on them. At the center of this docudrama is actress Jamie Auld, who portrays the quintessential Queen of Pop with both a sweet venerability and a ferocious hunger, giving us a glimpse into the pop supernova that would eventually shoot into the stratosphere. I caught up with Auld to talk about what it was like portraying the icon when she was still an ingenue, what lessons she has taken from portraying Madonna in her early years, and what she would tell the Material Girl should she ever have the opportunity.
Michael Cook: Congratulations on starring in Madonna and the Breakfast Club, where you are starring as Madonna! You are now able to say that you are first person to portray Madonna on-screen during this time period.
Jamie Auld: You know, I believe that I am and It is such an amazing feeling. I think that that part of her life is a time period that a lot of people are not aware of and they don’t know what her journey and her struggle were really like, and how much she had to work to get to where she is. It was really such a pleasure to portray her during that timeframe.
MC: The physical resemblance that you have to Madonna is absolutely remarkable. Have you always heard that throughout your life?
JA: You know it’s funny, growing up I had gotten it a couple times in passing. We do have a lot of similarities in our lives and in our appearances obviously, and I actually had a tooth gap between my two front teeth like she does growing up. I had mine fixed so in the film it’s paint, but even down to the tooth gap-I have heard that my entire life.
MC: What was it like diving in and truly inhabiting a woman that has become an American icon, and doing it during a time period when she was just starting out.
JA: It was really a blast. You know what, getting to portray her was an honor, but getting to do it during that specific time made me want to work that much harder to do her justice. I really wanted to portray her for who she was; she was and still is, a very relatable person, even though she has the fame that she has now. She has very humble beginnings.
MC: Dan Gilroy does not get as much credit or notoriety when it comes to Madonna’s early career. Aside from a mention by her in a speech several years ago, she does not speak too much about those early times. What do you think there is about Dan that the public should know and recognize, both based on his own talents as well as his work with Madonna?
JA: First off, I think that Dan Gilroy is such an incredible and humble person. I do think that he had a large part in encouraging her to break into the industry. I don’t think a lot of people understand how she got into the industry and they think that fame kind of found her; that was not the case. It was basically on Dan’s urging and through their romantic and platonic relationship that she found this passion that she has.
MC: Portraying Madonna, you had to unlock a few things about her that you did not know about her previously. Is there anything that really stands out?
JA: There is one thing that really does stand out to me, yes. She would practice day and night, but at one point she was living in the music building in which she was rehearsing. So technically she was homeless. It is kind of mind-blowing, since homelessness is one of the farthest things that comes to mind when you think of Madonna!
MC: What do you think is important that the fans get to see about both Madonna and that era through this film and your performance?
JA: I really want to show people that she was a non-conformist even in those days. Yes we know her as this tremendous and groundbreaking activist that she is now, but what people don’t realize is that she has always been that way. She never pretended to be someone she wasn’t; she stuck with her guns and followed what her heart was telling her to do. That really shows a lot of her character.
MC: The big question; has Madonna herself seen Madonna and the Breakfast Club?
JA: To our knowledge, she has not seen it. We are hoping that when she does, she sees it with the love that director Guy Guido, myself and everyone involved int the production put into the making of the film.
MC: As a fan, what is your favorite Madonna song?
JA: Well what’s great is that we have so many unreleased Madonna songs in the movie; it was so much fun and getting to hear them was a breathtaking moment. For me though, forever and always, it’s “Like A Virgin”. That’s my forever number one!
MC: If you got the opportunity to meet Madonna after she has had a a chance to see the film, what would you want to say to her. As arguably the first person to portray Madonna on-screen, you have an extremely interesting perspective on her now.
JA: You know, I would just want to thank her. For being consistently authentic to who she is. I think she is a phenomenal role model for my generation and future generations also. If I had to ask her a question, I would have to ask her what really kept her inspired throughout it all. I know she believed in herself but I would have to know what her biggest motivations were; she is such a strong and independent woman.
MC: So, you have portrayed one of the world’s biggest stars; what is next for you?
JA: I am taking a little time off, but I definitely anticipate some more acting. I don’t know what yet, but I had so much fun on this project.
MC: What inspires you, both as a performer and a person?
JA: I am constantly attempting to be an individual, and to also help others in their attempt at finding themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still in my own journey of finding out who I am (laughs). My biggest goal in life is to help people realize that they can do whatever it is that they want to do. I am not a classically trained actress, but in me jumping into this role and portraying Madonna, I want to show people that they can do absolutely anything that they put their minds to.
Madonna and the Breakfast Club is currently available on all on demand and digital platforms