On August 10 1985, Into The Groove spent the first of four weeks in the #1 position on the UK Singles Chart. It was Madonna’s first chart-topping single in the UK, where she has collected a total of thirteen #1 hits to date.
As an added validation, Into the Groove was Madonna’s first self-produced release (co-produced with Stephen Bray). While artists co-producing their own work is common today, it was relatively unusual at the time, particularly for female artists. The immense success of the single undoubtedly helped convince the powers at Sire/Warner to grant Madonna the artistic freedom to co-produce her next album, True Blue, together with her collaborators Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard.
On May 9 1985, Madonna and Rosanna Arquette appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, promoting their film, Desperately Seeking Susan, with photos by Herb Ritts.
Here’s a snippet from the interview featured in the magazine:
Rosanna has expressed resentment over the insertion into the movie of a Madonna song backing a quickly rewritten scene in which the Susan character gyrates around a New York club. A video clip using the unreleased tune, “Into the Groove,” spotlights Madonna. “It does take things out of context a bit,” says Madonna, “kinda calls attention to another facet, but…” What that “but” means is, it sells tickets, chumps. Still, it’s become an issue…
“Yeah, really?” says Madonna. “Who’s it become an issue with – besides Rosanna?” Her laugh is quick and not unkind. Insiders say the song found its way into the film on its own virtues. “Susan Seidelman was not out to make a pandering rock & roll movie,” says executive producer Michael Peyser, 31, who worked on Susan after serving as associate producer on Woody Allen’s film The Purple Rose of Cairo. One of the music coordinators, Danny Goldberg, had no time to compile a soundtrack LP when the film’s release date was pushed up, but in talks with MTV execs, he paved the way for “Into the Groove” to air, even though the song might never show up on vinyl.
Madonna is not naive about the studio’s gambit: “I have a big audience of kids for my music, and you know how they use soundtracks to push movies – I think they’re using me in the same way, and it’s really a drag, because I’m trying to establish myself as an actress, not as a singer making movies. But I’ll be happy if it becomes a commercial success, simply because it’s a different kind of movie than most of what’s out now. There are a few formulas people have been using the past five years, with Flashdance and Breakin’ and all that stuff; this movie is like a return to those simple, straightforward caper comedies Claudette Colbert and Carole Lombard made in the Thirties. They give you a taste of real life, some poignance, and leave you feeling up at the end – none of that adolescent-fantasy bullshit.”
On August 16 1985, Madonna and Sean Penn were married at a clifftop mansion in Malibu, California. Their wedding day was also Madonna’s 27th birthday.
Some of the celebrities attending the wedding included Rosanna Arquette, Tom Cruise, Andy Warhol, Cher, Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Carrie Fisher, Diane Keaton, David Letterman, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken, Steve Rubell and many others.
Sean and Madonna later honeymooned at the Highlands Inn in Carmel, California.
Andy Warhol recalled this about the wedding:
It was just the most exciting weekend of my life. Martin went down to the hairdresser earlier in the day to have his hair done. We rode in a limo out to Malibu and when we saw helicopters in the distance we knew we were at the wedding. Somebody had tipped the reporters off about where the wedding was and about ten helicopters were hovering, it was like Apocalypse Now. And one helicopter had a girl hanging off with a camera and they were all trying to get in close. And the security people found camouflage-outfitted photographers in the bushes. And I looked really close at Madonna and she is beautiful. And she and Sean are just so in love. She wore white, and a black bowler hat, I don’t know what that was supposed to mean. And someone said that Sean had shot at the helicopters the night before. The only boring celebrity there was Diane Keaton, really. And it was the right mixture of nobodies and celebrities. Sean came over to say hello, and the good-looking family of Madonna was there, all the brothers. And you can see Madonna and Sean love each other so much. Really, it was the most exciiting thing ever.
On March 29 1985, Desperately Seeking Susan was released. The American comedy-drama was directed by Susan Seidelman and starred Rosanna Arquette and Madonna.
The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby named the film as one of the 10 best films of 1985.
Interesting facts: The filmmakers had initially wanted Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn to play the roles of Roberta and Susan, but the director decided to cast newcomers Rosanna Arquette and Madonna instead and the studio wanted the film to have younger actors in order to appeal to younger filmgoers. Bruce Willis was up for the role of “Dez” and Melanie Griffith was up for the part of “Susan”. Madonna barely beat out Ellen Barkin and Jennifer Jason Leigh for the part of Susan. Suzanne Vega also auditioned for the role of Susan, but was passed over.