NEW YORK — At the latest premiere of Madonna's film, "W.E.," it seemed like everyone just wanted to know what it was like to work with the pop icon as she embarked on writing and directing the film, based on the historical romance between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
But between doting words about their director, the cast also weighed in on their favorite Madonna songs of all time. "It's like you'd have to be living under a rock to not be aware and to really know her work. I always liked 'La Isla Bonita,' " Oscar Isaac told MTV News. "It's a good one."
That particular song got a co-sign from Isaac's co-star James D'Arcy. "I'm the generation that grew up with her in the '80s," he said. "It's not the first time I've been asked that question, unsurprisingly. I'm not sure it is my favorite, but it's the one that I can't stop thinking about when I get asked that question."
The film's leading lady, Andrea Riseborough, couldn't nail down one moment in Madge's career as her favorite. "I think she's wonderful, and now I have a completely different relationship with her," she told MTV News. "They're all incredible, they all mark different periods in culture, don't they?"
When the cast wasn't gushing about Madge's musical career, they were giving her props for her role as the film's director.
"She is really funny, really detail-oriented, meticulous, well-versed in her craft, really impressive," Isaac said. "[She] demanded the best out of everyone."
"Truly I had so much to learn from her because she's been really in front of the camera and behind it her whole life," Riseborough added. "I always felt on this particular project there was nobody better to [tell] this story of a couple who were really hounded. She's also incredibly instinctive, and emotionally she knew what tone to pick."
D'Arcy noted that as a director, Madonna is "absolutely first-rate. She was exemplary. She knew exactly the story she wanted to tell, she had a clear vision. She was good fun. You can't really ask for much more."
Harbour had equally high praise for Ms. Ciccone. "She was very exact and really a perfectionist and she worked us all really hard," he said. "So she was a terrifically strong director."
"W.E." opens on February 3, and the soundtrack — featuring Madge's Golden Globe-winning track, "Masterpiece" — drops on January 31.
What's your favorite Madonna song of all time? Sound off in the comments!
See the complete list of Academy Awards Nominations.