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Wednesday, 19 December, 2001, 10:04 GMT
Madonna turns out for Vinnie
Madonna and Ritchie advise Vinnie Jones on his film roles
Madonna and Ritchie advise Vinnie Jones on his films
Footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones got the red carpet treatment for the première of his biggest movie part yet, with Madonna and Guy Ritchie among the stars who turned up.

Jones and wife Tania were at the première in Kensington, London
Jones and wife Tania were at the première in Kensington, London
Mean Machine is Jones's first leading role in a film after having parts in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Gone in 60 Seconds and Swordfish.

He told how he and Madonna "go back a long way", and revealed that he consulted the couple before he took the role.

The pop singer praised Jones's looks and acting talents, and has also spoken about her arguments with Ritchie during their first year of marriage.

She said Jones was "a great actor and very charming and he has got gorgeous eyes".

Vas Blackwood stars with Jones in Mean Machine
Vas Blackwood stars with Jones in Mean Machine
Jones's first screen role, in Lock, Stock, was directed by Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie.

"We go back a long way and she has given me a lot of support, I always phone them when I'm thinking of doing a project," Jones said.

Mean Machine is a remake of the 1974 Burt Reynolds movie, and sees Jones star as an imprisoned footballer who trains a team of inmates for a grudge match against warders.

"It is not about football, it is about a guy trying to get his redemption back and I think people are going to love it," he said.

Lourdes Ciccone was
Lourdes Ciccone was "jealous" of Guy Ritchie at first
Sting, jockey Frankie Dettori, actress Amanda Holden and model Claudia Schiffer were also at the première.

'Sulk like babies'

Madonna also revealed how her daughter Lourdes refused to talk to Ritchie when the couple first began their relationship.

The five-year-old was jealous of her mother's new man, but Ritchie "played it right", she said. "He is really, really good with her."

But she also said that she and her husband, who celebrate their first wedding anniversary this week, take it in turns to "sulk like babies" when they argue.

Madonna's
Madonna's "exhausting" year has included a world tour
"He is incredibly strong-willed, adventurous and opinionated and full of life," she told US TV show Today.

"But with that you get strong-willed and opinionated.

"I could not be with anything else. Strong people need to be with strong people."

The last year has been hard work, with her Drowned World Tour and shooting her first film role to be directed by Ritchie, she said.

"I'm exhausted and I have not stopped since, let's see, we got married last year," she said.

"It is an incredible experience - it has been an incredible experience. I think my husband and I are very well suited for each other."

Ritchie and Madonna shot Love, Sex Drugs and Money - a remake of 1974 Italian film Swept Away.

'Humility'

Madonna stars as a rich woman who embarks on a Mediterranean cruise but gets stranded with an Italian sailor.

The filming taught her "a lesson in humility", she said.

"It was a challenge. He is the director and he is in charge and I had to really take off my wife hat when I came to work every day.

"There were lots of times when he was directing I would think: 'He is not being very nice to me and he is being dismissive of me' and I had to think 'That is not him, it is the director.'

"I had to seriously pick and choose my battles."

See also:

20 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Vinnie crowned Best Actor
16 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Vinnie Jones: Hard man with soft centre
01 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Guy and Vinnie get flash
13 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Vinnie Jones: Mellow in Hollywood
04 Jul 01 | Entertainment
Madonna, queen of reinvention
14 Dec 01 | Showbiz
Madonna attacks UK workmen
23 Dec 00 | Scotland
Madonna weds her Guy
05 Jul 01 | Music
Madonna's music hits London
16 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Ritchie: My 'magnificent' marriage
07 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Guy Ritchie's rise to fame
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