Madonna Says She Identifies With Wallis Simpson

Madonna says the success of the Oscar-winning "The King's Speech" gives audiences a point of reference for her new film, "W.E."

Madonna's sophomore directorial effort tells the story of Wallis Simpson, the two-time American divorcee for whom Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated his throne in 1936. It makes its world premiere out of competition Thursday at the Venice Film Festival.

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Madonna says the two films examine the same historic period from distinct points of view. She also told a news conference that she identifies with Simpson, because fame often reduces celebrities "to a soundbite."

Madonna said she received support for the project from both her two director ex-husbands, Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie.

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