Madonna felt compelled to make a movie about the love affair between Britain's King Edward Viii and Wallis Simpson because the American divorcee was "misunderstood" - just like the pop superstar herself.
The Material Girl is about to make her feature film directorial debut with the release of W.E. - about the romance which prompted the monarch to abdicate in 1936 - and Madonna admits she sympathises with Simpson.
She tells the U.K.'s Sky News, "I do know what it's like to be misunderstood on a global scale.
"She lived at a time when women didn't have opportunities like we do now. She didn't have the chance to defend herself so I'm taking that opportunity now... I just think it's really fascinating to try to understand the nature of their romance. And why a man of that power would give up his throne for her."
The film has been panned by critics since its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in Italy in September (11), but Madonna is undeterred - because she has learned not to pay attention to her detractors.
She says, "Even when I try something old and try music I come up against the critics. I cope by not reading anything."
However, the singer-turned-filmmaker is hoping for a more positive reception from the British public.
Speaking at the London premiere of W.E. on Sunday (23Oct11), she admitted, "It's slightly nerve-wracking because it's about a British king, it's predominantly filmed in Britain, it's a British production, most of my actors are English and I know the British can be tough critics. But I hope they like it."