The film-making cliche “kill your babies” – employed to evoke the unsentimentality required to sacrifice favoured scenes and actors in the interest of the film as a whole – has taken on new resonance with the revelation that Madonna ruthlessly cut an appearance by her daughter Lourdes from her directorial debut W.E.

Lourdes Ciccone Leon was originally cast to play the younger version of the character Wally, a 90s woman obsessed with the Wallis Simpson story, played by Abbie Cornish, but Leon’s scene did not make the final cut. “Ruthless, I know,” Madonna told MTV. “I said, ‘Sorry babe, you’re on the cutting room floor.’ She took it like a champ.”

“I just kind of dragged her in at the last minute. It was quite unfair of me what I did and what I asked her to do.”

Despite the critical brickbats that W.E. received, Madonna seems keen to continue her film-making career. “I do love the idea of making a sweeping epic romance. And now that I know how to make a film in three different countries, with several different time periods and lots of different accents; I think I’m qualified.”

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