09/01/2011 01:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Madonna: Exes Guy Ritchie, Sean Penn Encouraged Filmmaking For 'W.E.'

Madonna is, of course, a transcendant pop music star, nearly unparalleled in her success in that industry. But while she won a Golden Globe for her starring role in Evita, the Material Girl's film experience, as a whole, is thin at best. So when she decided that it was time to direct her second movie, she needed some help.

Luckily, she's a bit chummy with a couple guys who've spent some time in the movie industry.

Speaking at the Venice Film Festival in a press conference for her British royal period drama, "W.E.," the superstar thanked ex-husbands Guy Ritchie and Sean Penn for helping her with the ambitious production.

"I am and was attracted to very creative people which is why I married Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, two very talented directors," Madonna said. "They both encouraged me as a director and as a creative person to do what I did, and they were both very supportive."

The film, about the drama between would-be King of England Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom he abdicated his chance at the throne. She also told the press that she identified with Simpson, especially.

"I identified with her in that I think it's very common when people become celebrities or public figures or icons that we are often reduced to a soundbite and that you're given a few attributes and then you're not allowed to have anything more than that," the director said.

"W.E." has received mixed reviews, including this largely cool one from The Hollywood Reporter.

For more from Madonna, click over to Reuters.