Madonna Thanks "Talented" Exes Penn & Ritchie at the Venice Film Festival

The pop legend had only nice things to say about Guy Ritchie and Sean Penn, the "supportive" ex-husbands who "encouraged" her to become a filmmaker

In Hollywood, divorces tend to be nasty and public, so it's refreshing to hear a global superstar like Madonna have say something positive to say about not one, but both of former husbands.

The singing sensation, 53, had some surprising praise for her ex-husbands, English filmmaker Guy Ritchie and American actor-director Sean Penn, while promoting W.E., her second turn as writer-director of a feature film. During the press conference for the royal period drama's world premiere at the Venice Film Festival Thursday, Madge told reporters it's no coincidence she married to extremely gifted men.

"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, according to the Huffington Post. "They both encouraged me as a director and as a creative person to do what I did, and they were both very supportive."

Considering that Madonna has had a shaky history at the box office -- in addition to notable flop Swept Away, her indie directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, grossed a paltry $22,406 in 2008 -- she clearly needed the support.

W.E. follows two very different romances -- that of former King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) and American divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough), and a contemporary relationship between a married woman (Abbie Cornish) and a Russian security guard (Oscar Isaac). According to Madonna, she feels a kinship to Simpson, for whom King Edward VIII abdicated the throne.

"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 sound bite and that you're given a few attributes and then you're not allowed to have anything more than that," she said.

Although W.E. has received mixed reviews from the festival, the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph critic said it "is rather better than expected; it's bold, confident and not without amusing moments."

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