Gogol Bordello Benefits From Madonna's 'Wisdom'

Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz has high praise for Madonna after working with her on her directoral debut, the short film "Filth & Wisdom." The group also joined the Material Girl for her per

Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz has high praise for Madonna after working with her on her directoral debut, the short film "Filth & Wisdom." The group also joined the Material Girl for her performance of "La Isla Bonita" on Saturday at Live Earth in London.

"I think she was fantastic," Hutz, whose character, A.K., was modeled closely on his own personality, tells Billboard.com. "She's such a dynamic force. You can always measure a director by how specific he is or she is, and she was very specific. She had very energetic visions but at the same time there was a lot of room for me to do my own thing.

"It was super fun and perfectly respectable, and it ended up being quite a collaborative project," says Hutz, who contributed some dialogue for the script of the 45-minute piece, which also stars Richard E. Grant ("Gosford Park," "Spice World") and Stephen Graham ("Snatch," "Gangs of New York").

The part did require Hutz to dress in drag, however. "(Madonna) said, 'How do you feel about dressing up as a woman?'" Hutz recalls. "I said, 'Well, as long as it's a woman with a moustache, I'm there."

Gogol Bordello also performs in the film -- which is expected to debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival -- and the soundtrack uses three of the band's songs. "I'd heard from mutual friends for a couple of years that she was big fan of Gogol Bordello," Hutz says. "Eventually I learned that from her in person."

Hutz, of course, is no stranger to high-profile film roles, having co-starred with Elijah Wood in 2005's "Everything Is Illuminated." He still considers himself as Gogol Bordello's frontman first and foremost, but he feels the film projects work to the benefit of the band.

"I think there's a lot of people who found out about Gogol Bordello from ('Everything is Illuminated')" says Hutz, "and a lot of people who found out about the movie through Gogol Bordello. We were never a mainstream band, but I think (the film) brought a new audience, for sure, that's kind of mixed in with our previous hardcore audience."

Gogol Bordello's fourth album, "Super Taranta!," comes out tomorrow (July 10) via Side One Dummy.