In the mood to watch something downright delightful? Look no further than Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor trading memories from the making of Moulin Rouge. Baz Luhrmann‘s 2001 musical was a critically divisive, love-it-or-hate-it parade of style, spectacle, and whimsy with a pair of knockout lead performances and just enough earnest sentimentality to make it all work. You can count me in the “love it” camp. In fact, today I learned few things in nature move faster than me clicking on Moulin Rouge nostalgia content. But you know who loves Moulin Rogue even more than me? Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
With the Big Little Lies and Fargo stars primed for Emmys attention, the duo reunited for Variety Studio: Actors on Actors presented by Shutterstock series, where they reflected back on the film and their memories from the making of. It pretty much sounds like the best time ever. “We gave about a year of our life to that film, but hey, I’m so glad,” Kidman said, including a two-week dance workshop six months before they started filming and a three-month rehearsal period at Luhrmann’s villa, where they had costume fittings, worked on the script, ate “gorgeous food”, and apparently partied in a fashion that would make Harold Zidler proud.
“Remember those Friday nights and Saturday Nights?” Kidman asked. “Not all of them,” McGregor replied with a laugh. Kidman recalled Absinthe and table dancing, and generally the kind of beautiful people doing debauched bohemian things that embodies the whole spirit of the film.
They also reflected on the unique process of shooting the movie, and how much fun they had in the elephant scenes. For example, Kidman’s, let’s say, intense reaction to McGregor’s poetry reading wasn’t in the script, but ended up becoming an unforgettable moment in the film. “We’d work on a scene and then a week later the work that we’d done on it as actors would have been incorporated in the writing,” McGregor said. “And that never happens. That’s very rare.”
Watch the giddy pair share their best Moulin Rogue memories, or check out the full interview in which they also discuss directing and working in television, in the videos below.