Baz Luhrmann Reveals Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger Auditioned For ‘Moulin Rouge’

The role eventually went to Ewan McGregor, but director Baz Luhrmann opens up about the lengthy casting search for his 2001 flick Moulin Rouge – and the surprising auditions of Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger.

Baz reveals: “I saw everyone. I have audition material of people you wouldn’t believe. I know who can really sing, people who’ve got amazing voices, from that process.

Dear Heath Ledger, (he had) incredible scenes with Nicole. Because at one stage, Christian was very young, he was a younger guy, and then I was aware of Ewan but I didn’t know if he could sing.”

“Jake should do a musical. He’s a wonderful actor, but (he has a) great voice, tremendous voice. He sang some (Stephen) Sondheim for me, complicated singing, great voice. When is he going to guest on Glee?”

Can you believe it’s already been 10 years?! Last night Baz and his Moulin Rouge actors Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, and John Leguizamo reunited on MTV to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the hit musical.

Baz revealed that the film originally had an alternate opening, featuring the Cat Stevens song “Father and Son.” Even though Cat ultimately decided not to allow the song to appear in the movie, Baz said the push to reexamine the opening was for the best and that he is happy with the way the film turned out. They weren’t allowed to use it in the finished product, but Baz shared the early test.

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Do you think Heath or Jake should have been cast as Christian in Moulin Rouge?