22 Things You Didn’t Know About Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge’

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.

1. Many of Nicole Kidman’s scenes had to be filmed from the waist up after she fractured two ribs and injured her knee while rehearsing a dance number.

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2. After filming Moulin Rouge, Nicole Kidman was set to star in Panic Room. However, due to these injuries, she had to be replaced by Jodie Foster.

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3. The word love and its variations (loved, lover, loves, loving) appear 143 times throughout the movie.

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4. Nicole Kidman’s necklace was the most expensive piece of jewellery ever made for a film. It contained 1,308 diamonds and was worth more than $1 million.

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5. In Like a Virgin, Jim Broadbent’s voice was dubbed by an opera singer mimicking Broadbent’s vocal performance.

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6. Before filming the Like a Virgin number, the floor was rubbed with Coca Cola to prevent the dancers from slipping.

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7. It was the first musical film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards since Beauty and the Beast (1991).

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8. Nicole Kidman wore a wig throughout the film.

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9. In original drafts of the script, Satine had a three-year-old child. The story was told, in flashbacks, by Christian to the child.

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10. Originally, the green fairy was going to be a long haired ‘muscle man’, voiced by Ozzy Osbourne. Though it was changed to the ‘Tinkerbell’-like Kylie Minogue version, Osbourne still voiced the scream we hear when the fairy turns evil.

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11. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor both wore harnesses for the elephant scene, as they were 60 feet off the ground.

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12. Courtney Love lost the role of Satine to Nicole Kidman, and has made no secret of her resentment against Kidman. Love dedicated her song Miss World, about a self-loathing beauty queen, to Kidman on the 1999 tour with her band Hole.

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13. Other possible Satines included Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Kate Winslet, Hilary Swank, Natalie Mendoza, Sharleen Spiteri, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

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14. For the role of Christian, Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ronan Keating were all considered before McGregor was cast.

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15. It was the opening film at Cannes in 2001.

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16. Come What May is the only original song in the film. It was originally written for ‘Romeo + Juliet’, but wasn’t used. It was disqualified from being nominated for the Oscars Best Original Song award, as it was written for another film.

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17. The film’s first screening was to 250 people near Luhrmann’s hometown of Taree, Australia. The tickets were sold at the local pharmacy.

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18. Most of the Can Can dancers each had their own persona, based on different male fetishes. Read the full list of them here.

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19. During Satine’s trapeze entrance, blue light was used because it made Kidman’s pale skin glow.

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20. The Paris landscape was digitally produced.

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21. It took two-and-a-half hours each day to fit Jim Broadbent into his fat suit.

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22. In the scene where the men throw their hats in the air, the hats are all suspended on fishing wire.

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