By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter
Baz Luhrmann has opened up about his friendship with Nicole Kidman, praising the actress as “someone to be admired”.
The Australian filmmaker was reflecting on the impact of Kidman’s role in 2001 film Moulin Rouge! on the opening night of the latest theatre adaptation of the classic story.
Luhrmann, 60, told the PA news agency: “I think Nicole is still doing pretty well! I mean, yes, we’re great friends and I think in terms of the cast from [Moulin Rouge!], I see some of them more than others, but Nicole and I go way back.
“We’re great friends and I’m so, I don’t know if I can say I’m proud of her, I’m just so enamoured and so impressed.
“You know, we live in a world where as an actor you can be relegated at a certain numerical point in your life, and she’s flourished.
“I mean, she’s not only acting in more challenging roles consistently but she’s also producing and creating and I think she’s someone to be admired, but she’s also just a great friend.”
The 2001 film was directed, co-produced, and co-written by Luhrmann and follows English writer Christian – originally played by Ewan McGregor – as he travels to Paris where he falls in love with Satine – played by Kidman – a performer, courtesan and the star of the city’s biggest nightclub Moulin Rouge.
Talking about handing over the baton to Alex Timbers, the director of the latest theatre adaptation of the popular film on London’s West End, Luhrmann described it as “the ultimate mash-up”.
He said: “What’s so brilliant about the new team, and I wouldn’t have done this – I’m so glad that I’m grandfather Baz, you know, I’ve got all the fun of the grandkids but I don’t have to do all the work – Alex Timbers and his whole creative team, they took this huge leap forward and they went look there’s classics in there from the original film musical, but let’s put music in there from today as well.
“And I think it easily takes the crown for the ultimate mash-up, they’ve taken mash-up to another level of art form.”
He added: “If you liked this film, you will get all the comfort food in the film but you’ll also get, I think, a surprising new zest and flavour and spice of the now.
“They really do take it and they run with it even further, and that’s so fulfilling.”
Moulin Rouge! is now running at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.